Judge Lester Bass

The Honorable Lester B. Bass

Lester Bass currently serves as a Circuit Judge in the Fourth Judicial Circuit. He has served in this capacity since January 1, 2019, after being appointed by Governor Rick Scott. Initially, Judge Bass was assigned to Circuit Criminal bench in Duval County where he presided over an extensive felony docket. Recently, he joined the Circuit bench in Nassau County where he presides over Juvenile Dependency, Juvenile Delinquency, Family Law, and Mental Health Court.

Prior to becoming a Circuit Judge, Judge Bass served as a Duval County Court Judge. He served in that capacity from September 2014 through December 2018 after being appointed by Governor Rick Scott. As a County Court Judge, he presided over cases involving misdemeanor crimes, traffic violations, small claims actions, and evictions. His other duties included presiding over Juvenile Delinquency Drug Court.

Prior to his judicial appointments, Judge Bass served from January 2003 through September 2014 as a General Magistrate/Hearing Officer. As a Magistrate, he heard cases involving Family Law including but not limited to divorces, child support, equitable distribution of property, alimony, child custody, child visitation, and contempt matters. Additionally, he decided Dependency Law cases involving children who had been abused, abandoned, and/or neglected and presided over Dependency Drug Court. Furthermore, his Magistrate duties included presiding over a vast number of Baker Act hearings and Marchman Act hearings. As a Civil Traffic Hearing Officer, he heard cases involving civil traffic violations.

Judge Bass’ prior legal work in public interest law includes Staff Attorney with Jacksonville Area Legal Aid; Assistant State Attorney with the Office of State Attorney, Fourth Judicial Circuit; and Assistant Public Defender with the Office of the Public Defender, Thirteenth Judicial Circuit. His former private practice includes work with the law offices of Bivens, Jones and Associates as well as his own solo practice.

A native of Durham, North Carolina, Judge Bass graduated from Duke University in 1985 with his B.A. in History. He then attended and graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law with his Juris Doctorate degree in 1988. Judge Bass was admitted to the Florida Bar in April 1989.