Mr. Haley was born in a section of Birmingham known as Pratt City. He attended public schools and graduated from Ensley High School. He wanted to broaden his life experiences and attended Tulane University. After graduation, he served in the U.S. military and then completed his legal training at Cumberland School of Law where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.
Mr. Haley and two other young lawyers joined together to form the law firm Noojin, Haley & Ashford in 1975 with twelve clients and a substantial loan. Over the next five years, he handled anything that came through the door–divorces, DUIs, collections, involuntary commitments, criminal matters, bankruptcy, probate and tort cases. Handling such a variety of cases gave him a breadth of legal experience that too many young lawyers never experience.
In 1980, Noojin, Haley & Ashford became part of Hare Wynn. For the next fifteen years, Mr. Haley handled all types of personal injury and wrongful death cases, with a few business matters thrown in to keep things interesting. Mr. Haley likes the courtroom and tried hundreds of cases. He also handles the appeals of most of his cases and has argued before the Supreme Court of Alabama and the Alabama Court of Civil Appeals on numerous occasions.
Mr. Haley’s practice changed in the late 1990s when he began to handle more and more business matters. He sued BP Oil on behalf of dealers in Alabama, Tennessee and North Carolina for discriminatory pricing, and that case was followed with a similar claim against Shell Oil by most of its dealers in Birmingham. CVS was the defendant in a collective action for violating the Fair Labor Standards Act that involved over 3,000 pharmacists. He was lead counsel in a class action alleging overcharges associated with mortgage foreclosures. He litigated with Caremark for over four years to recover contract benefits for a former executive. At trial, the jury returned punitive damages against Caremark based upon representations made by its CEO, Richard Scrushy. In one of his most publicized cases, John was co-lead counsel in a derivative action on behalf of HealthSouth Corporation against its former CEO, Richard Scrushy, its investment banker, UBS, and others, arising from the multi-billion dollar fraud at HealthSouth from 1996 until March of 2003.
Mr. Haley was Editor of The Alabama Trial Lawyers Journal for over ten years and was later elected its President. He was elected a member of the International Society of Barristers in 1994. He has served on the Board of Trustees for the Presbyterian Home for Children for over ten years, and has also served on the Board of Directors for Spring Valley School helping students with learning disabilities.