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James William Gustafson Jr

James William Gustafson Jr

Personal Injury and Civil Trial Lawyer
Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.
West Palm Beach, FL
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About James William Gustafson Jr

Attorney Biography

JAMES W. GUSTAFSON, JR. is a shareholder with Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA. He is a West Palm Beach native and sixth generation Floridian whose life experiences include serving with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and studying at St. Edmund Hall at the Oxford University.

Mr. Gustafson’s practice is focused on product liability, tobacco litigation, trucking negligence, and other catastrophic injury and death cases, including one of the ten largest personal injury verdicts in the United States in 2010, as recognized by Lawyers USA publication.

An AV-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell, Mr. Gustafson is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), and was voted as the 2010 Trial Lawyer of the Year by the Tallahassee Chapter of ABOTA. He has also been selected by his peers to be a Florida SuperLawyer, and a member of Florida Trend’s Legal Elite.

Also selected by peers as a member of Best Lawyers in America, Mr. Gustafson was voted Lawyer of the Year - Plaintiff’s Personal Injury Litigation in 2013 in Tallahassee by that organization.

An EAGLE member and past chair of the Young Lawyers Section of the Florida Justice Association, as well as a sustaining member of The American Association for Justice, Mr. Gustafson served as chair of AAJ’s Professional Negligence Section, and is a member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum.

Committed to teaching and writing, he has moderated or lectured at numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars and has authored Continuing Legal Education materials for The Florida Bar, the Florida Justice Association, Southern Trial Lawyers Association, the National Trial Lawyers, and AAJ’s Trial magazine.

After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Florida State University, Mr. Gustafson studied law with his alma mater, as well. He was a member of the moot court team and Phi Delta Phi, and graduated with Honors.

Mr. Gustafson began his legal career in 1994 with Freeman, Hunter & Malloy in Tampa, FL, defending health care providers, product manufacturers, and cases involving general liability.

In 1997, he joined Masterson, Rogers, Woodworth, Masterson & Lopez in St. Petersburg, after which he joined Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A. in 2002, where he currently heads up the firm’s tobacco litigation efforts.

Practice Areas

Personal Injury (50%)
Civil Trial Law (50%)

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Résumé - James William Gustafson Jr

Bar Licenses

Florida State Bar
Member in Good Standing


The Florida State University College of Law

Specialty Certifications

The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education
Board Certified Specialist
Civil Trial Law
The Florida Bar Board of Legal Specialization and Education

American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys
Board Certified
Medical Professional Liability
American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys

National Board of Trial Advocacy
Board Certified Specialist
Civil Trial Advocacy
National Board of Trial Advocacy


American Association for Justice
Leaders Forum Patron
American Association for Justice

The Injury Board
The Injury Board

Florida Justice Association
EAGLE Founder
Florida Justice Association

Florida Justice Association
Past President (2016-2017)
Florida Justice Association

The National Trial Lawyers

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Commercial Recognitions

Community Leadership badge
Recognized for Community Leadership
Lawyer Legion

Professional Involvement badge
Recognized for Professional Involvement
Lawyer Legion

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Contact James William Gustafson Jr

James William Gustafson Jr
Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, P.A.
2139 Palm Beach Lakes Blvd.
West Palm Beach, FL 33409
Office: 866-735-1102
Office: 850-224-7600
Fax: 561-383-9454

More Information

Bar Membership Information

Membership with The Florida Bar -

James William Gustafson Jr - Membership information with The Florida Bar - Find more information about James William Gustafson Jr on The Florida Bar website including the attorney's current membership classification, eligibility status and ten year discipline history, if any. Check the Florida bar website to make sure the attorney is a member in good standing with the Florida Bar and currently licensed to practice law in Florida.

Specialty Certification Information

Specialist in Civil Trial Law -

Florida Bar Board Certification in Civil Trial Law - For purposes of specialty certification, the Florida Bar defines the term "civil trial law" as the "practice of law dealing with litigation of civil controversies in all areas of law before state courts, federal courts, administrative agencies and arbitrators."

Attorneys certified in civil trial law in have met the minimum standards for civil trial law certification, provided in Rule 6-4.3, include the practice of law for at least 5 years, substantial involvement in the specialty of civil trial law (50% or more), handling of at least 15 contested civil cases, including cases before juries as lead counsel, and 50 hours of approved civil trial law certification continuing legal education. Attorneys certified in civil trial law must also submit to peer review and pass a written examination.

Nonprofit Organizations

American Association for Justice -

The AAJ is committed to promoting a fair and effective civil justice system while supporting the work of attorneys representing plaintiffs.

Florida Justice Association -

The FJA is a professional association that advocates for fair access to Florida's civil court system and works support and educate attorneys who protect the rights of plaintiffs seeking justice. Many of the top personal injury and civil trial lawyers in , belong to this respected non-profit organization.