• Partner's Perspective: How to Critique Your Self-Critic
  • Three Jimerson Birr Attorneys Named Among Best Lawyers in America for 2022
  • Jimerson Birr Ranked Number 26 on Best Companies to Work For in Florida
  • Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz
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Charles B. Jimerson - How to Critique Your Self-Critic
August across the United States is a month filled with this offbeat admixture of spirits and modes in transition. The month marks the functional end of summer, and a time when some of us feel anxiety and panic about the refashioning of a recreation-oriented season into one of relapsing back to school or work realities comprised of rhythms and routines; a cadence that nurtures a return from the beach to the boardroom. For those of us raising children, August can be a penitence paradigm where you realize that the season is over before you knew it and there went another year where you didn’t do everything on your “I want to be the best parent ever, take my kid everywhere in the entire world, give my kid every potential indelible memory making opportunity, and have every heroic, character assembling interaction possible with my kid” list. In these moments, our inner critic shows up to shame us and remind us how disappointing we have been. Even if our rational side recognizes that the expectations are unreasonable, our inner critic continues to drive home statements of self-loathing. August is a great month to work on techniques for muzzling your personal misanthropy.

The last few months my law partners wrote about the importance of summer escapades and remembrances in hopes of ensuring that our hardworking friends and clients gathered rosebud scents while taking no thought of the morrow. When the summer fun ends, however, we must be reminded that while life can only be understood backwards, it must continue to be lived forward. Don’t let your mistrust of the future make it hard to give up the past. Your preposterous YOLO lists can still be prologue to a Fall of adventure and fulfillment. Sabotage self-hating September!

Fall is the season to be thankful and to be surrounded by the people you love. The cooling off period of Fall is just another opportunity to do things outside and participate in the jam-packed holiday season. Between an annual period of time where the back-to-school rush is bookended by jingling bells, there are myriad opportunities for very involved, family-centered holidays and experiences. The end of year period encourages you to spend time thinking about what you and your loved ones have been through in the last year as well as the memories you’ve made together while looking forward to a new and exciting year. The summer might be gone, but tomorrow can and will make up for a whole lot of yesterday. The allure of hope is always a way to joust with your inner critic. The future is always a promise and not a threat.

As a world-class self-loather, I struggle with the tolls of being your own worst enemy. I have a hard time turning off my thoughts. If unchanneled, galvanizing improvement introspection can quickly morph to destructive revulsion. The dissonance can result in a constant clash of unguarded thoughts, with the battlefield being between your own ears. The symbolic nature of a Summer to Fall transition is a perfect fork in the road metaphor for someone who balances motivation to do their best but can be paralyzed by the idea of failure (i.e. not crossing as much off of the summer memories list as you’d like) on one road, and those who are forward looking change agentsat peace with the fact that you can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the endingon the other road.
I’m not a guy with all the answers, but I have to imagine that the solution isn’t to shut down the inner critic that exists within us. It won't work; the voice will return no matter how hard high achievers try to suppress it. Nor is it always effective to overanalyze the feelings it incitesspirits that often open you up to the risk of cogitating or reliving those feelings in a cycle that turns negative. For me, the best intervention may be to respond to its grievances from a detached, self-distanced perspective, employing as much objectivity as can be ripened. When the forward-thinking, positive change agent is drowned out by unproductive counterexamples of self-defeat or paralyzing second-guessing, it is important to understand how to label and compartmentalize those emotions. In doing so, the exercise lets us detach ourselves from the badgering fault-finder rather than reflexively identifying with it and letting it dominate. Preferably, a self-compassionate response emerges from this interaction and can, going forward, be called on as a cushion easing the weight of self-criticism in a healthy way that allows competing interests to be productive and work in concert. For me, the key is to not let the midpoint between self-criticism and self-defense be the checkpoint that halts self-improvement. The end of Summer can’t prevent me from enjoying my Fall.

It didn’t take many trips around the sun for me to learn that personal and professional life can be disappointing. However, our reaction to a situation literally has the power to change the situation itself. Far too many people, when faced with disappointment, tend to attribute negative life events to their personal failings. They resort to obsessional self-blaming, as they feel ashamed or humiliated of not measuring up to the image of their ideal self. As a result, they direct their anger inward, to themselves. It may prompt them to say that they deserved it, that they were not good enough. Others, however, will turn their anger outward toward others, to people who didn’t fulfill their expectations. It will contribute to feelings of spite, vindictiveness, and bitterness. Unfortunately, both emotional reactions keep the person stuck in a web of disappointment. In many instances, disappointment can turn into a lingering sadnessa feeling of loss, of being let down, or even of betrayal. Paralyzed from the neck up.

August is the month where disappointment can be on public display in athletics. The NFL will play three preseason games and, within a span of a week, reduce rosters by nearly 50 percent. With a few keyboard strokes and exit interviews, 30-40 players on each team will have their dreams shattered. Told they are not good enough. Told they need to leave. Told that their lifelong dream cannot be realized and that they must go back to their hometown to figure out what to do with the rest of their life. Most of them have truly never even entertained that question because they were the best football players their community has EVER produced. I suspect that every single one of them are better in their sport than 99 percent of any of us reading this newsletter were at our chosen field of personal and professional pursuits, yet they have to find a way to persevere. What they don’t know is that their disappointment is that fork in the road. Turn left and be paralyzed by your disappointment, blaming yourself and blaming others. Turn right and keep moving forward. This disappointment has wrinkled their soul, but age has yet to wrinkle their body. Life will give them many more opportunities to forget what hurt them so long as they never forget what the disappointment they felt taught them.

As disappointments may be, there is always something to learn from them. If you aren’t getting better, you’re staying the same or going backwards. To constructively deal with disappointment, you must be objective enough to understand how the disappointment was caused before you can treat it. Some instances of disappointment are predictable and preventable; some are unavoidable and beyond our control. For example, some of those NFL players were cut due to physical limitations, some were cut due to effort-based limitations, and some were cut due to no fault of their own. Some pain points you can control, others you cannot. To manage disappointment, we need to differentiate between those situations. One way to do so is expectation management.

Expectations prevalently feed frustrations. They can be unhealthy attachments to people, things, and outcomes we wish we could control; but don’t. What screws us up most in life is the picture in our head of how it’s supposed to be. Are we having unrealistically high expectations, and thus aiming too high? Or are we setting our goals too low? If you belong to that group of people who set their expectations too high, working constructively through disappointments may help you to modify expectations. You may learn to move away from perfectionistic standards; you may start to accept what is “good enough.” For those who have set the bar too low, what they should stop doing is hanging on to false beliefs about life like, “There is no more hope” or “Nothing ever works for me” or “I just can’t please so and so.” Good people are bound by conscience and liberated by accountability. For me, keeping expectations high on achievement and low on people (myself and others) is a work-in-progress disappointment and self-loathing management elixir. Sustained negative rumination is not a prescription for change.

When we become preoccupied by bad news, self-doubt, projection, or letdown, we lose sight of what is right in our lives and in the world around us. We only internalize feelings of despondence and anger. Hanging on to these feelings can result in us unconsciously making them a part of our identity. When we catch ourselves thinking negatively, we should redirect our energy and focus on positive solutions. Although from an unconscious perspective we may be reluctant to let go of a disappointing experience, in the long run it will be more detrimental to continue holding on. When we become too preoccupied with thinking about situations that have not met our expectations, we only create unnecessary stress and compounding effects. Adjust your crown and carry on.

If you struggle with overcoming disappointment or self-loathing, your introspective punditry might feel relentless, and you may begin believing your inner dialogue’s hateful narrative. When this happens, it is helpful to try to slow yourself down and distinguish feelings from fact. Make your journeys of self-reflection and reevaluation meaningful, looking beneath the surface to ensure bitterness does not take root and reminding yourself that although disappointment in life is inevitable, perseverance and forgiveness are choices. The goal is to eliminate the habit of letting that voice wear you down and to replace it with a new way of thinking that will build you back up. Complaining to yourself or others about yourself or others is not finding a solution or using your time wisely. The way we spend our time defines us. All you have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to you. For me, I’m going to seize the day, then let it go. Maybe even take some time to sit and watch the leaves turn this Fall.
Very truly yours,
Charles B. Jimerson
Managing Partner

Three Jimerson Birr Attorneys Named Among Best Lawyers in America for 2022
Jimerson Birr is pleased to announce that three of its attorneys, including managing partner Charles B. Jimerson, partner James O. “Joby” Birr, III, and special counsel Lynne C. Rhode were included in the 2022 edition of The Best Lawyers in America®.

After receiving more than 10 million peer evaluations across 147 practice areas in the United States, only 5% of practicing lawyers were recognized in the 2022 edition, exemplifying the work of the most elite and top-rated lawyers in the country.

Of Jimerson Birr’s Best Lawyers honorees, Birr was recognized for his experience in Real Estate Law and Community Association Law, Jimerson in Commercial Litigation, and Rhode in Environmental Law. Birr and Jimerson are Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Construction Law and Rhode is licensed to practice in Florida and Virginia.

Known for being a carefully curated list of attorneys, the sophisticated methodology used by Best Lawyers® yields the most accurate, authentic legal referrals for corporations and clients seeking legal counsel.

“Inclusion on the list of Best Lawyers in America is an honor, and a great testament to the commitment we have for not only the work we do, but the many rewarding relationships we’ve had the privilege to develop along the way,” said Jimerson.”
Jimerson Birr Ranked Number 26 on Best Companies to Work For in Florida;
Firm's Seventh Consecutive Year on List
For the seventh consecutive year, Jimerson Birr has made the list of Best Companies to Work For in Florida. In 2021, the firm ranked number 26 in its size category, up from position 30 in 2020.

The “Best Companies to Work For” awards program, created by Florida Trend Magazine and the Best Companies Group, is endorsed by The Human Resource Florida State Council. Through a compilation of surveys evaluating an organization’s workplace, company policies, practices, benefits and demographics, as well as an anonymous employee engagement and satisfaction survey, the annual list of recipients is produced.

At Jimerson Birr, the foundation of the firm’s success is its continued commitment to its team and nurturing a workplace environment that is based upon respect, supporting each person’s needs to meet both their professional and personal goals, and building a sense of community. The workplace culture at the firm is comprised of employees who are: Fulfilled, Opportunistic, Refreshed, Mindful and Empowered. These five tenets became the inspiration for Jimerson Birr's ongoing employee engagement program known as JB FOR ME.

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
What Lenders Need to Know About
§ 702.036 and the Finality of Foreclosure Sales

Lenders need to be aware that borrowers and other lienholders can bring an action or proceeding to set aside, invalidate, or challenge the validity of a final judgment of foreclosure of a mortgage, even after the foreclosure sale. However, pursuant to Section 702.036 of the Florida Statutes, the foreclosure sale can only be set aside or invalidated in a very limited set of circumstances. Section 702.036 is intended to protect bona fide purchasers of foreclosed property. That said, lenders should be apprised of the intricacies of Section 702.036, to protect the lender’s own interests...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Construction Industry Legal Blog
Construction Bid Protests in Florida: Top 10 Things Contractors Should Know

Once a contractor in Florida receives notice that an agency soliciting bids intends to award a contract to another bidder, the contractor may wonder why its bid was unsuccessful. If a contractor believes its bid should have been the winning one, Florida law allows the contractor to protest the soliciting agency’s award. The process for bid protesting can be a tricky one. Filing a construction bid protest must be done quickly, and it comes with its fair share of risks. This article provides an overview of the top ten things contractors should know about construction bid protests in Florida...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Community Associations Industry Legal Blog
Condominium Association Boards: Why You Should Not Avoid Maintenance

Disputes over the party responsible for the maintenance of various areas of a condominium complex are common. Disagreements frequently arise between unit owners and an association over whether the association or the owner is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of a particular area. This blog post provides an overview and summary of Florida law on the maintenance responsibilities of a condominium association as well as best practices condominium associations can take to meet these responsibilities and minimize liability exposure of association board members...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Real Estate Development, Sales & Leasing Industry Legal Blog
Buyers’ Rights During the Inspection Period When Purchasing a Condominium

In the wake of the collapse of the Champlain Towers South in Surfside, Florida, many buyers looking to purchase condos for either their primary residence, a second home, or as an investment property have paused to consider whether the unit being purchased is structurally sound. Such a pause will likely cause a corresponding temporary dip in condo sales throughout the state of Florida in what has otherwise been an historically hot real estate market.

While buyer hesitation after such a tragedy is to be expected, buyers should take this time to make sure they are aware of their legal and contractual rights as it relates to due diligence as well as seller disclosure requirements during a transaction. Real estate contracts in Florida are purposely written to favor buyers during the inspection period of the contract. As such, buyers should use this time to take advantage of the time afforded to them in order to conduct a thorough investigation of the condo being considered for purchase...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Communication & Media Industry Legal Blog
Avoiding and Defending Class Action Claims Under the Florida Security of Communications Act

A new class action trend aimed at large companies has emerged in the United States. New York, California, and Florida have been the breeding grounds for these class action claims brought under each state’s “wiretapping” laws. More specifically, classes bringing these claims have accused companies of violating wiretapping laws by tracking user data on their websites using “session replay software.” Classes have filed complaints in Florida alleging that companies have violated the Florida Security of Communications Act (“FSCA”). This article will provide an overview of FSCA, the issues likely to arise in these class action lawsuits, and how companies can avoid and defend against this new class action trend...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Firm News
Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation's Party with a Purpose: How You Can Join
The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) serves communities across the county to bring life-changing and life-saving research, advocacy and funding to those with Type 1 Diabetes. Managing partner Charles Jimerson is currently serving as a board member for the North Florida Chapter where he contributes time and resources to supporting the organization's mission and making a positive impact in our local community.

JDRF is hosting their signature fundraising event on Thursday, November 4, and this year's gala has been branded as a party with a purpose. A Night Under the Stars will be held at TPC Sawgrass, and attendees will be supporting and accelerating critical research to prevent, treat, and cure Type 1 Diabetes. For 20 years, JDRF’s annual charity function has provided essential funds and support benefiting Type 1 Diabetes advances for children, adults and families.

The Northeast Florida community will come together for an evening of entertainment that will serve the mission of JDRF to end Type 1 Diabetes. JDRF’s A Night Under the Stars is inviting corporate sponsors to join this year’s party with a purpose. The gala will feature silent and live auctions, cocktails, dinner and music. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities and the inspiring mission and work of JDRF.
August JB FOR ME Highlight Reel
Just because summer is coming to a close does not mean that the fun stops at Jimerson Birr. This past month has really delivered the excitement, and each firm culture event offers the opportunity to come together as a team and enjoy each other's company.

One of the main events this past month was our annual JB Mini Golf Tournament. During this signature event, a theme is assigned for the course and everyone takes preparation quite seriously. This year's theme was "Putt N' Dance," and team members selected a viral song that has an accompanying dance and decorated their office accordingly with their chosen song playing on repeat. As each golf team advanced through the course, one person putted while the other performed the song's dance. This year's course was an impressive display of first-rate golf holes, and when the competition began, everyone rose to the occasion. Congratulations to this year's mini golf champion, partner Ryan Maloney. Putt N' Dance was a tournament to remember, and it set the bar high for next year's round.
A friendly photo of the golfers before the 2021 JB Mini Gold Putt N' Dance began.
The Chicken Dance hole was a course-favorite with a rotating chicken hovering over the green.
Team 1 paused for a mid-course Jell-O shot cheers at one of the stops before continuing on.
Team 4 watches the final golfer take the last putt before the winner is announced.
The highly anticipated grand opening of the Honky Tonk, complete with a ribbon cutting ceremony, took place this month, and we are happy to announce that the official firm bar is now open. The goal of the Honky Tonk is to provide a space where we can share a cocktail and conversation after a busy day, take a break and relax with a Google Home game, or even host a more casual meeting.

The Honky Tonk has become a popular pit stop for many during our firm events, and we recently celebrated National Prosecco Day in our bar. We popped the bubbly, laid out a variety of salty snacks to accompany the sweet prosecco, and spent some quality time with each other as we toasted our glasses on a Friday afternoon. The next week we utilized the space again on National Root Beer Float Day where we enjoyed the classic treat as a mid-day pick-me-up.

There are some national days of celebration that the firm never misses; one of them being anything dedicated to sampling a festive snack. Recently, we combined National Watermelon Day and National Grab Some Nuts Day which paired quite nicely together. A few days later was National Chocolate Chip Cookie Day, and we chose a selection of different cookies to give us that afternoon sugar high. Then came National Lasagna Day, which really delivered. Our client services director Judy Nixon made us all homemade lasagna to enjoy as a group for lunch. She even had an equally delicious vegan option, said the non-vegans.
National Prosecco Day brought the crowd into the Honky Tonk and served as a great new spot for our afternoon happy hour.
The final touch to the Honky Tonk was the perfect red bow, and Charlie Jimerson did the honor of officially opening the bar at the ribbon cutting.
Our client services director, Judy, displaying her delicious homemade lasagnas for us to enjoy on National Lasagna Day.
As we wrap up another month, it is always nice to look back at the past month's events and see all of the fun we had together, and all of the pick-me-up moments offered to our hardworking team of professionals. After recently being named a Best Company to Work For in Florida for the seventh consecutive year, we are all grateful to be a part of a company that always puts its team first.
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