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National Board of Trial Advocacy

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Ken Shigley is the first Georgia lawyer to earn all three board certifications related to his practice area from the National Board of Trial Advocacy -- in Truck Accident Law (2019), Civil Trial Law (1995) and Civil Pretrial Law (2012). 

 One of the more frightening tasks many people face is identification of a lawyer who is competent to try a lawsuit to a verdict. The Bar in many states does not sponsor or endorse any specialty certification, so consumers may find it difficult to identify lawyers with specific areas of competence.

In an attempt to raise the standards for lawyers throughout the United States who undertake to represent clients in litigation through a trial, several National Boards have been established, and have been recognized by the American Bar Association.

The National Board of Legal Specialty Certification has been accredited by the American Bar Association to certify lawyers in the specialty areas of civil trial law, criminal trial law, family trial law and social security disability advocacy law. Since certification by NBTA is voluntary, a board certified attorney has taken the extra time and effort to meet all the standards set forth by the NBTA. Recertification is required every five years. It is similar in philosophy to the medical profession wherein many medical doctors are board certified in a. specific area of practice.

The National Board of Legal Specialty Certification is an outgrowth of the National Board of Trial Advocacy which was created in 1977, in response to Chief Justice Warren Burger of the Supreme Court of the United States, who observed that "some system of certification for trial advocates is an imperative and long overdue step." Burger, The Special Skills of Advocacy: Are Specialized Training and Certification of Advocates Essential to Our System of Justice? 42 Fordham L.Rev. 227 (1973.).

In order to become certified, an attorney must meet and document the following:

  • At least five years as a practicing attorney
  • Concentration in the field of concentration
  • Completion of at least fifteen trials to verdict or judgment, as well as forty additional matters
  • Continuing legal education in the field of trial advocacy
  • Review of a writing sample in the form of a trial court brief
  • Proof of good standing in the profession
  • Successful completion of a day long written examination.
  • Certification is for a period of five years, after which time the attorney must meet the requirements for recertification. These requirements include: continuing legal education, peer review, proof of good standing in the profession and, of course, an active trial practice.

Out of approximately 50,000 lawyers admitted to practice in Georgia, only two are board certified in Truck Accident Law,  15 are board certified in Civil Trial Advocacy and 12 are board certified in Civil Pretrial Advocacy.

Ken Shigley is a 2019 recipient of the “Tradition of Excellence”Award from the State Bar of Georgia General Practice & Trial Section.

Mr. Shigley has earned three national board certifications from the National Board of Trial Advocacy – in Civil Trial Law, Civil Practice Law and Truck Accident LawHe is a board member of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys, former chair of the American Association for Justice Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway & Premises Liability Section, which includes the Trucking Litigation Group. 

He is lead author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation and Practice, now in its tenth annual edition with Thomson Reuters West. His law practice is focused on catastrophic injury and wrongful death including those arising from commercial trucking accidents and those involving brainneckbackspinal cordamputation and burn injuries. 

In 2011-12, Mr. Shigley was president of the State  Bar of Georgia, which includes all the lawyers and judges in Georgia.  He also is a former chair of the Institute for Legal Education in Georgia (board member 2008-2019, chair 2012-13),  State Bar of Georgia Tort & Insurance Practice Section (1994-95), and the Georgia Insurance Law Institute (1994). 

A former prosecutor and former insurance defense lawyer, Mr. Shigley is a graduate of Furman University and Emory University Law School. He is a widower,  father of two adult children, and an elder in his church.

Client Reviews
"Goes above and beyond and is a mountain of knowledge on spine and brain injuries. He does his research and represents you with a level of excellence. Remains a friend after representing me." Dee M., Woodstock, GA
"I have collaborated with Mr. Shigley on several initiatives within Georgia’s Judiciary over the past few years and found him to be a persistent and attentive individual. Ken has taken great pride in his involvement with the projects that I have worked on and he is good at influencing success. Despite his hectic schedule, Ken has always made time to discuss, research and review ideas for the best way to accomplish goals. I look forward to a continued working relationship in this and future roles." Jorge B., CIO, Judicial Council of Georgia
"After having to have a hole drilled in an automobile part at a machine shop 10 years ago, I told my uncle I could have done that. My uncle replied, "You are doing this once these guys do it every day" That simply means if you don't know where to turn, get help and get an expert. Ken was that help when I was severely injured during a fatal accident. Ken and his team at Shigley Law are experts, and are here to help you during your crisis. Ken will be there during the injury, recovery, and trial. He and his firm will work hard to see that you are represented fairly!" Jeremy R.
"Ken is a very kind man. He has a wealth of knowledge and is going above and beyond to help us while representing our case." Candy F., spouse of catastrophic injury client, Plains, GA
"I know Ken as trial lawyer of highest standards. Ken is knowledgeable and innovative and that translates to success in the courtroom. He is outgoing, compassionate and personable which makes him a pleasure to work with in any setting." Eric B., Attorney, Canton, GA