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Donald J. Ward III


DONALD J. “D.J.” WARD III is a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Notre Dame Law School, where he earned his degree cum laude. At age 26, in his first jury trial, Mr. Ward obtained a verdict of $824,200, which was more than 13 times what the defendant had offered to settle the case.

Mr. Ward’s practice focuses on wrongful death and catastrophic injury cases resulting from medical negligence, automobile accidents, products liability, and premises liability. Since joining Searcy Denney, he has recovered in excess of $125 million on behalf of his clients. At age 29, he was admitted into the membership of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum and the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum. Recently, in one month in 2023, Mr. Ward tried two cases, obtaining verdicts that were 18 times more and 15 times more, respectively, than the offers made by the defense prior to trial.

Mr. Ward is rated AV Preeminent, which is the highest peer rating standard given by Martindale-Hubbell, and he is listed in The Best Lawyers in America in the fields of medical malpractice, products liability, and personal injury. Since 2014, he has been included in the National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40 for the State of Florida. In 2022, he served as President of the Palm Beach County Justice Association, a countywide organization of 500 lawyers and paralegals committed to protecting victims of negligence and injustice and fighting for fair access to courts for all.

Mr. Ward grew up in Virginia Beach and earned a bachelor’s degree in history and religious studies from the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. As an undergraduate, he studied abroad at the University of Oxford in England, where he researched and wrote about the health care systems of different countries. While a student at the University of Notre Dame Law School, Mr. Ward was vice president of the Student Bar Association, president of the Phi Alpha Delta Legal Fraternity, and a mediator with the Notre Dame Legal Aid Clinic. He also coordinated a course at Notre Dame that allowed law students to visit different cities and gain a better understanding of the pro bono possibilities available to them following graduation.

Mr. Ward is admitted to practice in the State of Florida, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the District of Columbia, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida and the Western District of Virginia. He is an EAGLE member of the Florida Justice Association and a former board member of the FJA Young Lawyers Section. He is also a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Association for Justice, the Florida Supreme Court Historical Society, and the Notre Dame Law School Order of St. Thomas More.

Mr. Ward lives in northern Palm Beach County with his wife, Abbey, and their children, Jack and Lilly.

To learn more about Donald J. Ward III, see:


  • Rated AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Florida Super Lawyers- Rising Star (2013 – 2020)
  • National Trial Lawyers- Top 40 Under 40 (2014 – 2019)
  • Million Dollar Advocates Forum (2015 – Present)
  • Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum (2015 – Present)
  • America’s Top 100 High Stakes Litigators – South Florida (2018, 2019)

Prior Cases

  • Confidential Medical Malpractice vs. Hospital Palm Beach County, March 2016 – $24,268,497
  •  Confidential Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Palm Beach County, April 2018 – $8,900,000
  •  Confidential Medical Malpractice Wrongful Death Palm Beach County, October 2018 – $7,250,000
  •  Confidential Medical Malpractice Palm Beach County, January 2019 – $6,000,000
  •  Confidential Auto Liability Palm Beach County, July 2015 – $2,300,000
  •  Confidential Medical Malpractice vs. Physicians Palm Beach County, December 2015 – $1,750,000
  •  Yawn vs. AIG Property Casualty Company: Motorcycle Crash Miami-Dade County, August 2015 – $1,270,000
  •  Confidential Medical Malpractice vs. Physician Group Palm Beach County, May 2019 – $1,050,000
  •  Confidential Medical Malpractice Palm Beach County, September 2018 – $1,025,000
  •  Holmberg v. E-Scapes Lawn Care, Inc., and Geico: Auto Liability Duval County, October 2015 – $950,000
  •  Confidential Ophthalmological Malpractice Pinellas County, July 2016 – $950,000
  •  Collier vs. J.C. Penney: Premises Liability Palm Beach County, May 2012 – $824,200

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