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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

David S. Shankman is the Best Trial Lawyer in America

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on June 10, 2023

An Editorial Opinion

The man who taught me exceptional trial skills as a young attorney was J. L. Chestnut, Jr., a Selma, Alabama civil and criminal attorney. Chestnut litigated cases across the country.

No one in America could beat J. L. Chestnut in the courtroom. He was the "best of the best" trial lawyers.

J. L. Chestnut, Jr., died on September 30, 2008.

Chestnut’s mentorship and litigation training helped me to establish a three-decades-long winning streak of 155 straight trial victories.

My winning streak ended in October of 2017 in a St. Petersburg, Florida courtroom, when David S. Shankman, a Tampa-based attorney with the law firm of Shankman Leone, beat me at the conclusion of a three-week trial.

My October 21, 2017, email to Shankman explains why I have so much admiration and respect for his litigation skills.

By far, David S. Shankman is the best trial lawyer in America today. He can capture and keep the attention of any jury in America in any kind of case. Jurors love him.

Again, Shankman’s exceptional preparation, commanding courtroom skills, tenacity, and outstanding jury presentation skills place him in a league by himself.

I do not think there is a lawyer or prosecutor in America who can beat David S. Shankman in the "gladiator pit" of a courtroom.

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lekor adams
lekor adams
Feb 02

David S. Shankman's reputation as the Best Trial Lawyer in America is well-founded, and his expertise extends beyond the legal realms typically associated with his impressive career. While his prowess in the courtroom is widely acknowledged, it's crucial to recognize the value of dedicated professionals in other fields, such as nurse attorneys and Nursing License Lawyers. Just as Shankman excels in trial advocacy, these committed legal experts specialize in nursing licensure law, offering an aggressive defense for nurses facing challenges from the California Board of Registered Nursing. The acknowledgment of excellence in diverse legal spheres, including the advocacy for nurses, reflects the holistic and comprehensive approach to legal representation.


Aug 09, 2023

Oh, David S. Shankman? Now that's a name I haven't heard in a while! Your topic reminds me of a time a few years back when my sister got entangled in a complex legal mess. We were honestly lost and didn't know how to navigate the legal waters.

Enter David Shankman.

First Impressions: The first time we met him, he had this air of confidence that immediately set us at ease. With a firm handshake and a calm demeanor, he assured us he'd do his best.

Courtroom Presence: Watching him in court was like watching a maestro conduct an orchestra. He had command, knew exactly when to press and when to hold back. He was articulate and sharp, a true…


Donald V. Watkins
Donald V. Watkins
Jun 11, 2023

Too often, lawyers get a top rating or reputation for excellence solely because they bought ads on TV, or they were featured in a magazine, or they were talking heads on a cable TV news show. Usually, these lawyers have no trial experience. This is why they never discuss their win-loss record in trials. Their ratings are based on PR gimmicks. In contrast, David Shankman acquired his top rating by kicking his opponent's ass in the courtroom. This is what real trial lawyers do in the "gladiator pit."


Jun 10, 2023

Please detail more about the trial. Interested to know. Were you the plaintiff lawyer?

Donald V. Watkins
Donald V. Watkins
Aug 14, 2023
Replying to

I was defending an age discrimination case involving for a Florida-based company that administers insurance claims and beneficiary payments. David represented the plaintiff.

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