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S. Shay Samples

Trial Lawyer

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

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
  • Birmingham Bar Association
  • Legal Aid Society and the Birmingham Bar Foundation
  • Fellow of the Birmingham Bar Foundation
  • American Bar Association
  • Fellow of the Roscoe Pound Institute
  • Fellow of the International Society of Lawyers for Public Service
  • The College of Master Advocates & Barristers
  • National Association of Distinguished Counsel
  • “Best Lawyer” by Best Lawyers in America®; 1999-2020
  • “Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America®; 2011, 2015, 2016
  • Mid-South Super Lawyers®; 2008 and 2019
  • Benchmark State Litigation Star; 2018-2019
  • AV Preeminent® Rated by Martindale-Hubbell®
  • “Top Litigator” by Lawdragon
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyer by American Trial Lawyers Association
  • Top 100 Trial Lawyer by National Trial Lawyers
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • Who’s Who among Executives and Professionals
  • Who’s Who in the World
  • 2019 “Top Flight Attorney” by B-Metro Magazine