Dexter Douglass, lawyer for Gore, Chiles, dead at 83by John Kennedy | September 17th, 2013
Dexter Douglass, the Tallahassee lawyer who represented Democrat Al Gore in his courtroom fight to win Florida in the 2000 presidential election, died late Monday. He was 83, and had been treated for cancer.
Douglass gave the Gore campaign some key local grounding in the 36-day struggle that followed Election Day 2000. Douglass knew Florida, the state’s politics, and the Leon County Courthouse, where much of the legal wrangling between Gore and the George W. Bush campaign played out.
Douglass, a North Florida native, had gone to the University of Florida, where he met Lawton Chiles. The two became decades-long friends and Douglass went on to become general counsel under Chiles and served as his closest adviser during the Democrat’s eight years in office.
Douglass argued cases before the state Supreme Court involving school vouchers, redistricting and the state’s landmark lawsuit against the tobacco industry.