Tom Selden has been a partner at Starnes Davis Florie LLP for almost 25 years. Tom devotes 100% of his practice to civil litigation, including construction litigation, surety and fidelity claims, and probate and bankruptcy litigation. Tom has tried multiple jury and non-jury cases throughout the State of Alabama.
- Selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America 2018.
- AV Preeminent Martindale Hubbell Rating for highest level of professional excellence since 1991
- Tom is actively involved in his church where he has served as a member of the Administrative Board and a mentor for confirmation classes.
- Tom has served on various committees of the Birmingham Bar Association, worked on numerous cases on a pro bono basis through the Birmingham Volunteer Lawyers Association and regularly serves meals at local community shelters with his family.
- C. Perry Builders, Inc. v. The City of Waveland, et al., Circuit Court of Hancock County, MS, Civil Action No.: 12-0365 (April 26, 2017) – Obtained favorable ruling from Circuit Court of Hancock County, Mississippi that surety, under terms of indemnity agreement, was entitled to unilaterally settle its bonded contractor’s claims on construction project, notwithstanding strenuous objections by contractor.
- AltaPointe Health Systems, Inc. v. J.C. Duke & Assoc. Gen. Contractors, Inc., Hartford Fire Ins. Co., et al., Circuit Court of Mobile County, Alabama CV-2013-901601 – Obtained defense verdict in representing surety on construction project involving renovations to local mental health facility.
- Dixie Store Fixtures & Sales Co. v. Hudak & Dawson Constr. Co., et al. Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Civil Action No. CV-08-900312 – Obtained dismissal with prejudice of bad faith claim asserted against payment bond surety in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Circuit Court.
- Alvin Thomas v. Michael F. Burkhardt; Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of America, United States District Court; Middle District of Alabama; Case No.: 2:12-CV-1080-MEF-SRW – Prevailed before Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals in appeal of summary judgment entered in surety’s favor in United States District Court for Middle District of Alabama.
- Ecel Masonry, Inc. v. K&B Quality Masonry, et al., Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, Civil Action No. CV-2011-902235 – Obtained defense verdict in jury trial in Jefferson County, Alabama Circuit Court brought by sub-subcontractor against surety under various payment bonds.
- Ollinger Constr., Inc. v. Knodel Assoc. Architects, A.I.A., P.A., Circuit Court of Mobile County Alabama, CV 2009—900571 – Obtained summary judgment in favor of surety in Mobile County, Alabama Circuit Court, which was affirmed on appeal by the Supreme Court of Alabama, upholding surety’s right to unilaterally settle its bonded principal’s claims against third party.
- In re Pierce, 2004 Bankr. LEXIS 1133 (S.D. Ala., April 15, 2004) – Successfully objected to bonded conservator’s discharge in bankruptcy due to debtor’s defalcation while serving in fiduciary capacity.
- Bank of Brewton v. International Fidelity. Ins. Co., 827 So.2d 747 (Ala. 2002) – Obtained summary judgment, which was affirmed on appeal by the Supreme Court of Alabama, in favor of surety based upon owner’s failure to meet conditions precedent to invoke surety’s obligations under performance bond.
- • Successfully defended sureties that issued bonds in multiple proceedings on behalf of former conservator who was accursed of misappropriating assets of living and deceased wards in various probate estates.
- In Re Estate of Ronald Davis Dennis, deceased, Probate Court of Jefferson County, Alabama (Bessemer Division), Case No. 2011-44887 – Successfully defended notary public in will contest in which plaintiff claimed signature to will was forged and/or decedent lacked requisite mental capacity to execute will.
- Community Housing Dev. Corp. v. Ullico Cas., Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, Civil Action No. CV -10-904476 (EAF) – Successfully argued that performance bond surety was not conclusively bound by default judgment entered against bonded contractor and prevailed at trial on merits in action brought by owner.
- Hudak & Dawson Constr. Co., et al., Circuit Court of Tuscaloosa County, Alabama, Civil Action No. CV-08-900312 – Obtained dismissal with prejudice of bad faith claim asserted against payment bond surety in Tuscaloosa County, Alabama Circuit Court
- Bill Harbert Constr., Inc. v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Md., et al. Circuit Court of Jefferson County, Alabama, Case No. CV-02-2724 – Successfully defended surety against claims of bad faith by owner and obtained full recovery against bonded contractor for amounts paid to owner, plus all attorney’s fees and expenses.
- Frontier Ins. Co. v. International, Inc., 124 F. Supp. 2d 1211 (N.D. Ala. 2000) – Successfully defended claims of bad faith made by bonded contractor and obtained full recovery from contractor of amounts paid under payment bond, plus attorney’s fees and expenses.
Presentations and Publications
- Payment Bond Defenses: Pay-When-Paid and other Conditional Payment Terms in Contracts, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, Nashville, Tn (April 2017)
- Quick Hits: Update on Recent Topics of Interest, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, Charleston, SC (April 2016).
- The Surety’s Contractual Rights of Indemnity, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, Clearwater, FL (April 2015).
- Defenses of Indemnitors, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, New Orleans, LA (April 2014).
- Objecting to Discharge of Debts Due to Defalcation by Debtors, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, Charleston, SC (April 2013).
- Dealing with Your Principal’s Affirmative Claims, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, Clearwater, FL (April 2012).
- Ethical Issues in Tenders of Defense and Joint Defense Agreements, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, New Orleans, LA (April 2011).
- Presented a paper on “Manifest Intent” during Fidelity and Surety Law Committee Mid-Winter Meeting, New York, NY (January 2008).
News & Insights
- Twenty-Six SDF Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America
- Gray Stiff & Tom Selden Named Fellows of The Construction Lawyers Society of America
- Tom Selden Prevails on Appeal Before the Alabama Supreme Court on Behalf of Surety Company
- Selden & Keenan Prevail in Surety Trial
- Selden & Keenan Obtain Favorable Ruling from the 11th Circuit in a Surety Case
- Starnes Attorneys Present at the 2016 Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference
- Tom Selden Contributes to “The Law of Probate Bonds” Publication
- SDF Attorneys Selden & Keenan Obtain Jury Verdict in Surety Trial
- Starnes Davis Florie Attorney Tom Selden Prevails in a Will Contest
Has competed in and finished 12 marathons, and has completed multiple triathlons.