W. Taylor Hale was born and raised in Lake Charles, Louisiana. He graduated from St. Louis Catholic High School, attended Louisiana State University and earned his B.S., cum laude, from McNeese State University. Taylor earned his Juris Doctorate from Loyola Law School in New Orleans, serving on the Editorial Board of the Loyola Law Review as Articles Editor and graduating at the top of his class. Taylor's law review comment, A Critical Misdiagnosis: Re-Evaluating Louisiana Medical Malpractice Act, was selected for publication in the Fall 2007 edition of the Loyola Law Review. During his time at Loyola, he was the recipient of the Lemle & Kelleher, LLP Scholarship in 2007-2008.
Immediately upon graduation from law school, Taylor accepted a job practicing maritime law at the New Orleans insurance defense firm Phelps Dunbar LLP, where he gained extensive experience representing maritime employers, vessel owners, and insurers in a wide variety of matters with a focus on personal injury defense and insurance litigation. Taylor has experience conducting shipboard investigations involving vessel collisions, personal injuries and cargo damage requiring him to liaise with insurers, vessel crewmembers, government actors, and response professionals.
Taylor returned to Lake Charles and since this time he has devoted his practice to helping the wrongfully injured receive the compensation they deserve. The knowledge Taylor gained from working for an insurance defense law firm and defending personal injury claims allows Taylor to provide valuable insight to your personal injury claim.
In 2012, Taylor was named a Top Trial Lawyer in America and is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Advocates Forum, which requires a settlement or verdict over one million dollars on behalf of his clients for membership.
In 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, and 2020, Taylor was selected by his attorney peers as a Louisiana Super Lawyer Rising Star (Top Attorneys Under 40 in LA) in the area of Plaintiff's personal injury. This recognition is conferred upon no more than 2.5% of attorneys in Louisiana that have practiced 10 years or less.
In 2017, Taylor was named a member of The National Trial Lawyer's Top 40 under 40 for the State of Louisiana.
In 2019 and 2021, Taylor was selected as a Top Lawyer in Acadiana in the practice area of personal injury litigation. Each year, Acadiana Profile publishes its Top Lawyers list. The voting to determine the top attorneys for Acadiana Profile magazine is open to all licensed attorneys in the Acadiana, Louisiana market area. Each attorney is asked which attorney, other than himself or herself, they would recommend in the Acadiana area.
Taylor's practice focuses on serious personal injury and maritime/offshore cases. He has litigated a variety of personal injury cases including those involving automotive/trucking liability, maritime/offshore/maritime accidents, premises liability, industrial/workplace safety, and products liability. In his maritime practice, he has handled numerous cases involving the Jones Act, OCSLA, LHWCA, DOHSA, and general maritime law.
Taylor has successfully litigated hundreds of cases throughout the State of Louisiana, acquiring extensive experience. In addition to his Louisiana state court experience, Taylor has litigated a multitude of cases at the federal level within the State of Louisiana and across the Federal Fifth Circuit.
Taylor is admitted to practice in all of the state and federal district and appellate courts of Louisiana and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. Taylor served as Treasurer of the Young Lawyer's Section of the Southwest Louisiana Bar Association and as co-chairman of Holiday Helping Hands. He is a member of the American Bar Association, Louisiana State Bar Association, Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, Louisiana Association for Justice, American Association for Justice, Million Dollar Advocates Forum, Louisiana Super Lawyers Rising Stars and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40 for the State of Louisiana. In his spare time, he enjoys being outdoors, travelling, grilling, fishing, hunting, and spending time with family and friends.
Taylor is a member of the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute ("SEALI"). SEALI was formed 1968 for the purpose of organizing a forum for the discussion of admiralty and maritime law and its practice and administration, among practitioners in the ports of the Southeastern United States. Regular membership is limited to attorneys admitted to practice in the states of: Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, and Maryland.
Areas of Practice
- Personal Injury-Plaintiff
- Jones Act, Admiralty, LHWCA
- Motor Vehicle Accidents / 18 Wheeler Accidents
- Products Liability Law
- Head, Neck & Back Injuries and Paralysis
- Railroad Injury
- Brain Injury
- Louisiana, 2008
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of Louisiana, 2008
- U.S. District Court Middle District of Louisiana, 2008
- U.S. District Court Western District of Louisiana, 2008
- U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit, 2008
- Loyola University New Orleans College of Law, New Orleans, Louisiana
- J.D. - 2008
- Honors: With Honors
- Honors: With Distinction
- McNeese State University, Lake Charles, Louisiana
- B.S. - 2005
- Honors: cum laude
- Honors: With Distinction
- Honors: With Honors
- Honors: Dean's List
- Major: Business
- A Critical Misdiagnosis: Re-Evaluating Louisiana's Medical Malpractice Act, 53 Loy. L. Rev. 463, Fall, 2007
- Combo Maritime, Inc. vs. U.S. United Bulk Terminal, LLC, et al, 626 F. Supp. 2D 635 (E.D. LA. 2009)
- Robertson v. W&T Offshore, Inc., 712 F.Supp. 2D 515 (W.D. LA. 2010)
- In the Matter of the Petition of Gracie Devall, Inc., as owner of M/V Gracie Renee Devall, and her engines, tackle, appurtenances, furniture, etc., Praying for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability, 10-CV-01510 (S.D. Tx. 2010).
- Youngblood v. Rain CII Carbon, 12-cv-00287 (W.D. La. 2013)
- Delta Towing, LLC v. Mike Hooks, Inc., 15-cv-00128 (S.D. Ala. 2015)
- Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC v. M/V CHEMBULK WESTPORT, ET AL., 13-6213 c/w 14-2071 (E.D. La. 2016)
- In the Matter of the Complaint of Texas Petroleum Investment Company, as owner and operator of the M/V Michelle, for Exoneration from or Limitation of Liability, 17-CV-263 (W.D. La. 2017).
- Hale v. Wood Group PSN, Inc., 769 Fed. Appx. 113 (5th Cir. 2019) (Dennis, Clement and Owen, J.J.) (per curiam) (maritime personal injury action by an offshore worker injured during a personnel basket transfer to an unmanned fixed platform. The U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeal: (1) affirmed the jury’s award of $3.2 million, including $2.25 million in general damages to worker who underwent two past spinal surgeries; (2) held that it was proper to consider inflation when considering older damage awards to determine whether the jury’s award was excessive).
Honors and Awards
- Loyola Law Review
- Who's Who Among Students in Am. Univ. & Colleges
- Lemle & Kelleher, LLP Scholarship
- Named to the Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Named to Top Trial Lawyers in America
- Super Lawyers Rising Star
- Top Lawyers in Acadiana, 2019, 2021
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Southwest Louisiana Bar Association, Treasurer/Member
- American Bar Association, Member
- Louisiana State Bar Association, Member
- Louisiana Association For Justice, Member
- Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (“SEALI”), Member
Past Employment Positions
- Phelps Dunbar LLP, Associate Attorney, 2008 to 2010
- Phelps Dunbar LLP, Law Clerk, 2007
- King Leblanc Bland, Law Clerk, 2007
- Jefferson Parish District Attorney's Office, Law Clerk, 2006
Pro Bono Activities
- Holiday Helping Hands, 2010 to 2011
- Wills For Heroes
- SOLACE (Support for Lawyers/Legal Personnel - All Concern Encouraged)