A History Of Growing Trust In Kentucky


Katherine Gail Russell

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K. Gail Russell joined Tilford Dobbins & Schmidt, PLLC on July 20, 2020.  For over 35 years Ms. Russell has practiced law in the area of bankruptcy, banking, and collections.  An AV rated attorney, she has handled many foreclosure actions and bankruptcy cases in Chapters 7, 11, 12 and 13 of the Code.

A native of Murray, Kentucky, Ms. Russell graduated from the University of Mississippi (B.A. Degree with Highest Distinction), and graduated from the University of Kentucky (J.D.).  

Ms. Russell represents lenders, trustees, creditors’ committees, debtors, equity holders, plan proponents, asset purchasers, creditors, landlords, receivers, and other interested parties in a variety of insolvency situations.

In December 2015, she left the private practice of law to join state government.  Her positions included service as Secretary of the Public Protection Cabinet.  This cabinet is known as the primary regulatory cabinet in Kentucky government.  The following agencies are housed in the Cabinet and were under her supervision:

Department of Financial Institutions

Department of  Alcohol Beverage Control

Kentucky Horse Racing Commission

Department of Housing Buildings and Construction

Department of Insurance

Department of Charitable Gaming

Kentucky Claims Commission

Department of Professional Licensing

Kentucky Boxing and Wrestling Commission

Kentucky Real Estate Authority

In this position, Ms. Russell supervised and directed the Cabinet’s legal team which consisted of 38 attorneys.  Thus, she is well versed in administrative law and regulations. As a Cabinet Secretary, Ms. Russell was the highest ranking appointed female officer in Kentucky State Government.  

She is also a member of the Uniform Law Commission, having been appointed to same by the Kentucky legislature.  This body is primarily known for drafting the Uniform Commercial Code and subsequent amendments thereto.  In 2019, Ms. Russell was appointed by the President of the Commission on Uniform Laws to serve as a member of the prestigious Scope and Program Committee, which is tasked with advising the Executive Committee on the work the ULC should undertake. Below is a partial list of the other committees on which she has served or is presently serving:

· Electronic Registry for Residential Mortgage Notes Act

· Garnishment of Wages in Bank Accounts Act

· Voidable Transactions Act Amendment

· Telehealth Study Committee

· Third-Party Funding of Litigation Study Committee

· Direct to Consumer Sales of Wine Act

Prior to joining Tilford Dobbins & Schmidt, PLLC, Ms. Russell was served as counsel and senior advisor to the Kentucky House Majority Leadership.  She has been a member of the Kentucky Racing Commission as well as the Kentucky Economic Development Partnership Board.  In addition, she served on the Kentucky 911 Services Board and was the Small Business Ombudsman for the Public Protection Cabinet.  Prior to her state government service, Ms. Russell was a partner or member in several local law firms. Ms. Russell previously served as Estate Administrator for the United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Kentucky.  In that position, she supervised the standing panel of bankruptcy trustees.

In 2006, Ms. Russell was appointed by the Governor as a Special Justice on the Kentucky Supreme Court.   She also was appointed to the Kentucky Arts Council.  She has also served as member of the Jefferson County Ethics Commission. Ms. Russell is active in many organizations in the Louisville community.

She presently serves as a member of the Visiting Committee of the University of Kentucky College of Law.  

Gail was named one of the Top Lawyers in Louisville in bankruptcy law on several occasions by Louisville Magazine.

Ms. Russell’s experience in the private practice of law and public service in the administrative law realm is unsurpassed.


  • University of Kentucky College of Law, Lexington, Kentucky
    • J.D. - 1979
    • Honors: Phi Kappa Phi
    • Honors: Mortar Board
  • University of Mississippi
    • B.A. - 1976
    • Honors: With Highest Distinction

Bar Admission

  • Kentucky, 1979
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky, 1980

Past Positions

  • Roth Foley Bryant & Cooper, P.S.C., Principal
  • Rubin Hays & Foley, Partner
  • United States Bankruptcy Court, Western District of Kentucky, Estate Administrator

Professional Associations

  • Louisville Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section, Member
  • Kentucky Bar Association, Bankruptcy Section, Member
  • The Jefferson Club Executive Women's Council, Member
  • English-Speaking Union, Member
  • Junior League of Louisville, Member
  • Downtown Kiwanis Club of Louisville, Member
  • Kentucky Opera Guild, Member
  • Second Presbyterian Church, Member
  • Pi Alpha Chapter of Alpha Omicron Pi Sorority at the University of Louisville, Vice President of the Corporation Board
  • Republican Party, Active Member