Luther Graves Stiff, III

Luther Graves Stiff, III: Attorney with Starnes Davis Florie LLP


Gray Stiff is a Senior Partner and joined the firm in 1978.


Gray's practice is limited to civil litigation. He has extensive experience in construction litigation, including representation of owners, contractors, and sureties, design professional defense and prosecution and defense of business and commercial claims.


Obtained favorable ruling and opinion from Eleventh Circuit, affirming grant of summary judgment in client's favor on financial institution bond claim.

Obtained a complete dismissal in a professional liability case in which an individual was electrocuted, resulting in his death. After oral argument on a dispositive motion, the court ruled that the claims against the electrical engineers did not relate back to the date of the original complaint, and therefore, they were barred by the statute of limitations.

In November, 2005, Gray received a $2.2 million verdict in favor of an industrial software designer based upon breach of contract and interference by the owners of three aluminum mills. The jury’s verdict was returned in a Kentucky federal court.

Gray represented the bonding company for a general contractor which was sued for latent defects and deficiencies in a housing authority project located in north Alabama. The Supreme Court of Alabama affirmed judgment in favor of the surety based upon a recently-enacted statute of limitations which, in a case of first impression, was held to apply to sureties in Alabama.

Honors and Awards

Gray has been named a fellow of the Construction Lawyers Society of America (CLSA), a society limited to 1,200 practicing Fellows from the United States and internationally.

Gray was selected by his peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers in America, 2008 - 2018.In the 2016 edition of Best Lawyers in America, Gray was named Lawyer of the Year for Birmingham Litigation - Construction. In addition, Gray has been named to Who's Who in Construction, Architecture & Engineering 2009 by the Birmingham Business Journal, which recognized him as one of the top construction litigation attorneys in Birmingham.

Speeches and Publications

Efficiency Guarantees under Surety Bond and Impact of Principal's Bankruptcy, presented at the 2016 Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, in Charleston, SC (April 21, 2016).

Underwriter's in the Claims Process - A Primer (Fidelity & Surety / Design Professionals / Attorneys, April 2012).

Ethical Issues in Tenders of Defense and Joint Defense Agreements (22nd Annual Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference, April 2011).

Engineering Ethics and Defending Ethic Charges Before the Alabama Board for Licensure of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors (Metal Building Engineers Seminar sponsored by Prabhu Engineering, February 21, 2008).

Insurance Coverage for Construction Defects: Are Performance Bonds Relevant? (2007 Southern Surety and Fidelity Claims Association Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana).

Busted: What To Do If Your Principal Is Indicted (2006 Southern Surety and Fidelity Claims Conference, Tampa, Florida).

An Introduction to the Wonderful World of Performance and Payment Bonds, (presented at Construction Law for Alabama Architects and Engineers, March 30, 2007).

Related News

8/29/2017 Twenty-Six SDF Lawyers Listed in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in America

8/17/2017 Gray Stiff & Tom Selden Named Fellows of The Construction Lawyers Society of America

8/15/2016 Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers

4/27/2016 Starnes Attorneys Present at the 2016 Southern Surety & Fidelity Claims Conference

9/11/2015 Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys John Scott and Gray Stiff Named Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year for 2016

8/20/2015 Twenty Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2016 Edition of Best Lawyers

4/23/2015 Stiff, Newton & Stevens Obtain a Favorable Appellate Ruling in Financial Institution Bond Case

8/20/2014 Seventeen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2015 Edition of Best Lawyers

8/30/2013 Sixteen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2014 Edition of Best Lawyers

9/19/2012 Seventeen Starnes Davis Florie Attorneys Named to the 2013 Edition of Best Lawyers

9/1/2011 Sixteen Starnes Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2012

8/7/2010 Sixteen Starnes Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers 2011

Areas of Practice (5)

  • Business Litigation
  • Construction Litigation
  • Environmental Litigation
  • Fidelity & Surety Litigation
  • Professional Licensing Defense

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
205-868-6017  Phone
205-868-6099  Fax
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 598512, Birmingham, AL 35259-8512
University Attended:
University of Virginia, B.A., 1973
Law School Attended:
Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, J.D., 1978
Year of First admission:
1978, Alabama; U.S. Supreme Court; U.S. District Court of Alabama (Northern, Middle and Southern Districts); U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit; U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Community Involvement

Gray is a member of the Birmingham Bar Association, the Alabama State Bar Association, and the American Bar Association.

Birth Information:
Bluefield, West Virginia, April 11, 1951
Reported Cases:
Reported Cases; Housing Authority of City of Huntsville v. Hartford Accident and Indem. Co., _ So.2d _ 2006 WL 2790037 (Ala. 2006) (Case of first impression which establishes that public works sureties in Alabama are entitled to the benefit of the two-year statute of limitations codified at 6-5-221, et seq., which is also applicable to architects, engineers, and builders). City of Gulf Shores v. Harbert Int'l, 608 So.2d 348 (Ala. 1992) (Affirms jury verdict in favor of Harbert and all co-defendants following five week trial involving alleged defects in the design and construction of a sewage treatment facility). Elmore v. Morrison Assur. Co., Inc., 502 So.2d 378 (Ala. 1987) (Establishes that bad faith, for purposes of defeating a surety's right to indemnification, requires a showing of dishonesty or ill-will by the surety, in a case of first impression).

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Client Reviews

This attorney does not have client reviews.

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