Areas of Practice
- J.D., West Virginia University, 1986; Recipient, Lewis A. Staker Scholarship
- B.A., History, Marshall University, 1983
- BV Peer Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers in America, 2018 – present
Bar & Court Admissions
- West Virginia State Bar
- Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia
- United States District Court for the Northern District of West Virginia
- United States District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia
- Supreme Court of Kentucky
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky
- United States District Court for the Western District of Kentucky
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- Steering Committee Member, Products Liability and Complex Torts Practice Group, ALFA International
- President – Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia
- Toxic Tort & Environmental Law, Product Liability Committees Member, Defense Research Institute
- Kentucky Bar Association
- Kanawha County Bar Association
- West Virginia Chamber of Commerce
- Charleston Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
- Member, Robinson & McElwee, 2015 – present
- Of Counsel, Robinson & McElwee, 2002-2014
- Counsel, West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee, 2002
- More than 30 years of defense practice
Mr. Hayes’ practice primarily involves representing corporate defendants in product liability, toxic and mass torts trucking and other complex and serious personal injury claims.
Mr. Hayes maintains more than 30 years of defense experience, and has regularly appeared before a variety of state and federal courts in West Virginia and Kentucky. Mr. Hayes has served as lead responsible counsel for numerous bench and jury trials. In addition, Mr. Hayes has often appeared before the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia, as well as the U.S. Fourth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeals.
Mr. Hayes represents a variety of clients across several industries including large and small manufacturers, oil and gas companies, distributors, service providers and trucking companies.
Prior to joining Robinson & McElwee in 2002, Mr. Hayes served as counsel for the West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee. Mr. Hayes’ other prior experience includes time managing his own firm and service with other West Virginia defense firms.
Mr. Hayes maintains a broad, defense-oriented practice with a focus on product liability, including asbestos, chemical exposure and other forms of complex litigation. He currently serves as President for the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, the state’s largest defense counsel organization.
Away from the office, Mr. Hayes serves his alma mater Marshall University as a member of the Board of Directors for the Marshall University Alumni Association and as a charter member of its “John Marshall Legal Society”, mentoring undergraduate students on the law and its effect on their future profession. He also volunteers for various committees affiliated with business and professional development and is a regular presenter to lawyer and non-lawyer organizations on a variety of topics.
- Responsible counsel for defense of litigation involving products liability, toxic tort, wrongful death and serious injury, as well as employment and discrimination matters.
- Lead trial counsel in numerous bench and jury trials in various state and federal courts in West Virginia, Kentucky and Ohio.
- Managed defense of mass filings and class actions in asbestos and complex chemical exposure cases for major corporate clients, and has served as defense liaison counsel at the request of presiding courts in mass litigation.
- Lead counsel for prosecution and defense of appellate matters before the United States’ Fourth and Sixth Circuit Courts of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Appeals of West Virginia.
- Counsel for West Virginia House of Delegates Judiciary Committee, 2002 term.
- Best Lawyers in America, Mass Tort Litigation / Class Actions – Defendants, Product Liability Litigation – Defendants, 2018 – Present
- Member, International Association of Defense Counsel
- Listed, West Virginia Superlawyers 2022
- Author, “The Work is Not Yet Completed – Tort Reform in 2019 (and Beyond?)”, The DTCWV Defender, Winter Edition 2019, Volume IV
- Author, Presenter, Damages and Expert Witnesses, Personal Injury 101 seminar presented by National Business Institute, Embassy Suites Hotel, Charleston, W.Va., May 23, 2013
- Author, Presenter, Attorney Fees in the Current Market, Legal Ethics: Hot Topics and Current Events seminar presented by National Business Institute, The Summit Conference Center, June 20, 2012
- Presenter, Lunch and Learn: “2019 west Virginia Legislative Session – A Disappointing Year”, March 25, 2019, Defense Trial Counsel Teleconference
- Presenter, Testimony before the West Virginia Senate Judiciary Committee on the Proposed Intermediate Appellate Court, on behalf of the Defense Trial Counsel of West Virginia, January 29, 2019
- Presenter, Experts and Evidence, Personal Injury 101, National Business Institute, South Charleston, W.Va., June 29, 2018
- Co-Presenter, Politics of Mediation, ALFA International Product Liability & Complex Torts Practice Group Seminar, The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, CO., May 2016
- Presenter, “Deposition Demeanor”, Defense Trial Counsel of WV Deposition Boot Camp, Stonewall Jackson Resort, WV, September 2015
- Presenter, “Pro Hac Vice – Procedure & Problems“, West Virginia Judicial Conference, Bridgeport Conference Center, Bridgeport, W.Va., May 9, 2013
- Presenter, “Pro Hac Vice – Practice and Procedure“, West Virginia Judicial Conference, Oglebay Resort and Conference Center, Wheeling, W.Va., Oct. 11, 2011
- Presenter, “Pro Hac Vice Admission in West Virginia – Plugging the Leaks“, West Virginia Association of Administrative Law Judges annual meeting, Charleston, W.Va., June 11, 2010
- Presenter, “Court Watch“, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Legal Review Team, West Virginia Chamber of Commerce Business Summit, The Greenbrier, White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., 2009-11
- Presenter, “Unlawful Practice Committee – What We Do”, West Virginia State Bar Regional Meetings, 2009
- Presenter, “Employer-Employee Relations: To Contract or Not to Contract“, Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce, Huntington, W.Va., June 30, 1998
- Presenter, “Malpractice – A Lawyer’s Perspective“, Marshall University Medical School, Huntington, W.Va., Feb. 23, 1990
- Board of Directors Member, Marshall University Alumni Association
- Former Member, Marshall University Graduate College Advisory Board
- Former Executive Board Member, Huntington Regional Chamber of Commerce
- Former President, Huntington Area Habitat for Humanity