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National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (formerly National Board of Trial Advocacy)

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.

Presently, there are over 1300 attorneys certified nationwide in Civil Trial Advocacy. Out of approximately 43,000 lawyers admitted in Georgia, only 18 are board certified in Civil Trial Advocacy and 12 are board certified in Civil Pretrial Advocacy.

Mr. Shigley is double board certified in two closely related areas, Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrial Advocacy.

He was initially certified in Civil Trial Advoacy in 1995 and recertified in 2000, 2005 and 2010. He became board certified in Civil Pretrial Advocacy immediately upon initiation of that certification program in 2012.

On May 22, 2018, former State Bar of Georgia president Ken Shigley will be a candidate for election to the Georgia Court of Appeals. The only other candidate is Ken Hodges, a former Dougherty County District Attorney. Ken Hodges was the Democratic Party nominee for Attorney General in 2010.

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