Shay grew up in a small town in eastern Alabama, and has been practicing law for more than 40 years. After establishing his career as a trial lawyer at another prominent firm, Shay came to Hare Wynn as a full partner in 1994.

In all his years of practice, Shay has tried hundreds of complex jury trials throughout Alabama, both in state and federal courts. Although he has handled cases involving most areas of civil trial litigation and tort liability, he has dedicated his practice primarily to the representation of individuals’ families of medical malpractice and healthcare negligence. Shay has been the recipient of numerous record million/multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements throughout Alabama.

For Shay, the personal relationship he develops with his clients is just as important as their professional relationship, and he believes that gaining his clients’ trust and friendship ultimately helps him serve their needs even better.

Shay is deeply dedicated to serving the Birmingham community. For years, he has volunteered alongside his wife at The Red Barn, which provides equestrian therapy for special needs children as well as military veterans who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).


Shay worked his way through college and law school. He attended Alexander City Junior College where he was elected president of the Student Government Association and was named the “Most Outstanding Student.” He graduated from the University of Alabama in 1973 and received his law degree in 1976 from the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University.

  • University of Alabama, 1973
  • Cumberland School of Law, 1976

Practice Areas

  • Medical Malpractice and Healthcare Negligence
  • Catastrophic Injury
  • Wrongful Death
  • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Product Liability
  • Pharmaceutical Litigation

Notable Work

In all his years of practice, Shay has tried hundreds of complex jury trials throughout Alabama, both in state and federal courts. Shay has been the recipient of numerous record million/multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements throughout Alabama.

During more than forty years of practice, Shay has received more than twenty seven figure jury verdicts.


  • Alabama, 1976
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • United States Court of Federal Claims


  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • Alabama Law Foundation
  • American Association for Justice
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • Southern Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Trial Lawyers Association
  • National Trial Lawyers Association


Shay has been an active member in numerous Bar associations. He has served the Birmingham Bar Association as a member of the following committees: Grievance and Disciplinary, Executive, Civil Courts, Judicial Liaison, Nominating, Public Relations, and Medical Liaison. He was elected President of the BBA in 2000. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society and the Birmingham Bar Foundation. In 2012, he was inducted as a Fellow in the inaugural class of Fellows of the BBF. He has also been inducted as a Fellow in the Alabama Law Foundation, where membership is restricted to only 1% of the lawyers in the State. In 2015, Shay was inducted as a LIFE Fellow of the Birmingham Bar Foundation.

He is a member of the Alabama Association for Justice, the American Association for Justice and the American Bar Association. He is also a fellow in the American College of Trial Lawyers, a select invitation-only, group of trial lawyers limited to the top 1 percent of trial lawyers in the United States. He served on the state committee of the ACTL in 2015-2016. Shay has also been inducted as a Fellow in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers (limited to 500 members worldwide). He has been selected by his peers as one of the Best Lawyers in America® since 1999. In 2011, Best Lawyers® named him Birmingham “Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year” and, in 2013, he was named Birmingham “Lawyer of the Year – Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs.” In 2015, Best Lawyers® named him Birmingham “Lawyer of the Year – Medical Malpractice Law – Plaintiffs” for an unprecedented third time in five years. Shay has also been named Best Lawyers® 2016 – Birmingham Personal Injury Litigation Plaintiffs “Lawyer of the Year.” He is listed in Best Lawyers® in the categories of personal injury, litigation, medical malpractice law- plaintiffs and bet-the-company litigation. He has been included in Alabama Super Lawyers® as one of the top attorneys in Alabama since it’s inception in 2008 and every year thereafter. For more than 20 years, he has received an AV® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell®, the highest rating attainable, based on recognition of an attorney’s legal ability and ethics. He has also been selected as an Advocate in the American Board of Trial Advocates, having served as President of the Alabama Chapter in 2003. He is also a Fellow of the Roscoe Pound Institute and Fellow in the International Society of Lawyers for Public Service. He was recently selected by LawDragon as one of the top litigators in America. In addition, Shay has been recognized by Benchmark as one of the leading litigators in America. He is also a member of the American Trial Lawyers Association and the National Trial Lawyers Association (both top 100 trial lawyers). Shay is listed in Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who among Executives and Professionals, and Who’s Who in the World. He is also a Senior Counsel Member of The College of Master Advocates & Barristers and has been selected for inclusion into the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, another professional group of trial lawyers comprising less than 1 percent of lawyers in the U.S.


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Unparalleled Honors

  • ABA
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
  • AV Preeminent
  • American Society of Legal Advocates
  • The Best Lawyers in America
  • Americas Top 100 Attorneys
  • American Association for Justice
  • American College of Trial Lawyers
  • Multi-Million Advocates
  • American Judicature Society
  • Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
  • Benchmark Litigation
  • Alabama Association for Justice
  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • International Society of Barristers
  • Kentucky Justice Association
  • Lawdragon 2017
  • National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys
  • National Law Journal Top 100 Verdicts
  • National Trial Lawyers
  • NBLSC Board Certified Lawyers
  • Phoenix Club of Birmingham
  • Plaintiffs Steering Committee
  • SuperLawyers
  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers
  • Top 40 Under 40
  • Top Ranked USA Chambers
  • Arkansas Magazine - Very Best Award

S. Shay Samples Results

  • $7,500,000 Medical Malpractice

    Butch Borden was at home recuperating from low back surgery two days earlier when suddenly developed severe burning back pain shooting down both legs, and also was ...More

  • $4,000,000 Medical Malpractice

    Terry Lynn Hallmark, a 40 year old male from Carbon Hill, Alabama, checked in at the Walker Baptist Medical Center Emergency Room in January, 2008, complaining of ...More

  • $3,000,000 Medical Malpractice

    Mr. Catlin was diagnosed with a bleeding duodenal ulcer and surgery was performed on the 37-year old patient. Following the surgery, he required several blood ...More

  • $2,500,000 Medical Malpractice

    Tom Trammell had lower back surgery in 2005 resulting in a traumatizing injury to the cauda equina, a nerve structure within the lower end of the spinal column. The ...More

  • $1,750,000 Wrongful Death

    Chambers County jury has returned a $1.75 million verdict in a wrongful death suit against Lanier Memorial Hospital that is believed to be the first medical ...More

Our Results

  • $2,860,000,000 Securities Fraud

    Hare Wynn obtains a $2.86 billion judgment in compensatory damages against Richard M. Scrushy, the largest judgment against an individual in history in any American jurisdiction....More

  • $750,000,000 GMO Rice Contamination

    Hare Wynn represents more than 2,500 rice farmers in a historic $750 million settlement against Bayer Cropscience....More

  • $422,000,000 Whistleblower

    Hare Wynn attorneys Scott Powell and Don McKenna represent one of four whistleblowers who brought False Claims Act suits against Novartis Pharmaceuticals for off-label marketing of Trileptal and paying illegal kickbacks to doctors in ass...More

  • $310,000,000 Corporate Fraud

    In 2016, a team of Hare Wynn lawyers, including Scott Powell, John Haley, Bruce McKee, Ralph Cook, Brian Vines, and Tempe Smith secured a $310 million dollar settlement on behalf of a nationwide class of investors who had been defrauded...More

  • $218,000,000 Syngenta GMO Corn

    Scott Powell and three long-time colleagues are responsible for securing a $217.7 million dollar verdict on behalf of a class of more than 7,000 Kansas farmers. This trial was the first of a number of class actions trials against Syngent...More

  • $133,000,000 Securities Fraud

    This was a shareholder derivative suit on behalf of HealthSouth Corporation. It alleged that UBS Securities knew about Richard Scrushy’s accounting frauds at HealthSouth, yet helped Scrushy to continue to make acquisitions and to c...More

  • $110,000,000 Qui Tam

    U.S. ex rel. Johnson v. Shell, resulting in the company’s agreement to pay $110 million to resolve claims that it underpaid royalties due for oil produced on federal leases...More

  • $40,250,000 Wrongful Death

    Hare Wynn has obtained a $40.25 million jury verdict in Jefferson County, Alabama, in a case involving the death of Derric Rush, a Hoover resident killed on his way home from Wednesday night service at the church where he worked....More

  • $40,000,000 Whistleblower

    Healthways Inc. will pay $40 million to end a lawsuit alleging the company’s Diabetes Treatment Center of America received kickbacks for paying doctors to send their patients to hospitals that are the unit’s clients....More

  • $37,500,000 Death of a Police Officer

    Hare Wynn lawyers, Matt Minner and Jamie Moncus, obtained a large punitive damages verdict from a Madison County jury in a case involving the death of a Huntsville Police Officer. The family of slain Officer, Daniel Golden, bro...More

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