CEO & Lead Attorney
Hans is licensed in Kentucky and Indiana; however, he has a national reputation for handling catastrophic injury and death cases as well as contingency fee business-to-business litigation.
While lots of lawyers hold themselves out as “trial lawyers,” Hans actually is one. According to the 2022 Kentucky Trial Court Year in Review, only two plaintiff lawyers in Kentucky have tried more cases to verdict than Hans since 2005.
Since 1998, no lawyer in Kentucky has secured more verdicts over one million dollars than Hans, who has nine verdicts in excess of $1,000,000. (2022 Kentucky Trial Court Year in Review). Hans has the largest EMTALA verdict in Kentucky history ($2,395,000). He also had the largest medical malpractice verdict in Kentucky in 2021, the second largest medical malpractice verdict in 2018, the largest overall Kentucky verdict in Kentucky in 2016, and the second largest overall Kentucky verdict in 2008. And while punitive damages (damages to punish the wrongdoer) are only awarded in about 3.3% of all medical negligence cases, Hans has obtained punitive damages in a staggering four medical malpractice trials, twice as many as any other lawyer in Kentucky. Hans has multiple seven and eight figure verdicts and settlements in products liability, commercial truck wrecks, medical malpractice, insurance bad faith, legal malpractice, nursing home negligence, accounting malpractice, and FELA cases. In fact, Hans has at least one million-dollar verdict or settlement in every single area in which he practices.
In 2016, ALM VerdictSearch Top 100 Verdicts of 2016 recognized Hans’ $21,274,786 verdict in Wells v Catholic Health Initiatives, Inc as the 94th largest verdict in the United States. The Wells case was one of over 400 cased filed by the Poppe Law Firm® in London, KY alleging unnecessary cardiac procedures were performed in order to boost profits. Three more cases went to trial and ultimately all the cases were globally settled the night before closing arguments in the Owens v. CHI trial. The work done by Hans and his team also contributed to a $16,500,000 Medicare qui tam recovery from the hospital and $380,000 from two doctors. Additionally, the work done by the Poppe Law Firm® helped lead to the arrest and federal conviction of two other cardiologists for Medicare fraud. One was sentenced to 42 months and the other was sentenced to 30 months.
At the same time he was handling the London unnecessary procedure litigation, Hans and his team found a similar fact pattern in Ashland, KY involving King’s Daughter’s hospital. Hans filed over 500 lawsuits in Ashland also alleging unnecessary cardiac procedures. Two months later the Department of Justice reached a $41,000,000 settlement with King’s Daughter’s for allegations of unnecessary procedures. The civil suits were settled in a 2019 confidential global settlement. The work done by Hans and his team also helped lead to the conviction of a third cardiologist who was sentenced to 5 years and $1,000,000 in restitution.
Hans was selected by his peers as the 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 ”Lawyer of the Year in Medical Malpractice-Louisville” by Best Lawyers®. Only a single lawyer in a specific practice area and location is honored with a “Lawyer of the Year” designation. Additionally, Hans was recognized in the same edition of The Best Lawyers in America for his work in Personal Injury Litigation and Professional Malpractice Law.
Hans was named in 2021, 2022, and 2023 as one of the ”Top 50 Kentucky Super Lawyers” by the prestigious Thomson-Reuters Super Lawyer peer review rating system.
Also in 2020, Hans was nominated and elected by his legal peers to be President of the prestigious American Board of Trial Advocates’ Kentucky Chapter.
Hans’ advocacy and professionalism recently led the U.S News & World Report to recognize The Poppe Law Firm® as a 2021, 2022, and 2023 ”Best Law Firms in Kentucky-First Tier Law Firm.”
In addition to being a courtroom trial lawyer, Hans has had five cases go before the Supreme Court of Kentucky.
He was raised in Savannah, Georgia and moved to Kentucky to be closer to his mother’s family when he was 15. Hans majored in finance and minored in philosophy while at the University of Louisville. He worked his way through college while working third-shift part time at United Parcel Service. Quickly promoted several times, by his senior year he had advanced to a full-time position as a financial analyst in United Parcel Service’s Air Group where he analyzed past aircraft fleet maintenance expenditures in order to make projections for the future.
While he certainly enjoyed putting his finance degree to work, Hans had already made plans to attend law school on scholarship. Law school was a natural fit for him and he made the Dean’s list all six semesters while at The Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville. During his second year, Hans was selected to be a member of the Brandeis Law Journal (now the University of Louisville Law Review). Also in his second year, Hans advanced to the semi-final round of the Pirtle-Washer Oral Advocacy Competition and tied for third with the woman whom he would later marry, Jeri Barclay. During his final year, Hans was selected to represent the law school at the prestigious Kauffman Securities Law Moot Court Competition in New York City. He and his teammate-and still good friend-Shane O’Bryan, made the best showing in the law school’s history by finishing third in the nation. Hans finished law school ranked in the top ten with a grade point average high enough to gain him membership into the nation’s oldest, largest, and most selective all-discipline honor society, The Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Additionally, Hans was asked to join the most prestigious honor society at the Brandeis School of Law, the Brandeis Society.
Following graduation, Hans went to work for the small, well-respected plaintiff personal injury law firm where he had clerked during law school. Just two weeks after receiving his bar results, Hans, and the attorney with whom he worked, successfully tried a two-week medical malpractice case resulting in a $3,000,000 settlement while the jury was deliberating. He was hooked on trial work from that moment forward. Since then, he has been involved in a number of large jury verdicts and settlements, including serving as co-counsel in a $25,700,000 settlement arising out of childhood sexual abuse .This settlement consolidated 243 individual lawsuits alleging childhood sexual abuse against the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville and was settled in 2003. At the time, it was the second largest settlement against a diocese in US History. To learn more about the case, you can read the Courier Journal Newspaper article here.
At only thirty-years of age, Hans made the decision to start his own firm. The dynamic success of The Poppe Law Firm® comes as no surprise to anyone who knows Hans. He is passionate about the work he does and the people and small businesses he represents. Because of this, he chooses to limit his caseload to ensure he can give each of his clients the personal attention they need and deserve.
University of Louisville, School of Business, B.S. Finance with Honors University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law, J.D. cum laude
Professional Honors & Activities:
- American Board of Trial Advocates Kentucky Plaintiff Trial Lawyer of the Year 2021
- Thomson-Reuters Top 50 Kentucky Super Lawyer 2021-2023
- U.S. News and World Report Best Law Firms in Kentucky 2021- 2023 First Tier Ranking
- Kentucky Justice Association Peter Perlman Outstanding Trial Lawyer of the Year 2020;
- Super Lawyer – Super Lawyers Magazine 2010-2023;
- Top Lawyers – Louisville Magazine 2010–2020;
- ALM VerdictSearch Top Verdicts of 2016-94th Largest Verdict in United States;
- U.S. News & World Reports 2020, 2021, 2022, & 2023 Lawyer of The Year Medical Malpractice-Louisville
- U.S. News & World 2020-2023 Recognized in Personal Injury Litigation and Professional Malpractice Law
- Kentucky Trial Court Review 2016 Trial Lawyer of the Year;
- AVVO Rating 10.0 Superb;
- Martindale Hubble-AV Rated;
- Best Lawyers in AMercian-29th Edition 2023;
- Best Lawyers in America-28th Edition 2022;
- Best Lawyers in America-27th Edition 2021;
- Best Lawyers in America-26th Edition 2020;
- Best Lawyers in America-25th Edition 2019;
- Best Lawyers in America-24th Edition 2018;
- Rising Star–Louisville Magazine’s Top Lawyer’s Edition; Top 40-Under-40;
- The National Trial Lawyers – Top 40 Under 40 2012
- Top 100 Trial Lawyers – National Trial Lawyers 2011 – 2017;
- Legal Aid Society-Leadership Cabinet;
- Kentucky Bar Foundation Member of The Vice President Alben William Barkley Circle;
- Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society;
- Brandeis Honor Society;
- Semi-Finalist: Irving G. Kaufmann National Securities Law Competition;
- Semi-Finalist: Pirtle-Washer Moot Court Competition;
- Recipient: Dean’s Scholarship Award, 1997-2000;
- Book Award: Torts I, 1997;
- Book Award: Torts II, 1998;
- Kentucky Defense Counsel Award 1999;
- Member, University of Louisville Law Review (FKA Brandeis Law Journal);
- Brandeis School of Law Dean’s List 1997-2000.
Presentations & Speeches:
- Kentucky Justice Association Annual Convention (Nashville, TN)- “Outside the Box-Defense Proof Voir Dire.” 2022
- Arkansas Trial Lawyers’ Association-Personal Injury Trial Skills Workshop, Voir Dire: Strategies for Effective Jury “Deselection.” 2018;
- KJA Trucking Seminar-Deposing the Truck Driver 2017;
- KJA Depositions College-Deposing Experts and DME’s 2017;
- AAJ Annual Convention-Deposing the Difficult Expert 2016;
- KJA-Bad Faith in Kentucky 2016;
- ITLA-“Cool Stuff You Can Do at Trial” Techapalooza 2012;
- “Litigating Nursing Home Negligence” 2012;
- “Advanced Trial Skills” Kentucky Justice Association Annual Convention 2010;
- “Common Themes & Defenses in Medical Malpractice” 2010;
- “Car Wreck Cases – Early Assessment of the Case” 2009;
- “Legal Malpractice – The Evil of Which We Do Not Speak” Trial Skills 2008;
- “Bad Faith” Bad Faith Claims Handling 2008;
- “Legal Malpractice in Kentucky” 2008;
- “Insurance Bad Faith” May 2008;
- “Essentials for Winning Your Auto Wreck Case” Car Wreck Litigation 2007;
- “Insurance Bad Faith in Kentucky” May 2007;
- “Legal Malpractice in Kentucky” February 2007;
- “ERISA Subrogation Law” May 2002;
- “Using the Rules of Civil Procedure to Your Advantage” KATA Seminar, February 2004;
- NBI Seminar Litigating Your First Case in Kentucky, February 2005;
- “Overcoming Obstacles in Settlements – The Subrogation” June 17, 2005;
- “Maximize Recovery – ERISA Subrogation” April and May 2006.
Kentucky Bar Association; Louisville Bar Association; Indiana Bar Association.
- Kentucky Circuit and District courts
- Kentucky Court of Appeals
- Kentucky Supreme Court
- Federal Court, Eastern District of Kentucky
- Federal Court, Western District of Kentucky
- Federal Court, Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals
- Indiana Circuit and Superior courts
- Indiana Court of Appeals
- Indiana Supreme Court
- Federal Court, Southern District of Indiana
- Federal Court, Northern District of Indiana
- Federal Court, Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- Massachusetts – pro hac vice
- Florida- pro hac vice
- Tennessee-pro hac vice
- Ohio-pro hac vice
- Texas-pro hac vice
- Kansas – pro hac vice
- President of the American Board of Trial Advocates’ Kentucky Chapter 2020-2022;
- American Board of Trial Advocates-Associate Rank;
- American Board of Trial Advocates-Constitution and Bylaws Committee 2021-present;
- American Board of Trial Advocates- SEABOTA Advisory Committee 2021-present;
- Kentucky Justice Association, Annual Convention Committee 2010-present
- Kentucky Justice Association, Legislative Committee 2009-present
- Kentucky Justice Association, Rules Committee 2009-present
- American Association for Justice, Leaders Forum 2009-present
- Kentucky Justice Association, Website Committee 2007-present
- Board of Governors, Kentucky Justice Association 2005-present
- Kentucky Justice Association 2000-present
- American Association for Justice 2000-present
- Kentucky Bar Foundation- Fellow
- Louisville Bar Association
- Kentucky State Fair Board Member, appointed by Gov. Andy Beshear 2022
- Board of Governors, Kentucky Justice Association 2005-Present.
- Board of Trustees, Highland Baptist Church 2010-Present.
- ABOTA- Associate Rank
- Kentucky Country Day Mock Trial Team Co-Coach 2023