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About Me

JAMES W. GUSTAFSON JR. is a shareholder with Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA. Mr. Gustafson is a sixth generation Florida native who served with the U.S. Army’s 82d Airborne Division and studied at St. Edmund Hall in Oxford, England.

Mr. Gustafson’s practice is focused on product liability, tobacco litigation including fraud and conspiracy, trucking negligence, and other catastrophic injury and death cases.

Mr. Gustafson is an EAGLE member, and currently serves as Treasurer of the Florida Justice Association. He is a sustaining member of The American Association for Justice, and served as chair of their Professional Negligence Section. He is a Diplomate in the American Board of Professional Liability Attorneys. Committed to teaching and writing, he has lectured to Florida’s circuit judges, at numerous Continuing Legal Education seminars, and has authored Continuing Legal Education materials for The Florida Bar, the Journal of the Florida Justice Association, and AAJ’s Trial magazine.

An AV-rated attorney by Martindale-Hubbell for over ten years, Mr. Gustafson is a Florida Bar Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer, 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. He is named in “The Best Lawyers in America,” and received the designation “Lawyer of the Year” for Personal Injury Litigation in Tallahassee in 2013. He has been named numerous times a Florida Super Lawyer, and to Florida Trend’s Legal Elite. Mr. Gustafson 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.

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.


Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas


  1. Wrongful Death: 20%
  2. Ethics & Professional Responsibility: 20%
  3. Personal Injury: 20%
  4. Medical Malpractice: 20%
  5. Defective and Dangerous Products: 20%

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Contact Info

Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley, PA

517 N Calhoun St
Tallahassee, FL, 32301-1231

517 N Calhoun St
Tallahassee, FL, 32301-1231



FLMember in Good Standing199409/08/2015

Professional Misconduct

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Board Certified - Civil TrialFlorida Bar2014
AV Peer Review RatingMartindale-Hubbell2014
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2014
N/ABest Lawyers in America2013
Florida's Legal LeadersFlorida Trend Magazine2013
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2013
Florida's Legal LeadersFlorida Trend Magazine2012
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2012
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2011
Super LawyerSuper Lawyers2010
Association NamePosition NameDuration
Tallahassee Bar AssociationMember2003 - Present
Palm Beach County Bar AssociationMember2002 - 2004
Tampa Bay Trial Lawyers AssociationMember2001 - Present
Florida Justice Association, Young Lawyers SectionBoard of Directors2000 - 2001
Florida Justice Association, Young Lawyers SectionChair1999 - 2003
Florida Bar, Trial Lawyers SectionMemberN/A
American Board of Professional Liability AttorneysDiplomateN/A
William H. Stafford American Inn of CourtBarristerN/A
Barney Masterson American Inn of CourtBarristerN/A
American Association for Justice, Professional Negligence SectionChairN/A
American Association for JusticeMemberN/A
American Board of Trial AdvocatesMemberN/A
Publication NameTitleDate
Trial MagazineChallenging Hospitals that Tolerate Incompetent Doctors2003
School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
Florida State University College of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1994
St. Edmund Hall, Oxford UniversityN/AN/A1992
Florida State UniversityEnglish Language & LiteratureBA - Bachelor of Arts1991
Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
Florida Justice Association Annual ConventionJury Selection After Seinfeld: Pitfalls and Strategies for Dealing with Indifference and Cynicism2014