McCroskey Law welcomes new trial attorney


By Diana L. Coleman
Legal News

McCroskey’s law offices added to its team by bringing trial attorney John P. Hayes on board in December.

McCroskey’s is a well-known plaintiff’s firm with an excellent reputation in the West Michigan area and the entire state.

Hayes, a Battle Creek native, received his undergrad degree from University of Central Arkansas in 1994, graduating summa cum laude. He graduated sixth in his class with his Juris Doctor in 1996 from University of Toledo College of Law.

Hayes’ legal career began in 1997 when he accepted a position at Western Michigan Legal Services in Grand Rapids, Michigan.  He worked at Western Michigan Legal Services until 2003 and was managing attorney.

Hayes and his wife Shauna, who is also a Battle Creek native, moved to Charleston, South Carolina, as Shauna had an opportunity to complete her masters program at the University of Charleston.  She received her masters degree, and now teaches English Literature for a university on-line, from home, allowing her to be with her family.

Hayes’ continued desire to work with people led him to a position as staff attorney at South Carolina Centers for Equal Justice. In 2003, Hayes made the move to private practice by joining the Clore Law Group in Charleston as a litigation attorney. He handled cases involving injury, including products liability, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect/abuse, accidents involving motor vehicles/bicycles/pedestrians, premises liability, child abuse/neglect, traumatic brain injury, and wrongful death. 

The couple wanted to make the move back to Michigan.  They have two children, ages six and eight, and wanted them to be near family growing up so that they were not limited to occasional visits to and from South Carolina.

Hayes sent out information to several West Michigan firms that did the type of work he enjoyed, hoping to find a practice opportunity in the area.  He brings fifteen years of litigation experience as lead counsel in over fifty jury trials.  “After living on coast in South Carolina, we have become water people,” said Hayes. “The waters in South Carolina can be beautiful, but dangerous.  I’ve never heard of sharks or other scary things in the waters here.”

Licensed to practice law in Michigan, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Oklahoma, Hayes has needed to travel  the country for his practice in mass tort work.  He is still handling a handful of cases in South Carolina and is traveling back and forth to see them to completion.

As to the Muskegon County Bar Association, “I have only been here for two months, but everyone I have met seems very nice and it seems to be a very collegial bar association. The Charleston Bar was always very respectful and professional and I’m hoping the Muskegon Bar will be similar,” Hayes said.

“My practice is all about the law, not how you can trick people,” Hayes explains. “McCroskey’s is a firm that is really about helping people.  While life is about making a living, I still always wanted to help people and McCroskey’s focus is on helping the injured worker.  It is the type of firm that will stand up for their client. 

They also have the experience that is key, and they use this experience to help their clients.”

Hayes explained that McCroskey’s now handles some family law matters and criminal defense cases. “It allows more of a full-service firm for our clients if they need it,” said Hayes.

Imagine the shock value of moving from Charleston, South Carolina, to Spring Lake, Michigan, in December during the old-fashioned Michigan winter the area is experiencing this year.  The Hayes family has not settled into permanent housing as yet, but will be looking possibly in the Norton Shores area when enough snow has melted to actually see the properties.

Hayes is an avid cyclist and has published an article entitled “Keep an eye out for Cyclists: New laws serve to protect them.” He sponsored a cycling club in South Carolina and is currently still president of the Low County Racing Team. Hayes is a former South Carolina State Criterium Champion, has over thirty top ten placings since 2008, and is a member of USA Cycling.  “I keep in shape by cycling,” said Hayes.  “It is also a great stress reliever. You get out there cycling and everything stressful just seems to go away.” The entire Hayes family loves cycling.

Hayes is looking forward to cycling in West Michigan when spring finally arrives.