Karla Reyes – President

reyes-karlaKarla Reyes has done indigent defense since she’s been a law student at Stetson University College of Law. During law school, she was a Certified Legal Intern for the Honorable Bob Dilinger in Clearwater, Florida for two semesters at the Office of Public Defender, Sixth Judicial Circuit. She also interned a summer at the headquarters for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She’s been a member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers since law school. After law school, she worked for the Honorable Carey Haughwout in West Palm Beach, Florida at the Office Public Defender, 15th Judicial Circuit.

Karla Reyes was born Puerto Rico but Orlando is home to her so after only six months in West Palm Beach, she came back home to work for the Honorable Bob Wesley. She’s been here in the trenches since January 2010. Karla has been heavily involved with Orange County Teen Court as a volunteer for over 15 years as a teenager and an attorney. She’s currently on the Teen Court Advisory Board and the Teen Alternatives Board which helps raise funds for Teen Court volunteers.

Since September 2015, Karla has been an Assistant Federal Defender in Orlando, Florida, representing citizens accused of federal crimes.

Immediate Past-President: Robert Wesley

robert-wesleyRobert Wesley is the Public Defender of Florida’s Ninth Judicial Circuit. He is a board certified criminal trial lawyer and has been certified by Florida and Federal courts to represent defendants in capital cases. Previously, Wesley served as the Executive Director of the Volunteer Lawyers Resource Center (A Federal community defender organization) and was Executive Director of the Florida Supreme Court’s Sentencing Guidelines Commission. Wesley@circuit9.org

Amanda Sampaio – President Elect

amanda-sampaioAmanda Sampaio is a private attorney practicing criminal defense in Central Florida. She is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and currently has her own firm. Prior to opening her own practice, she served her community by working at the Ninth Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s office for just over 6 years. She has defended thousands of criminal cases ranging from misdemeanors to serious felony offenses, appeals, violations of probation and expunctions.

She is a graduate of Florida State University College of Law and she obtained her undergraduate degree from Eckerd College where she played Division II College Volleyball. In addition to serving as President Elect of CFACDL, Amanda is an active member of Orange County Bar Association (OCBA), Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers (CFAWL), & Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL). amanda@sampaiolegal.com

Sean Landers – Treasurer

sean-landersSean Landers has practiced exclusively criminal defense since August of 2007. Mr. Landers was Board Certified as an Expert in Criminal Trial Law in 2013. Mr. Landers worked for 8 1/2 years as an Assistant Public Defender for the 9th Circuit handling mostly serious violent felonies and sex offense cases, including over 60 felony trials as lead counsel.

He is now in private practice with the Baez Law Firm handling all degrees of State and Federal crimes. Since 2013, he has sat on the Board as a Director; Secretary; Treasurer and now Vice-President.

Benjamin Wurtzel – Secretary

wurtzelBenjamin Wurtzel, a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney, is an Assistant Public Defender with the Office of the Public Defender for the 9th Circuit. An Assistant Public Defender since 2011, Mr. Wurtzel has handled thousands of criminal cases, ranging from misdemeanors to life felonies. Mr. Wurtzel has handled all aspects of criminal defense litigation, including pre-trial, trial, appellate, and post-conviction matters.

Mr. Wurtzel has been a member of CFACDL since 2011, and a Board Member for the past three years, including two years as an executive officer. Currently, Mr. Wurtzel serves as the Board’s Treasurer. Mr. Wurtzel obtained his undergraduate degree, cum laude, from the University of Florida, and obtained his J.D., cum laude, from Stetson University College of Law.

Mauricio Hued – Director

mauricoMauricio Hued is a private attorney practicing state and federal criminal defense in Central Florida. Before having his own practice, Mr. Hued worked for Ninth Circuit Public Defender Robert Wesley and for the Federal Defender Organization for the Federal Middle District of Florida.

Mr. Hued is a proud graduate of The Florida State University College of Law where he earned his Juris Doctorate, was on the board of the Journal of Transnational Law and Policy, and earned a Masters Degree in International Affairs. Mr. Hued has also attended the National Criminal Defense College’s Trial Practice Institute at the Mercer University School of Law.

Brice Aikens – Director

20131007092809_aikens_briceBrice Aikens is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Lawyer with the Umanksy Law Firm. Mr. Aikens is a member of CFACDL, NACDL, and the ABA. Mr. Aikens has published several scholarly articles on issues in criminal justice, and has served on the distinguished ABA Criminal Justice Council alongside professors, judges, prosecutors, and defense attorneys from around the country.

Mr. Aikens has dutifully served on the CFACDL board since 2014. Mr. Aikens has participated as a panelist or presenter in various CLE seminars on trial advocacy. Mr. Aikens has appeared as a guest lecturer at UCF, Florida A& M University College of Law, and Barry School of Law.

Ali Kamalzadeh – Director

aliAli Kamalzadeh is a research and writing attorney for the appellate division in the Federal Defender’s Office (FDO) for the Middle District of Florida, Orlando division.  During  law  school he was a Certified Legal Intern at the FDO under the guidance of First Asst. Defender Jim Skuthan and was then employed as a clerk to assist with the retroactivity of Amendment 782 under the guidance of Chief of Appeals Attorney Rosemary Cakmis.

Ali  also clerked for the Honorable Judge Bob LeBlanc, for the Ninth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida, and interned at Seminole County Bar Association Legal Aid Society, Inc. assisting with foreclosure defense under the guidance of Director  Silva  McLain.  Since law school Ali has been a member of CFACDL, recently joining FACDL and NACDL.  His most recent endeavor is training to become a Hearing Officer for the Seminole County Prosecution Alternatives for Youth (PAY) program.

Bill Ponall

William Ponall is Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Criminal Appellate Law. He is one of fewer than 30 private attorneys in the State of Florida who holds that designation. William Ponall has over 13 years of experience arguing State and Federal criminal appeals and post conviction matters throughout the State of Florida. He has a proven record of success in cases involving homicides, sexual offenses, DUI Manslaughter, and other serious offenses.

Prior to entering private practice, William Ponall served as a Staff Attorney for the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. In that position, he assisted the judges on the Court reach their decisions on appeals involving issues of criminal law, sentencing, and post-conviction relief.

Mr. Ponall served as the President of the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 2011-2012. He currently serves on the Board of Directors and is the Co-Chair of the Committee on Proposed Rules and Jury Instructions for the Florida Association of Criminal Defense