CFACDL’S 2021-2022 BOARD

Ali Kamalzadeh - Immediate Past-President

Since 2019, Ali Kamalzadeh has been a trial attorney for the Federal Defender’s Office (FDO). He began as a research & writing attorney for the FDO in 2015. During law school, as a CLI, he assisted with foreclosure defense at the Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society (SCBALAS). Mr. Kamalzadeh organized SCBALAS’s first Volunteer Income Tax Assistance clinic to assist low-income residents with preparing and filing their federal tax returns. Prior to his legal career, Mr. Kamalzadeh was a federal regulations compliance and operations director for a national bank in their mortgage division.
Mr. Kamalzadeh has served on the CFACDL board since 2015. He also serves on the Orange County Teen Court Advisory Board, and is a Chapter Representative for the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyer’s (FACDL). He also serves on FACDL’s long-range planning committee, Federal Practice Committee; Membership Development Committee. Mr. Kamalzadeh volunteers as co-counsel for the Middle District of Florida Intensive Re-entry Program, in the Orlando Division, where he assists post-incarceration participants receive support in a non-traditional supervisory setting. Mr. Kamalzadeh is a member of the Orlando Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
Mr. Kamalzadeh has 6 years of federal criminal law client representation, which includes trial, appellate, and habeas practice. He is a member of the Florida Bar and is also a member of the United States Supreme Court, Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Middle District of Florida.

Susan Malove – President

Susan Malove is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney practicing exclusively criminal defense in Florida state and federal courts. In addition to her private practice, since 2015 she has served as a Criminal Justice Act panel attorney for the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando Division. Through the CJA panel, Ms. Malove represents indigent defendants in federal court at the trial court level as well as on federal habeas petitions.  In January of 2020, she was one of two Orlando attorneys appointed to the CJA Panel Advisory Committee by Chief United States District Judge Steven D. Merryday to serve alongside nine United States Magistrate Judges from across the Middle District of Florida, and in 2021 she was selected to serve on the Orlando Division CJA Mentor Panel to advise and assist panel attorneys handling the defense of various types of federal prosecutions.

 

Ms. Malove is also a member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and has served on the FACDL board of directors since 2019. She currently serves on the Jim Miller Scholarship Committee, and previously served on the Marsy’s Law/Legislative Committee. In 2017 she served on the faculty of the Florida Bar’s Basic Criminal Law seminar and presented on Sentencing Law for the Florida Bar Young Lawyers Division.
She began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender in the Ninth Judicial Circuit after earning her Juris Doctorate, cum laude, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2009 and her bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from the University of Florida in 2006. 

 

Michelle Yard – President-Elect

Michelle Yard works in the Appellate Division and also serves as the Intern Program Director for the Federal Defender’s Office Middle District of Florida. Along with defending individuals in appeals and habeas cases, she has completed federal trials and is board-certified by the Florida Bar as a criminal trial attorney. She has also appeared before the Eleventh Circuit for oral arguments and obtained reversals. In 2016, the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (CFACDL) selected her for its annual “Foot Soldier of the Constitution” award honoring one Central Florida criminal defense attorney “who exemplifies the actions of a true criminal defense lawyer by fighting for their client’s rights and improving the Criminal Justice system as a whole.” She is a member of the bar in the state of Florida, the Middle District of Florida, and the Supreme Court of the United States. 
Before joining the Federal Defender in 2015, she worked as a trial attorney for ten years as a state Assistant Public Defender in Orange County where she successfully tried cases from DUI to sexual battery to homicide. While an Assistant Public Defender, she also served as Training Director and worked on special litigation projects, including leading a comprehensive multi-year jury composition study, representing respondents in Baker Act proceedings, drafting extraordinary writs, and seeking post-conviction relief under Graham and Miller for juveniles sentenced to life without parole—of which she secured some of the lowest resentences in the country. She has presented at local, statewide, and national conferences on sentencing issues and reform. She currently serves as President-Elect of CFACDL, recently served as a Subject Matter Expert for the Florida Board of Bar Examiners 2020-21 Legal Practice Analysis Panel, and previously served on the board of the ACLU of Central Florida. Her law school highlights include representing children as a Certified Legal Intern with the Gator Team Child Civil Law Clinic, as well as, receiving a Pro Bono Award from the Levin College of Law in recognition of her years of volunteer service in dependency cases as a certified Guardian ad Litem for abused, neglected, and abandoned children. She received her B.A. with honors and her J.D. cum laude from the University of Florida.

Rachel Mattie – Vice President

Rachel Mattie is a criminal defense attorney at The Umansky Law Firm in Orlando, Florida. Ms. Mattie majored in Legal Studies at UCF before graduating from Barry Law School in 2014, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the law review. She also worked as a staff Research Assistant, drafting and editing articles to be published in various journals including the Harvard Law & Policy Review. Ms. Mattie has also published law review articles of her own, topics including Florida’s Stand Your Ground law and the National Organ Transplant Act.

Ms. Mattie has devoted her entire legal career to criminal defense, starting out as a legal assistant for a criminal defense firm in law school and then becoming an Assistant Public Defender for the Ninth Judicial Circuit in 2014. In 2017, she made the transition to private practice and now solely represents criminal defendants, focusing primarily on DUI defense and driver license issues. In addition to serving as a board member for the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Ms. Mattie also serves as a committee chair for OCBA’s Young Lawyer’s Section. Ms. Mattie is barred in Florida and in the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida.

Andrew Clark – Treasurer

Andrew Clark is an assistant public defender, working in Seminole and Orange Counties for the past 13 years. At the Orange County office, he is responsible for a serious felony docket and trains new attorneys in jury selection. Mr. Clark has earned his reputation as an excellent trial attorney in his over 100 felony jury trials. He is board certified in Criminal Trial law by the Florida Bar since 2012. A member of the CFACDL Board of Directors for the past several years, Mr. Clark has a passion for the organization and its mission in the Central Florida legal community.

Diana Miers – Secretary

Diana Miers is a criminal defense attorney with the Office of the Public Defender, Ninth Circuit.  An avid Gator fan, she studied criminal justice at the University of Florida before graduating from Western Michigan University School of Law.  Diana started her career as an Assistant State Attorney before turning her efforts to indigent defense. A transplant to Orlando from the Midwest she was quickly taken with the Orlando spirit and has worked to serve the community in many areas including helping to establish the Orange County Veteran’s Court and organizations focusing on the empowerment of women and children like Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida and the Junior League.

David Varet – Director at Large

David Varet is a passionate, lovable, and charismatic defender of criminal rights of the indigent in Central Florida. Following his graduating FSU Law in 2012, Mr. Varet came to Orlando to work at the Office of the Public Defender, 9th Circuit, where he quickly worked his way up the ranks to felony court. After a quick sojourn to private practice, Mr. Varet returned to the Office of Regional Conflict Counsel, 5th District to continue defending the indigent, where he currently remains. When not visiting clients or researching case law, Mr. Varet enjoys spending time with his perfect, perfect dog, cooking, and watching his beloved New York Yankees.

David Redfearn – Director at Large

David Redfearn defends people against the government in state courts. His recent focus is advocating for Miller/Graham clients in post-conviction and resentencing and also strategic litigation in the Research & Writing department of the Office of the Public Defender. He is double board certified by The Florida Bar in criminal trial law and criminal appellate law. He lives in Orlando with his wife Jessi. 

Trey Flynn – Director at Large

Trey Flynn is a board Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney and partner at NeJame Law in Orlando, Florida. Mr. Flynn obtained his undergraduate degree in Business Administration at the University of Florida before graduating from the University of Dayton School of Law in 2007.  After graduation, he worked as an Assistant Public Defender for 8 years before going into private practice. Mr. Flynn has handed thousands of criminal cases, and served as counsel on over 100 jury trials in his career.

Mr. Flynn’s family has called Orlando home since the late 1950s. He currently also serves as president for the Yellow Brick Road: The Holden Flynn Foundation an organization dedicated to assisting children and families suffering from congenital heart disease in Central Florida. The foundation’s presence can be seen in all 3 major pediatric hospitals in Orlando.

Benjamin L. Jones – Director at Large

An alumni of Emory University and the University of Miami’s School of Law, Mr. Jones began his career practicing White Collar Criminal Defense in South West Florida. After moving to Orlando in 2009, he served as one of the 9th Circuit’s Assistant Public Defenders until 2016 when he returned to private practice with Longwell Lawyers, as a Board Certified Criminal Trial Expert.

In the past 13 years, Mr. Jones has and tried over 100 jury trials and represented thousands of citizens accused of every type of criminal charge at both the State and Federal.  His clients have been acquitted of 1st Degree Murder, Attempted 1st Degree Murder, Attempted 1st Degree Murder of a Law Enforcement Officer, Attempted 2nd Degree Murder, Lewd and Lascivious Molestation, Check Fraud, Marijuana and Cocaine Possession, D.U.I., Driving on a Suspended License, Battery, Assault… the list goes on.

At work, Mr. Jones enjoys protecting his clients from looming government sanctions, no matter how big or small the case, and during his free time, he enjoys injuring himself playing adult rec-league basketball, disk golf, James Bond movies, and bourbon.

Ashley Parker – Director

Ashley Parker is a criminal defense attorney at Lindsey & Ferry, P.A. Mr. Parker obtained his undergraduate and law degree from the University of Georgia. GO DAWGS! After law school, he moved to Orlando and worked as an Assistant Public Defender for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Then, he began his career in private practice at Fighter Law before joining Lindsey & Ferry, P.A. Mr. Parker is admitted to practice law in the state courts of Florida and the U.S. District Court of the Middle District of Florida. Mr. Parker has been a member of CFACDL since 2014.

Kimberlee Martin - Director

Kimberlee joined the legal profession in 2013 and began her career as a Public Defender for the Ninth Judicial Circuit where she served until 2018. In 2018, she transitioned into private practice at Fisher Rushmer, P.A. and then in 2020 joined the Cohen Law Group, which is where she is at today. Kimberlee earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Central Florida in 2009. In 2016, her undergrad alma mater awarded her its prestigious Top 30 Under 30 Award for the work that she has done both in her career and in the community. Kimberlee obtained her Juris Doctorate from Florida International University’s College of Law. She graduated cum laude along with awards for Excellence in Advocacy and Excellence in Service. At FIU Law, Kimberlee was a Dean’s Scholar, served as the Secretary of the Board of Advocates, Day-Division Representative on the Student Bar Association, Founding President of the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, and competed on both the Trial and Moot Court teams, earning the Best Orator award at the Susan J. Ferrell Intercultural Human Rights Competition. Prior to becoming Barred, Kimberlee served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Don S. Cohn in the Eleventh Judicial Circuit in and for Miami-Dade County and then as a judicial clerk at the Florida Supreme Court in the Office of the Chief Justice. She then began her litigation experience when she joined the FIU Law’s Carlos A. Costa Immigration and Human Rights Clinic defending individuals in removal proceedings as well as assisting individuals with visa and citizenship applications. 
 
In addition to CFACDL, Kimberlee serves on the board of the Orange County Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Section organizing and participating in numerous charity and volunteer events designed to support those who most need it in Orange County. In 2019, the Legal Aid Society of the OCBA recognized Kimberlee by placing her on their annual Pro Bono Honor Roll and she also accepted a Token of Appreciation from Orange County Public Schools for her contribution, through YLS, to the in-need students of Orange County. She also serves on the board for the PACE Center for Girls, a year-round school that employs a team of certified teachers and masters-level counselors trained in strength-based, trauma-informed and gender-responsive care to teach and empower middle and high school-aged young women to complete their education, build self-esteem, and develop strong life skills. 

Marie Taylor – Director

Marie Taylor graduated cum laude from Flagler College, where she was captain of the women’s basketball team. She graduated from Florida International University School of Law in Miami, FL in 2017, then moved directly to Orlando to join the Office of the Public Defender for the Ninth Circuit.  As an Assistant Public Defender, Marie defends clients charged with serious felonies including punishable by life offenses and sex offenses. She has tried a wide range of felony and misdemeanor cases and has filed numerous extraordinary writs and appeals. Marie wants to join the Board to fight the good fight from a leadership position.