Profile

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).

Education

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

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.

Admitted

  • 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

Affiliations

  • 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

Awards

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”.

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.

Most recently, Shay was chosen to the 2018 Mid-South Super Lawyers® listing for attaining significant victories in the practice area of medical malpractice. The (2019) Benchmark State Litigation Stars award was once again given to him in late 2018 as well, recognizing him as an outstanding medical malpractice lawyer.

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. In 2019, he was recognized as B-Metro Top Flight Attorney.

Videos

  • Play Video

News

  • Hare Wynn Recognized By Benchmark Litigation

    Hare Wynn has been recognized as a 2019 Highly ... READ MORE

  • Two Hare Wynn Attorneys Recognized As 'Lawyers Of The Year' And 11 Listed Overall In 2019 The Best Lawyers In America© Published By Woodward/White, Inc.

    Hare, Wynn, Newell, and Newton, LLP is pleased to ... READ MORE

  • National Brain Injury Awareness Month: Noah's Story

    Jaclyn Burke will never forget what transpired on ... READ MORE

  • How to Deal with Grief from Losing a Loved One

    “Grief is in two parts. The first is loss. The ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorneys Highly Ranked in 2016 Chambers USA Guide

    Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton, LLP is pleased to ... READ MORE

  • Eleven Hare Wynn Attorneys Named in The Best Lawyers in America 2016

    Eleven Hare Wynn attorneys were recently listed in ... READ MORE

  • Fourteen Hare Wynn Lawyers Honored in the 2015 list of Super Lawyers

    Fourteen Hare Wynn attorneys have been selected ... READ MORE

  • Significant Decision Regarding Sovereign Immunity In Alabama

    An eight-year-old piece of litigation ended on ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorneys Selected for The Best Lawyers in America© 2014

    Eleven Hare Wynn attorneys have been selected by ... READ MORE

  • Samples Inducted Into American College of Trial Lawyers

    Hare Wynn Partner, Shay Samples , was recently ... READ MORE

  • Samples Selected as Trial Counsel in Chantix Bell-Weather Cases

    Hare Wynn Partner, Shay Samples , has been ... READ MORE

  • Cumberland School of Law Celebration

    Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton proudly salutes the ... READ MORE

  • Benchmark Litigation Honors for Hare Wynn

    Eight Hare Wynn attorneys have been recognized as ... READ MORE

  • Shay Samples Inducted as Fellow of Birmingham Bar Foundation

    Shay Samples was recently inducted as a Fellow in ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Attorneys in Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ranking

    Twelve attorneys from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn's 2011 Super Lawyers

    Ten attorneys from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton ... READ MORE

  • Meds IV Media Coverage

    Hare Wynn is moving forward with the filing of ... READ MORE

  • Shay Samples Named Medical Malpractice Lawyer of the Year

    Shay Samples has been named as the “Birmingham ... READ MORE

  • Hare Wynn Lawyers Named as Best Lawyers in America

    Six lawyers from Hare, Wynn, Newell & Newton were ... READ MORE

  • Supreme Court of Alabama Affirms Judgment in favor of James W. Ellison

    A jury verdict obtained by Shay Samples in the ... READ MORE

Awards & Accolades

  • Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers – Top 25
    Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers – Top 25

    Membership in the Medical Malpractice Trial Lawyers – Top 25 is reserved for the top 25 attorneys in the state who best exemplify superior qualifications in the organization’s ranking factors: reputation, leadership, influence, advocacy training, and continuing legal education.

  • ABA
    ABA

    Members of the American Bar Association work to uphold the organization’s mission of “defending liberty and delivering justice.” Attorneys are expected to act in ways that eliminate bias, enhance diversity, and advance the rule of law.

  • American Board of Trial Advocates
    American Board of Trial Advocates

    The American Board of Trial Advocates and its members aim to foster improvement in both the ethical and technical standards of the legal field. Attorneys are held to high standards of integrity, honor, courtesy, and education/training.

  • AV Preeminent
    AV Preeminent

    The Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rating™ symbolizes strong legal ability and high ethical standards. Selected attorneys have been evaluated on their professional legal abilities and the services they have to offer.

  • American Society of Legal Advocates
    American Society of Legal Advocates

    Less than 1.5% of attorneys across the nation are selected for membership in the American Society of Legal Advocates. These attorneys have demonstrated proven commitment to their practice and hold themselves to the highest professional standards.

  • The Best Lawyers in America
    The Best Lawyers in America

    The Best Lawyers in America uses a tried and true peer review process to select the top legal talent in America. Lawyers who make the list are recognized as the most sophisticated, transparent, and conscientious in their fields.

  • Best Lawyers 2019 - Lawyer of the Year
    Best Lawyers 2019 - Lawyer of the Year

    For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has used a tested peer review process to select the best lawyer of the year, and we are thrilled to have made the list.

  • Best Lawyers 2018
    Best Lawyers 2018

    Every year, the Best Lawyers organization publishes a list of best lawyers and best law firms in the state, recognizing those with commendable professional achievements.

  • Americas Top 100 Attorneys
    Americas Top 100 Attorneys

    Only the most qualified and accomplished legal professionals are selected to the prestigious list of American’s Top 100 Attorneys. The organization uses proprietary methodology to select the top 100 attorneys from a given state.

  • American Association for Justice
    American Association for Justice

    The American Association for Justice’s mission is to promote a fair and effective justice system, and that’s exactly what attorneys who are members of the organization work to do.

  • American College of Trial Lawyers
    American College of Trial Lawyers

    This is an invitation-only fellowship consisting of trial lawyers from diverse backgrounds throughout the U.S. and Canada. Selected lawyers have demonstrated the highest standards of ethical conduct, professionalism, trial advocacy, integrity, and collegiality.

  • Multi-Million Advocates
    Multi-Million Advocates

    Membership in the Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum® is limited to only those attorneys who have achieved multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for their clients. The organization is so prestigious that fewer than 1% of all U.S. lawyers are members.

  • American Judicature Society
    American Judicature Society

    Members of the American Judicature Society aid in the organization’s mission to secure and promote an independent, qualified judiciary, along with a fair system of justice.

  • US News Best Law Firms 2019
    US News Best Law Firms 2019

    Qualitative and quantitative data are used to rate the overall best law firms in the nation. Law firms are rated using a tiering system that compares legal practices in similar metro areas.

  • Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association
    Arkansas Trial Lawyers Association

    Members of ATLA are committed to protecting the safety and health of families in Arkansas by increasing consumer protections and preserving people’s right to trial by jury.

  • Benchmark Litigation
    Benchmark Litigation

    We are proud to be included in Benchmark Litigation’s annual publication, which serves as America’s definitive guide to leading litigation firms and lawyers.

  • Alabama Association for Justice
    Alabama Association for Justice

    Attorneys and members of the Alabama Association for Justice work to protect and preserve people’s constitutional right to trial by jury by ensuring that victims of misconduct and/or negligence can hold their wrongdoers accountable.

  • International Academy of Trial Lawyers
    International Academy of Trial Lawyers

    Fellowship in the International Academy of Trial Lawyers is by invitation-only and involves a carefully crafted vetting process.

  • International Society of Barristers
    International Society of Barristers

    The era’s best advocates are recognized and invited to come together as part of the International Society of Barristers, where they are expected to support common goals of upholding justice and improving legal advocacy, among others.

  • Kentucky Justice Association
    Kentucky Justice Association

    The Kentucky Justice Association and its members act as a voice for consumers, working to protect their health and safety and to preserve their right to trial by jury.

  • Lawdragon 2017
    Lawdragon 2017

    Every year, Lawdragon publishes a guide that lists the nation’s leading lawyers, and we are thrilled to have made the list.

  • National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys
    National Academy of Personal Injury Attorneys

    The Academy’s mission to provide advanced educational opportunities helps personal injury attorneys like ourselves ensure our clients are provided with the best representation available.

  • National Law Journal Top 100 Verdicts
    National Law Journal Top 100 Verdicts

    The National Law Journal is considered to be the nation’s premiere legal source for timely, trusted legal news, and we are proud to have their list of top 100 verdicts.

  • National Trial Lawyers
    National Trial Lawyers

    Membership in the National Trial Lawyers organization is by invitation-only and is reserved for only the most qualified attorneys in their respective fields of practice.

  • Top 40 Under 40
    Top 40 Under 40

    Membership in this exclusive organization is extended only to the top 40 attorneys under the age of 40 in a given geographic location.

  • NBLSC Board Certified Lawyers
    NBLSC Board Certified Lawyers

    The NBLSC offers board certification to trial lawyers and is recognized as the first American Bar Association accredited attorney board certifying agency in the entire world.

  • Phoenix Club of Birmingham
    Phoenix Club of Birmingham

    Young, professional men who are members of the Phoenix Club of Birmingham have the opportunity to support the organization’s mission to impact the direction of the local community’s youth through interaction and fund-raising opportunities.

  • Plaintiffs Steering Committee
    Plaintiffs Steering Committee

    We proudly sit on the plaintiff’s steering committee, where we have the ability to direct multi-district litigation along with other lawyers on the committee.

  • SuperLawyers
    SuperLawyers

    A patented, multiphase selection process is used to choose attorneys for the Super Lawyers® organization. Both peer recognitions and professional achievements are assessed to select the top lawyers in a given state.

  • Super Lawyers Rising Star
    Super Lawyers Rising Star

    Only attorneys who are 40 years of age or younger, or those who have been practicing for 10 years or less, can be selected to the prestigious list of Super Lawyers® Rising Stars.

  • Tennessee Trial Lawyers
    Tennessee Trial Lawyers

    All citizens, families, and small businesses should have access to justice, and that is the mission of TTLA. Members of the association are committed to protecting and upholding people’s right to justice and trial by jury.

  • Top Ranked USA Chambers
    Top Ranked USA Chambers

    Through independent research, Chambers assesses a number of criteria to collect information on the top-ranking law firms in the country.

  • Arkansas Magazine - Very Best Award
    Arkansas Magazine - Very Best Award

    We are honored to have been selected to Arkansas Magazine’s annual pick of the very best lawyers and law firms in the state.

  • National Featured Verdict
    National Featured Verdict

    Only the top verdicts in a given field, and from a given state, are listed here. We are honored that some of our verdicts have made the list.

  • Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2019
    Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2019

    For more than 30 years, Best Lawyers has used a tested peer review process to select the best lawyer of the year, and we are thrilled to have made the list.

  • Top Rated Lawyers
    Top Rated Lawyers

    Top-rated lawyers are those who have been identified by Lawyers.com as the most elite in their corresponding fields of practice.

Our Results

More
  • $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

  • $410,000,000 Qui Tam

    U.S. ex rel. Johnson v. Shell, resulting in the company’s agreement to pay $410 million to resolve claims that it underpaid royalties due for oil produced on federal leases...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 was the first of a number of 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

  • $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

Get a Free Consultation

Contact Us Today!
    • Please enter your name.
    • This isn't a valid phone number.
      Please enter your phone number.
    • This isn't a valid email address.
      Please enter your email address.
    • Please make a selection.
  • Please enter a message.
    • I have read the disclaimer.

      Please read and agree to the disclaimer

      The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.