(1915 - 1983)
Perry Nichols of Coral Gables, Florida, spearheaded the formation of a small organization called Negligence and Compensation Lawyers of Florida (NACLAF) a few years after the end of World War II because he felt that attorneys needed closer communication, educational opportunities and support from one another. The NACLF was reorganized into the Academy of Florida Trial Lawyers in 1961. Through the years, the Academy has grown to a membership of approximately 3,800 and a staff of over 30. The original intent of NACLAF was to represent the interests of average injured citizens in the Florida Legislature and in the courtroom. In the 1950s Mr. Nichols recognized that the civil justice system favored business interests over the interests of the individual or injured persons. He and the founding fathers of the Academy set out to shift the focus of justice to protect Florida's families. The leadership and Academy staff continue this mission today. Perry Nichols died on March 1, 1983 at 68 years of age.