• Partner's Perspective: Choosing to Be an Ambassador of Fun and Happiness
  • Watch Now: Critical Construction Contract Provisions Webinar
  • Catch Up on our Banking & Financial Services Industry Blog Series for SBA Lenders
  • Managing Partner Moderates Legal Panel for Banking & Financial Services Industry
  • Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz

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Austin B. Calhoun - Choosing to Be an Ambassador of Fun and Happiness
For those of you that know our firm or have followed our newsletter for some time, you may have gleaned that we like to have fun. It’s true. We work hard, and we play hard. We have a longstanding tradition of having fun and spreading joy, because we understand that in a stressful profession like ours it is critical to balance out the demanding hard work with a sufficient amount of merriment to maintain your mental and emotional health. This year, though, we are taking our “fun game” and “JB FOR ME" culture to the next level.

We are remarkably increasing our fun while still applying some of our tried-and-true best business practices. Last month, we hired Tymerial “Ty” Demps to be our new Culture and Engagement Manager. It is literally her job to make sure that fun becomes a routine and that everyone finds happiness within their work-life balance. Her SOP is “smile,” and her deliverable is laughter. In less than one month, she has already moved the needle—I can feel the joyous culture rising, and hear more laughter in our halls.

On Good Friday, we had a firmwide Easter egg hunt in the morning to start our day. The Easter Bunny hid hundreds of eggs throughout our office which were filled with chocolate or other assorted goodies. For those of us that got to the office early enough, it was off to the races. After a raucous ten minutes of searching nooks and crannies, I felt elated and became $5 richer.

There are two other indications of fun elevation that have presented themselves this year. First, the Firm Cup is intense and it is sure to be a strong competition all year long. Though, I could be biased because I am in a solid 2nd place (with 87 points) and incrementally closing the gap between me and our Controller, Stephanie Stubbs, who is in 1st place with 116 points. Slow and steady wins the race.
Second, I would like to share that there have been 38 Gongs, just this year, given from employee to employee to celebrate their exceptional fulfillment of our Service Commitments. That’s a pace of approximately 3 gongs per week. Keep those gongs ringing.

But this story is not really about how much fun we are having. It’s about each individual. While it sure is nice to have someone around whose job it is to elevate the general fun-ness, ultimately it’s up to you to determine whether you are having fun and staying happy. Making happiness a choice is the key. You can decide to be happy. Fun knows no shape, has no measurements, and collects no tithe, you can decide to have fun no matter what you are doing. 

This topic reminds me of something my wife tells me quite often. “One of the things I love most about you is that you come home from work happy every day.” Apparently, some people come home, after a hard day, and feel annoyed or angry or sad. Those emotions pour out of their behavior, pool around their shoes, and soak the socks those around them. That makes me sad because no one likes wearing wet socks—and because those gloomy homecomings don’t have to transpire. Choose to be happy. Even when life only pelts you with lemons—choose to rally and make lemonade. It’s a mindset. Choose to be positive in the moment, and gift positivity to others with all its attendant blessings. 

I try to walk this talk myself. I will share that I love to grocery shop (especially at my local Publix). Almost every Sunday I do the grocery shopping for the week and the store is typically chaos at the time I go. But, I find ways to enjoy it. I go up and down every aisle, and I explore the shelves like a Supply Manager for the Casa de Calhoun Restauranté seeking its Third Michelin Star: tossing those ripe ‘cados into the basket, picking the prized meat after 8-9 strokes of the beard, and curiously developing new meals to eat which we haven’t tried before. (Side note: my wife used to get annoyed by my unplanned purchases, but she has now chosen to appreciate them). I am told that many people find the shopping experience hectic and irritating, but for me, I have decided that it makes me happy. Sunday’s shopping experience can’t come soon enough.

That’s well enough about me and our firm, but what are you going to do this year to increase your happiness and spread positive joy to others? Challenge yourselves to conjure the happiness in everything, and watch the smiles grow on the faces of you and yours.
All the best,
Austin B. Calhoun
Jimerson Birr's Construction Industry Team Presents Critical Contract Provisions Webinar
This past month, partners James O. "Joby" Birr, Austin B. Calhoun, and C. Ryan Maloney presented Critical Construction Contract Provisions for Subcontractors. This webinar covered key contract provisions that help to safeguard project budgets and bottom lines. Specifically, this webinar helps subcontractors identify crucial contract provisions when negotiating subcontracts with the contractor. A recording of the presentation is available now on our website.

Our firm aims to add value to all of our construction industry clients, no matter the size, and strives to provide timely, reliable and actionable advice based upon mutually developed goals and objectives. We take pride in our dedication to client responsiveness, real world experience in the construction industry, and strong commitment to staying at the forefront of legal and regulatory developments.

We provide tools, educational programs, resources and best practices for the tasks and responsibilities businesses in the construction industry are faced with. Through live training options, both in person and virtually, we aim to help clients understand how to wield the law as both a shield and a sword. If you are interested in exploring an attorney-led training for your business, please send us an email.

Catch Up on our Banking & Financial Services Industry Blog Series for SBA Lenders
Earlier this month, partner Brandon C. Meadows and his team completed a multi-part blog series designed for the banking and financial services industry. The series, "Best Practices and Considerations for SBA Loan Liquidations," provides an in-depth look at loan liquidation actions with practical considerations to maximize recovery.

When lenders need to liquidate Small Business Administration (SBA) loans, there are specific regulations to follow to maintain compliance. In order to limit risk and avoid potential losses, lenders must be acutely aware of how to properly perform servicing and liquidation actions. This 17-part blog series is a value-add to both enhance or refresh your legal knowledge and best practices for SBA loan liquidation actions.
Managing Partner Moderates Banking & Financial Services Industry Panel for Special Assets Departments
On March 23, 2021, partners Austin B. Calhoun, A. Hunter Faulkner, Austin T. Hamilton, and Brandon C. Meadows participated as panel members for a firm-hosted discussion on "Properly Handling Mortgage Foreclosures." Moderated by managing partner Charles B. Jimerson, the one-hour presentation was designed to address key questions and concerns financial institutions often encounter when handling mortgage foreclosures while also providing best practices and legal insights. The panelists also shared their perspectives on what has changed in the world of foreclosures since 2008 and strategies for mitigating the threat of challenges and overcoming obstacles that commonly arise. A recording of the panel discussion is now available to view on our website.

Jimerson Birr recognizes that companies in the heavily regulated banking and financial sector depend on sound counsel for mission-critical legal and regulatory issues. We are committed to the goal of helping banking officers and financial services executives mitigate risks and prevent problems before they arise. That's why we stay fully apprised of changes to banking laws and industry trends in order to proactively keep our clients informed through our educational efforts and industry-wide training initiatives.

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 Industry Legal Blog
Defaulted Loans: Florida State Laws, Federal Laws and Federal Regulations

When a lender holds a defaulted loan there are several issues that need to be considered before initiating a foreclosure. Lenders must ensure compliance with all relevant State and Federal laws and regulations to preserve their remedies for recovery. Additionally, specific Federal regulations may also apply and provide additional requirements for lenders holding VA loans or FHA loans, or provide protections for service members...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Construction Industry Legal Blog
Overview of Construction Teaming Agreements in Florida

Teaming agreements in the construction world, also referred to as teaming arrangements, are agreements between two or more independent companies to combine their resources, abilities, and knowledge, for the purpose of obtaining and, if successful, performing a competitive bid construction contract. If done properly, teaming agreements can assist these companies in becoming more competitive in the bidding process and, ultimately, win big construction contracts, including those awarded by the federal government...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Professional Services Industry Legal Blog
Basic Fiduciary Duties Owed in Florida Professional Service Provider Companies

Professional service providers in the state of Florida find themselves in precarious legal situations often given the nature of their work. Because these companies are providing advice, consulting, or other services based an employee’s individual qualifications or relationships, there is always an opportunity for the individual to act in his or her own best interest rather than in the interests of the professional service provider company or the client. This article outlines and explains how the basic fiduciary duties owed in Florida professional service provider companies are no different than the duties owed in other Florida corporate entities, navigating the overlapping statutory and judge-made law influencing the industry...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Healthcare Industry Legal Blog
New Florida Law Gives Businesses Liability Protections From COVID-19 Claims

The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has been difficult on Florida businesses, particularly those in the hospitality, travel and restaurant industries, forcing many of them to close their doors to the public at various times and to suffer financial hardship. As businesses are beginning to re-open, a growing concern has been expressed that frivolous COVID-19-related claims may threaten their financial survival. In response to this concern, on March 29, 2021, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed new legislation, Senate Bill 72 (the “New Law”), that provides new liability protections to Florida businesses, health care providers, and other organizations from frivolous COVID-19-related claims. This is a unique liability protection law and one of the first of its kind in the nation, and may be a model for other states...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Real Estate Development, Sales & Leasing Industry Legal Blog
ASTM E1527 Changes: Coming Soon to a Property Assessment Near You

Lenders, Developers, Environmental Professionals and others over the years have come to know the industry standard for conducting and reporting environmental due diligence, “ASTM E1527 Standard Practice for Environmental Site Assessment: Phase I Environmental Site Assessment Process”. E1527 (commonly referred to as a “Phase I”) was designed by ASTM International to meet the requirement under CERCLA (or, “Superfund”) that a party conduct all appropriate inquiry (“AAI”) prior to a real property transaction in order to qualify for an exemption from liability for site cleanup costs. CERCLA imposes joint and several liability on responsible parties (or potentially responsible parties) for the cleanup of contaminated sites. First released in 1993, ASTM E1527 is the Environmental Protection Agency’s approved AAI standard. The current standard, E1527-13, is set to sunset on Dec. 31, 2021. A new standard is expected to be released this year, with several notable changes anticipated...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Firm News
Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz
Jimerson Birr Continues Support for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Man and Woman of the Year Award
Jimerson Birr's partnership as a donor for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) 2021 Man and Woman of the Year campaign supports the organization's mission to “cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and improve the quality of life of patients and their families.” Through research, access, and advocacy, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society continues to provide funding and education to fulfill their core goals.

The Man and Woman of the Year campaign serves as a philanthropic competition across the United States where service-focused candidates are nominated for the award. Each community selects one man and one woman who exemplify both a commitment to the organization and a dedication to ongoing fundraising.

This event encourages community engagement, promotes awareness, and highlights the contributions of LLS supporters across the country. Jimerson Birr is proud to join this campaign alongside one of our community partners, VyStar Credit Union.

The Jacksonville Man and Woman of the Year will be announced during a virtual celebration on May 20, 2021. Learn more about the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society and how you can become involved today.

April JB FOR ME Highlight Reel
Work/life balance is often nothing more than a corporate catchphrase. At Jimerson Birr, we are so invested in the complete well-being of our employees that our firm culture is all about what is good for the team. As we do each month, we hosted a variety of events, activities and competitions for our team to participate in and enjoy.

We kicked off the month with an Easter Egg Hunt on Good Friday, and the team had quite the time searching the office for hidden eggs. Snowflake became our Easter mascot and joined us to spread Easter cheer, courtesy of her fur mom and our Business Development Specialist, Daphne.

Community engagement is an important aspect of our firm culture initiative. April 4th was National Hug a Newsperson Day and we prepared a few “Thank you” packages for our local media outlets. Newscasters on the First Coast work hard to keep the entire area informed so we reversed the roles and made them our feel-good headline.
The Jimerson Birr Easter Egg Hunt mascot, Snowflake, made a surprise appearance to help us with our Easter egg search.
We visited some of our media friends across the First Coast, and dropped off special goodie bags of treats as a "thank you."
Our team and families enjoyed The Boss of the Sauce festivities, including sampling some of the delicious BBQ.
On Masters Friday, we brought Augusta National Golf Club to downtown Jacksonville. Our team members enjoyed pimento cheese and egg salad sandwiches and washed them down with Arnold Palmers while watching the action in our conference room. Golf fans were not the only ones interested in the action. This sport brought the entire office together to see who would take the title as the Masters Pool Tournament Champion.

As proud sponsors of the inaugural Boss of the Sauce BBQ Festival, we were privileged to support and compete in this three-day event hosted at the Riverfront Plaza. We enjoyed live music, the Beer Garden, Kids Zone and, of course, the mouth-watering BBQ. Although we didn’t take home the crown for the best ribs and chicken, we are sure we have the best team and the best culture. That’s no debate! 

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