LOUISVILLE, Ky.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, announced today that Kentucky native Marjorie A. Farris will become the firm’s new Chair effective January 2021. She will be the first woman to lead the firm since its founding in 1832. Farris will succeed Robert M. Connolly, who served as the firm’s Chair for the past six years. Upon completing his current term, Connolly will return to his litigation practice based in the Louisville office.
“I am honored to be selected as the firm’s next Chair,” said Farris. “There are very few female managing partners of multi-state law firms, and I am excited to join their ranks.” Born to a family of educators and bankers, Farris began her legal career with Stites & Harbison 25 years ago. “I built my law practice here while learning from and working alongside some of the best and brightest legal talent found anywhere,” said Farris. “I am passionate about this firm, my colleagues, and our ongoing commitment to client service. Now, more than ever, we are searching for innovative ways to help our clients navigate uncharted waters in operating their businesses. I look forward to continuing Stites & Harbison’s growth as a leading-edge law firm.”
Farris plans to be actively engaged across all of Stites & Harbison’s 10 offices in Kentucky, Georgia, Indiana, Tennessee, and Virginia.
“Marjorie is a great choice. She is an exceptional leader, and an incredibly skilled, thorough, and thoughtful attorney,” said Connolly. “We have worked together on major litigation and within the firm’s management structure. She is highly respected by everyone at the firm. I am glad to call her not only a colleague, but a friend. I am comforted knowing that as I end my tenure as firm Chair, Stites & Harbison is in good hands.”
Farris is currently Stites & Harbison’s Co-Chair of the Class Action and Multi-District Litigation Group and a member of the Torts & Insurance Practice Service Group. An accomplished trial lawyer, Farris has actively defended more than 75 class actions nationwide. She is the long-standing author of the Kentucky section of the ABA’s Survey of State Class Action Law included in Newberg on Class Actions. Best Lawyers in America® named Farris the 2021 Louisville Area Lawyer of the Year for her defense of Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions. Her practice encompasses a wide variety of substantive matters, including products liability, insurance bad faith, ERISA, and complex business disputes. Farris earned her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Louisville Louis D. Brandeis School of Law, where she was Law Review’s Notes Editor, and her B.A. with high distinction from the University of Kentucky. Farris is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and Mortar Board.
Farris served two stints on the firm’s Management Committee, in 2008-2011 and again, in 2016-2020, and she was the Louisville Office Executive Member from 2013-2016. She also served as Co-Chair of the firm-wide Recruiting Committee in 2005-2007. Her professional accolades include recognition in Martindale-Hubbell® (AV-Preeminent® Peer Review Rated and Bar Register of Preeminent Women Lawyers) and Business First of Louisville, Forty Under 40 (2008). She is an active member of the American, Kentucky, and Louisville Bar Associations, as well as the Defense Research Institute.
Also devoted to community service, Farris was a member of Leadership Louisville’s Board of Directors for six years and is currently on that group’s finance committee. She spent eight years on the Board of Directors at the Center for Women & Families, two of them as Board Chair. She also served eight years on the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kentuckiana.