Les was born and raised in Bay County where he attended Bay County Public Schools, graduating from Rutherford High School in 1990. After graduation, Les attended the University of Florida before transferring to Florida State University where he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice. During his undergraduate years, Les was an active member of the Sigma Chi Fraternity as well as the Student Government Association at Florida State University. Upon graduation from Florida State in 1995, Les moved to Houston, Texas where he enrolled in South Texas College of Law, obtaining his Juris Doctor degree in 1998. During law school Les worked as a law clerk in a personal injury law firm where he assisted attorneys in investigating claims and preparing cases for trial. Les also attended and completed two international studies programs at Queens College, a constituent college of the University of Oxford, and Marmara University located in Istanbul, Turkey.
After graduating from law school in Houston, Les returned to Florida where he began his legal career in Tallahassee at a small boutique insurance defense and regulatory firm before eventually accepting a position with McFarlain & Cassedy, a Tallahassee-based law firm that eventually merged with Carr Allison, a large Southeast regional law firm based in Birmingham, Alabama. In 2009 Les accepted a shareholder position with Banker Lopez Gassler, a state-wide insurance defense and litigation firm based in Tampa, Florida, where he worked until 2012.
During the first 14 years of his career, Les worked primarily in the areas of insurance defense where he would eventually develop a sub-specialty in the defense of catastrophic claims involving heavy trucks and other commercial motor vehicles. During this time Les was a member of the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA), the Transportation Lawyers Association (TLA), the Trucking Industry Defense Association (TIDA) and the Florida Trucking Association (FTA) which advocates on behalf of the trucking industry to the Florida Legislature and state regulatory agencies.
In 2012 Les accepted a position as a partner with Perry & Young, P.A., prompting him to return to his beloved hometown of Panama City. Les is a member of the Florida Bar and the State Bar of Georgia. He is also admitted to practice in the United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle, and Southern Districts of Florida as well as the Middle Districts of Georgia. Les and his wife Jennifer have been married since 2000 and have two children. Les is active in the community serving as the Vice President of Operations for the Boys and Girls Club of Bay County as well as volunteering through the firm for a variety of charities, civic and faith-based organizations. In his spare time Les enjoys spending time outdoors fishing, hunting and playing golf.
Areas of Practice
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Florida 1998
- Georgia 2006
- US District Court Northern District of Florida
- US District Court, Middle District of Florida
- US District Court, Southern District of Florida
- US District Court, Middle District of Georgia
- South Texas College of Law
- JD 1998
- Florida State University
- BS 1995
Honors and Awards
- AV Preeminent®, Martindale Hubbell
- Super Lawyers, Thompson Reuters, Florida Rising Star 2009, 2011 and 2012
Professional Associations and Memberships
- Florida Justice Association, Eagle Member
- Academy of Truck Accident Attorneys
- Trucking Industry Defense Association (Past)
- Florida Defense Lawyers Association (Past)
- Transportation Lawyers Association (Past)
- Florida Trucking Association (Past)
- Boys & Girls Club of Bay County
- Vice President of Operations
- Executive Committee Member
- Board of Directors Member
- Emerald Coast Fellowship
- Sigma Chi Fraternity
- Phi Delta Phi International Legal Honor Society