TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Justice Association (FJA) today announced the selection of Paul Jess as the organization’s executive director. Jess is a veteran attorney and association executive who has been acting as interim executive director since January 2017.
“Paul has been with FJA for almost three decades and has served in just about every professional capacity at the association, including general counsel, deputy executive director, and most recently, interim executive director,” said FJA President Dale Swope of Tampa, Fla. “Our mission, our principles, and our calling have not changed. With Paul as FJA’s executive director, the modes by which we defend and enhance the civil justice system for the afflicted in our state are about to be more effective and powerful than they have been in the history of our organization.”
Jess earned his bachelor’s degree in social work from The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. He served on active duty in the U. S. Navy as an intelligence officer. After that earned his law degree with high honors from Florida State University College of Law in Tallahassee, Fla., where he was on Law Review, Order of the Coif, and a Moot Court national championship team.
During his career with the FJA, Jess continued to serve in the U.S. Naval Reserve as an intelligence officer, eventually serving three tours as Commanding Officer of various commands before retiring at the rank of Captain.
Jess has decades of experience lobbying the Florida Legislature and Executive Branch for consumer causes. He has testified before legislative committees and drafted countless pieces of proposed and adopted legislation.
“I have always been committed to the philosophy, principles, and mission of the Florida Justice Association, and I am honored and humbled by this opportunity,” said Jess after a unanimous vote by the FJA Board of Directors selecting him as executive director. “We are dedicated to serving individuals and families. People who have been injured or damaged by wrongdoers, including corporations and insurance companies. We are about to begin a new era of greatness and I look forward to helping lead us into this new era.”