Section Committees 2018-07-10T18:53:54+00:00

2018-2019 SECTION COMMITTEES

Capital Cases

This committee was created to keep the Executive Council aware of any changes to the status of capital litigation in Florida. It is intentionally constituted with members who give it a philosophical balance on the issues relating to capital crimes; so that parochial or ideological views do not sway the full committee.

The group concentrates on the changes in case law, legislative changes, and new Bar rules or procedures which might influence how capital cases, which are unique, would be prosecuted. For example, the question of requiring unanimous penalty phase verdicts is presently being addressed in the courts and by the legislature. If there are any modifications, this committee would advise the Executive Council; allowing it to respond as the voice of the Criminal Law practitioners in Florida.

  • Hon. Samantha Ward – Chair
  • Ryan Vescio – Co-Chair
  • Jose Arrojo
  • Abe Laeser
  • Donny Murrell
  • George Tragos
CLE Committee

Reflecting the unique and diverse nature of the Criminal Law Section’s membership, the CLE Committee is responsible for organizing and presenting quality continuing legal education programs of interest to all criminal law practitioners. For more information on the Committee, or to suggest topics and speakers, please contact the Committee Chair.

  • Scott Fingerhut – Chair
  • Mac Heavener
  • Susan Hugentugler
  • Brian Kramer
  • Ben Kuehne
  • Hon. Jeff Levenson
  • Richard Polin
  • Joe Spataro
  • Ken Swartz
Communications
The Communications Committee is charged with ensuring that both section members, as well as the community at large, are aware of the goings on with the Section, criminal justice law, and other issues that affect our practice. To that end, the Committee distributes regular newsletter communications to its members and publishes updates and informational articles to the Florida Bar News from time to time. For more information on the Committee, or to suggest a topic to be shared with our peers, contact the Committee Chair.
  • Jason Blank – Chair
  • Huda Ajlani Macri
  • Richard Greenberg
  • Lauren Jorgensen
  • Ben Kuehne
  • Jason Mehta
  • Richard Polin
  • Ryan Vescio
  • Jennifer Zedalis
Federal Practice
The Federal Practice Committee focuses on unique aspects of federal criminal practice before the United States Supreme Court, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, and Florida’s three federal district courts. The Committee works to provide members benefits such as federally-focused CLE opportunities, updates and information essential to federal practice, and opportunities to engage with federal criminal practitioners, the judiciary and other federal stakeholders. The Committee also serves to address the needs of federal criminal practitioners and the courts related to the Florida Bar, and elsewhere as appropriate.
  • Michael Sinacore – Chair
  • Hon. James Klindt, Co-Chair
  • Huda Ajlani Macri
  • Jeffrey Harris
  • Lauren Jorgensen
  • Sheryl Lowenthal
  • Jason Mehta
  • Thomas Palermo
  • Neal Sonnett
  • Ken Swartz
Legislative
The Legislative Committee is tasked with tracking all of the bills filed before the Florida Legislature each year that may impact issues important to our membership. On an ad hoc basis, the Committee meets by telephone, discusses pertinent legislation and recommends to the Executive Council any formal position that they believe the section should take with respect to particular legislation. Additionally, the Committee is assigned by the Executive Council Chair to address correspondence from other sections requesting that the Criminal Law Section take a particular position with regard to filed or proposed legislation. Finally, the Committee drafts a memorandum annually for distribution to all members of the Executive Council that summarizes any new laws passed during the term that impact issues relating to the Criminal Law Section. Any member of the Criminal Law Section may request an appointment to the Committee by contacting the current Chair of the Executive Council.
  • Richard Greenberg – Chair
  • Gerald Berry
  • Hon. Robert Dillinger
  • Cynthia Imperato
  • Marty McDonnell
  • Hon. Angelica Zayas
Long-Range Planning
The long-range planning committee is led by the chair-elect and is comprised of experienced executive Council members. The committee’s purpose is to consider the criminal section’s future in all areas, including CLE, Membership, legislative priorities, and interaction with the Bar as a whole.
  • Jennifer Zedalis – Chair
  • Hon. Lisa Campbell
  • Jeff Harris
  • Ben Kuehne
  • Warren Lindsey
  • Marty McDonnell
  • David Rothman
  • Joel Silvershein
  • George Tragos
  • Ryan Vescio
Membership
The membership committee is responsible for attracting new members and retaining current members. We do that by educating prospective members and reminding current members of the benefits of membership.

What makes the Criminal Law Section unique, and the reason you should be a member, is that we are the only organization whose members are judges, law professors, and criminal lawyers (state and federal, prosecution and defense, public and private). As members, we share information, ideas, and philosophies in a collegial and meaningful dialogue and we improve our individual skills and effectiveness. As a Section of the Bar, we have credibility. This enables us to work effectively to improve the quality of justice for those affected by our criminal justice systems. We advise the courts, including the Supreme Court, the legislature, and the Bar, on issues ranging from processes and procedures to substantive law. If you are not a member, you should be.

  • Antonya Johnson – Chair
  • Warren Lindsey – Co-Chair
  • Bob Dillinger
  • Richard Greenberg
  • Brian Kramer
  • Whitney Untiedt
  • Ryan Vescio
Nominating
  • Ryan Vescio – Chair
  • Warren Lindsey – Co-Chair
  • Mac Heavener
  • David Rothman
  • Jennifer Zedalis
P/PD Trial Advocacy Program
The PPD committee oversees administration of the CLS/UF Law Gerald T. Bennett Public Defender Prosecutor Trial Training Program. This program is now over the 40- year mark. The program trains young prosecutors and public defenders to strengthen their trial skills and develop more sophisticated trial skills. Every year, the PPD committee (mostly the program chairs) need to have lodging, food, room scheduling, faculty invitations/appointments, and other logistics carefully planned and finished to have a successful program. Budget is always a concern. The cost of food, lodging, and travel increases over time. There are a lot of moving parts. New materials need to be added periodically. Expert speakers are recruited each year for ethics and forensic science lectures. As long-time members of the PPD faculty retire, capable advocacy teacher/lawyers need to be recruited. It is important to have a good cross section of faculty representing the different demographic areas of the state. It is also important to have faculty representation from the prosecution and defense as well as the bench. The program is also very fortunate to have a QC from the United Kingdom teaching each year and 4 junior barristers as students. Because of the great emphasis placed on courtroom advocacy in the British system, the barristers are always excellent and they bring a fresh perspective to the program. The program is wonderful for many reasons. One of many is the emphasis on courtesy, professionalism, and empathy between the two sides of criminal practice.
  • Jennifer Zedalis – Chair
  • Paul Zacks – Co-Chair
  • Hon. Richard Hersch
  • Hon. Jeff Levenson
  • Joe Spataro
  • Hon. Angelica Zayas
Selig Goldin
The committee seeks nominees for the Section’s highest award, given annually to a Florida Bar member for displaying the talents and compassion possessed by Selig Goldin (https://floridabarcls.org/selig-goldin-award/)
  • Harvey Sepler – Chair
  • Richard Greenberg
  • Jeff Harris
  • Cynthia Imperato
  • Hon. Charles Johnson
  • Ben Kuehne
  • Donny Murrell
  • Neal Sonnett
  • Whitney Untiedt
Ad Hoc Committee on Legislative Crime Victims Proposal P6001 (Amendment 6)
  • Donny Murrell – Chair
  • Scott Fingerhut
  • Richard Greenberg
  • Ben Kuehne
  • Marty McDonnell
  • Neal Sonnett
  • Ryan Vescio
  • Jennifer Zedalis
Ad Hoc Committee on Certification
  • Hon. Richard Hersch – Chair
  • Jeff Harris – Co-Chair
  • Ben Kuehne
  • Abe Laeser
  • Warren Lindsey
  • Neal Sonnett
  • Ken Swartz
  • Ryan Vescio
Ad Hoc Committee on Certification
  • Richard Hersch, Chair
  • Jeff Harris, Co-Chair
  • Ben Kuehne
  • Abe Laeser
  • Warren Lindsey
  • Neal Sonnett
  • Dawn Tiffin
  • Ryan Vescio
Liaison to Young Lawyers Division
  • Antonya Johnson
Liaison to Criminal Rules Committee
  • Mac Heavener
Liaison to Juvenile Rules Committee
  • Joel Silvershein
Liaison to Appeals Committee
  • Joel Silvershein
Liaison to Continuing Legal Education Committee
  • Scott Fingerhut

Liaison to The Florida Bar Criminal Law Summit

  • Marty McDonnell