“Chris Searcy has tried more than 200 civil trials to verdict and has recovered $1 million or more on behalf of 100 of his clients,” said Fletcher D. Handley Jr., chair of the TIPS Plaintiff’s Policy Task Force. “He is a great American story and a great American trial lawyer. He is most deserving of the Pursuit of Justice Award.”
Searcy will receive the award on Thursday, May 15, at the Welcome and Pursuit of Justice Award Reception during the TIPS Spring Leadership Meeting at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Florida.
Searcy, president and CEO of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart & Shipley PA, has litigated cases primarily involving catastrophic injury and death in Florida and other states for 40 years. In March 1978, at age 29, he had the distinction of being the youngest lawyer in the U.S. to achieve a verdict of $1 million for a single personal injury lawsuit in the case of Bernard v. Florida East Coast Railway.
Searcy’s personal philosophy of advocacy for those in need has made its mark on South Florida, where he supports numerous nonprofit organizations committed to helping the disabled, improving education and advancing community causes.
In 2006, he received the War Horse Award from the Southern Trial Lawyers Association in recognition of his outstanding skill as a trial advocate and his extraordinary contributions to the cause of justice. In 2005, the Florida Justice Association honored Searcy with its Perry Nichols Award, the highest honor it bestows, for his lifetime of outstanding service to the cause of justice.
Searcy is past president of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, past president of the Florida Justice Association and a diplomat of the American Association for Justice. He is a member of the Inner Circle of Advocates, the American College of Trial Lawyers, the International Society of Barristers, the National Trial Lawyers Association and the ABA. He has been recognized for his work by numerous publications, including The Best Lawyers in America, Law and Leading Attorneys, Lawdragon, Florida Trend magazine and the South Florida Legal Guide.
After earning his B.A. from the University of Virginia in 1970, Searcy received his J.D. from Stetson University College of Law in 1973, graduating in the top 10 percent of his class. In October 2007, he was inducted into the Stetson University College of Law’s Hall of Fame for his profound and positive influence on the college and the legal world.
The ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section unites plaintiff, defense, insurance and corporate counsel to advance the civil justice system. TIPS is a national source of expertise in tort, trial and insurance practice and brings lawyers together to share information and speak out on issues of importance. The section has about 25,000 members and more than 30 general committees that focus on substantive and procedural matters in areas across the broad spectrum of civil law and practice.
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