F. Shields McManus
“After serving a decade as a trial judge, I am pleased to be a practicing trial lawyer again. My experience on the bench has enhanced my three decades of experience as a trial lawyer. I look forward using my knowledge to help clients resolve their legal conflicts successfully and expeditiously.”
Attorney F. Shields McManus grew up in South Florida and achieved an Associate of Arts degree from St. John Vianney College Seminary in Miami and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Government from Florida State University. He graduated from the FSU College of Law with Honors. While at FSU he was commissioned an artillery officer in the United States Army Reserve from which he was later Honorably Discharged.
Shields settled in Martin County and spent three decades trying cases all over Florida and in several other states. He was one of the first lawyers in the Treasure Coast who represented condominium and home owner associations in takeovers from developers. He represented condominium unit owners in the first trial in Florida challenging the 99-year recreation lease in 1978. He negotiated the buyout of the lessors’ rights. He continued to represent many community associations in Martin and St. Lucie County.
He capably represented injured persons and families of deceased who were victims of motor vehicle crashes and medical malpractice. He has tried over 100 jury trials.
He represented many men and women in their divorces involving issues of parental responsibility and time sharing, equitable distribution of assets, and spousal support.
After a successful career advancing from a solo practice to a partnership in the largest law firm on the Treasure Coast, Shields was appointed by the governor to be a circuit court judge. During his decade on the bench Shields was assigned to the civil and family divisions of the circuit courts in Martin, Okeechobee, and St. Lucie Counties.
Shields has been given the highest peer review rating of “AV Preeminent” by Lexis Martindale Hubble for many years and was Board Certified in Civil Trial Law from 1982 until he became a judge. He has served his profession and community in many capacities, often serving as board member, chairman or president, including the Martin County Bar Association, the Florida Bar Committees, the Florida Bar Foundation, Florida Rural Legal Services, the Stuart-Martin County Chamber of Commerce, the Martin County Local Planning Agency, Stuart Mainstreet, St. Joseph Catholic School, Tykes and Teens, and the Chapman School of Seamanship. In 2018 he was appointed to serve on the Florida Commission on Ethics.