It wasn’t until Stacy Cole left home for college that she began to understand all her family had done for her. Life wasn’t always easy, Stacy realizes now, but her mom never let on.
“I didn’t realize how difficult it was sometimes for my mom, for instance, until I was older. Every day was a sacrifice – my word, not hers. I don’t think I had a hard childhood. I felt as loved as much as any child could be by both my parents. I didn’t have designer jeans like other kids, but it didn’t matter to me. But I know it mattered to her, and that was hard for her.
“I’d never thought about any of that until I was older. The reason is that she always made it clear I’d be able to do anything I wanted with my life.”
Initially, Stacy’s plan was to become a journalist. She was in Washington, D.C., the first semester of her senior year at Butler University, doing an internship for National Geographic on Sept. 11, 2001. An office tower was burning in New York, and she was watching the live coverage with co-workers on the big screen in a conference room. The scroll at the bottom of the screen said the Pentagon was on fire. “I remember thinking for that brief surreal moment, what a big news day.” And then, Stacy and her co-workers were told to evacuate.
The woman in charge ordered everyone to head to her house, across the river in Arlington, Va. They took off on foot. The subways had been shut down, and the streets were packed with people.
“We had no accurate news, no clue of what was going on. It was 90 degrees. We had a woman with us who was pregnant, due the day before – she walked faster than anyone else. I was fortunate to get through to my mom on my cell, but no one else. It was chaos. Finally, we got to the Francis Scott Key Bridge and just stopped. I’ll never forget it. We all stood there staring, our mouths hanging open. You could see the Pentagon burning, the fire and the smoke.
“In a way, I feel fortunate to have had that experience. As an attorney, I have a mindset, perhaps, of now being more prepared for the unexpected. Then, too, the feeling later in DC was so inspiring. People stopped being different. For once our differences didn’t matter. The experience connected me to the people around me.”
Stacy finds a similar atmosphere at Graydon. Except that it’s not just that differences between individuals don’t matter – they’re appreciated and encouraged.
“I think I’m someone who offers a different perspective than many who come up through some of the more common channels to become a lawyer. I was one of the first to go to college on my mother’s side, and I won a full ride to law school. Having worked hard to get those grades, I understand the value of determination and what you can do with it.
“I’m extremely competitive. I do like to win. It’s why I like being a litigator. I think you can learn from any situation, pull value from anything. It’s also part of why my mom is my hero. We had some hard times, I know now. But I’m stronger for it. I wouldn’t be as determined if not for her.”
Stacy is a commercial litigation partner and vice chair of the Firm’s Media and Marketing Industry Group. She has extensive experience in matters ranging from complex commercial litigation to small business disputes. In any scenario, Stacy focuses on the efficient and practical resolution that best serves the client’s business interests. And as a former journalist, Stacy has the background and perspective needed to serve media, marketing, and branding clients with issues and disputes unique to the industry.
Stacy also serves as a leader of the firm’s IP practice group, focusing on the breadth of intellectual property disputes and advising. Stacy handles federal and state cases involving trademark, trade dress, copyright, and patent infringement claims, and disputes concerning proprietary information and trade secrets. She has served as lead trial counsel on numerous federal copyright infringement cases, securing favorable—and often profitable—resolutions for clients based on the strong positioning obtained through litigation and discovery strategy.
Stacy has resolved numerous trademark registration challenges before the USPTO’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, including working with consumer survey experts to successfully position a regional client against a major online retailer. She has also successfully pursued dozens of Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy cases to secure the transfer or cancellation of “cybersquatting” domain names.
In addition, Stacy advises clients on IP strategy, portfolio management, and vetting, and regularly files and prosecutes federal copyright and trademark registration applications. She has significant experience in drafting license agreements, confidentiality and release agreements, e-commerce agreements, Web site terms and conditions, and privacy policies. Stacy also has extensive experience in leading general commercial litigation matters, including construction disputes and lender liability defense, and in successfully briefing and arguing appeals. Stacy has also managed large scale e-discovery issues and disputes.
Stacy is passionate about giving back, and has served on Talbert House’s Board of Trustees, and was a founding member and inaugural Chair of the Talbert House Ambassadors. She is also actively involved with the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, graduated from Leadership Northern Kentucky in 2011, and has been part of the Chamber’s Regional Leadership Exchange to Nashville.