CFACDL’s 2020-2021 Board
Ali Kamalzadeh – President
Ali Kamalzadeh is a trial attorney for the Federal Defender’s Office (FDO) since 2019. Prior to that, he was a research & writing attorney for the FDO beginning 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. 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.
Benjamin Wurtzel – Immediate Past-President
Benjamin Wurtzel is a Florida Bar Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney. Mr. Wurtzel currently runs his own practice, Wurtzel Law, PLLC, a private criminal defense firm serving Central Florida. Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Wurtzel served as an Assistant Public Defender in the Ninth Judicial Circuit for seven years. Mr. Wurtzel has handled thousands of criminal cases, ranging from misdemeanors to life felonies. Mr. Wurtzel has experience in nearly 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 six years, including five years as an executive officer. Currently, Mr. Wurtzel serves as the CFACDL Immediate Past-President. Mr. Wurtzel also serves on the Board of Directors of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers as a chapter representative. 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.
Susan Malove – President-Elect
Susan Malove is a private attorney practicing state and federal criminal defense in Central Florida. Ms. Malove is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law and has been working as a sole practitioner since 2014. Prior to opening her own firm, Ms. Malove was an Assistant Public Defender in the Ninth Judicial Circuit from 2009 through 2013. 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 addition, Ms. Malove has continued to represent indigent defendants in Orange and Osceola County Circuit Courts on a court appointed basis through the Justice Administrative Commission.
Ms. Malove has been a member of CFACDL since 2009. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida in 2006, and her J.D., cum laude, from the University of Florida Levin College of Law in 2009.
Michelle Yard – Vice President
Michelle Yard is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney in Orlando, Florida where she works at the Federal Defender’s Office for the Middle District of Florida. Prior to joining the Federal Defender in 2015, she worked for more than ten years as a state Assistant Public Defender in Orlando, Florida. In 2016, she received the annual “Foot Soldier of the Constitution” award from the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (CFACDL). She has been a speaker at statewide and national conferences on topics such as mitigation development and sentencing reform. She is a board member of the Central Florida Chapter of the ACLU and CFACDL. She received her J.D. cum laude and B.A. with honors from the University 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.
Rachel Mattie – Secretary
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.
Ashley Dunab – Director
Ashley Dunbar was born and raised in the Jersey Shore by Jamaican parents, received her Bachelor’s in English at Villanova University, and graduated from University of Florida Levin College of Law. In October 2016, Ms. Dunbar began her career as a public defender advocating for children in the juvenile division of the 9th Circuit Office of the Public Defender. Presently, she serves adult clients accused of first degree, second degree, and life felonies. In addition to practicing law, Ms. Dunbar previously served as secretary for the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association from 2018 to 2019 and currently serves on the community outreach committee. Ms. Dunbar also serves on the Justice Advisory Committee asked to review the new Justice in Policing Act under Congressman Darren Soto. Ms. Dunbar spends her free time volunteering to speak at local schools, judging mock trial competitions, competing in bodybuilding competitions, working as an online fitness coach, and eating.
David Varet – Director
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
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.
Ashley Parker – Director
Ashley Parker is a criminal defense attorney at Fighter Law. 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 for four years before joining private practice. 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.
Trey Flynn – Director at Large
Trey Flynn is aboard 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.
Ebony Cobb – Director at Large
Ebony Cobb is the current President of the Osceola County Bar Association and a member of the Osceola Chapter of the NAACP. She serves on Representative Darren Soto’s Justice Advisory Committee and was recently awarded the “Tomorrow’s Leaders Today” award by the Kissimmee / Osceola County Chamber of Commerce. Ebony practices at the Public Defender’s Office in Osceola County where she handles serious felonies including attempted murder, drug trafficking, and sex offenses. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, going to the beach, and spending time with family and friends.
Diana Miers – Director at Large
Diana Miers is a criminal defense attorney with the Office of Criminal Conflict and Civil Regional Counsel 5th District. An avid Gator fan, her undergraduate degree focused in Criminal Justice came from the University of Florida before graduating from Western Michigan University School of Law. Diana started her career as an Assistant State Attorney for almost 7 years 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 currently serving on the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida Key Initiative Board.