Starnes Davis Florie

Jay M. Ezelle


Jay M. Ezelle

Jay M. Ezelle


100 Brookwood Place
7th Floor
Birmingham, AL 35209

One of the leading litigators and university and corporate advisers in the southeast, Jay has represented numerous Fortune 500 companies, universities, and individuals through “bet the company” litigations, internal investigations, and public relations crises.

Numerous publications have identified Jay Ezelle as a leading lawyer. According to Chambers USA, Jay is “intelligent, savvy and a tireless worker . . . one of the smartest lawyers I have ever met. When he is in the room, everyone listens.” Jay has been selected multiple times as Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers®. His work has been recognized in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, NPR, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN.

Jay has experience in a variety of high-profile litigation including national class actions and multidistrict litigation. He has also represented clients involved in mass shootings, infectious disease outbreaks, and nationally publicized disputes ranging from sexual assaults, workplace indiscretions, student suicide, and intellectual property battles. He also regularly provides guidance to hospitals, academic medical centers, and healthcare providers on a variety of compliance and risk-avoidance measures. He also has vast experience in advising universities, administrators, and coaches in high-profile matters ranging from NCAA investigations, name, image & likeness, campus safety, employment issues, and Title IX.

Within the firm, Jay has served in numerous leadership roles for the firm, including Managing Partner, Chief Strategy Partner, Hiring Partner, member of the Executive Committee, and Head of the Higher Education, Commercial Litigation, and IP Litigation Practice Groups.

Professional Recognition

  • AV Preeminent® Rated
  • Top Leading Litigator by Chambers USA
  • Named a "Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation
  • Named “Birmingham Best Lawyers - 2024 Lawyer of the Year” for Intellectual Property Litigation
  • Named “Birmingham Best Lawyers - 2023 Lawyer of the Year” for Securities Litigation
  • Best Lawyers in America®
  • Alabama and Mid-South Super Lawyers
  • Intellectual Property Star by IP Stars
  • "Top 40 Under 40" for 2012 by the Birmingham Business Journal

Community Involvement

Jay is actively involved at the Cathedral Church of the Advent where he served as Senior Warden.

He currently serves on the board of the United Ability Foundation, the Advisory Board of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, the UAB Arts Advisory Board, and is Chairman of the Board for Covenant Counseling and Education Center.

Jay previously served as the Chairman of the Board of United Ability, a non-profit providing innovative services connecting people with disabilities to their communities and empowering individuals to live full and meaningful lives.


  • Currently representing approximately 50 corporate entities and their affiliates, including multiple Fortune 100 companies, that are pursuing federal antitrust claims after opting out of a $2.7 billion class action settlement in In re: Blue Cross and Blue Shield Antitrust Litigation (MDL No.: 2406), 2:13-cv-20000-RDP (N.D. Ala.).
  • Represented numerous entities in compliance, regulatory, and pre-suit investigations by using the firm’s litigation experience to conduct a systematic inquiry into practices creating potential exposure and the advising clients on the best practices to minimize those risks. For example, early involvement in a deadly Legionella outbreak at a hospital helped the hospital to manage the response and press coverage and allowed early resolution of all potential claims without a single lawsuit being filed.
  • Represented numerous companies in trade secret matters ranging from high-stakes litigation involving corporate espionage to advising small companies on how to avoid liability for trade secret misappropriation when hiring or firing employees.
  • Represented public and private companies, as well as universities, in trade secret disputes, including representing The University of Alabama in a trademark dispute with sports artist Daniel A. Moore that was the subject of press coverage by numerous news outlets including The New York Times, NPR and ESPN.
  • Represented public and private companies, universities, and individual inventors in patent infringement litigation including Sony, Procter & Gamble, The University of Alabama System, UAB Research Foundation, UAHuntsville, Rice University, and Emory University.
  • Represented and helped obtain dismissals and/or favorable settlements for numerous global financial institutions in the highly-publicized Enron, HealthSouth, WorldCom, Just for Feet, Walter Energy, and ProAssurance securities litigations.
  • Defended Universities from claims for alleged violations of Title IX as well as advised universities on best practices for compliance with Title IX.
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Presentations and Publications

  • A Ballpark Overview: The Field of Sports Law, NCAA Compliance Panel, October 13, 2017
  • Jay M. Ezelle, “Insights to Litigation,” The Birmingham Business Journal, August 18, 2017
  • Jay M. Ezelle and Cole R. Gresham, “Big Verdicts, Limited Discovery: The Rising Importance of Trade Secrets in Alabama,” in the Cumberland Law Review, Vol. 44 at 55 – 77 (2014).
  • Jay M. Ezelle and C. Clayton Bromberg, Jr., “The Internal Affairs Doctrine in Alabama”, The Alabama Lawyer, Vol. 72, No. 2, at 143 – 147 (March 2011).
  • Potential Liability Arising from Mass Epidemics, International Association of Defense Counsel Seminar in Scottsdale, AZ (February 21, 2017).
  • Don’t Be Fumbled or Be Intercepted: Legal Observations from the Sidelines, Birmingham Bar Association CLE (September 8, 2016).
  • Sports Law CLE, Birmingham Bar Association CLE (March 5, 2016).
  • Compliance Under the  NCAA’s New Enforcement  Model, Alabama Chapter – Association of Corporate Counsel Seminar in Birmingham, AL (September 20, 2013).

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