JAMES W. GUSTAFSON, JR. is a shareholder with Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA, a member of the firm’s executive committee, and the managing partner of the firm’s Tallahassee office. Jimmy is a sixth generation Florida native who served with the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division and studied at St. Edmund Hall, Oxford, before becoming a trial lawyer.
Jimmy is a member of the prestigious International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a worldwide organization limited to just 500 attorneys by invitation only. He is an EAGLE Founder, and a past President of the Florida Justice Association. In 2020, Jimmy received the Perry Nichols Award, which is the highest honor the Florida Justice Association bestows, and gives recognition to an individual who has dedicated a lifetime to the pursuit of justice through extended and distinguished service to the cause of justice in Florida and in the nation. In 2013, Jimmy received the Krupnick Award, the Florida Justice Association’s award for perseverance in the pursuit of justice in a single case. He is a sustaining member of The American Association for Justice, and served as chair of their Professional Negligence Section. He is a Diplomat in the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. An AV-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell for many years, Jimmy is committed to teaching and writing. He has lectured at numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars and has authored Continuing Legal Education materials for Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, The Florida Bar, the Journal of the Florida Justice Association, and AAJ’s Trial magazine.
Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar and the National Board of Trial Advocacy, Jimmy is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and received the Trial Lawyer of the Year award from the Tallahassee ABOTA Chapter in 2010. Jimmy obtained one of the Top Ten Verdicts of 2010 as recognized by Lawyers USA, and one of the Top 100 Verdicts of 2010 by the National Law Journal.
Jimmy’s practice is focused on product liability, tobacco litigation including fraud and conspiracy, trucking negligence, and other catastrophic injury and death cases.
To learn more about James Gustafson, see:
Best Lawyers in America (Florida)
Florida Super Lawyers
PUBLICATIONS & PRESENTATIONS
Honoring and Protecting Our Veterans is an Honor
News From the Tobacco Trials
“What Exactly are Jurors Thinking While Watching a Plaintiff Trial Lawyer Conduct Voir Dire on Damages Issues – You Need to Know This (Even Though Part of it is Shocking)” 2020 Workhorse seminar, Florida Justice Association, Orlando, Florida March 2020
“Jury Selection in Tobacco Litigation” 2019 Florida College of Advanced Judicial Studies, Orlando, Florida, May 2019
“Voir Dire” 2018 Al J. Cone Trial Advocacy Institute, Florida Justice Association, Orlando, Florida, August 2018
“Special Considerations in the Fight for Damages for Injured Children” 360Advocacy, Damages: Go Big or Go Home, Las Vegas, Nevada, March 2018
“It Was No Accident: Big Tobacco and Their Enablers” Engineering Ethics and Acceptable Risk, Advanced Safety Engineering and Management Program, University of Alabama at Birmingham, August 2017
“Cigarette Industry’s Campaign of Doubt and Concealment: Telling the Concealment Story to Juries” 2017 National Conf. on Tobacco or Health, Austin, TX, March 2017
“Proof and Argument of Damages for Spousal Loss of Consortium” 2017 Workhorse Seminar, Florida Justice Association, Orlando, Florida, February 2017
“How We Ended Up Here – The Plague of the Cigarette Manufacturers” American Cancer Society Florida Tobacco Summit, Orlando, Florida, December 2015
“Lessons Learned in the Tobacco Wars” Florida Justice Association, Masters of Justice Jury Selection seminar, Sarasota, Florida, October 2015
“Preparing Your Expert for Deposition” Florida Justice Association Webinar, September 2015
“Voir Dire in Medical Malpractice Cases in Florida” 2015 Workhorse Seminar, Florida Justice Association, Orlando, Florida
Florida Justice Association – Eagle
Perry Nichols Award, 2020
Benjamin Franklin Award, 2018
EAGLE Legend Award, 2016
Final Round Award, 2016
Silver Eagle Award, 2015, 2018
Churchill Award, 2015
Gold Eagle Award, 2012, 2017
Jon E. Krupnick Award for Perseverance, 2013
Shoe Leather Award, 2012
Bronze Eagle Award, 2001, 2013, 2016
In 2013, he received the Krupnick Award, the Florida Justice Association’s award for perseverance in the pursuit of justice in a single case.
Jimmy is a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, and received the Trial Lawyer of the Year award from the Tallahassee ABOTA Chapter in 2010.
Horner v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. (I) $80,000,000 – Jury verdict for wrongful death and punitive damages-November 2010
Duignan v. Philip Morris USA, Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (retrial) $26,750,000 – Jury verdict for wrongful death and punitive damages-February 2020
Liu v. trucking company $17,760,000 – Confidentiality order-January 2010
Wilcox v. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. $15,500,000 – Jury verdict for wrongful death and punitive damages-September 2014
Westmoreland v. Liggett Group, LLC $13,100,000 – Jury verdict for wrongful death and punitive damages-October 2014
Fries v. manufacturer $13,000,000 – Confidentiality order-October 2012
Family v. automobile manufacturer $12,900,000 – Confidentiality order, Roof crush/quadriplegia-June 2011
Estate v. automobile manufacturer $12,500,000 – Confidentiality order, Seatbelt failure-September 2008
Duignan v. Philip Morris-USA, Inc. and R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. $12,000,000 – Jury verdict for wrongful death and punitive damages-September 2015
Kee v. automobile manufacturer $12,000,000 – Confidentiality order, Roof crush/quadriplegia-June 2006
Golden v. Schneider $10,231,869 – Jury verdict for paralysis following knee replacement surgery-April 1999