Dean and Professor
Areas of ExpertiseBusiness Association Law, Secured Transactions, Real Estate
EducationJ.D. Yale University Law School
B.A. Yale University, Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude
ExperienceDrake University Law School; Dean and Professor since 2009;
University of Kentucky College of Law; Dean and Professor, 2000-2008, Professor 2008-2009;
Washington & Lee University School of Law; Assistant Professor, 1989-1994, Associate Professor, 1994-1997, Professor, 1997-1999, Professor and Associate Dean, 1999-2000; Private Practice of Law for 10 years in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Cedar Rapids, Iowa, specializing in business and commercial transactions, regulated industries and civil trials and appeals
Selected Publications“. . . Drawing Near the Fastness?” The Failed United States Experiment in Unincorporated Business Entity Reform, in Joseph A. McCahery, Theo Raaijmakers and Erik P.M. Vermeulen, THE GOVERNANCE OF CLOSE CORPORATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES (2004, Oxford University Press).
THE REVISED UNIFORM PARTNERSHIP ACT (with Robert W. Hillman and Donald J. Weidner) (1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, Thomson West).
Contractarianism and Its Discontents: Reflections on Unincorporated Business Organization Law Reform, 42 SUF. U. L. REV. (forthcoming 2008) (with J. William Callison).
Modern Limited Partnership Law Comes to Kentucky: An Owner’s Manual, 34 N. KY. L. REV. 411 (2007) (with Thomas E. Rutledge).
Modern Partnership Law Comes to Kentucky: Comparing the Kentucky Revised Uniform Partnership Act and the Uniform Act From Which it is Derived, 95 KY. L. J. 715 (2007) (with Thomas E. Rutledge).
Not ‘Like Sailors or Idiots or Infants’: Social Welfare Based Limits on Private Ordering in Business Association Law, 8:1 EUR. BUS. ORG. L. REV. 71 (2007).
“Wide Open:” Nevada’s Innovative Market in Partnership Law, 35 HOFSTRA L. REV. 275 (2006).
Disappointing Diogenes: The LLC Debate That Never Was, 51 SAINT LOUIS U. L. REV. 53 (2006) (with Thomas E. Rutledge).
“Former” Clients and Changes in the Business Entity Law – Just One More Place Where Something May Go Wrong, J. BUS. ENTITIES (July/August 2006 at 40) (with Thomas E. Rutledge).
“A River to My People . . . ” Notes from my Fifth Year as Dean, 37 U. TOLEDO L. REV. 179 (2005) (Symposium, Leadership in Legal Education).
Making the Obvious Choice Malpractice: The Lawyer Liability Time Bomb in Kentucky’s LLP Tax Modernization of 2005, 94 KENTUCKY L.J. 17 (2005-2006) (with Thomas E. Rutledge).
The Want of a Theory, Again. 38 SUFFOLK U. L. REV. 719 (2004) (with J. William Callison) (Symposium, The New Limited Partnership Act).
“Real Partnerships” and Real Problems: Conforming Business Entity Law to Fiscal Realities and Popular Conceptions, 29 DEL. J. CORP. L. 877 (2003) (Symposium, The Convergence of Fiduciary Duties in Unincorporated and Incorporated Entities: The Issue, Its Implications, Its Limitations).
Business Law Reform in South Africa: The Right Path, the Right Reason, 91 KENTUCKY L.J. 829 (2003).
“. . . Drawing Near the Fastness?” The Failed United States Experiment in Unincorporated Business Entity Reform, 26 J. CORP. L. 1019 (2001) (Symposium, Close Corporation and Partnership Law Reform in Europe and the United States) (reprinted in Joseph A. McCahery, Theo Raaijmakers and Erik P.M. Vermeulen, THE GOVERNANCE OF CLOSE CORPORATIONS AND PARTNERSHIPS IN EUROPE AND THE UNITED STATES (2004, Oxford University Press).
“Today the Administration Building Burned Down . . .” Notes From My First Year as Dean, 33 U. TOLEDO L. REV. 251 (2002) (Symposium, Leadership in Legal Education).
“They’ve Created a Lamb With Mandibles of Death”: Secrecy, Disclosure and Fiduciary Duties in Limited Liability Firms, 76 IND. L.J. 271 (2000) (with J. William Callison).
Law Partner Expulsions, 55 WASH. & LEE L. REV. 1083 (1999) (Symposium, Withdrawals and Expulsions from Law Firms).
Significant AccomplishmentsAmerican Law Institute, elected member.
Kentucky Justice Association, Consumer Safety Award, 2008.
Medallion “In recognition of outstanding contributions towards modernizing Kentucky Business Law,” National Association of Secretaries of State, June 22, 2007.
Commonwealth of Kentucky, Department of Public Advocacy Commission; member, 2006-2008.
Public Advocate’s Award, Office of Public Advocate, June 7, 2005.
American Bar Association Section of Legal Education & Admissions to the Bar, Bar Admissions Committee; member, 2005-2008.
Distinguished Professor Award, Phi Delta Phi International Legal Fraternity, Washington & Lee University Law School, 1993-1994 and 1994-1995.
ResumeClick here to view/download Dean Vestal's curriculum vitae.
“Courage is the most important attribute of a lawyer. It is more important than competence or vision. It can never be an elective in any law school. It can never be de-limited, dated or outworn, and it should pervade the heart, the halls of justice and the chambers of the mind.”
Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy spoke eloquently at the University of San Francisco Law School in the fall of 1962 about lawyers and courage. The courage of which he spoke comes in many forms. It is found in a public defender who represents an unpopular client in the face of physical intimidation, and in a prosecutor who declines on the basis of inadequate evidence to charge a defendant in the face of public outcry. We see courage in the intellectual integrity of an appellate court that follows the dictates of the state constitution to a controversial judgment. It is found in a civil litigator who successfully represents her clients by developing a new theory of the law, and in a transactional lawyer who advises his clients against a lucrative course of conduct that would violate the law.
Kennedy spoke to law professors and students in his statement that courage “can never be an elective in any law school.” We see the courage of which he spoke all around us, from students who leave comfortable lives to undertake the rigors of law school, to faculty member who represent unpopular or challenging clients or advance controversial ideas, to graduates who choose the path of public service or the rewards of serving an under-represented community. We see courage in robust and respectful debate, and in the members of the Law School community who give their time and resources to support such intellectual discussion.
We are charged to ensure that the courage of which Kennedy spoke, in all its manifestations, pervades the halls of our Law School and the chambers of our hearts and minds.