For the past 44 years, Chris Searcy has litigated cases involving catastrophic injury and wrongful death throughout the State of Florida and in other states as well. In 1977 at age 29, he became the youngest lawyer in the United States to achieve a $1 million dollar verdict for a single personal injury case. Since that time, he has compiled a long list of seven and eight figure verdicts and one nine figure verdict. In 2007, he achieved four eight figure verdicts in four different jury trials totaling over $100 million.
After earning a B.A. with distinction from the University of Virginia, Mr. Searcy received his Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law, graduating in the top 10% of his class. He was admitted to The Florida Bar on May 1, 1973. He is admitted to practice in all Florida State Courts, as well as all United States District Courts in Florida, as well as the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is Board Certified in Civil Litigation by the National Board of Legal Specialty Certification (formerly known as the National Board of Trial Advocacy) and Board Certified in Civil Litigation by The Florida Bar Association. He heads the firm of Searcy Denney Scarola Barnhart and Shipley, P.A., a firm composed of 31 lawyers and over 100 personnel, with its main office in West Palm Beach, Florida.
Throughout his career, Chris Searcy has been honored to serve his clients, his profession and his specialty through volunteering his time and efforts. He went through the Chairs and served as President of the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers (now Florida Justice Association) (1983-1989) and he’s served on its Board since 1979, and is presently serving on the Constitutional Revision Committee. He went through the Chairs and served as President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (2003-2012) and serves on their Board as a past president. 2018 Vice President of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Foundation. He is a Member of the Inner Circle of Advocates; an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates; 2017 President of The National Trial Lawyers Association; a Fellow in the International Society of Barrister’s; a Fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers; and he is also a Senior Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America, a trial lawyer honorary society limited to less than one-half of one percent of North American lawyers.
Chris Searcy has been selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in every edition since its inception 30 years ago. He was ranked as the #1 Lawyer in Florida in the 2013 Florida Super Lawyers Nomination, Research and Blue Ribbon Review Process. He is listed as one of the “Legal Elite” in Florida Trend magazine; named as one of the top lawyers in South Florida Legal Guide; and selected one of Lawdragon’s 500 Leading Lawyers in America “Hall of Fame.”
Chris Searcy received the highest honor of the Florida Justice Association in 2005 when it bestowed him with the Perry Nichols Award in recognition of a lifetime of outstanding service to the cause of justice. He was the first recipient of the Florida Justice Association’s Compassionate Gladiator Award in 2006, and received the Al J. Cone Lifetime Achievement Award by the Florida Justice Association in 1997. In 2006, Chris Searcy was one of two lawyers in the country to receive the “Warhorse Award” from the Southern Trial Lawyers Association honoring his outstanding skill as a trial advocate and his extraordinary contributions to the cause of justice.
His Bar work and community service include: Chairman of the Rules of Civil Procedure Committee of The Florida Bar; Chairman of the Judicial Administration Committee of The Florida Bar; Chairman of the Standing Committee on Professionalism of The Florida Bar; Code and Rules of Evidence Committee of The Florida Bar; Emeritus Member of the Board of Overseers of Stetson University College of Law; Emeritus Member of the Board of Directors of the College Foundation of the University of Virginia and present member of the Alumni Association of the University of Virginia Board of Managers. He is the Past President of The Florida Supreme Court Historical Society and serves on its Board of Trustees and Oral History Committee. He has served on the Judicial Nominating Commission for the United States District Court of the Southern District of Florida and the Middle District of Florida.
From a community perspective, Chris Searcy’s personal philosophy of advocacy for those in need has made its mark on South Florida, where he and his firm support numerous non-profit organizations committed to helping the disabled, improving education, and advancing community causes.