In 1979 Matt Burns, Sr., left the Navy JAG corp, moved to Destin, Florida and set up shop as the first full time attorney and law firm in the heart of Destin. Matt spent the next forty years as a general practitioner – incorporating Destin, probating Howard Hughes' Estate, and even procuring equal pay for minorities in the Air-Force alongside future Judge, General, and State House Representative T. Patterson Maney. Matt passed away in 2019, but before that he saw his youngest son, Jeff, sworn in as a Circuit Court Judge in January 2019, and also recognized by a Proclamation adopted by the Destin City Council as the first Circuit Court judge from the City of Destin.
Having practiced for eleven years at the law firm of Anchors Smith Grimsley, building a successful commercial litigation and local governmental representation practice (including time as the CIty Attorney for the city of Destin, Florida), Jeff spent the next two years on the bench – first covering felony and civil matters, and then juvenile delinquency and juvenile dependency. In 2021, Jeff left the bench to return to his private practice roots in Okaloosa county.
Jeff founded Burns Firm in 2021 to serve hard-working individuals and small businesses needing legal services to start, grow, and protect their livelihoods and nest eggs. Jeff has experienced thousands of lawsuits as a former commercial litigator and former Circuit Court judge, and he can draw on this wealth of experience to assist his clients with their needs.
Jeff concentrates his current law practice on the transactional and advisory needs of his clients.. Before he took the bench as a Circuit Court judge, Jeff concentrated on complex commercial litigation, local government representation, and appellate law. He successfully argued cases before federal and state trial and appellate courts throughout Florida and Alabama in this pre-judge life. During his life as a judge, he presided over hundreds of business cases, real estate cases, and property cases – experiencing a broad range of business and real estate issues that likely could have been avoided with counseling before any lawsuit was filed. Notably, in 2019 alone, Jeff presided over 20 jury trials.
Jeff recently sat as a member of the Florida Supreme Court's Jury Instructions Committee for Business Cases. He has previously sat on the Editorial Board for the Florida Bar Journal, the premier source of practical articles on Florida law published by the Florida Bar to educate attorneys and non-attorneys on pertinent legal issues. Jeff has also been previously recognized for his pro-bono service by Northwest Florida Legal Aid.
Jeff’s time on the bench taught him to value creation over litigation. Indeed, Jeff often found himself thinking of the ways civil litigants before him could have avoided litigation in the first place. Jeff’s true calling is to help businesses, families, and hardworking individuals grow and protect their assets and business interests.
While still offering litigation services, Burns Firm is first and foremost dedicated to advising clients on how to start and protect business interests, and counseling clients on how to protect their private property interests.
BurnsFirm - Create. Don't Litigate℠
96 Oakhill Avenue, Fort Walton Beach, Florida 32547 | P.O. BOX 4097 SHALIMAR, FLORIDA 32579-4097
MAIN: (850) 582-5765
Copyright © 2021 Burns Legal Solutions, PLLC, D/B/A BurnsFirm - All Rights Reserved. Attorney Jeff Burns is licensed to practice law in both Florida and Alabama.
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