H. Clay Barnett, IIIPrincipal | Fraud
Clay joined the firm in 2007 and has pursued pharmaceutical companies for fraud and consumer protection act violations since day one. He represents the states of Mississippi, Louisiana, Kansas, Utah, Alabama, Alaska and Hawaii in actions filed against a long list of brand and generic pharmaceutical companies in Average Wholesale Price (AWP) litigation. Clay has secured tens of millions in settlements for his states, in addition to winning two multimillion-dollar verdicts for the State of Mississippi – a $30.1 million verdict in 2011 and a $30.2 million verdict in 2013. Clay and the Beasley Allen AWP team tried both cases with former Mississippi Governor Ronnie Musgrove. Outside of the AWP cases, Clay is also pursuing various AG filed and qui tam cases around the country.
Clay also is working on a nationwide class action lawsuit on behalf of Volkswagen owners who were deceived by the automaker’s deliberate violation of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) pollution controls. The EPA has filed notices of violation (NOV) against VW, accusing the automaker of selling diesel vehicles equipped with software that disguises vehicles’ true nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, covering up violations of the Clean Air Act. The so-called "cheat" device turns on pollution controls only during official tests, while actually allowing the vehicles to run “dirty” during normal operation. Tests reveal NOx emissions up to 40 times higher than the federal standard. Clay delivered a presentation on this litigation at the recent HarrisMartin conference in New Orleans on Dec. 2, 2015. He spoke about possible diesel fixes offered by Volkswagen and what options they have for meeting EPA standards in order to get their vehicles back within specifications.
Additionally, Clay is part of the Fraud section team handling a class action lawsuit for economic losses related to potentially defective airbags manufactured by Takata Corporation. The lawsuit represents those who own certain model Honda vehicles that contain the Takata airbags, which may deploy with excessive force, propelling metal fragments into the vehicle and potentially killing or injuring the driver and passenger.
Prior to joining the firm, Clay spent five years with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office. As a prosecutor for the criminal trials division, Clay tried jury and non-jury cases with offenses ranging from misdemeanor harassment to capital murder. Clay also served in the white collar / public corruption division, where he prosecuted numerous public officials for misuse of office. In 2006, the DOJ appointed Clay as a Special Assistant United States Attorney where he and his prosecution team tried and convicted three high-profile defendants in the Federal District Court in Mobile, Ala.
Clay is a 2001 graduate of the University of Alabama School of Law and a 1997 graduate of the University’s College of Commerce and Business. Upon graduation from law school, Clay spent one year in Mobile, Ala., clerking for Circuit Judge James C. Wood.
Since 2004, Clay has coached high school mock trial teams in the annual Alabama YMCA high school mock trial competition. In addition, Clay head coached two different Alabama state teams in the National high school mock trial event (2006 and 2010). Clay is involved in the Montgomery YMCA’s Youth Legislature program and is a member of the Hugh Maddox Inn of Court. Clay served as chairman of the River Region United Way attorney campaign and currently serves on the board of directors of the Britton YMCA.
Clay is married to Dr. Elise Plauche Barnett of Houma, La. They are proud parents of son, Houston and daughter, Elizabeth. Outside of work, Clay enjoys his free time with Elise and their children and typically keeps a sports car or boat restoration project going on the side.
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama (2006)
- Mississippi (2002)
- U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (2001)
- Alabama (2001)
- Alabama State Bar
- Mississippi State Bar
- American Association for Justice
- Alabama Trial Lawyers Association
- Montgomery County Trial Lawyers Association
- Montgomery County Bar Association
- Hugh Maddox Inn of Court
- Annual River Region United Way Attorney Campaign Chairman
- MGM Young Lawyers Board Member
- 2009 Father Walter's Memorial Golf Tournament Chair
- YMCA Youth Legislature Advisor
- AV Rated
- University of Alabama School of Law
- University of Alabama
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