bright-ideaNo matter how many years a lawyer has practiced, there is no end to the need for exposure to bright new ideas from the best lawyers around the United States.

Over the past year, I had the opportunity to serve as chair of the Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section of the American Association for Justice (AAJ). The largest section of AAJ, it encompasses the work of most “meat and potatoes” personal injury and wrongful death lawyers in America.

The section includes over 2,500 trial lawyers in all 50 states and specialized litigation groups on trucking litigation, bus litigation, traumatic brain injury (TBI), spinal cord injury (SCI), motorcycle litigation, bicycle litigation, resorts torts litigation and inadequate security litigation. The section and its litigation groups have active listservs for exchange of bright ideas.

Having worked for decades in all of these areas of personal injury litigation, chairing the section for a year was like a year of graduate school in my practice area.

After I became chair last year in Montreal, we sponsored national continuing legal education programs in New Orleans and Los Angeles, and I was moderator of an advocacy seminar at Boca Raton.  Presentations in our programs in the past year in seminars at Montreal, Boca Raton, New Orleans and Los Angeles included:

  • Accident Investigation and Reconstruction in Motor Vehicle Cases
  • Bus Cases Are Different From Auto Cases: Investigation and Evidence
  • Cross-Examination of A Defense Medical Examiner, With Rules Of The Road™
  • Daubert Motions In Motor Vehicle And Premises Cases
  • Industry Standards: Evidence of Negligence in Premises Liability Cases
  • Investigation and Discovery in a Sexual Assault Case
  • Liability and Causation Defenses in the Typical Auto Case
  • Rules Of The Road for Security and Violent Crime Cases
  • Trying Better, Faster, And Cheaper!
  • Twenty-Minute Auto Wreck Case Voir Dire
  • Why I Handle Negligent Security Cases
  • Greyhound’s “Most Precious Cargo”
  • Making Small Cases Big Cases
  • Eliminating the Soft Tissue Myth: Spine Injuries Are Serious
  • Deposition
  • Practicing In Multiple States
  • Using Social Network Sites in Trucking and Motor Carrier Cases
  • Trying High-Profile Motor Vehicle and Premises Cases
  • Self-Driving Cars and Crash Avoidance Systems: The Future of Car Crashes
  • Truck Crash Litigation For The Car Crash Lawyer
  • Safe Or Scary: Negligent Security In Schools, Colleges, And Day Care
  • Effects And Ethics Of Social Media In A Personal Injury Case
  • Taking Down The Defense Medical Examiner
  • How To Zealously Represent Victims Of Sexual Assaults While Protecting Your Client
  • Auto Defect Cases: The Future Of Your Auto Practice



Ken Shigley is a past president of the State Bar of Georgia, past chair of the American Association for Justice Motor Vehicle Collision, Highway and Premises Liability Section, and a board certified civil trial attorney of the National Board of Trial Advocacy. His statewide law practice is based in Atlanta.  Ken Shigley is a candidate for election to the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2018.