LEXINGTON, Ky. (June 5, 2012) — The University of Kentucky College of Law and the UK College of Law Alumni Association will honor 2012 Hall of Fame inductees and alumni award recipients June 6 at an alumni reception in conjunction with the Kentucky Bar Association Convention in Louisville.

The Hall of Fame was established to acknowledge graduates of the college who have achieved extraordinary professional success, have a high degree of character and integrity, and have made a profound positive impact on the College of Law. The four Hall of Fame inductees are William H. Cull, Marie A. Cull, William H. Fortune and William E. Johnson.

The College of Law Hall of Fame Award is the highest award presented jointly by the college and the UK Law Alumni Association. This distinction is awarded with great care to either alumni who have distinguished themselves by contributions that they have made in their own particular field of work, or in the betterment of humanity or to former faculty who have taught at the UK College of Law for at least 20 years.

Marie Alagia Cull (1979) is senior partner at Cull & Hayden, P.S.C., and she is regarded as a health care and government relations specialist. Cull has about 27 years of experience in health care law, is a frequent speaker and has a number of publications on the subject to her credit. She enjoys a great reputation in the lobbying community and for her work with members of the Kentucky state legislature and the executive branch.

Cull is a member of the Lafferty Society, the Building Campaign Committee, the Law Alumni Association (lifetime member), the Development Council and the Women in Philanthropy Leadership Council, and she is a Presidential Fellow. She and her husband established the Bill and Marie Cull Fellowship Endowment Fund to provide scholarships for law students. Her other civic engagements include service on the City of Frankfort’s Urban Forestry Advisory Board, the Frankfort Salvation Army Advisory Board, a recent member of the Board of Trustees of Ursuline Campus Schools of Louisville, Ky., and vice chair of the board for Capital Ovarian Cancer Organization, Inc.

Prior to attending law school, Cull studied for a year at Oxford University and obtained her undergraduate degree at Trinity College in Washington, D.C. She is an active member of the Kentucky Bar Association with prior service on the House of Delegates and several committees. Cull is also a member of the Florida Bar Association, the American Bar Association and its Health Law Forum and the American Health Lawyers Association. She is listed in the Best Lawyers in America and Kentucky Super Lawyers. Cull lives in Frankfort with her husband, William H. Cull, a 1977 graduate of the UK College of Law.

William “Bill” H. Cull (1977) is a veteran lawyer, investor and developer with experience in a variety of businesses, government and real estate development. His business experience included serving as general counsel and then president of Concept, Inc., once the nation’s third-largest private prison company, which merged with Corrections Corporation of America. His government experience included positions as deputy counsel for Gov. Julian Carroll and Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. and general counsel in the Commerce Cabinet for Gov. Brown. His real estate development experience included developing and co-owning Microtel Inns in Kentucky and Indiana and developing residential communities in Jefferson and Shelby Counties in Kentucky.

As president of Save The Grand Theatre, Inc., Cull led the effort to preserve and restore the Grand Theatre in downtown Frankfort, beginning in the 1980s. The theater, built in 1911, was converted in 1941 to a movie theater but closed in 1965. After restoration, the Grand Theatre now provides residents with a venue for performing arts, music, film and educational opportunities for children.

Cull is a member of the Lafferty Society, the Visiting Committee, the Building Campaign Committee, the Law Alumni Association (lifetime member), and he is a Presidential Fellow. He lives in Frankfort with his wife, Maria Alagia Cull, a 1979 graduate of the College.

William “Bill” H. Fortune (1964) practiced law for five years with the firm now known as Stites and Harbison and in 1969 joined the faculty of the College of Law. He has twice served the College of Law as associate dean, has served the University of Kentucky as academic ombud and University Senate chair, and in partial recognition of his great service to the students of the College of Law was honored with the University of Kentucky Great Teacher Award in 2001.

Fortune has shown unmatched commitment to some of the most crucial obligations of the legal profession. He was the first president of the Central Kentucky Legal Services Corporation, he has served as a member of Kentucky’s Public Advocacy Commission, and, most importantly, he has three times taken leave from the College of Law to provide legal services to the indigent — serving two years as a federal public defender in California, two years as a federal public defender in Kentucky, and one year as an assistant public advocate in Eastern Kentucky.

Additionally, he has served the Kentucky Bar Association (KBA) as very few lawyers have ever done, as a drafter of the state’s Evidence Rules, as a member of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct Committee, as counsel for the Ethics Committee of the Kentucky Judiciary, as the author of numerous books and articles on professional responsibility, and through more presentations on continuing legal education than perhaps any other Kentucky lawyer has ever made. In recognition of his service to the profession, Fortune was awarded the 2008 KBA Thomas B. Spain Award and in 2009 received from the Kentucky Supreme Court the Chief Justice’s Special Service Award.

William Edward Johnson (1957) is a partner in the law firm of Johnson, True & Guarnieri LLP, engaging in all areas of trial practice and administrative law. Johnson’s numerous achievements and memberships include the following:

KBA vice president (2012-2013); KBA Board of Governors (1981-1983); chairman of the House of Delegates (1979); Association of Trial Lawyers of America, board of governors (1980-1983); Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys, president (1979); Franklin County Bar Association, president (1980); KACDL, president (1990); ATLA Exchange, chairman (1983); former member, Kentucky Criminal Rules Committee; former member, Kentucky Civil Rules Committee; former member, Appellate Handbook Committee; ABA Litigation Trial Practice Committee (1983-1984); KBA Litigation Committee (1988); KBA Ethics Committee (2000); Public Advocacy Commission (2002-2006); and former member, Judicial Nominating Commission. He is a fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (1986), American Board of Criminal Lawyers (1980) and the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (1994).

Johnson is listed in Kentucky Super Lawyers and has been continuously listed in the Best Lawyers in America since 1984. In 1991, he was the recipient of the “War Horse” award by the Southern Trial Lawyers Association, and in 1997 he was a recipient of the EKU National Alumni Association Achievement Award. Johnson was awarded the Nelson Mandela Lifetime Achievement Award by the Department of Public Advocacy in 2001.

Johnson served his country as an infantry officer, attaining the rank of captain in the United States Army. He has tried hundreds of cases to verdict in his 50-plus years as an attorney.

Alumni awards to be presented at the reception include:

Distinguished Jurist — Chief Justice John Minton (1997)

This award is given to an individual who has distinguished himself or herself through a contribution of outstanding service to the legal profession, and demonstrated a high standard of ethical conduct and fairness in all court proceedings.

Professional Achievement — Jane Allen (1991), Rebecca White (1981)

This award is primarily designed to recognize a particularly noteworthy accomplishment in a given year, but may also be given to one who has achieved and sustained an extraordinary level of excellence in a particular area of the law or their chosen field.

Community Service — Dreama Gentry (1992)

This award is given to a graduate who has provided outstanding leadership in his or her local community, state or nation, to aid and benefit causes not necessarily related to the legal profession.

Young Professional — Ben Carter (2006), Lindsay H. Thurston (2003)

This award is designated for an individual who has graduated within the past 10 years, and who has distinguished herself or himself professionally, in her or his community, or in some other fashion.

MEDIA CONTACT: Keith Hautala (859) 323-2396;

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