FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Allison North Jones
Tallahassee – The Florida Justice Association FJA® has announced a new leadership team of the organization’s legislative advocacy and political programs. The new team will be led by newly appointed Executive Director, Jeff Porter.
Porter is taking the helm of FJA from Paul Jess, who retired from the FJA after 35 years of dedicated service to the organization, including serving as the Executive Director since 2017.
“Paul Jess’s impact on the organization, our membership and the state of Florida’s civil justice system is immeasurable, as was his impact on me as a mentor over the last 17 years,” Porter said. “Now it’s time for the next generation of leaders to help protect the rights of all Floridians and preserve the civil justice system from ongoing attacks from the insurance industry and corporate America,” he added.
Porter has served as FJA’s Deputy Executive Director since 2017.
Porter has selected Lydia Claire Brooks to take over as FJA’s Political Director and Laura Youmans to serve as Director of Legislative and Government Affairs. FJA has also added Allison North Jones as Director of Communications.
“FJA’s legislative leadership team represents some of the most talented legislative, political and communications professionals in the country, and they take protecting access to the courts very seriously,” Porter said.
Brooks has served as Deputy Director of the Florida Justice PAC since 2020. She joined FJA in February 2019, as part of FJA’s EAGLE fundraising team.
Youmans joined the FJA in 2020, as legislative counsel.
“The FJA has a bright and stable future, with this new leadership team. I am confident that many will take notice both with respect to our actions in policy making and elections,” Porter said.
FJA has also announced the officers that will serve throughout 2023-2024. The FJA Elected Officers include:
- FJA President, Stephen Cain – Cain is a partner in Miami-based Stewart, Tilghman, Fox, Bianchi & Cain, P.A. He specializes in catastrophic personal injury claims on behalf of clients in cases involving medical malpractice, defective products, automobile accidents, negligent security, legal malpractice, admiralty/maritime accidents, and general negligence.
- President-Elect Todd Michaels – Michaels is a partner in The Haggard Law Firm, specializing in wrongful death and catastrophic personal injury, representing clients who were injured through the negligence of others. His practice primarily involves negligent security throughout the State of Florida and nationwide.
- Treasurer Waylon Thompson – Thompson is a founding partner of Manuel & Thompson, P.A. in Panama City, Florida, focusing on personal injury, wrongful death, bad faith, products liability, nursing home liability, insurance disputes, civil litigation, and premises liability.
- Secretary Chris Ligori – Ligori is the founding partner of Christopher Ligori & Associates based in Tampa. Ligori represents clients in various personal injury cases, including auto accidents, motorcycle accidents, pedestrian accidents, bicycle accidents, premises liability, slip or trip and falls, negligent security, products liability, and defective drugs, defective medical products, nursing home and medical negligence cases.
“These are some of the finest, most dedicated individuals I have ever had the chance to work alongside,” Porter said. “They each exhibit a tireless commitment to preserving the civil justice system in Florida and I look forward to working with them to continue protecting the rights of all Floridians.”
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