Inner Circle of Advocates

The Inner Circle of Advocates

100 of the Best Plaintiff Lawyers in the U.S.

The Inner Circle of Advocates is an invitation-only group of the best plaintiff lawyers in the United States. Since its inception in 1972, our organization has included the top plaintiff trial attorneys in the nation among its membership. Our mission is to promote the highest standards of courtroom competence and the mutual fellowship and exchange of knowledge among outstanding trial lawyers.

Membership is limited to attorneys of exceptional qualifications who are respected among their peers and who are experienced and skillful in the handling of courtroom litigation.

Membership in The Inner Circle of Advocates is testament to our members’ accomplishments as plaintiff trial attorneys. Although spread across the country, members share experience, skill, and knowledge, and often function as a collective law firm in the pursuit of justice.

Many times people who have been injured and families who have lost loved ones find themselves facing big corporations or insurance companies with unlimited resources to deny just compensation to those they harmed. Through the work and skill of our talented members, cover-ups can be exposed and those at fault held accountable. By punishing the guilty for their wrongs, we make America a safer place.

"A Select Group of 100 of the nation's most celebrated Trial Lawyers."
-Washington Post

In 2008, Tyler S. Thompson was inducted into the Inner Circle of Advocates.


The Inner Circle of Advocates was conceived by Tucson, Arizona, attorney Richard Grand on May 24, 1972 when he decided there was a need for an organization made up of the most skilled plaintiff attorneys to share information about their work. Richard created the logo, which represents a seven figure verdict of $1 million or more. He decided that at least one million dollar verdict and the completion of fifty personal injury cases were the threshold for membership. Total membership was to be limited to fifty members.

These same qualifications apply today with three changes – members must now have at least three verdicts in excess of $1 million or one verdict in excess of $10 million with the most recent verdict being no more than five years old, members must have a substantial number of jury trials, and the membership total has been increased to one hundred members.

“My goal was an organization of highly experienced plaintiff attorneys who were willing to share information about experts, techniques, and whatever it took to be a great trial lawyer. I think this goal has been consistently achieved since the organization was created.”

Richard made contact with lawyers around the country who appeared to be qualified. The first meeting was held on June 26, 1972 in San Francisco and eleven lawyers showed up. They all sat at a round table and began an exchange of questions and ideas. This became the first Inner Circle roundtable session. By the end of 1972 membership had grown to twenty members. Within a short time membership reached the maximum level and remains at full capacity to this date. Richard pointed out that Inner Circle of Advocates members believe that by achieving justice for their clients, they also achieve changes for the good of society as a whole.

Richard died suddenly and peacefully in his sleep on April 7, 2013, but his vision and The Inner Circle of Advocates live on.

Membership Criteria

Membership in The Inner Circle of Advocates is by invitation and based on criteria that include an applicant’s performance and success in the courtroom. The Inner Circle carefully evaluates experience, reputation, judicial references, and peer evaluations to identify the best 100 trial lawyers in the country. Typically, applicants are expected to have at least three verdicts of one million dollars or a recent verdict in excess of ten million dollars to be considered for membership. The Inner Circle looks for cutting edge lawyers in their jurisdiction who are active courtroom lawyers with a willingness to learn and teach about our craft and to be part of a close-knit, sharing group of professional colleagues. Membership in The Inner Circle of Advocates is not just an accolade, it is a commitment to participate in a unique laboratory of professional advancement.

Attorney Thompson and his firm handle complex personal injury cases in Kentucky including trucking accidents, medical malpractice, birth injuries, and wrongful death.

  • National Center for State Courts
  • AAJ Leaders Forum
  • NAOPIA 2022
  • Inner Circle of Advocates
  • Best Law Firms 2021
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • AV Preeminent 2021
  • Distinguished Peer Review 2021
  • Legal Resources
  • American Association of Justice
  • 10 Best Law Firm Client Satisfaction
  • Litigation Counsel of America
  • Super Lawyers
  • Best Medical Malpractice Lawyers in Louisville 2020
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40
  • The National Trial Lawyers - Top 100
  • Kentucky Justice Association
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • The Best Lawyers in America

Meet Our Team

Over 5 Decades of Experience
  • Tyler S. Thompson Photo
    Tyler S. Thompson

    Senior Partner

    Tyler S. Thompson has been named one of the Top Ten Attorneys in Kentucky on multiple occasions by Super Lawyers® Magazine . In 2008, he became a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates , a trial lawyer organization by invitation-only, limited to only 100 lawyers in the United States, and described by the Washington Post as “a select group of 100 of the nations most celebrated trial lawyers.” The Inner Circle of Advocates are considered to be among the best plaintiff attorneys in the United ...
  • Liz J. Shepherd Photo
    Liz J. Shepherd


    Liz Shepherd has focused primarily on medical negligence, product liability, and auto accident cases since she graduated from law school. Ms. Shepherd has been with the firm since 1993 and is the current President of the Kentucky Justice Association. She served on the Board of Governors of the Kentucky Academy of Trial Attorneys (now known as the Kentucky Justice Association) and also served as Fourth District Vice President. Ms. Shepherd has lectured in the areas of medical negligence, personal ...
  • Jack  Conway Photo
    Jack Conway


    Jack Conway, former Attorney General of Kentucky and executive committee member of the National Association of Attorneys General, is a partner in Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC. He has a record of obtaining multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements in private practice and as a public advocate. Mr. Conway’s experience, stature, and knowledge add essential capabilities to clients seeking trial work, policy advocacy, regulatory compliance, and litigation strategies across the country. ...
  • Martin  Kinney Photo
    Martin Kinney


    Martin Kinney focuses his practice on medical negligence, auto/truck accidents, and product liability cases. Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Kinney was a partner with the Louisville law firm of Boehl, Stopher and Graves where he focused his practice on litigation involving attorney malpractice, railroad crossing accidents, FELA claims, and truck/automobile accidents. He previously has been recognized as one of the top lawyers in Louisville by the Louisville Magazine and has an AV® Rating by ...
  • Jordan A. Stanton Photo
    Jordan A. Stanton


    Jordan A. Stanton is a member of the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40, an exclusive invitation-only organization specifically reserved for trial attorneys. Mr. Stanton has been repeatedly recognized as a Super Lawyers Rising Star, an accolade given to no more than 2.5% of attorneys in each state. Due to his accomplishments, Mr. Stanton has been frequently listed in the coveted publication, Best Lawyers in America: Ones to Watch. Mr. Stanton began his collegiate career at Jacksonville ...
  • Marshall  Rowland Photo
    Marshall Rowland


    Marshall Rowland joined Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd, & Conway, PSC in 2016 after clerking for the firm during the summer of 2015. Prior to his involvement with the firm, Marshall was an extern for the legal counsel of the Ohio State Troopers Association during the summer of 2014. Marshall earned his Juris Doctorate degree from Capital University. Marshall received his undergraduate degree in Political Science from Wittenberg University and was a four-year varsity member of the men’s soccer team. ...

Why Hire Dolt, Thompson, Shepherd & Conway, PSC?

We Change Lives
  • We Have Some of the Largest Verdicts & Settlements in KY
  • Our Senior Partner is an Inner Circle of Advocates Member
  • We Have Over 5 Decades of Experience
  • In-House Medical Staff to Assist in Case Preparation & Investigations
  • You Won’t Pay Any Upfront Costs
  • Respected Among Other Firms For Our Reputation in Handling Complex Cases

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