William J. Clay - Partner

Biography

William J. Clay is a versatile trial attorney with a solid track record of litigation success in various facets of the law.  William has extensive trial experience in both State and Federal Courts having tried more than 100 cases to a jury verdict. Employing a unique approach to litigation matters, William tailors his representation to his clients’ needs and goals.  At the inception of representation, William conducts a case assessment.  During this assessment, he works with the client to define goals and prepare a case strategy so that those goals may be successfully met whether through ADR, summary judgment or trial on the merits of the case.

William’s experience includes litigating cases in aviation, transportation, construction, products liability and personal injury practice areas.

Representative Clients

  • AIG
  • American Eagle
  • Bell Helicopter Textron, Inc.
  • Dillard’s
  • Farmers Insurance
  • IT Corporation
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Ogden Ground Services
  • Otis Elevator
  • Residential Warranty Corporation
  • The McArthur Foundation

Representative Experience

Environmental Litigation:

  • One of three attorneys on a trial team that successfully prosecuted and obtained a jury verdict of $84 million in breach of contract action against a party who refused to pay for equipment ordered for an environmental clean up site. IT Corp. v. Motco, 904. F. Supp. 1106 (S.D. Tex 1994)

Construction:

  • Successfully defended a construction company in a wrongful death action on behalf of a family of a deceased employee who died when trench walls collapsed on him
  • Lead counsel in the defense of numerous claims against a major homebuilder warranty company resulting in favorable verdicts for the defendant

Aviation:

  • Successfully defended a helicopter manufacture in a wrongful death action brought on behalf of the estate of decedent who died when the helicopter crashed
  • Successfully defended a major regional airline against claims from passengers who alleged pilot error and caused turbulent landing, which resulted in significant injuries

Insurance Defense:

  • Senior trial counsel for major commercial and personal lines insurance company responsible for defending against claims of high exposure
  • Lead counsel in the defense of numerous claims against major insurance companies that routinely resulted in favorable verdicts for defendants
  • Successfully defended a major department store in a malicious prosecution case in which plaintiff claimed that he was wrongfully detained and charged with shoplifting

Admissions

  • State Bar of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas

Professional Affiliations

  • Board Certified Civil Trial Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization, December 1993-2008
  • Adjunct Professor of Trial Advocacy, SMU Dedman School of Law
  • Frequent lecturer for Continuing Legal Education Seminars
  • American Inns of Court, Alumnus (Patrick E. Higginbotham Inn)
  • Leadership Dallas, Alumnus

Community

  • American Foundation for the Blind, Former Board Member
  • USA Film Festival, Former Board Member
  • National College of Advocacy, Past Faculty Member
     

Education

  • J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 1986
  • B.A., The University of Texas at Austin, 1980