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TALLAHASSEE – The Florida Justice Association today announced veteran association executive and attorney Paul Jess has become interim executive director of the group. Jess succeeds Debra Henley, who left the organization at the end of December.“Paul Jess is an outstanding leader who has a deep understanding of the important issues facing civil justice in Florida. In addition to his years of legislative and political experience, Paul brings many more years of leadership and management experience to the table,” said Florida Justice Association President Jimmy Gustafson. “Paul understands what is needed to take the Florida Justice Association to the next level. He is committed to growing our membership, increasing our technological capabilities and improving our communications and fund development, including further development of our charitable foundation and its endowment.”Gustafson also lauded Henley’s work and dedication to the association, including her seven years of service as executive director saying, “We are thankful to Debra Henley for her contributions to the cause of protecting people’s access to the civil justice system.  The Florida Justice Association is grateful to Debra, and we personally and professionally wish her the best in her future endeavors. “Jess, a U.S. Navy veteran and retired Captain, recently marked his 28th anniversary with the Florida Justice Association. He has served as the group’s deputy executive director and general counsel.

No other staffing changes are expected.  The staff leadership team, in addition to Jess, will remain:  Ryan Banfill, Communications; John Brazzell, Operations; Michelle Crumbliss, Membership; Ken Kranz, Journal; Gena Matthews, CLE; Lynn McCartney, Legislative; G.C. Murray, Legal; Rob Paulk, Fund Development; Lee Phillips, Executive Assistant.; Jeff Porter, Legislative and Political; Steve Stewart, Finance; Kevin Sweeny, Political Operations; and Ami Wheeler, FJ PAC Assistant.

The Florida Justice Association is dedicated to protecting citizen access to the civil justice system and is the only statewide professional association dedicated to trial attorneys and their clients. The Florida Justice Association represents thousands of individual members and provides a voice in the Florida Legislature on behalf of countless patients and consumers.

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Ryan Banfill
Communications Director
Florida Justice Association
850-521-1047 (direct)

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