President – Kevin Hellmann has devoted his career to public defense for the past twenty-six years. Since December 2012, he has served as Director of Training, Professionalism and Leadership Development at the Law Offices of Carlos J. Martinez, Public Defender in the 11th Judicial Circuit of Miami-Dade, Florida. From 2007 through 2012, Kevin was a Senior Supervising Attorney in the Felony Division and from 2003 to 2007, he was Training Coordinator of the Juvenile Division.
Kevin has served as an Assistant Public Defender in Miami-Dade County since 1996. As a trial lawyer, he has directly represented hundreds of indigent clients accused of misdemeanors and felonies. From 1996 to present, he has tried over seventy criminal jury trials and 225 bench trials ranging from misdemeanors to first degree murder. In 1995, before working in Miami, Kevin was an attorney at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem, a non-profit organization representing indigent residents of Harlem and the Bronx in criminal cases.
Kevin is recognized as a Board Certified Expert in Criminal Trial Law by The Florida Bar since 2016. In August 2020, he was selected as a member of the 11th Circuit Grievance Committee of The Florida Bar. In 2018, Kevin received the President’s Award from the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers-Miami Chapter for his ongoing Continuing Legal Education training sessions. Since January 2012, Kevin has taught Trial Skills as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law. He has also taught Criminal Litigation as an Adjunct Professor at Florida International University College of Law during the summer sessions of 2018, 2019 and 2021.
Kevin has presented training sessions throughout Florida and across the country on various legal issues. In April 2021, he presented a Fourth Amendment training for The Florida Bar 2021 Board Certification Exam in Criminal Trial Law. In October 2020, he presented “Racial Bias in Jury Selection” to the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. In July 2019 and 2021, he has been a faculty member for the Public Defender/Prosecutor Trial Training Program conducted by The Florida Bar at the University of Florida Law School. He has also presented several trainings for the Florida Public Defender Association and FACDL-Miami, including Evidentiary Trial Objections, Collateral Consequences of Juvenile Delinquency Cases and Professional Responsibility for Juvenile Defense Lawyers.
Kevin obtained his Bachelor of Arts degree from Harvard University in 1988 and his Juris Doctor degree from Brooklyn Law School in 1995. In law school, he was Articles Editor for the Journal of Law and Policy and received the Edward Sparer and Charles Revson public interest law fellowships. His legal note, The Fallacy of Dueling Sovereignties: Why the Supreme Court Refuses to Eliminate the Dual Sovereignty Doctrine, 2 J.L & Pol’y 149, was published in 1994.
President Elect – Michael Davis focuses on complex state and federal litigation at Kuehne Davis, P.A., formally known as Law Offices Benedict P. Kuehne. A graduate of Stetson University, Davis began his appellate career successfully competing in moot court competitions. A former law clerk to U.S. District Court Judge Virginia M. Hernandez Covington, Davis joined the Appellate Division of the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office. Davis has argued before the Third DCA, the Florida Supreme Court, and the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals, securing more than 30 written opinions. He is a regular CLE presenter.
Davis serves on the Stetson University Board of Trustees, is a Board member of his church, Bread of Life Community Church. He also serves on several boards of directors, including the Virgil Hawkins Chapter of the National Bar Association, the Dade County Bar Association, and the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers-Miami Chapter.
Vice President- Dianne Carames has been a member of The Florida Bar since 2009 and a member of the Southern District of Florida since 2012. She worked as an Assistant Public Defender with the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office since 2010 where she gained invaluable experience as a trial attorney handling hundreds of different cases. In 2016 she joined Sabrina Puglisi as an associate at Puglisi Law, where she currently helps run a law practice handling Federal and State criminal defense matters. In 2019 Dianne was appointed to the Southern District of Florida’s CJA panel, where she continues her public service by providing legal representation to accused persons who are financially unable to retain counsel.
In addition to being a member and Secretary of the Miami-Dade Chapter, Dianne is a member of the Dade County Bar Association and is Chair of that bar’s Criminal Court’s Committee. She’s volunteered with organizations such as the American Heart Association and is a past Board Member of the Jr. Orange Bowl of Miami.
In recognition of her demonstrated qualifications of leadership, reputation, influence, and service, Dianne has been recognized by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation as a Top 40 under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida and by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star.
Dianne is a proud Alumni of the University of Central Florida in Orlando, where she received her Bachelor’s degree, and of the Florida International University College of Law, where she received her JD. She was born and raised in Miami, Florida, is fluent in Spanish, and is eternally grateful to her parents for supporting her always.
Treasurer- Rachel Kipnis Curtis is an attorney at Ratzan & Faccidomo where her practice focuses on criminal defense, as well as board and bar defense work. Born and raised in Miami, Mrs. Curtis is a proud Ransom Everglades alumni. Mrs. Curtis left Miami to attend Connecticut College before returning to the University of Miami for law school. While earning her juris doctorate at the University of Miami, Mrs. Curtis also obtained a Masters of Law in Taxation. After graduation she worked as an Assistant State Attorney in the Sexual Battery and Child Abuse Unit as well as the Traffic Homicide and Hate Crimes Unit.
Outside of the legal community, Mrs. Curtis is active within her synagogue, Temple Beth Sholom as well as the ADL Jurisprudence Committee. Mrs. Curtis proudly serves on the political candidate endorsement committee for SAVE, an organization that promotes, protects, and defends LGBTQ+ rights. She sits on the Florida Bar Professionalism Committee as well as a grievance committee, is the DCBA liaison from Miami Dade Florida Association of Women Lawyers, a member of the FACDL Statewide Annual Committee, as well as the chair of the criminal courts committee for DCBA. In 2020 she chaired the FACDL Protest Pro Bono committee, which provided free legal services to many who were arrested while legally protesting as part of the BLM movement.
During the pandemic, Lauren has become especially skilled at protest poster-making (drawing on her camp counselor days) and Dolly Parton Peloton rides, and she became a Red Cross Certified Lifeguard – so she’s now qualified to protect you from both the federal government and the rough tides of South Beach.
Immediate Past President – Matthew Meyers is the founder and managing partner of Matthew P. Meyers, PA located in Miami, Florida. Since 2013, Matthew has focused exclusively on criminal defense. Prior to the establishment of his firm Mr. Meyers was an Assistant State Attorney, having served as a supervisor in the Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Unit, Traffic Homicide Unit, and Human Trafficking Unit. Throughout his career, Matt has tried cases ranging from misdemeanors to homicide, in both state and federal courts. In addition to his work with FACDL-Miami, Matthew serves as the Young Lawyer’s Committee Co-Chair for the Statewide FACDL organization.
Board of Directors
Annabelle Nahra Nadler
Young Lawyer Directors
Rachel Kipnis Curtis
Federal and State Public Defender and Regional Conflict
Public Defender Carlos J. Martinez
Federal Defender Michael Caruso
Regional Counsel Eugene Zenobi
Statewide Chapter Representatives
Michael A. Catalano
Robert Coulombe Jr.
Ramon De La Cabada
Patrick S. Dray
Mark R. Eiglarsh
Scott H. Fingerhut
Michael A. Haber
Kenneth P. Hassett
Albert J. Krieger
Benedict P. Kuehne
Beatriz A. Llorente
David O. Markus
Elliot H. Scherker
Janice Burton Sharpstein
Brian L. Tannebam
Jeffrey S. Weiner
Past Presidents/Directors Emeritus
|2013||Eduardo X. Pereira|
|2012||Jude M. Faccidomo|
|2011||Beatriz A. “Betty" Llorente|
|2009||Hector L. Flores|
|2007||Barry M. Wax|
|2006||David O. Markus|
|2005||Brian L. Tannebaum|
|2004||H. Scott Fingerhut|
|2003||Kenneth P. Hassett|
|2002||Paul M. Rashkind|
|2001||Leonard A. Sands|
|2000||Gregory A. Prebish (dec.)|
|1999||Jeffrey E. Feiler|
|1998||Kenneth M. Swartz|
|1997||Pamela I. Perry|
|1996||Honorable Richard L. Hersch|
|1995||Steven M. Potolsky|
|1994||Honorable Robert N. Scola, Jr.|
|1993||David B. Rothman|
|1991||Honorable Milton Hirsch|
|1990||Benedict P. Kuehne|
|1989||Jose M. Quinon|
|1988||Honorable Theodore Klein (dec.)|
|1987||Edward R. Shohat|
|1986||Richard A. Sharpstein (dec.)|
|1985||Richard A. Sharpstein (dec.)|
|1984||Neal R. Sonnett|
|1982||Honorble Stanford Blake|
|1981||Jeffrey S. Weiner|
|1980||Stephen J. Bronis|
|1979||Honorable Ronald C. Dresnick|
|1978||Alan E. Weinstein|
|1977||James G. Gilmour|
|1976||Thomas J. Morgan, Sr.|
|1975||Sky E. Smith|
|1974||Marco B. Loffredo(dec.)|
|1973||Marco B. Loffredo(dec.)|
|1970||Walter Gwynn (dec.)|
|1969||Robert L. Koeppel (dec.)|
|1968||Arthur B. Stark (dec.)|
|1967||Arthur B. Stark (dec.)|
|1966||Mitchell M. Goldman|
|1965||Philip Carlton (dec.)|
|1964||Philip Carlton (dec.)|
|1963||Harry W. Prebish (dec.)|