Alec M. Taylor
Alec is a partner in the firm's Mississippi office. He has a broad litigation background including complex commercial litigation and construction litigation. Alec primarily focuses his practice on the representation of sureties in the handling of payment and performance bond claims, both before and during litigation, the interpretation of the bond rights of laborers and materialmen under the Miller Act and various state public and private works acts, and the institution of indemnity actions against defaulting principals. Alec also has extensive experience representing Financial Institution, Public Official, and Conservatorship/Guardianship Bond Carriers on disputes involving their principals and insureds. Alec has successfully litigated cases in both state and federal courts, including bankruptcy courts, and in arbitrations across the Southern United States.
In his free time, Alec coaches his two boys’ soccer and baseball teams, enjoys playing tennis, and spends as much time as he can with his family outdoors.
Alec is licensed in Mississippi and Alabama.
Ronaldo Designer Jewelry, Inc. v. Cox, 2019 WL 1245787 (N.D. Miss. 2019). The firm obtained dismissal of defendant’s claim of tortious interference of actual and prospective business relationships against client.
SureTec Ins. Co. v. Eternity LLC, 2018 WL 6001103 (N.D. Ala. 2018). The firm obtained a preliminary injunction requiring defendant to post $135,000 in collateral to surety in satisfaction of its obligations under the Indemnity Agreement.
Seibert v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 2018 WL 2770659 (S.D. Miss. 2018). The plaintiff asserted state and federal claims against her employer, a sheriff, for sexual harassment and hostile work environment. She also sued the surety who issued a public official bond for the sheriff. The district court granted the surety’s Motion to Dismiss under Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, finding the bond did not cover the employee’s claims.
JSI Commc'n v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 2017 WL 5654740, at *1 (S.D. Miss. 2017), aff'd sub nom. JSI Commc'n v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 717 Fed. Appx. 382 (5th Cir. 2017) (unpublished). The firm obtained summary judgment against defendant’s bad faith claim against a surety, which decision was upheld by the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in JSI Commc'n v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 717 Fed. Appx. 382 (5th Cir. 2017).
REM Directional, Inc. v. Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am., 2016 WL 3406122 (S.D. Miss. 2016). The firm obtained summary judgment against a multimillion-dollar claim due to a creative argument on the statute of limitations defense, which included an argument based on a local rule of a state court against an out of state attorney who was unfamiliar with local practice. The failure of the Plaintiff to adhere to the local rule allowed the firm to win a summary judgment motion, which was ultimately worth over $4 million.
Travelers Cas. & Sur. Co. of Am. v. Hub Mech. Contractors, Inc., 2013 WL 2295782 (S.D. Miss. 2015). The firm obtained partial summary judgment of fraud against an indemnitor. In this case, the Indemnitor thought he could release his wife from her indemnity obligations by stating, under oath, that he forged his wife’s signature on an indemnity agreement. While his wife was dismissed from the case, we were able to bring and prevail on a fraud action against the indemnitor that forged the signature. As a judgment of fraud is non-dischargeable in bankruptcy court, having this leverage allowed us to secure a favorable settlement quickly.
The Hanover Ins. Co. v. Atlantis Drywall & Framing LLC, No. 7:13-cv-506-LSC (N.D. Ala. 2013). The firm successfully defended the indemnitors’ Motion to Compel Arbitration, in which they argued that an arbitration provision contained in the payment bond claimant’s subcontract required the indemnity action to be arbitration. This victory allowed indemnity claims of $2 million to be brought in federal court instead of arbitration. This was ultimately affirmed by the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in The Hanover Ins. Co. v. Atlantis Drywall & Framing LLC, 2015 WL 3372199 (11th Cir. 2015).
Hartford Cas. Ins. Co. v. Hyperion Constr., LLC, 2012 WL 74754 (S.D. Ala. 2012). The firm obtained summary judgment against indemnitors in the amount of $1,854,956.
Fid. & Deposit Co. of Md. vs. Ralph McKnight & Sons Constr., 2010 WL 653748 (Miss. 2010). The firm successfully represented a major surety in an indemnity action against its bond principal for expenses incurred in connection with a construction defect claim by the owner of the project. Ultimately, the firm obtained summary judgment for the surety in the amount of $475,000.
Peoples Bank of the S. v. BancInsure, Inc., 2010 WL 4457770 (S.D. Miss. 2010). The firm obtained summary judgment in favor of its client, a fidelity bond carrier, absolving the carrier of bad faith in connection with a claim of over $1 million. This case involved litigation over whether an employee “received an improper financial benefit” as is required for coverage under Insuring Agreement A.
Lighthouse Condo. Ass'n v. Fid. & Deposit Co. of Md., No. CV-2009-900403.00 (2009). The firm successfully defended the surety against a $1.5 million claim by asserting that the claim was barred by the doctrine of res judicata. This resulted in an immediate dismissal with prejudice of the claim.
Achieved acquittal of pro bono client’s criminal charges brought against him for illegal alligator hunting.
Contributing Author of House Bill No. 869, approved by the Governor of the State of Mississippi in March 2019, which takes effect on July 1, 2019 (the new law is codified at Section 85-7-432 of the Mississippi Code)
The Requirement of Actual Prejudice in the 2010 Edition of the A312 Performance Bond and its Effect on the Surety, Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Newsletter (Winter 2017)
The Surety's Rights Post Completion: Can a Principal be Defaulted on a Completed Project?, Fidelity & Surety Law Committee Newsletter (Winter 2013)
Alec M. Taylor, Defalcation While Acting in a Fiduciary Capacity: A Surety's Ability to Classify a Debt as Nondischargeable Under Section 523 of the Bankruptcy Code, Surety and Fidelity Claims Newsletter (October 2010)
Contributor, 50 State Survey, American Bar Association Construction Forum, Division 10 (2009)
EVENTS & SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS
Presenter, Construction Contract Damages, Spring Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2019)
Presenter, A Primer on the Surety’s Rights Against its Principal’s CGL Carrier, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2019)
Presenter, Injunctive Relief Available to the Surety, National Bond Claims Association (2018)
Presenter, Commercial Bond Survey – Common Commercial Bonds, Strategies for Managing and Methods for Minimizing Risk, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2018)
Presenter, Injunctive Relief Available to the Surety – How to Maximize Recovery and Minimize Loss, Philadelphia Insurance Company (2018)
Presenter, Working with your Counterparts: How Involvement with the Bond Underwriter and/or Agent can Help or Hurt the Claims Process, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2017)
Presenter, Common Issues Arising Out of Competitive Bid Statutes, Mid-Winter Meeting of the Fidelity & Surety Law Committee of the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, American Bar Association (2017)
Presenter, Fraud: When Agent or Account Gives False Information, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2016)
Presenter, Ethical Considerations When Representing Sureties: A Discussion of Legal and Ethical Conflicts of Interest Arising in the Representation of Sureties in Litigation or Transactions Involving Other Sureties or Insurers, National Bond Claims Association (2015)
Presenter, Hanover v. Atlantis Drywall & Framing, et al: Are Indemnity Claims Subject to Arbitration?, Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference (2015)
Presenter, Surety Law in Mississippi: Handling Payment Bond Claims, Travelers Casualty and Surety Company of America (2014)
Presenter, Counter Indemnity in the United States, Fidelity & Deposit Company of Maryland (2013)
Presenter, Handling Payment Bond Claims in Mississippi, The Gray Insurance Company (2012)
Presenter, The Impact of Stern v. Marshall on Fidelity and Surety Litigation, Annual Meeting of the Surety and Fidelity Claims Institute (2012)
Presenter, In Re Thomas: A Surety's Oasis in the Desert of Bankruptcy, Gulfcoast Fidelity & Surety Institute (2010)
Presenter, Murder Defendant's Veteran Status and Victim's Ethnicity and Terrorist Connection Influence on Jurors, Southeastern Psychological Convention (2004)
Presenter, The Influence of Expert Witness Testimony and Physical Evidence on Jury Decision Making, Southeastern Psychological Convention (2004)
PROFESSIONAL AND CIVIC ACTIVITIES
American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section and Fidelity and Surety Law Committee
Mississippi State Bar Association
Jackson Young Lawyers Association
Complex Commercial Litigation
Named as a Rising Star in SuperLawyers, Midsouth Edition (2013 – Current)
Leadership in Law Award, presented by the Mississippi Business Journal to Mississippi's 50 Top Attorneys (2012 and 2014)
J.D., magna cum laude, Mississippi College School of Law (2008); Executive Editor, Mississippi College Law Review
B.S., cum laude, Mississippi State University (2004)
BAR AND COURT ADMISSIONS
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
U.S. District Courts for the Northern and Southern Districts of Mississippi
U.S. District Courts for the Middle, Northern and Southern Districts of Alabama