Pat scallops dry with paper towels, and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Heat a large sauté pan or nonreactive skillet over medium-high heat and add oil. After 30 seconds add scallops; do not crowd pan, work in batches if necessary.
Sauté until well browned, about 2 minutes, then turn and cook other side. When second side is dark golden brown, transfer scallops to a platter; cover and keep warm.
Return sauté pan to heat, add butter, and cook until it begins to foam and turn golden.
Add shallot and capers, sauté for 1 minute, then add lemon juice (being careful to avoid sputtering butter) and chopped parsley.
To serve, place 6 scallops on each of 2 warmed plates. Spoon butter, shallots, and capers over scallops, and serve.