Featured in the February 2024 Issue

  • Partner's Perspective: An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure
  • Celebrating and Nurturing Future Legal Talent
  • Blog Highlights
  • Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz
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Austin B. Calhoun - An Ounce of Prevention is

Worth a Pound of Cure

“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” That is the advice Benjamin Franklin gave to the city of Philadelphia in hopes of protecting the city from disastrous fires. Mr. Franklin sagely posited that time and money spent preventing fires is a more efficient and effective use of resources than spending time and money fighting fires. Stated differently: don’t be pennywise but pound foolish—it is better to invest in precautions than to suffer severe consequences later.


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That is advice I find myself giving clients time and time again. I give that advice, and find it to be important, because I know it to be true. I have seen the power of that advice firsthand through clients, colleagues, and family. 


Unfortunately, the truth of that advice is most apparent in those instances when the advice was not followed. That’s when (often preventable) tragedy occursmisfortune strikes, a business folds, or a person loses everything. Or even if the business is financially capable of weathering the storm, the cost of putting out that blazing inferno is devastating in comparison to the cost of avoiding it in the first place, or keeping the fire contained in the fire pit before it spreads. It happens too often. And it is heartbreaking to watch unfold, knowing it could have been prevented.


What is this prevention I am talking about? Here is one way to think about it:

  1.  Identify your risks. What could go wrong?
  2.  Evaluate your exposure to those risks. If it goes wrong, how much could it harm me?
  3.  Eliminate the risk if you can. If it cannot be avoided, then mitigate your exposure to the risk. How can I safeguard against the fire starting, or keep it from burning out of control?
  4.  Be prepared to promptly defend your interests if the risk turns into reality. Take action as soon as there is smoke; don’t wait for the fire. Am I prepared to engage an attorney early and often?


Just as important as knowing how to define and practice prevention is knowing WHEN to implement it. Here are some common moments when an ounce of prevention can be worth a pound of cure:


a.      Starting, buying, or selling a business.

b.     Buying, selling, or leasing property.

c.      Owning a closely held business.

d.     Entering into a contract to sell or buy services or products.

e.      Your employees or customers have been involved in an accident involving injuries to people or damage to property.

f.       Buying insurance.

g.     If you are involved in a highly regulated business or one requiring licensure.

h.     Complaints and investigations from professional licensure boards.

i.       Compliance with federal, state, and local employment regulations, including overtime compliance, and harassment training.

j.       Whenever your business receives a subpoena for records or other legal processes.

k.     Whenever you or your business is sued or threatened with a lawsuit.

l.       You're owed money.

m.   Taking on debt.

n.     Taking on new investors.

o.     Annually (end of year/start of new year).

p.     Tuesday.

I say “Tuesday” partly in jest, but it is still true. Any day, without a specific event, is a good day to get a checkup to find “opportunities” for prevention.


As a lawyer, I prefer to find myself in a position to help clients down the road of prevention. I prefer to get involved at the front end of the numerous events listed above. However, I’m also too often called in at the back end, in the challenging position of trying to fight against the blazing inferno, which either ends in putting the fire out, but at an enormous cost, or in the entire city burning down (regardless of how well and hard we fight). Those that have learned the lesson the hard way can assuredly attest—that litigation is the most expensive and time-consuming way to deal with problems and should be avoided if possible.


From my perspective, an ounce of prevention is worth far more than a pound of cure, and hopefully you never have to learn the value of that advice the hard way. Instead of being pennywise, pound foolish, and short sighted in those critical moments, strive to understand that investments in prevention are parts of the cost of doing prudent business. I suggest you take Benjamin Franklin’s advice: it is wiser to spend ounces on attorneys to mitigate your risks than it is to hope you never need an attorney.


In sum, now is as good a time as any, in fact, it is the opportune moment, to re-evaluate your business strategies, recalibrate your priorities, and fortify your defenses against potential risks and challenges. Spend that ounce now. Your future self will thank you.  

Very truly yours,

Austin B. Calhoun


Celebrating and Nurturing Future Legal Talent

Kudos to one of our very own attorneys, Stewart Subjinski (pictured second from right), for his exceptional leadership in coordinating the 4th Judicial Circuit High School Mock Trial Competition held at the Duval County Courthouse this month. At JB, we recognize the importance of initiatives like these, which not only provide valuable educational opportunities but also empower young minds to explore the field of law. Through active participation in such endeavors, our employees demonstrate a dedication to nurturing future legal professionals who will one day shape our community. Congratulations to the Duncan U. Fletcher High School Mock Trail Team (pictured above) for placing first in the competition!

Jimerson Birr Legal Blogs

Are you keeping up with the latest information in business and law? Jimerson Birr publishes weekly blog posts covering topics from construction law, real estate development, sales and leasing law, banking and financial services law, community association law, and everything in between. Click here to subscribe today and stay up-to-date on the latest legal news from the industries we serve:

Banking & Financial Services

Community Associations






Manufacturing & Distribution

Professional Services

Real Estate Development, Sales & Leasing


Transportation & Logistics

And more

Community Association Industry Legal Blog

On October 1, 2023, House Bill 919, also known as the “Homeowners’ Association Bill of Rights” took effect. This comprehensive bill provides several crucial changes related to the removal of homeowners’ association (“HOA”) officers and directors, fines and suspensions for violations of the declarations, bylaws, or rules of the HOA, as well as new requirements for the comingling of funds, official records requirements, and board meeting notices.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Construction Industry Legal Blogs

Shop drawings play a vital role in construction projects. Comprehensive construction contracts may define shop drawings to include diagrams, illustrations, schedules, and other data or information that are prepared or assembled by or for the contractor to illustrate some portion of a parties’ scope of work. Construction contracts may also include language as to the timing of shop drawing submission, as well as the parties’ rights and obligations for the submission of shop drawings.

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In the world of construction, contracts form the foundation for successful projects, and most contractors understand the importance of negotiating their contract terms. However, many contractors underestimate the importance of due diligence when entering into an agreement.

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Professional Services Industry Legal Blog

In the complex world of business acquisitions, Buyers face a myriad of risks and uncertainties. Buyers navigating these challenges must ensure that their investment is protected both during and after the transaction. We’ll evaluate five important deal protection strategies for Buyers to consider when acquiring a business.

Click here to read the full blog post.

Real Estate Industry Legal Blogs

A ruling in 2023 by the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in Sackett v. Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) has enormous ramifications for the health of the nation’s waterways. In fact, it would not be hyperbole to call Sackett the most important water-related Supreme Court decision in a generation. A majority of the justices used the case to dramatically weaken the Clean Water Act (the “CWA”) what wetlands deserve protection from pollution and destruction.

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In the complex realm of residential and commercial real estate transactions, the importance of a well-crafted customized contract cannot be overstated. However, the convenience and seemingly time-saving allure of boilerplate real estate contracts have led many real estate agents and buyers and sellers to neglect the inherent pitfalls associated with their use. While these template contracts may offer a quick solution, their one-size-fits-all nature often fails to address the unique nuances of individual transactions, potentially exposing parties to unforeseen legal and financial complications. 

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Technology Industry Legal Blogs

Modern Florida businesses are often targeted by nefarious actors who seek to compromise confidential information to commit identity fraud and to sell the information on the black market. While businesses often work tirelessly to protect consumer data, the reality is, sometimes confidential information is compromised. For Florida businesses to minimize their trailing legal liability and exposure, they should ensure they adequately respond to any data breach.

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Firm News from February 2024

Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz

We’ve had an exciting month of events here at JB! Kicking it off with National Wear Red Day, we had the firm sporting red to help raise awareness for Heart Health Month, a continued tradition, and a cause near and dear to our hearts. 

Gathered on the lawn outside of our building, we engaged in some friendly competition during our annual cornhole tournament. With the St. Johns River as our backdrop and the slight breeze it provided, we enjoyed making the most of our Florida winter and ending the workday on a high note. 

In the spirit of competition, and recognition of the importance the month holds for football fans, we hosted a Souper Bowl potluck, where we indulged in delicious, comforting soups, provided by our talented colleagues.

During our latest event, we brought The Big Easy to Jacksonville with festive décor, hurricanes, and king cakes at our Fat Tuesday happy hour — a great opportunity to gather and celebrate the successes we’ve seen so far in 2024!

Click here to learn about our award-winning Firm Culture.

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