Beasley Allen Law Firm, Atlanta, GA

Clay Barnett

Atlanta, GA

Beasley Allen lawyers live by our creed of “helping those who need it most”. Our law firm has helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved.

Clay Barnett, Class Action Lawyer

About Clay

H. Clay Barnett, III, a principal of Beasley, Allen, Crow, Methvin, Portis & Miles, has over 15 years of experience litigating complex cases on behalf of consumers and states in individual and class action forms. Clay joined Beasley Allen Law Firm in 2007 and, for ten years, pursued pharmaceutical companies for fraud and Consumer Protection Act violations before transitioning to product defect class actions. As a member of the firm’s Consumer Fraud Section, he has secured hundreds of millions in verdicts and settlements for his clients, whether they be states or consumers.

Clay is a proven leader in complex litigation on a national level, having served as counsel to numerous states’ attorneys General in the Average Wholesale Price Litigation in eight states (Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, South Carolina, Kansas, Utah, and Hawaii).  There, Clay brought numerous pharmaceutical defendants to trial, earning cases resulting in several multimillion-dollar verdicts for his clients, including State of Alabama v. AstraZeneca, $215 million; State of Alabama v. GlaxoSmithKline, $81 million; State of Alabama v. Sandoz, $78 million; State of Mississippi v. Sandoz, $38.2 million; State of Mississippi v. Watson, $30.2 million; and State of Alabama v. Novartis, $33 million.  In October 2022, Clay, as lead prosecutor, secured a $102.6 million jury verdict against GM in an automotive defect class action he filed in the Northern District of California.

Clay earned a Bachelor of Arts and a law degree from the University of Alabama. Upon graduation from law school, Clay served as a law clerk to the Honorable James C. Wood of the Mobile County, Alabama Circuit Court. Clay then spent five years with the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, prosecuting violent and white-collar crimes and public corruption. In 2006, the U.S. Department of Justice appointed Clay as a Special Assistant United States Attorney. Clay joined Beasley Allen in 2007 and is a member of the firm’s Consumer Fraud & Commercial Litigation Section.  Clay also holds a Martindale Hubbell AV rating.

Clay is married to Dr. Elise Plauche Barnett, a general and cosmetic dermatologist at Atlanta Skin Wellness Center, which she founded and owns. They are proud parents of a son and daughter. Clay enjoys his free time with Elise and their children outside of work, coaching his son’s little league baseball and football teams at NYO and his daughter’s Tophat soccer teams and playing tennis. Clay is also lucky enough to compete in endurance road racing events around the Southeast in a race-prepped BMW E34 that he helped build and continues to maintain and improve.

Community Involvement

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 also mentored participants in the Montgomery YMCA’s Youth Legislature program. He served as chairman of the River Region United Way attorney campaign and is a former member of the Britton YMCA Board of Directors.

  • Alabama (2001)
  • Mississippi (2003)
  • Georgia (2022)
  • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama (2001)
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama (2006)
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Michigan (2018)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama (2020)
  • U.S. District Court of Colorado (2021)
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia (2022)
  • University of Alabama School of Law (2001)
  • University of Alabama (1997)
2001 – Current



  • Alabama State Bar
  • Mississippi State Bar
  • Georgia State Bar
  • American Association for Justice
  • American Bar Association
  • Georgia Trial Lawyers Association

Notable Cases

Clay has distinguished himself for work specifically involving vehicle defect class actions, where the tremendous mechanical skills he has gained from actual hands-on vehicle and vessel restoration allow him to quickly identify defects and prosecute product defect class actions with the knowledge possessed by few others in the field. 

Clay has developed defect theories for numerous automotive class actions and has reported such findings to various Plaintiff Steering Committees, including leadership in In re Volkswagen “Clean Diesel” Mktg., Sales Practices, and Prods. Liab. Litig., MDL No. 2672 (N.D. Cal.), which secured a settlement valued at over $14.7 billion. He secured class certification final settlement approval in Cheng et al. v. Toyota Motor Corporation et al. (E.D.N.Y.), where Clay led the trial team that obtained a $287 million class settlement for owners and lessees of specific Toyota and Lexus vehicles equipped with defective fuel pumps, and Simerlein, et al., v. Toyota Motor Corporation et al., No.: 3:17-cv-01091-VAB (D. Conn.), bringing relief to owners and lessees of Toyota vans that suffered malfunctioning powered rear doors. 

Clay is a co-lead prosecutor in the following three actions where the firm presently serves as lead counsel for plaintiffs: Weidman et al v. Ford Motor Company, No. 18-cv-12719 (E.D. MI.) (class vehicles suffer a hydraulic brake failure defect), Raul Siqueiros, et al. v. Gen. Motors LLC, No. 16-cv-7244 (N.D. Cal.) and Chen, et al. v. Toyota Motor Company and Denso, 1:20-cv-00629-WFK (E.D. NY). He also serves as interim co-lead counsel in Bolooki et al. v. Honda Motor Company 2:22-cv-04252.

Clay currently represents plaintiffs from seven other states against GM, seeking redress for the significant engine defect that earned him a $102.6 million jury verdict in the master GM engine defect class action in the Northern District of California, Raul Siqueiros et al. v. General Motors LLC, No. 16-cv-7244 (N.D. Cal.).  

He also represents plaintiffs in In re Nissan North America, Inc. Litigation, Case No. 3:19-cv-00843 (M.D. Tenn.); Oliver et al. v. American Honda Motor Company and Denso, 5:20-cv-00666-MHH (E.D. NY); Norman et al. v. FCA US 2:22-cv-11393 (E.D. MI); Johnson v. General Motors 2:22-cv-11548- DPH and In re ZF-TRW Airbag Control Units Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2905, among other classes.

Awards & Recognitions

Awards and Recognitions

  • AV Rated


Clay regularly discusses auto defect class action strategies at Beasley Allen-sponsored CLE events. He was a panel member at a “Bet-the-Company Litigation” conference hosted by the Atlanta Bar Association in October 2022. He presented his PSC technical research work for the Volkswagen litigation at a Harris Martin conference in New Orleans in 2015.

Recent News

1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Free Case Evaluation

Since 1979, Beasley Allen has been committed to “helping those who need it most.” Our attorneys have helped thousands of clients get the justice they desperately needed and deserved. You pay us nothing if we do not win for you. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

For Disclaimers, see our Terms of Use.

Free Case Evaluation Full - Updated

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.