Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

January 9, 2013

Derrick Willis: a profile in prosecution

Jan. 9, 2013 — With the start of the New Year, Attorney Derrick Willis will be wearing one less hat.

Willis spent the last two years as an assistant to the county attorney, but resigned at year’s end to take on more responsibility with the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office and his own private practice.

“I am thankful for the valuable experience that I received working with the Carter County Attorney’s office,” Willis said. “I got to spend a lot of time in the courtroom and work with law enforcement, which are both things I truly enjoy.”

Willis said developing relationships with local officers gave him firsthand knowledge of many cases which he later saw in the courtroom.

“My favorite areas of law involve the Fourth Amendment and the rights of search and seizure and privacy,” Willis said. “It was a benefit to work on certain cases from the beginning, and see them all the way through to prosecution.”

A graduate of East Carter High School, Willis returned to his hometown in 2010.

“Carter County is a great place for me and my family and I feel that it is really important to be here,” Willis said. “My wife is a West Carter graduate and both of us have family here.”

Willis recently purchased a building on Main Street in Grayson, which now is home to his private practice.

“Any time there is business on Main Street, it’s a good thing,” Willis said. “A lot of positive things are happening in Grayson and I hope more businesses are drawn here.”

The new office location at 114 West Main Street is just across Hord Street, which will allow Willis and his staff to be more efficient. Willis currently employs his wife, Shara, Tonya Caines and Alli Porter-Lawhorn in his private office.

Willis is looking forwarding to taking on a bigger role with the Commonwealth’s cases. He spent two years working with Gary Conn, and was with a private firm in Boyd County before that.

“When I came to Carter County there were six pending homicide cases,” Willis said. “Carter County is a particularly intense Circuit. I enjoy being in the courtroom so I am really looking forward to taking a bigger role in prosecuting cases.”

Willis said he has been blessed in his private practice, as well as his opportunities to prosecute.

Willis and his wife have three children and live in Grayson.

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