Talley, the son of Michael and Sue Talley of Jasper, earned his bachelor of arts in philosophy and history at the University of Alabama. While in college, he researched ghost stories in the area, and participated with the Tuscaloosa Paranormal Research Group on overnight outings to alleged haunts. He co-wrote two books of ghost stories with the group's founder David Higdon.
Talley went on to complete his juris doctorate at Harvard Law School. He was an articles editor for the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy. He joined the Washington D.C. office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and was a clerk to Scott Coogler in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, and to Judge Joel Dubina on the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta, Georgia. He worked as a senior writer for Mitt Romney's presidential campaign and also for Ohio Senator Rob Portman.
After that, Talley worked as a Deputy Solicitor General in the office of Attorney General of Alabama Luther Strange. He joined the U.S. Department of Justice in 2017. In September of that year President Donald Trump nominated Talley to a seat on the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama, based in Montgomery. Although the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary rated him "Not Qualified", Talley's nomination was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on a party-line vote, but later withdrawn at the request of committee chair Chuck Grassley.
- Talley, Brett J. (2011) That Which Should Not Be
- Hidgon, David & Brett J. Talley (2012) Haunted Tuscaloosa. Haunted America Series. History Press. ISBN 160949573X
- Talley, Brett J. (2012) The Void. JournalStone Publishing
- Hidgon, David & Brett J. Talley (2013) Haunted Alabama Black Belt. Haunted America Series. History Press.
- Talley, Brett J. (2015) He Who Walks in Shadow. JournalStone Publishing
- Talley, Brett J. (2017) The Fiddle is the Devil's Instrument: And Other Forbidden Knowledge. JournalStone Publishing
- "Donaldson - Talley to wed" (August 21, 2015) The Richmond Register.
- "Brett Joseph Talley" (November 10, 2017) Wikipedia - accessed November 10, 2017
- Yurkanin, Amy (November 15, 2017) "Who is Brett Talley? Trump pick for U.S. court in Alabama draws fire." The Birmingham News
- Faulk, Kent (December 13, 2017) "Nomination of Brett Talley for federal judgeship in Alabama won't move forward." The Birmingham News
- Brett J. Talley author website