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Overview

James O. Birr, III (Joby) is a partner at Jimerson Birr, P.A. and practices in the areas of business litigation, real estate and construction law, and community association law. Mr. Birr is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Construction Law and is AV Rated by Martindale-Hubbell. Clients look to Mr. Birr for his adept, sound judgment and his ability to assess and proactively develop legal strategies that consistently garner client-centric results. He was named one of the “Best Lawyers in America” in 2020 and 2021, and has been recognized as a Florida “Super Lawyer” from 2014 to present. Mr. Birr also earned the distinction of Legal Elite from Florida Trend Magazine in 2016 and has maintained that status every year since 2018.

Mr. Birr has experience in a variety of construction and business disputes involving large and small businesses, as well as individuals. He also has experience in handling construction lien and bond claims; construction contract claims; construction defect claims; construction licensing claims; construction joint venture claims; real property disputes; inverse condemnation cases; and construction related claims involving developers, homeowners, homeowners’ and condominium associations, subcontractors, contractors, suppliers, surety companies, and insurance companies. He also has experience in negotiating severance and non-compete agreements as well as disputes involving non-compete agreements. He is also experienced in insurance disputes involving commercial general liability claims and cybersecurity claims. Mr. Birr has also litigated collection claims involving condominium and homeowners’ associations, as well as other business entities. He has experience in drafting various types of construction contracts, credit applications, independent contractor agreements, and leases, and has represented condominium and homeowners’ associations on claims involving condominium declarations and construction and design defects.

Mr. Birr moved to Jacksonville in 1991 and obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of North Florida. It was there that he played baseball and earned both academic and athletic All-America honors in 1995. In 1995, Mr. Birr was drafted by the St. Louis Cardinals. In October 2013, Mr. Birr was inducted into the University of North Florida Athletics Hall of Fame.

Before law school, Mr. Birr worked in the General Counsel’s office at the University of North Florida, where he conducted legal research and assisted in drafting various policies and procedures. Prior to working at Jimerson Birr, Mr. Birr was a shareholder at Gunster, Yoakley and Stewart, where he focused on construction law and business litigation.

Mr. Birr resides in the Southside area with his wife, Katie, and their two children, James and Blair. His hobbies and interests include spending time with his family, golf, fishing, reading, and listening to music.

  • Honors and Recognition

    • Board Certified in Construction Law by The Florida Bar
    • AV® Preeminent rating by Martindale-Hubbell (peer rated the highest level of professional excellence)
    • Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020-2021
    • Recognized as a member of Florida Trend magazine’s Florida Legal Elite for 2016, 2018-2021
    • Super Lawyer in Construction Law by Super Lawyers magazine 2014-2021
      (Top 5% of attorneys awarded with honor based upon peer review)
    • Rising Star in Construction Law by Super Lawyers magazine 2009, 2011-2012
      (Top 2.5% of attorneys under age 40 awarded with honor based upon peer review)
    • University of North Florida Athletics Hall of Fame – Class of 2013
    • Named a Best Lawyer in Jacksonville by Jacksonville Magazine in 2014 and 2019 (as rated by Avvo)
    • Leadership Jacksonville Class of 2011
  • Bar and Court Admissions

    • The Florida Bar
    • Jacksonville Bar Association
    • U.S. District Court – Middle District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court – Northern District of Florida
    • U.S. District Court – Southern District of Florida
    • U.S. Court of Appeals – Eleventh Circuit
  • Education

    • University of Florida Levin College of Law, J.D.
      cum laude
    • University of North Florida, B.A.
      summa cum laude
  • Representative Matters

    Business Litigation

    • Successfully defended six-figure veil piercing claim against corporate officer.
    • Obtained summary judgment in bankruptcy court involving a claim to discharge student loans.
    • Represented clients in various breach of contract claims involving real property, payment of commissions, and loan purchase and sale agreements.
    • Obtained judgment for lender in case involving loan purchase and sale agreement.
    • Successfully set aside defaults in federal court.
    • Obtained dismissal of lawsuit that was improperly filed in Florida circuit court.
    • Second chair in bench trials involving premises liability claims.
    • Negotiated settlement agreement between large manufacturing company and general contractor involving installation and design of roof panels.
    • Successfully negotiated over $38,000 credit for client involving claim for overpayment of utility charges.
    • Successfully defended motions to dismiss in class action litigation.
    • Obtained summary judgment in favor of lender in residential foreclosure action.
    • Successfully defended claim for injunctive relief against homeowner’s association involving bulk services cable and internet provider.
    • Negotiated tolling agreement between homeowner’s association and individual owners as to foreclosure of assessment liens.
    • Successfully resolved lawsuits involving non-compete agreements.
    • Successfully resolved disputes involving community associations and unit owners.
    • Successfully defended business in inverse condemnation lawsuit.
    • Successfully prosecuted commercial lease disputes.
    • Successfully defended against inverse condemnation claim.
    • Successfully prosecuted insurance claim involving cybersecurity theft.
    • Successfully prosecuted claims involving third-party consumer warranty claims administration, resulting in seven figure judgment.

    Construction Law

    • Obtained judgment in excess of $700,000 for general contractor against subcontractor in construction defects claim involving large product distribution facility in Tennessee.
    • Obtained seven-figure settlement for condominium association in class action construction and design defects lawsuit.
    • Prosecuted and defended seven-figure public bond claim in federal court.
    • Obtained six-figure settlement for large concrete supplier involved in payment bond dispute.
    • Second-chair trial counsel in jury trial case involving general contractor, subcontractors, developer and design professional.
    • Obtained six-figure settlement for general contractor in suit involving claims against multiple subcontractors.
    • Successfully defended lien claims, including obtaining dismissals with prejudice and satisfactions of construction liens.
    • Obtained judgment and settlement for homeowners in claims against general contractor for design and construction defects.
    • Handled bid protest before the City of Jacksonville.
    • Obtained six-figure judgment for general contractor in claim against subcontractor involving project in Oregon.
    • Successfully argued against motions to dismiss in large construction and design defect cases.
    • Represented general contractor in lien foreclosure action involving construction lien in excess of $10,000,000. Foreclosure action resulted in general contractor obtaining title to the real property.
    • Prosecuted claims involving unlicensed contracting.
    • Obtained favorable settlements for general contractor in connection with federal Miller Act claims and construction delay claims.
    • Successfully resolved lawsuits involving pay-if-paid contract provisions.
    • Prepared and negotiated commercial construction and design-build contracts, including contracts for distribution facilities, large retail chains, production facilities, a public university, student housing projects, and for a scoreboard for professional sports team.
    • Prepared and negotiated residential construction contracts.
    • Prepared employment agreements that include restrictive covenants and non-compete provisions.
    • Prepared and negotiated commercial lease agreements in shopping malls for a multi-state entertainment business.
    • Negotiated commercial lease agreements for medical practice.
    • Prepared contract for supply and installation of large water pumping system between homeowner’s association and contractors.

    PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME

  • Selected Publications and Lectures

    • Co-authored “Florida Legislative Update – June 2018” article (2018) at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/accnfl/issues/2018-06-15.html#12
    • Co-authored “Minimizing risk in commercial leases: Key provisions for landlords and tenants” article (2018) at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/accnfl/issues/2018-03-15.html#8
    • Presented on how to find and manage outside counsel to Association of Corporate Counsel (2018)
    • Authored “What Contractual Terms Really Matter Once a Lawsuit is Imminent: A Litigator’s Perspective” (2017) at http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/accnfl/issues/2017-06-15.html#7
    • Presented “Indemnity and Limitation of Liability Provisions in Design-Build Contracts” to Design-Build Institute of America local chapter (2017)
    • Presented legal update on recent court decisions and proposed legislation to Jacksonville chapter of Construction Financial Management Association (2015)
    • Presented on key contract provisions to Jacksonville chapter of Construction Financial Management Association (2014)
    • Co-authored Florida chapter of State-By-State Guide to Construction Contracts and Claims (2006 ed.)
  • Organizational Affiliations

    • Urban Land Institute, North Florida Chapter
    • Project Management Institute, Northeast Florida Chapter
    • Jacksonville Bar Association
      Vice Chair of Litigation Section (2017-2018)
      Vice Chair of Commercial Litigation (2016-2017)

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