David J. Shea
David J. Shea
David J. Shea is the founder and CEO of Shea Law. An accomplished and highly respected attorney, he leads the vision and drives the growth of the firm that has emerged as Michigan’s go-to provider of accessible estate planning services. He also litigates mass and class actions and commercial contingency cases, and serves as general counsel to one of the largest financial service companies in the Midwest.
David’s career has been characterized by impactful and high-profile litigation and by estate planning innovation designed to make estate planning services more accessible to families and individuals. He began his career as a member of a highly specialized team at Plunkett Cooney representing Ford Motor Company and its interests as national counsel for the company’s broad range of complex product liability lawsuits. His team also represented many of the nation’s most recognizable national manufacturers in mass litigation/toxic tort matters involving such environmental issues as asbestos, cobalt, benzene, and formaldehyde. David represented the iconic Mackinac Bridge’s architects in the highly publicized “Yugo” wrongful death case and was a member of a three-attorney team who obtained the top defense verdict in the country in a multi-plaintiff wrongful death product liability federal lawsuit against the Fortune 50 United Technologies.
David began representing plaintiffs in product liability and toxic tort/mass litigation in 1992 with the law firm of Sommers Schwartz. He principally represented more than 1,500 women in the nationally recognized silicone breast implant litigation, where he was appointed as only one of three lead counsel in Michigan to represent the plaintiffs’ interests.
In 2000, David formed the law firm Miller Shea with E. Powell Miller. The newly formed firm specialized in class actions, commercial litigation, securities law and estate planning. In just five short years, David and Mr. Miller grew Miller Shea, P.C. to 40 attorneys and were honored by Crain’s Detroit Business for leading one of the fastest-growing law firms in the state of Michigan.
David founded Shea Law in 2007. He maintains a national litigation practice with an eclectic mix of clients and cases and has obtained many multi-million-dollar verdicts and settlements over the last several years. During this time, he has led or been a part of some of the most lucrative, impactful, and high-profile judgements and settlements in the nation, defending individuals and institutions against fraud, neglect, and injustice. Most recently, David partnered with former Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox to hold the University of Michigan accountable for the sexual abuse of its students and student-athletes at the hands of its athletic team physician, Dr. Robert Anderson, resulting in a $470 million settlement on behalf of the survivors. Further, he was appointed lead counsel in a major federal court class action against Michigan counties seeking compensation on behalf of residents who have suffered millions of dollars in losses from the unconstitutional taking of their property through unauthorized tax foreclosures. Finally, David was appointed to the discovery committee by co-lead counsel in the City of Flint Water Crisis Class Action, one of the largest class actions in history.
Under David’s leadership, Shea’s estate planning model has evolved to deliver accessible estate planning services to growing numbers of Michigan residents from all walks of life. The firm’s innovation in providing online estate planning is inspired by the understanding that while almost everyone would benefit from estate planning, far too many people have no accessible or practical way to get it done. In contrast to traditional estate planning attorneys who are incentivized to maximize legal fees by providing services only to the very wealthy, Shea provides high-level estate planning for everyone.
David was appointed and served as Special Assistant Attorney General providing securities-related advice and counsel to Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox. He has been recognized as a Lexis-Nexus SuperLaywer and Top 50 Business Attorney in Michigan, a Top Business Litigation Attorney by Crain’s Detroit Business and Hour Detroit and has been an AV Preeminent Peer Rated Attorney by Martindale-Hubble for more than two decades.
David graduated from Albion College in 1984 with a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and History and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy College of Law in 1987.
I leave work every day secure in the knowledge that our team has laid another brick on the wall of the cathedral we are building and that I did my part to help someone with a problem. I truly believe that nothing in life holds real value unless it can be passed on to benefit those we leave behind. That holds true for both intangible values and more concrete assets. No one is entitled to a legacy; they can only earn a legacy. A legacy is your generational footprint, the mark you leave behind to say this is what I contributed to humankind. I’m humbled and gratified to be part of a team that is helping so many people make their mark and leave their own legacies.
Bar/Professional Association Involvement: State Bar of Michigan
Awards; Honors; Distinctions:
- Top Lawyers: Michigan
- Michigan Super Lawyers, 2009-present
- Business Litigation
- Securities Litigation
- Top 100 Attorneys: Michigan, 2011
- Leading Lawyer, 2014-present
- Commercial Litigation
- Personal Injury Law: Professional Malpractice
- Insurance Coverage Law: Consumer Insureds
- Investor Protection Law/Securities Class Action Litigation
- Peer-Review Rated: AV® Preeminent™
American Trial Lawyers Association
- Top 100 Attorneys
Crain’s Detroit Business/Hour Detroit
- Top Business Litigation Attorney
Law School: University of Detroit-Mercy School of Law, J.D., 1987
Undergraduate School: Albion College, B.A., Philosophy & History, 1984