Lesser wins Bar president-elect contest
'I’m overwhelmed and grateful for the support of so many lawyers across Florida'
Fifteenth Circuit Board of Governors member Gary S. Lesser has been elected Bar president-elect for the 2021-22 Bar year.
Lesser defeated 11th Circuit board member Steven W. Davis 11,817 to 6,922 in election results that were released on March 23.
Lesser will take the oath as president-elect at the June Bar Annual Convention when current President-elect Michael Tanner is sworn in as president. Lesser will become Bar president in June 2022.
“I’m overwhelmed and grateful for the support of so many lawyers across Florida,” Lesser said. “I salute Steve Davis for running a good campaign.”
“I’m disappointed. Serving the Bar was a great privilege for me and I am sad my vision for improving how we serve our members will not be realized,” Davis said of the results. “It was an honor to run for president-elect and I deeply appreciate the support and friendship of all those who helped me over the last year.”
Lesser said his priorities will be formed by what he heard from Bar members while, largely virtually, campaigning and with the expected emergence from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Our biggest challenge is coming out of this pandemic, making sure we are properly connecting with and helping our lawyer members going forward with challenges like technology and reopening the court system,” he said.
The largely virtual campaign, conducted in the pandemic’s shadow, allowed Lesser to talk with more lawyers, which may have made the campaign more taxing.
“I learned more than I ever could have imagined. While virtual campaigns are very exhausting, I got to speak with so many lawyers across Florida in ways I could not have done,” he said. “In addition to speaking to Florida Bar groups and voluntary bar groups, I spoke to groups of immigration attorneys, bankruptcy attorneys, workers’ compensation attorneys, and many other groups who feel like they don’t hear enough from The Florida Bar.
“That will be our biggest challenge, to make the effort to connect with and help our members with the message that The Florida Bar is here to help them with their daily practice of law. Because that’s what The Florida Bar does every day and we need to make sure our members know this,” he added. “I’m an in-the-trenches guy; if a lawyer wants to talk, I want to listen.”
Lesser is finishing his 10th year on the Board of Governors where he has three times chaired the Legislation Committee and served on the Executive Committee for several years. He has also served on several other board committees including the Special Committee on the 2017 Constitution Revision and Strategic Planning panels.
Lesser is the managing partner of Lesser, Lesser, Landy & Smith PLLC, a 10-attorney personal injury firm. He received his undergraduate degree in 1989 in International Affairs from The George Washington University, and his law degree in 1992 from the University of Miami, where he was editor-in-chief of Res Ipsa Loquitur, the law school newspaper.
Prior to joining his present firm in 1992, Lesser was a law school intern at Aronovitz Trial Lawyers and he also worked with the Miami-Dade County Homeless Legal Project.
He has handled personal injury cases ranging from motorcycle accidents and motor vehicle wrongful deaths to pedestrian deaths and damages due to sexual abuse of a minor.
Lesser is also a member of the Health Law Section, where he also serves as board liaison, and to the Real Property, Probate and Trust Law and Trial Lawyers sections. He has been a member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association since 1992 and has chaired its Professionalism and Medical Legal committees.
Lesser is married to his wife Jennifer with three daughters Lillian, Josie, and Rebecca.