CFACDL’S 2021-2022 BOARD

Michelle Yard - President

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.

Susan Malove - Immediate Past-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. 

Rachel Mattie – President-Elect

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.

Diana Miers – Vice President

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.

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.

Ashley Parker – Secretary

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

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.

Dominique Cunningham – Director at Large

Dominique Cunningham is currently an Assistant Public Defender with the Ninth Judicial Circuit. She has been with the office since being barred and has been very passionate about criminal defense work since the start of my higher education. She’s always been one to try to be involved, from e-board positions in undergrad to SBA in law school. She is honored to have been nominated for one of the positions with CFACDL. She would like to have the opportunity to help plan events and help further criminal defense attorneys in the Central Florida area.

Devan Desai – Director at Large

Devan Desai currently works as an Assistant Public Defender here in the Ninth Circuit. He started his career as an Assistant Public Defender in Brevard County. Devan was active in the local Brevard County FACDL chapter. Prior to working in the Ninth Judicial Circuit, Devan worked in the Office of the Public Defender in Seminole County as well. Devan wants CFACDL to be an organization that continues to grow, while unifying and connecting criminal practitioners from all backgrounds and experiences. Devan is a graduate of the FSU College of Law and the University of Georgia for undergrad. Go Dawgs!

Chelsea Simmons – Director at Large

Chelsea Simmons is a Board Certified Criminal Trial Attorney practicing in state and federal courts. She earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Florida (2005) and her J.D. from the University of Florida College of Law (2008). She began her career as an Assistant Public Defender, where she most recently supervised misdemeanor attorneys and handled cases in the major crimes division. She is now practicing criminal defense in private practice at NeJame Law. Ms. Simmons is also a member of FACDL and OCBA.

Samantha Lambert – Director at Large

Samantha Lambert is honored to be nominated to the CFACDL Board. Lambert’s undergraduate degree is from San Jose State University, her law degree from Barry University of Law, graduating Magna Cum Laude respectively. Accomplishments of pride are having served as Research and Technical Editor of Law Review, being selected for publication, and graduating third in her law school class.
Lambert is passionate about criminal defense and began her legal career as an Assistant Public Defender for the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Currently, she is privileged to be an associate attorney for the Law Office of David A. Webster, P.A.

Andrew Reath – Director at Large

Andrew Reath is an assistant public defender in the Ninth Circuit. Originally from Miramar, Andrew graduated from the University of Florida, triple majoring in Philosophy, Linguistics, and English and returned to obtain his law degree in 2019. Committed to indigent defense, Andrew interned at the Florida Capital Resource Center, San Francisco Public Defender as an NACDL fellow, and for the Middle District Federal Defender. Andrew is active in OCBA, Greater Orlando Asian American Bar Association, FACDL, and CFACDL. He hopes to join the board in order to advocate for the rights of the criminally accused in the community at large.