• Partner's Perspective: Taking Time to Appreciate Others
  • Florida Legislative Highlights
  • Blog Highlights
  • Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz

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James O. Birr, III - Taking Time to Appreciate Others
I hope this note finds you having a great summer and enjoying time with friends, family, and loved ones. It’s a busy season of the year for the Birr family, with camps and outdoor activities, as well as spending time with family. 

This year has been filled with so many awesome and memorable events. I joined the half-century club (and was honored with a surprise party to celebrate it), my dad turned 80, and my wife achieved the pinnacle of her professional career. All these happenings (and others) afforded me the opportunity to reflect on how much I appreciate others, and to tell them how much they mean to me. From my vantage point, that showing of appreciation went a long way for the recipients and for me.

Appreciation is defined by Meriam-Webster as “a feeling or expression of admiration, approval or gratitude.” To me, appreciation is multi-faceted and can make someone’s day or year, or even change their life. It means telling someone you value them, and that they are important. It also means showing them that you genuinely feel that way. Regardless of how you define showing appreciation to others, the important thing is to just take the time and do it! Whether it’s a friend, colleague, or family member, everyone wants and needs to feel appreciated. 

In a perfect example of how to show appreciation (as demonstrated by my wife), she orchestrated a covert operation in planning my 50th birthday party. Notwithstanding emphatically telling her such a party was off-limits, she planned and perfected it anyway. I had no clue such a party was in the works. From the carefully selected photos of me (including one with bad hair from high school) to the food and specialty cocktail menu, my wife demonstrated appreciation in its purest form. Suffice it to say, it was a very cool evening, that took a ton of planning and hard work, made me feel great, and has been one of the highlights of my year.

Whether it’s a surprise 50th birthday party or simply telling and recognizing a friend or colleague how much you appreciate them, the effects on all involved are consequential. The recipient of the appreciation is grateful and feels valued and appreciated, and, in turn, the person showing that appreciation knows he/she has done a good thing. 

At our law firm, one way each employee shows appreciation for others is by hitting an actual gong.

Our firm tradition of “hitting the gong” is a loud celebration to show appreciation for a job well done.  Certainly, a show of appreciation need not be loud like the striking of a gong. It can be as quiet as a simple thank you or a meaningful statement of “I appreciate you.” No matter what your style of showing appreciation is, it’s important to just do it!
Very Truly Yours,
James O. Birr, III
2021-2022 Legislative Highlights
With the conclusion of the 2021-2022 legislative session, and Governor DeSantis officially signing the State budget, Jimerson Birr compiled some of the key legislative changes that impacted business and law from this year, at all levels of government.
What Does the Building Safety Act for Condominium and Cooperative Associations Mean for My Association?
On May 26, 2022, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis signed the Building Safety Act for Condominium and Cooperative Associations (“Building Safety Act”) into law. The Building Safety Act brings sweeping changes to Florida’s condominium and cooperative association laws, particularly regarding building inspections and reserves. This article will provide an overview of the Building Safety Act with a focus on the key changes and how the Building Safety Act will impact Florida community associations.

Recent Changes to Local Construction Contractor’s Licensing
A new Florida law, effective July 1, 2021, prohibits local governments from requiring a person to obtain a local contractor’s license for certain types of work, including plastering, painting, and flooring. This new law also phases out local governments from issuing certain types of contractor’s licenses until July 1, 2023, and shifts all contractor’s licensing to the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (“DBPR”).

New Florida Rule Authorizes Immediate Appeal of Orders Permitting Punitive Damages
On January 6, 2022, the Supreme Court of Florida adopted an amendment to Rule 9.130, Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, authorizing the immediate appeal of nonfinal orders that grant (or deny) a plaintiff’s motion for leave to amend its complaint to assert a claim for punitive damages. This new rule takes effect on April 1, 2022.

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:
Real Estate Development, Sales & Leasing Industry Legal Blog
Five Key Provisions Every Tenant Needs in a Residential Lease

By: A. Hunter Faulkner

Far too often, I’m approached by tenants who have an issue with a residential lease that they have already signed and agreed to but have come to find out is full of problems and missing key information. Like any contract, once a lease is signed, there’s not much a tenant can do about the terms. That is why I strongly advise having an attorney review any lease before it’s signed. However, given how busy and competitive the rental market is these days, not everyone has the chance to wait on an attorney to review the terms and provide an opinion. Considering that, I’ve prepared this article to highlight key provisions that all residential tenants should be aware of before signing a new lease...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Community Associations Industry Legal Blog
What Can a Homeowners’ Association Do to Keep Holiday Decorations from Staying Up All Year?

By: Bryan M. Davis

The holiday season is a time of celebration. Homeowners often take part in the celebration by decorating their homes with a variety of decorations and lights to suit the season. However, these holiday decorations are often left out long after the season ends. This article will provide an overview of what a homeowners association can do to prevent these decorations from staying up all year without limiting the festivities...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Construction Industry Legal Blog
How To Obtain a Contractor’s License in Florida

By: Melissa G. Murrin

A person is required to obtain a license to legally work as a contractor in Florida.  Chapter 489 of the Florida Statutes and the Construction Industry Licensing Board sets forth the requirements for a person to obtain a contractor’s license in Florida, including the necessary application, education, experience, age, financial security, insurance, fees, and examination requirements. These requirements are rigorous and vary slightly depending on the type of contractor’s license. However, if a person fails to obtain a contractor’s license in Florida, he or she may be engaging in unlicensed contracting, which is a first-degree misdemeanor...

Click here to read the full blog post.

Banking & Financial Services Industry Legal Blog
TCPA Risk Avoidance Tool: The National Reassigned Numbers Database (RND)

By: Austin T. Hamilton

Recently, the FCC’s long-awaited Reassigned Numbers Database (commonly referred to as the “RND”) went live for use. The significance of the RND is that it offers companies the ability to query whether a telephone number was permanently disconnected after the date the consumer provided consent for calls or text messages. The RND is a tool that is intended, at least in part, to assist companies in avoiding or limiting liability and exposure for violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)...

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Cross-Industry Legal Blog
Tips for Drafting Employee Handbooks in Florida

By: Stewart J. Subjinski

This article addresses tips and considerations for employers who are considering whether they should codify employment policies into an employee handbook which may be interpreted or evaluated under Florida law (or “employee manual,” as they are sometimes called). To make that determination, an employer should ask a few key questions to be fully aware of their benefits and what is at stake. This article outlines the analytical framework to determine whether an employer should consider an employee handbook, what objectives can be accomplished with an employee handbook, and what objectives cannot be accomplished with an employee handbook...

Click here to read the full blog post.
Firm News
Curiosities, Ruminations and Various Eccentricities of Firm Biz
July JB FOR ME Highlight Reel
Being back in the office is more than just an excuse to use someone else's air conditioner, (it's hot outside!) it also gives us time to bond with our coworkers, especially our new ones! Over the Summer, we've filled key expansion roles in recruiting, our attorney roster, and we've enjoyed spending time with our Summer Associates!

Perhaps because lunch is served, nothing brings us together more than our quarterly firm lunches, which are so much more than just good housekeeping. In this meeting, we broke into teams and brainstormed ways we can improve our workflows and efficiencies when working with each other and clients.

As with all things at Jimerson Birr, staff input is the backbone of our decision-making process. Utilizing our meetings as a conduit for professional and personal growth is just one of the ways our employee development is shown in action.
If you think JBFORME may be for you, view our open positions as we grow our team.
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