Kenneth L. Shigley, Sr.
Ken Shigley is an Atlanta-based trial attorney, former president of the 45,000 member State Bar of Georgia Bar and eighth generation Georgian representing clients in cases of serious personal injury and wrongful death statewide in Georgia.
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A "lawyer's lawyer" and "judge's lawyer," he has also represented lawyers and judges in sensitive personal and professional matters. Over the past 21 years he has been chosen by opposing lawyers to serve as a neutral mediator in hundreds of cases.
He has handled successfully many cases involving injuries arising from auto, truck and bus accidents, dangerous premises and defective products, including:
- wrongful death
- spinal cord injury (quadriplegia and paraplegia)
- brain injury
- back injuries
- vertebral fractures
- herniated discs
- fractured arms, legs, hips and ankles.
In addition to the State Bar presidency, Mr. Shigley has received many professional honors including:
- In 2012, the Georgia Judicial Nominating Commission included him in the "short list" of nominees submitted to the Governor to consider for appointment to the Court of Appeals of Georgia.
- One of only 18 Georgia lawyers who have earned double board certification in Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial Advocacy from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification.
- Lead author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice (Thomson Reuters West, 2010-16), which was quoted as an authority by the Supreme Court of Georgia in a 2014 case decision.
- Chapter author for the 2016 edition of Handling Motor Vehicle Accident Cases, also published by Thomson Reuters.
- “AV” (highest) rating in the Martindale Hubbell Law Directory (since 1989).
- “Super Lawyer” rating in Atlanta Magazine (since inception in 2004).
- “Legal Elite” ranking in Georgia Trend magazine (since inception in 2005).
- “Who’s Who in Law” listing in Atlanta Business Chronicle.
- Listed in the Bar Register or Preeminent Lawyers (since 1995).
Mr. Shigley has served in numerous professional leadership roles including:
- President of the 45,000-member State Bar of Georgia (2011-12). The State Bar includes all attorneys and judges licensed in Georgia. The State Bar presidency was a virtually full-time volunteer commitment for a year while still practicing law full-time. It involved intense interaction the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state government and all classes and levels of judges statewide, a 150-member board of governors, 16-member executive committee and staff of 75 in three offices in Atlanta, Savannah and Tifton.
Chair of the American Association for Justice (AAJ) Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway & Premises Liability Section (2015-16), which includes over 2,500 trial lawyers in all 50 states and specialized litigation groups on:
- Trucking Litigation
- Bus Litigation
- Traumatic Brain Injury
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Motorcycle Litigation
- Bicycle Litigation
- Resort Torts Litigation and
- Inadequate Security Litigation.
During Mr. Shigley's chairmanship, the section sponsored high quality national continuing legal education programs in Montreal, Boca Raton, New Orleans and Los Angeles.
- Board of Regents of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys.
- Board member of the American Association for Justice Trucking Litigation Group.
- Chair of the board of trustees of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Georgia (2012-13); Trustee (2007-present)
- Trustee of the Institute for Continuing Judicial Education in Georgia (2013-14).
- Member of the American Bar Association House of Delegates (2013).
- Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform, appointed by Governor Nathan Deal (2011-13).
- Commission on Continuing Lawyer Competency (2012-13)
- Chief Justice's Commission on Professionalism (2011-12).
- Georgia Commission on Dispute Resolution (2011-12).
- Georgia Courts Automation Commission (2008-10)
- Judicial Council of Georgia Standing Committee on Technology(2015-present).
- National Conference of Bar Presidents (2010-13).
- Southern Conference of Bar Presidents (2010-13).
- Chair, State Bar of Georgia Tort & Insurance Practice Section (1994-95).
- Chair, Georgia Insurance Law Institute (1994)
Mr. Shigley has published numerous articles in legal journals and made scores of continuing legal education presentations at both state and national levels. Among other places outside Georgia, he has been a presenter, program chair or moderator at continuing legal education programs in his practice area in:
- Montreal, Quebec
- Chicago, Illinois
- San Francisco, California
- Los Angeles, California
- Boca Raton, Florida
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Nashville, Tennessee
After graduation from Emory Law School, Mr. Shigley went home to begin his career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit, which then included the counties of Douglas, Haralson, Paulding and Polk. Then, after a few years of hometown general practice in Douglas County, he joined an insurance defense firm in Atlanta with a statewide practice. Since then, in addition to statewide experience as president of the State Bar of Georgia, he has successfully handled litigation of cases in the following 93 of Georgia's 159 counties, stretching from the mountains to the sea: Bacon, Baldwin, Banks, Barrow, Bartow, Berrien, Bibb, Bulloch, Burke, Butts, Camden, Carroll, Catoosa, Chatham, Chattooga, Cherokee, Clarke, Clayton, Clinch, Cobb, Coffee, Columbia, Coweta, Crisp, Dade, DeKalb, Dodge, Dougherty, Douglas, Elbert, Fannin, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Franklin, Fulton, Gilmer, Glynn, Grady, Greene, Gwinnett, Habersham, Hall, Haralson, Hart, Heard, Henry, Houston, Jackson, Jeff Davis, Lamar, Laurens, Liberty, Lowndes, Lumpkin, McIntosh, Meriwether, Monroe, Morgan, Murray, Newton, Oconee, Paulding, Pickens, Polk, Pulaski, Rabun, Richmond, Rockdale, Schley, Spalding, Stephens, Sumter, Tattnall, Telfair, Terrell, Thomas, Tift, Towns, Treutlen, Toombs, Troup, Turner, Union, Upson, Walker, Walton, Ware, Washington, Wayne, White, Whitfield, Wilkinson, Worth.
Representative Cases: All cases are different, and past performance does not guarantee future results, but here are a few representative cases.
- Secured confidential settlement of double fatality wrongful death case larger than record verdict to that time in the venue against an intermodal container freight shipping company arising from crash on an interstate highway in a small county in south Georgia. (Name of company, county and amount are confidential under terms of settlement.)
- Obtained confidential multi-million dollar settlement against auto manufacturer where defective design of anti-lock brake system led to crash of minivan, resulting in quadriplegia and death.
- Secured confidential settlement of logging truck wrongful death case for 12 times the amount of insurance coverage on the truck itself after litigating insurance coverage, bankruptcy and wrongful death issues in three separate courts.
- Obtained confidential seven figure settlement against manufacturer of sports utility vehicle where defective design of passenger restraint system and roof led to quadriplegia.
- Served as co-counsel in automotive products liability case resulting in $6 million jury verdict for defect that led to passenger ejection in rollover.
- Represented 10 of 33 members a Bluffton University baseball team injured in a bus crash, with a total of $25 million apportioned among 33 plaintiffs on an agreed formula.
- Secured confidential settlement for 6 1/2 times the amount of insurance coverage on the car in a car-motorcycle collision in south Georgia.
- Made joint damages presentation for group of University of West Georgia cheerleaders who recovered total of $9.3 million in crash caused by failure of tire on college van, apportioned among 13 plaintiffs on an agreed formula.
- Won $2.3 million jury verdict in Gordon County for client who suffered complex leg fracture in head on collision with truck operated for interstate motor carrier.
- Recovered $1.25 million policy limits settlement for a young man who was t-boned in an intersection in Cobb County suffering a brain injury, despite evidence that he was talking on the phone with his gay partner while turning left in an intersection.
- Won $1.2 million jury verdict in Fulton County for woman with head and neck injuries who had consumed cocaine and tequila with the driver of sports car in which she was a passenger.
- Obtained $1.3 million settlement in Rome, Georgia – $300,000 above insurance policy limits -- for family of young man killed when rear-ended by tractor trailer on interstate at night.
- Recovered million dollar policy limit in wrongful death case against small trucking company.
- Recovered $850,000 settlement during jury deliberation at end of a trial in Macon for neck fusion injury for man struck by dump truck.
- Recovered $750,000 for airline passenger who suffered ankle fracture when struck by motorized cart in airport terminal concourse.
Mr. Shigley began his career as an Assistant District Attorney in a four county rural circuit, then spent several years in small town general practice and a decade in an insurance defense law firm in Atlanta. Since 1990, he has focused on plaintiffs’ personal injury and wrongful death cases, insurance coverage disputes, and occasional service as a mediator or arbitrator.
A graduate of Furman University and Emory University Law School (where he has been an adjunct instructor in trial techniques and small firm practice), Mr. Shigley also completed the Ultimate Trial Advocacy course at Harvard Law School, an executive education program at Harvard Kennedy School of Government and several regional programs of the Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College.
Mr. Shigley is admitted to practice in:
- Georgia (all trial and appellate courts)
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Georgia
- U.S. Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals
- Supreme Court of the United States
- He has been admitted pro hac vice for individual cases in Florida, Alabama and Nevada, and handles cases elsewhere in strict compliance with the applicable bar rules on multijurisdictional practice.
Mr. Shigley is currently a trustee of The Peachtree Trust. Over the years, he has served as an elder at Peachtree Presbyterian Church, assistant scoutmaster of the Boy Scout troop where his son became an Eagle Scout, YMCA youth soccer coach, board chair of a church-based (now independent) child development center, board member of Lifegate counseling center, secretary of the Bill Maness Good Samaritan Scholarship Fund, Inc. For several years, he was also on the national advisory board of the Children's Tumor Foundation Endurance Team with which he completed the Chicago Marathon, New York City Marathon and half marathons in Savannah, Las Vegas, Columbia and Atlanta.
Ken and Sally Shigley have been married since 1983. They are proud of their two young adult children. Anne, 29, lives in New Hampshire where she works in early childhood education and her husband is a telecommunications engineer for Dartmouth College. Ken Jr., 27, owns Pick Your Fitness, LLC and is a fitness and golf trainer at Capital City Club.
In his spare time, Ken enjoys camping, hiking, biking, scuba diving and travel with his wife.
J.D., Emory University
B.A., Furman University