Austin T. Hamilton is a partner with Jimerson Birr, P.A., and is an experienced business litigation and trial attorney. Austin is an integral part of the firm’s banking and financial services industry team, insurance industry team, and real estate development, sales and leasing industry team.
Austin is a Board Certified Specialist in Business Litigation by the Florida Bar, an achievement held by less than 1% of attorneys in the State of Florida. Austin is rated AV® Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system recognized by his peers as having the highest level of ethical standards and professional ability. Austin was named a Rising Star for 2018 and 2019 in the Florida Super Lawyer’s magazine as a business litigation attorney.
Austin focuses on all aspects of business litigation in state and federal court and enjoys representing businesses throughout the state of Florida. Austin’s primary practice areas include: complex commercial litigation, business and contract disputes, commercial landlord-tenant litigation and lease disputes, commercial evictions, commercial defamation and disparagement, unfair competition claims, construction lien disputes, construction defects and delay claims, real property litigation, creditor’s rights, and post-judgment collections.
As an experienced trial attorney who has tried jury trials and bench trials in state and federal court and prosecuted arbitration actions through final hearing, Austin’s focus is always on providing honest advice and obtaining the best results for his clients. Austin was the lead plaintiff’s attorney in an eight (8) day federal jury trial involving an insurance coverage dispute resulting in a $1.89 million dollar judgment for his client. Austin also represented a contractor and subcontractor against a developer in a five (5) day jury trial in St. Johns County resulting in a six-figure judgment for his clients.
Austin is a Hoosier by birth but a Boilermaker by the grace of God. He was born in Lafayette, Indiana and grew up in a small suburb outside of Cleveland, Ohio. While he did not attend Purdue University, Austin is an avid Purdue Boilermaker fan and grew up attending Gene Keady’s summer basketball camp at Purdue University. Austin attended the 2018 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament in Madison Square Garden.
Austin obtained his bachelor’s degree, cum laude, from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. He obtained his Juris Doctor degree, magna cum laude, from Florida Coastal School of Law graduating in the top five percent (5%) of his class.
While in law school, Austin was on the Florida Coastal Law Review and was the Executive Editor of the Florida Coastal Law Review Executive Board. He was also a Student Pupil in the prestigious Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, and he interned with a United States District Court Judge for the Middle District of Florida, Jacksonville Division.
Austin is married to his beautiful wife, Emily. Austin met Emily in undergrad at Bowling Green State University. Austin moved to Jacksonville in 2009 and Emily joined him shortly after completing her graduate degree at Bowling Green. Austin and Emily have two adorable children, both of whom take after their mother. Austin and Emily, along with their children, have made Jacksonville their home.
When Austin is not advocating on behalf of businesses or attempting to resolve disputes in the office, Austin spends his time at home negotiating resolutions between two preschoolers trying to assert their dominance over one another (and over him). In his free time, Austin enjoys exercising, playing basketball, boating, fishing, chasing his children on the beach and spending quality time with his family.
Bar and Court Admissions
- The Florida Bar
- U.S. District Court – Middle District of Florida
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
- The Jacksonville Bar Association
Honors and Recognition
- Boar Certified Specialist in Business Litigation by the Florida Bar
- Peer Review Rated as AV Preeminent™, the highest performance rating in Martindale-Hubbell’s peer review rating system
- Recognized as a Florida Super Lawyers – Rising Star®in business litigation in 2018 and 2019
- Florida Coastal School of Law, Juris Doctor
- Magna cum laude, top 5% of class
- Law Review, Executive Editor
- Bowling Green State University, B.S.
- Cum Laude
- Building Owners and Managers Association of Jacksonville, Inc. (BOMA), Legal Advisory Director on the Board of Directors
- Small Business Resource Network (SBRN), Attorney Chair of the 2020 SBRN Steering Committee
- The Florida Bar Association, Business Law Section
- The Jacksonville Bar Association, Commercial Litigation Section
- Chester Bedell American Inn of Court, 2016-2017
- Business Network International (BNI), Membership Committee 2017-2018
- Obtained a $1.89 million dollar judgment after an eight (8) day jury trial in federal court in an insurance coverage dispute involving a disappeared insured.
- Obtained a large judgment after a three-day commercial arbitration (AAA) trial in Atlanta, Georgia involving claims for breach of contract and wrongful termination of an independent contractor operating agreement.
- Successfully negotiated a favorable settlement in a commercial collection action of a $10,000,000.00 judgment relating to a marina development project in Carrabelle, Florida.
- Successfully defended against alleged FCCPA violations on behalf of a Florida credit union.
- Defended against a motion to vacate a default final judgment in the amount of $267,905.05 by successfully arguing that the defendant’s actions constituted gross negligence and therefore the defendant could not satisfy the excusable neglect element necessary to set aside a default final money judgment.
- Successfully defended a technology company in a federal court lawsuit against claims raised by a competitor alleging violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act (FDUTPA).
- Successfully appealed a trial court’s order denying a contractor 18% interest on a breach of contract claim. After reversing the trial court’s ruling, the contractor recovered 18% interest on the full amount of its damages. The decision is reported at 230 So. 3d 909 (5th DCA 2017).
- Successfully defended a corporation’s employees against an injunction sought by a competitor seeking to enforce noncompete agreements against the employees.
- Successfully obtained a dismissal of a lawsuit against a Georgia corporation finding that the Florida courts did not have personal jurisdiction over the non-resident Georgia corporation.
- Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a corporation that was sued in federal court for alleged false advertising and unfair competition under the Lanham Act.
- Successfully defended a claim for punitive damages in a lawsuit involving fraud and misrepresentation.
- Successfully defended a corporation against a competitor claiming tortious interference with a business contract relating to the hiring of an employee who had signed a noncompete agreement with the competitor.
- Successfully defended a claim made by a member of a limited liability company seeking a return of its capital contribution.
- Defended a trucking company against a former subcontractor’s claim for an outstanding balance due. After a half-day bench trial, the former subcontractor was awarded only the undisputed amount owed, which was less than half the amount he was seeking.
- Successfully defended a claim for proceedings supplementary against an out-of-state corporation.
- Obtained a dismissal of fraud claims made against a local homebuilder (2 day bench trial).
- Negotiated a resolution of a lawsuit by a shareholder of a corporation alleging claims of breach of fiduciary duty and fraud by members of the board of directors.
- Successfully removed online commercial defamation from a petition website that was harming a business’s reputation.
- Represented a technology company in collecting debt from its customers.
- Obtained favorable settlements on behalf of a local taxi company in automobile negligence claims.
- Obtained a $54,000.00 judgment in a civil theft lawsuit.
- Obtained a dismissal with prejudice on behalf of a banking institution in a claim for negligence and misrepresentation.
- Successfully negotiated a buyout of a member of a limited liability company involving allegations of fraud and misrepresentation.
- Successfully negotiated an Asset Purchase Agreement between a franchisee and a franchisor.
- Obtained a six-figure judgment on behalf of a contractor and subcontractor against a developer after a five (5) day jury trial. Successfully defended against the developer’s appeal of the judgment.
- Obtained a favorable settlement of a federal Miller Act claim involving payment issues and construction delay claims.
- Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of a dirt supplier against the State of Florida in a negligence lawsuit for failure to ensure that a contractor obtained the requisite payment and performance bond under Chapter 255, Florida Statutes.
- Obtained a favorable settlement on behalf of an owner of a two-story commercial building in a roofing defects lawsuit.
- Obtained a foreclosure judgment on five separate claims of lien on behalf of a site contractor and dirt supplier against a large home builder.
- Represented a homebuilder against a land developer involving claims of breach of contract, unjust enrichment and fraud.
- Successfully resolved a lawsuit brought by a homeowner against a contractor for a fraudulent lien and punitive damages.
- Assisted in negotiating and drafting a $400,000.00 ten-year commercial lease agreement for a tenant in a shopping mall.
- Drafted construction contracts on behalf of general contractors
- Drafted a consulting agreement for a solar marketing business
- Drafted numerous claims of liens on behalf of contractors, subcontractors and material suppliers.
Condominium and Community Association Law
- Assisted in recovering over $1,000,000.00 in unpaid homeowners association assessments over a five (5) year period of time on behalf of a homeowners association in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
- Obtained a favorable settlement in a free speech dispute between a homeowners association board and a unit owner.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a homeowners association in the collection of $29,000.00 in pre-title unpaid homeowners association assessments against a national banking institution by successfully arguing that the safe harbor provision of Section 720.3085(2)(c), Florida Statutes, did not apply.
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a homeowners association in the collection of $36,000.00 in pre-title unpaid homeowners association assessments against a loan servicer by successfully arguing that the safe harbor provision of Section 720.3085(2)(c), Florida Statutes, did not apply.
- Obtained a judgment on behalf of a homeowners association against a property owner who failed to maintain his property in compliance with the association’s governing documents.
- Negotiated a favorable settlement in a dispute involving a drain pipe leak into a neighboring condominium unit.
- Assisted a homeowners association in drafting amendments to its Declaration of Covenants and Conditions.
- Assisted a condominium association in revising its Rules & Regulations.
- Assisted in drafting a partial assignment and assumption of purchase agreement between a homeowners association and a home builder and land developer.
- Assisted in drafting an agreement between two condominium associations relating to the maintenance of a fence between the associations.
Real Estate Law
- Advise commercial landlords and tenants on various matters including interpretation and enforcement of commercial lease agreements, breaches of lease agreements, dispute resolution and commercial evictions.
- Negotiated a commercial lease agreement and limited personal guaranty on behalf of a tenant of a shopping mall.
- Negotiated a favorable settlement in a commercial eviction action including a counterclaim for breach of the commercial lease agreement.
- Successfully resolved a dispute between a commercial landlord and tenant regarding water intrusion and claims of constructive eviction.
- Successfully resolved a dispute between a commercial landlord and tenant regarding inadequate parking and breach of the lease agreement.
- Successfully resolved a dispute between a commercial landlord and an elevator vendor relating to deficiencies in service and claims of breach of contract.
- Successfully negotiated and drafted numerous vendor agreements and addendums on behalf of a commercial property management company
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of a residential landlord in a breach of a three-year lease agreement resulting in a $56,000.00 judgment for the landlord.
- Defended a private mortgage lender against a replevin action pertaining to a mobile home. Obtained a favorable ruling after an evidentiary hearing that the mobile home was deemed to be a fixture and therefore subject to the lender’s mortgage.
- Obtained a foreclosure judgment on behalf of a private mortgage lender in a highly contested dispute involving a mortgage on four parcels of real property, each of which had been transferred to subsequent purchasers.
- Negotiated a favorable settlement on behalf of a real estate investor and selling agent against claims raised by the purchaser of real property that the seller failed to disclose defects with the house.
- Successfully resolved a dispute involving the encroachment of a fence onto a neighbor’s real property.
PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME
- “Reopening Responsibly,” Jessie Ball duPont Fund Panel Presentation, May 12, 2020.
- “Getting Back to Work: Preparing Buildings for Re-Entry Amid COVID-19,” BOMA Jacksonville Panel Presentation, May 5, 2020.
- “Commercial Evictions in the Wake of COVID-19,” Association of Corporate Counsel, May 2020.
- “Legal Implications Relating to the Shutdown of Commercial Buildings and What Re-Occupancy Will Look Like for Commercial Building Owners and Managers,” BOMA Jacksonville Panel Presentation, April 21, 2020.
- “What is a prior material breach and what does it mean for my contract?” Association of Corporate Counsel, December 2019.
- “Mitigating Risk Utilizing Contracts,” Northeast Florida Builder’s Association (NEFBA) Remodeler’s Luncheon, August 17, 2017.
Austin Hamilton is recognized on the 2020 Florida Super Lawyers list.
Attorney Austin Hamilton is named on the 2019 Florida Super Lawyers list.
An announcement of Special Counsel Austin T. Hamilton joining Jimerson Birr is published in the Jax Daily Record’s “Lawyers On The Move“, the Florida-Times Union’s “Career Track” and the Jacksonville Business Journal’s “People On The Move.”