Jeff Starling Headshot | Large 2023

Marion Jefferson Starling III

  • (205) 226-3406
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  • University of Arkansas School of Law
    J.D., 1992, with Honors; Arkansas Law Review, Note and Comment Editor
  • Vanderbilt University
    B.A., 1989
Bar Admissions
  • Alabama, 1998
  • Georgia, 1992
About Jeff
Peers regard him "as a very fine lawyer." One describes him as "an excellent lawyer with a good reputation," adding, "He is excellent at union management and discrimination work."

- Chambers USA

  • What types of clients do you represent?

    I represent a broad range of clients, including healthcare providers, financial institutions, manufacturers, food processors, transportation companies, and utilities.

  • What previous experiences, prior to your work at Balch, influence your practice?
  • What type of matters do you work on most often?
  • What legal challenges are you looking forward to tackling in the future?

Select Matters

  • Complex software trade secrets case: Defending clients who developed a cutting edge software program against claims of misappropriation of trade secrets, negligence, and violations of non-compete and non-solicit agreements, while pursuing counterclaims for tortious interference with a business contract, abuse of process, and misappropriation of trade secrets 
  • Business destruction and RICO case: Representing poultry processing clients in a dispute with a former employer and competitor who alleges fraud and RICO claims, as well as assorted state law claims for  breach of fiduciary duty and loyalty.  Prosecuting counter claims for breach of contract, fraud, tortious interference, and abuse of process.
  • Multi-plaintiff racial harassment case: Successfully defending client in 12-plaintiff case alleging racial harassment at manufacturing facility.
  • Bid dispute: Won summary judgment and 11th Circuit appeal on behalf of a utility against claims alleging  racial discrimination in the award of contracts.
  • Whistleblower litigation: Currently representing multiple clients in whistleblower cases in the nuclear power and utility industries.
  • Concessionary union bargaining: Served as lead negotiator in collective bargaining that resulted in a reduction in pension plan liabilities and contributions.
  • Collective bargaining: Representing healthcare provide in collective bargaining for first union contract.
  • NLRB decision upholding implementation after impasse: Successfully defeated NLRB charge alleging client failed to negotiate to impasse and unlawfully implemented final offer after collective bargaining.
  • Reorganization and Job Elimination Arbitration: Won arbitration by defending employer’s decision to eliminate bargaining unit positions and upgrade job duties to non-bargaining unit, supervisory position.
  • Discharge arbitrations: Won multiple arbitrations involving the discharge of employees, including union officers, for misconduct, attendance, and other issues.
  • Ohio non-compete arbitration: Won arbitration and attorney’s fees in defeating enforcement of non-compete and franchise agreement.  
  • Represented multiple trucking companies with respect to acquisitions, executive employment agreements, and non-competition and non-solicitation issues.
  • Representing multiple healthcare providers in response to union organizing. 
  • Representing mining company in multiple employment discrimination claims, as well as multiple NLRB charges.

Case Studies



        Speaking Engagements


          • University of Arkansas School of Law, J.D., 1992, with Honors; Arkansas Law Review, Note and Comment Editor
          • Vanderbilt University, B.A., 1989
          • Supreme Court of Alabama, 1998
          • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Alabama, 1998
          • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Alabama, 2009
          • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Alabama, 1998
          • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Georgia, 2013
          • U.S. District Court, Middle District of Georgia, 1994
          • Georgia Court of Appeals, 1993
          • U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
          Bar Admissions
          • Alabama, 1998
          • Georgia, 1992
          Professional Affiliations
          • America Bar Association, Labor & Employment and Litigation Sections
          • Alabama State Bar
          • Birmingham Bar Association
          • ABA Committee on the Development of the Law Under the NLRA management
          Awards & Accolades
          • Chambers USA, Labor & Employment
          • American College of Labor & Employment Lawyers, Fellow
          • The Best Lawyers in America®, Employment Law – Management, Labor Law – Management, Litigation – Labor and Employment, 2008 - present
          • Benchmark Litigation, Labor & Employment Star-South
          • Mid-South Super Lawyers, 2009 - present
          • Birmingham Business Journal, Best of the Bar, 2007
          • Birmingham Magazine, Top Attorney, 2009, 2017, 2018, 2020
          Community Involvement
          • Rotary Club of Birmingham
          • Independent Presbyterian Church