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Kenneth L. Shigley Completes Year as State Bar of Georgia President

June 5, 2012
Contact: Sarah I. Coole or

Savannah – Kenneth L. Shigley of Atlanta has finished his term as president of the 43,000-member State Bar of Georgia. He turned the gavel over to incoming President Robin Frazer Clark on June 2 during the organization’s annual meeting. Shigley served as the 49th president of the State Bar.

Among the State Bar’s major accomplishments during Shigley’s term were:

  • Lawyer Advertising. Passage of a proposed rule change on lawyer advertising (subject to Supreme Court approval) to require prominent disclosure to consumers of who the advertising lawyers are, where the advertising are located, whether a person appearing in the advertisement is a paid non-attorney spokesperson, whether the advertising lawyers are primarily referring cases to others, and prohibition of advertisements designed to look like legal pleadings without prominent disclosure that it is an advertisement. Federal court decisions have not permitted regulation of content or taste in lawyer advertising but have allowed disclosure and disclaimer requirements relevant to consumer choice.
  • Lawyer Solicitation Letters. Passage of a proposed rule (subject to Supreme Court approval) prohibiting written communications to prospective clients in domestic relations cases prior to confirmation that service of process has been perfected on the defendant. This is to protect against potential for domestic violence by assuring that defendants in divorce cases do not first learn that they spouse has filed for divorce through a lawyer solicitation.
    Receiverships for practices of deceased or disabled lawyers. Passage of a proposed rule (subject to Supreme Court approval) governing receiverships to protect clients and wind down affairs of law practices of lawyers who die, become disabled or become absent without making prior arrangements for protection of clients. The next step is to develop a planning guide for solo practice lawyers to make advance plans for protection of clients in the event of the lawyers’ death or disability.
  • Criminal Justice Reform. The State Bar assisted in development and passage of criminal justice reform legislation in the General Assembly. Shigley serves on the Criminal Justice Reform Council by appointment of Governor Deal. The Bar also successfully supported both cost control measures and increased funding for a more adequate indigent defense system.
  • The State Bar launched the Next Generation Courts Commission including lawyers, judges, clerks and court administrators from all classes of state courts to develop proposals for the future of Georgia’s judicial system. Working in committees on Business Process Improvements, Funding, Education & Outreach, Program Improvements, and Technology, it is assisted by the National Center for State Courts Business Process Reengineering Project.
  • During the past year, there has been substantial progress toward the State Bar’s initiative to develop a statewide electronic court filing system.
  • The State Bar also launched a Main Street Lawyers program to assist lawyers who aspire to build lives and practices in small towns, a new Bar Leadership Institute and a SOLACE program to assist members of the legal community in medical crisis situations.

As immediate past president, Shigley will serve as board chairman of the Institute for Continuing Legal Education in Georgia and as a member of the Special Council on Criminal Justice Reform.

Shigley has an Atlanta-based statewide civil trial and appellate practice primarily representing plaintiffs in serious injury and wrongful death cases arising from commercial trucking accidents, He began his career as an assistant district attorney in the Tallapoosa Judicial Circuit, worked a decade in an Atlanta insurance defense firm and for the past 20 years has been in plaintiff’s practice.

Shigley is the lead author of Georgia Law of Torts: Trial Preparation & Practice (Thomson Reuters West, 2010-12). A frequent lecturer at Georgia and national continuing legal education programs in his practice area, he has published multiple articles in state and national legal journals. He is a past chair of the Southeastern Motor Carrier Liability Institute, Georgia Insurance Law Institute and faculty member of the Emory University School of Law Trial Techniques Program.

Shigley has dual board certification in Civil Trial Advocacy and Civil Pretrail Advocacy from the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers. He has been included since 2004 as a “Super Lawyer” (Atlanta magazine) and among Georgia’s “Legal Elite” (Georgia Trend). In the American Association for Justice, he is a board member of the Commercial Trucking Litigation Group and next month will join the national board of the Motor Vehicle and Premises Liability Section.

A native of Mentone, Ala., Shigley graduated from high school in Douglasville, Ga. He received his B.A. from Furman University (1973) and his J.D. from Emory University School of Law (1977). He completed the National College of Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School and an executive education course with the Harvard University School of Government.