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David Samford


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Experience in Government


David’s professional career began while working for Senate Republican leaders in Frankfort. In that capacity, he reviewed legislation, assisted with correspondence and helped Senators stay abreast of developments in public policy debates. David was involved in the appropriations process and helped draft campaign finance reforms among others. While serving in this role, David gained a deep appreciation for the complexities of the legislative process.

Following law school, David moved to the judicial branch of the federal government where he served as a law clerk to Judge Henry R. Wilhoit, Jr., who was then presiding as the Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky. The clerkship afforded David the opportunity to participate in many types of civil and criminal cases, thereby expanding his knowledge of the law and increasing his familiarity with federal court procedures. This experience was helpful to David when, fifteen years later, he returned to the judicial branch – this time in state government – after being appointed by Governor Matt Bevin as a Special Justice of the Kentucky Supreme Court.

David has also spent a significant amount of time serving in the executive branch of state government. David was first appointed as a Special Advisor and Director of Speechwriting to Governor Ernie Fletcher where he managed the Governor’s Scheduling and Advance Staff and drafted speeches as diverse as the Kentucky Derby Trophy Presentation and the State of the Commonwealth Address. Next, David served as Executive Director of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Office of Legal Services, the top legal appointment in one of the largest Cabinets in state government. While at the Transportation Cabinet, David managed a staff of over thirty legal professionals and supervised the work of dozens of law firms serving as outside counsel for the cabinet in every county in Kentucky.

David later assumed the role of General Counsel, Policy Advisory and Deputy Executive Director of the Kentucky Public Service Commission. During his tenure at the Commission, David personally and successfully defended the agency in several cases before the Kentucky Court of Appeals and Kentucky Supreme Court. In 2010, he successfully argued three separate cases relating to the scope of the Commission’s statutory authority before the Kentucky Supreme Court – including two cases on the same morning.

While at the Commission, David supervised a staff of over 100 professionals and participated in virtually every category of case brought before the Commission, including rate cases, certificates of public convenience and necessity, utility finance, telecommunications and cell tower siting, mergers and acquisitions, regulatory assets and accounting, demand side management and energy efficiency incentives, environmental compliance, utility infrastructure funding, fuel adjustments and gas cost adjustments, abandonments, territorial disputes and customer complaints. David also served as an advisor to the Kentucky State Board on Electric Generation and Transmission Siting, which considers all applications to construct major merchant power plants and transmission lines in the Commonwealth. He also was called upon frequently to provide input to the Energy and Environment Cabinet on energy policy. David was heavily involved in issues relating to emerging clean coal technologies, carbon capture and storage and the thoughtful deployment of smart grid technology. He frequently appeared before legislative committees and provided technical counsel on legislation ranging from telecommunications deregulation to low-income home energy assistance programs to Kentucky’s policy on nuclear power facilities.



Experience in Private Practice


Between tenures in government service, David worked in private practice. Following his judicial clerkship, David gained experience representing the unregulated business units of public utilities, banks and energy companies in a wide array of litigation and transactional matters. Following his tenure in state government, David worked in the business department of one of Kentucky’s largest law firms.

Since establishing Goss Samford, PLLC, David has been actively involved in representing a number of regulated clients in administrative, judicial and legislative forums. Among other things, David led negotiations to help an Eastern Kentucky energy developer enter into a $1 billion long-term power purchase agreement and helped other clients gain necessary regulatory approvals to create one of the largest public utilities in the country through a series of mergers and acquisitions. He has regularly appeared before the Kentucky General Assembly on policy issues and achieved favorable results for clients before both the Kentucky Court of Appeals and the Kentucky Supreme Court. David is also actively involved in providing support to the Firm’s government relations team. In 2019, David was named as the General Counsel to the Kentucky Guild of Craft Brewers, the trade association for one of Kentucky's fastest growing industries.

David remains involved in the community as well. He has been appointed to serve two terms on the Kentucky Registry of Election Finance and one term as a Director of the Bluegrass Community and Technical College. He is also involved in several committees of the Lexington Christian Academy.

David graduated from the University of Kentucky with a B.A. in 1996 and a J.D. in 2000. He is admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, the U.S. District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and all courts in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.





“Outstanding work, David! It was a privilege to sit in on the oral arguments and watch you in action! Very significant outcome.”
– Corporate Government and Community Relations Director

“[I] can’t take the credit for such an outstanding attorney in David Samford who has guided us all along and who really produced the results of this ruling.”
– Utility Executive

“David Samford did a great job reminding them of all the commitments they had made to Kentucky.”
– Utility Senior Vice President

“Great job. Thanks for your diligence in this process.”
– Gubernatorial Transition Team Director