Ken Shigley of Shigley Law LLC, based in Atlanta, Georgia, recently earned his third national board certification, in Truck Accident Law, from the National Board of Trial Advocacy. Certification is based upon exhaustive testing, documentation of extensive experience in the field of trucking accident litigation, writing samples, and professional recommendations from lawyers and attorneys familiar with the applicant’s work.
The National Board of Trial Advocacy operates under authority of the American Bar Association. “There is no dispute about the bona fides and the relevance of NBTA certification…. Disclosure of information . . . both serves the public interest and encourages the development and utilization of meritorious certification programs for attorneys.” U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens in Peel v. Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission of Illinois, 110 S.Ct. 2281 (1990). Mr. Shigley previously attained NBTA board certification in Civil Trial Law (1995) and Civil Practice Law (2012).
Truck Accident Law deals with the procedural, substantive and practical issues unique to collision cases involving commercial tractor trailers, buses and other commercial motor vehicles and all of the people and entities in the transportation cycle.
The trucking industry is comprised of 3.5 million professional drivers. The size and weight of commercial motor vehicles and trucks in an accident cause significant damage to drivers, passengers and property. The US Department of Transportation reports that there are around 500,000 trucking accidents each year. According to the National Highway Traffic Administration approximately 4,000 people die and 104,000 are injured annually. One out of every eight traffic fatalities involves a truck collision. Trucking is regulated by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration, a division of the US Department of Transportation.
Shigley is a member of the Board of Regents of the Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys. ATAA recognizes attorneys who have documentable knowledge, real experience and proven results in handling truck crash cases so that victims can choose lawyers with confidence. It provides lawyers who handle truck crash cases for victims with the very best cutting edge education and resources available to both improve their knowledge and skillset. Lawyers can claim to be anything in TV ads, on the Internet or in promotional material, but every ATAA Board Certified member has been thoroughly vetted and tested.
The National Board of Trial Advocacy provides board certification for attorneys who have demonstrated skill and expertise in a particular field and have proven it through rigorous examination and testing by the NBTA. The NBTA is one of the organizations accredited by the American Bar Association to demonstrate that lawyers certified have an enhanced level of expertise and substantial involvement in the specialty area of certification. The standards are designed to enable the NBTA to evaluate thoroughly the objectives, standards and procedures of attorneys and to facilitate public access to appropriate legal services.
Similar to the medical profession in which the body of knowledge is so large that it’s impossible for one doctor to remain current in all specialty areas, the body of law has grown so large and complex that attorneys can no longer be all things to all people. Unlike the medical profession, which has embraced specialization and specialty certification, the legal arena has been slow to acknowledge publicly what it has known for years: nearly all lawyers specialize but do so without substantiation beyond “reputation” or simply saying it is so.
Civil Trial Law may include civil litigation, personal injury litigation, and any other type of litigation that is not criminal in nature, such as property disputes, construction or insurance claims and a wide array of other civil controversies. Second, usually money damages are at stake in civil litigation.
Despite what is seen on television dramas, cases do not always have to go to trial. However, it is impossible to know in advance which cases will settle and which will go to trial, and because settlement amounts reflect predictions about the most likely result if the case is tried, it is wise for people to hire well qualified trial attorneys to handle their claims or defense of claims whether they think the case will be tried or settled out of court. It is important to understand
Trial attorneys must have knowledge,experience, great communications skills and a thorough understanding of group decision making dynamics and persuasion. In trial practice a misstep can end a case, so having a trial attorney who is making his trial debut may be dangerous, especially in a case involving substantial damages.
Civil Practice Law certification involves preparing and resolving cases before trial, including litigation proceedings from inception of litigation through discovery, pretrial motions and hearings, and alternative dispute resolution procedures in all areas of substantive law before state courts, federal courts, administrative agencies, and arbitrators.
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 Law. He 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 brain, neck, back, spinal cord, amputation 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.