Rusty Shepard

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Rusty Shepard Founding Attorney


Rusty Shepard has over 12 years of legal experience having graduated from Florida State University College of Law in 2000. Mr. Shepard has spent his entire legal career practicing in Florida's 14th Judicial Circuit. Mr. Shepard began his legal career as an Assistant State Attorney in Chipley, Florida. In 2004, Mr. Shepard was the founding partner the firm that would later become Appleman, Shepard & Trucks. Mr. Shepard and his dedicated staff of paralegals left Appleman, Shepard & Trucks in 2011 to form The Disability Group. Mr. Shepard served as President of the Bay County Bar Association from 2007-2010. In 2011, Mr. Shepard was one of twenty lawyers recognized by the Florida Bar with the President's Pro Bono Service Award. Mr. Shepard served on the Law Related Education Committee of the Florida Bar from 2003-2009 and is a frequent speaker on the law and legal related issues.

Mr. Shepard has been admitted to practice in all state courts in Florida, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Florida, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Mr. Shepard is a member of the National Association of Social Security Claimant's Representatives, the American Bar Association, the Bay County Bar Association (past-President), and is a Barrister in the St. Andrew's Bay Inns of Court.

Mr. Shepard received his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Prior to law school, Mr. Shepard spent five years as a political consultant for a national political committees and respective United States Senate candidates in Washington, DC. Mr. Shepard also served in the Washington, DC based political affairs office of Astrum International, the parent company of Samsonite, Culligan and Botany 500.

The team at The Disability Group places a high priority on maintaining contact with the client-making and is available to answer any questions that you may have about your case and keeping you informed at all times of the latest status. Given that an SSD claim can sometimes take many months to complete, this commitment to ongoing contact is invaluable, meant to prevent you from feeling lost or wondering what is happening with the case. In the event that you have not been able to secure a proper medical diagnosis for your condition, the The Disability Group team will assist you in working with a network of low-cost clinics and charitable services in order to gather the necessary evidence for your claim. They know how confusing this process can be and are ready to put their years of experience and skill to work for you!


  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Arizona, 1993
  • Juris Doctor, Florida State University College of Law, 2000
  • The Florida Bar, 2000
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2004
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2004.


  • Member, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (Commissioned 1990)
  • Member, Law Related Education Committee of the Florida Bar (2003-2009)
  • President, Bay County Bar Association (2007-2010)
  • Recipient, Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award ( 2011)
  • Member, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers (2013-15)
  • Member, 14th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee (2013)
  • Bencher, St. Andrews Bay Inns of Court
  • Member, Criminal Justice Section, American Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers


  • 10.0 for 10.0 "Superb" rated by Avvo (2013-15)
  • "Nationally Ranked Superior DUI Attorney" and "Top 100 DUI Attorneys - Northern Florida" as recognized by The National Advocacy for DUI Defense (2014-15)


  • President, Bay County Criminal Defense Bar (2011-2015)
  • Chapter Representative, Bay County Criminal Defense Bar (2015-2016)
  • Featured as "One to Watch" by Bay Life Magazine
  • Featured as one of "The New Vanguard: The Smart & Savvy" by Panama City Living Magazine
  • Legal Commentator:
    • WMBB/News-13 (ABC)
    • WJHG/News Channel 7 (NBC)
    • Law Call, a live weekly call-in show
    • Former Assistant State Attorney

Mr. Shepard regularly handles cases in Bay (Panama City), Calhoun (Blountstown), Gulf (Port St. Joe), Holmes (Bonifay), Jackson (Marianna), Walton (DeFuniak Springs) and Washington (Chipley) counties.

Why Choose The Disability Group?

  • Recipients Of A 10/10 Superb Avvo Rating
  • Personalized & Effective Legal Solutions
  • Exceptional Track Record Of Success
  • Available 24/7 To Clients
  • Nearly Three Decades Of Legal Experience
  • Dedicated & Approachable Representatives

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