For the first time ever, starting June 5th at noon and ending June 12th at noon, all FACDL members will have the opportunity to vote electronically (through emailed links) for the new secretary (who will later ascend to be president) and 5 (or 6) directors at large who serve a three year term on the board. Each candidate was given the opportunity to provide a campaign video, bio and headshot so all FACDL members could get to know them. Please take a moment to review the following and get to know your candidates:
- Nominations to fill the secretary position on the executive committee: (RULE: May only vote for one candidate.)
- Jason B. Blank (Broward County Chapter):
Jason B. Blank is the right person to be FACDL’s next Secretary and deserves your vote. As a multi-term FACDL Director-at-Large and a Chapter Representative before that, Jason understands the task at hand and the work necessary to accomplish the goals of our organization. He is the best choice to lead FACDL into the future and with your help, he will lead FACDL to become a stronger, better, and more powerful organization, offering more value and support for our members and their clients.
After nearly eight years as a public defender at the Broward County Public Defender’s office, he joined Jason H. Haber to form Haber Blank, LLP in Fort Lauderdale. Jason’s practice focuses on criminal defense trials and appeals, as well as Florida election law. This uniquely positions him to strengthen FACDL’s influence in Tallahassee. Jason’s involvement in organizations across the criminal law community give him a unique and broad perspective. In addition to being a multi-term Director-at-Large for FACDL, Jason is also the Chair-elect to the Florida Bar’s Criminal Law Section, an appointed member of the Florida Bar’s Criminal Procedure Rules Committee, and is a Past-President of the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
For years, Jason has fought for his clients in the trenches of courtrooms across Florida. He has worked alongside many of you, shared clients with some of you, and always feels for you. As we all do, Jason knows the ups and downs of our profession from both the personal and business sides. Jason is AV Rated with Martindale-Hubbell, is “Superb 10.0” Rated with Avvo, was listed in the 2019 “SuperLawyers,” and since 2013 has been listed as one of Florida’s “Legal Elite” by Florida Trend Magazine. In 2012, Jason was honored as the NSU Trial Association Alumnus of the Year and in 2017 was recognized as one of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundations “40 Under 40 Outstanding Lawyers of South Florida.”
Jason and his beautiful wife, Jessica (who are expecting their first child…#Babies4Blank), are excited to follow in the footsteps of so many of you in raising their child alongside their FACDL family. Although they are sad not to celebrate FACDL’s accomplishments at this year’s annual meeting, they both look forward to serving FACDL and celebrating its greatness for years to come. Click here to watch Jason Blank video
- Betty Llorente (Miami-Dade Chapter):
I have been part of the FACDL Statewide Board for over 10 years and have had the opportunity to work with various Executive Boards. Knowing how to work with people is key to getting things done. I am ready to continue propelling FACDL forward through innovative virtual programming accessible to all its members beyond the programming that has been in place for the last three decades. Being Secretary will be an honor and I am committed to FACDL. This will be my only commitment beyond my practice. If I have learned something in the last 20 years of volunteering, the key to success is commitment to what is important. My practice and helping my clients is what drives me. I look forward to continuing to serve. Thank you for your vote.
Beatriz “Betty” A. Llorente born and raised in Miami, Florida. She received her B.B.A. in International Finance in 1998 and Marketing from the University of Miami and her J.D. degree from St. Thomas University School of Law in 2001. She started her career at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office in 2001 as a Certified Legal Intern and then became and Assistant Public Defender. In 2005 she started her own firm, Law Offices of Beatriz A. Llorente, P.A. focusing on Criminal Defense and Real Estate. She has served on Florida Bar Grievance Committee and in the Florida Bar Juvenile Rules Committee. She is an alumni of Florida Bar Leadership Class 2. Currently, she is a member of the following organizations and has held numerous positions in each: South Miami Kendall Bar Association, Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Cuban American Bar Association, Junior League of Miami, Zeta Tau Alpha Alumnae Association, Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade, University of Miami Alumni Association, St. Thomas University School of Law Alumni Association, and Dade County Bar Association. She serves as a mentor at the University of Miami School of Business Mentor Program. She likes to spend her time with her nieces and nephew. She has volunteered with her dogs visiting nursing homes and reading to children through Dog Therapy, Inc and has served as a Guardian at Litem. She is past president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Miami Chapter and currently a Chapter Representative for the Statewide FACDL where she has served in various committees including Membership, Annual, Young Lawyers, By Laws, and Human Trafficking. Click here to watch Betty Llorente video
- Nominations to fill five (5) Director At Large openings or six (6) if Blank wins secretary: (RULE: May vote for max of 6 candidates. Those with the top vote counts will fill the open positions resulting from secretary race results.)
- Bob Fisher (Central Florida Chapter):
'Bob "I Call Bullshit On That" Fisher served on the Board of Directors of FACDL for several years as a Representative of the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers chapter, after which he began serving as an At Large Director, a position he currently holds. He previously served as President of the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, President of the Seminole County Bar Association, and Chairman of the Florida Bar Grievance Committee for Seminole County. He has submitted several articles for publication in the Florida Defender magazine, the next one being "When is Possession of Narcotic Paraphernalia Not?", for several years has chaired the FACDL Annual Golf Tournament, has lectured on Criminal Justice issues, is a Life Member of FACDL and continues (after a Million years, no really, a million years) to practice because he is passionate about what he does.'
- Sara Goodin (Central Florida Chapter):
Hello! I am an Assistant Public Defender in the 9th Judicial Circuit, and I want to be your next Director at Large. Please watch the less than 2 minute video I spent more than an hour trying to get right. Click here to watch Sara Goodin video
- Diana L. Johnson (Northeast Florida Chapter):
Elect Diana L. Johnson for FACDL Director at Large
Who is she?
A military dependent with an OCD mother. Therefore, I am beyond organized and everything has its place. A true representative of Northeast Florida having lived and worked all across I-10 from Niceville, Tallahassee, the Third Circuit, to Jacksonville.
Experienced criminal defense attorney, having represented both juveniles and adults as an APD and a private practitioner. The rare attorney who handles both criminal trials and appeals and a Board-Certified Appellate Specialist.
Why elect Diana L. Johnson?
Dedication – A FACDL member since 2012, serving as a member of the Amicus Committee for 4 years. Current co-chair of the Amicus Committee.
Inclusiveness – Jacksonville/Northeast Florida is underrepresented in FACDL leadership.
Drive - I am an overachiever and will continue to give the organization my all – meaning, you will benefit from my sleepless nights and ability to turn “big ideas” into reality.
Community – For the benefit our clients (and us attorneys who have to file too many motions to suppress and dismiss for horrible stops, arrests, pat-downs) I instruct future law enforcement officers on the rights within the U.S. and Florida Constitutions at the Florida State College Police Academy. Click here to watch Diana Johnson video
- Ron Kozlowski (Eighth Judicial Circuit Chapter):
My law partner and past FACDL president Larry Turner introduced me to this group nine years ago. I have never considered leaving. This bio is supposed to be about me, but the group and its goals are what’s important. The people of FACDL are passionate, committed, caring, smart, loyal, and undoubtedly the legal titans of criminal defense. Many of us weave our ways in and out of professional organizations during our careers, but FACDL is a home forever if you want to be the best criminal defense attorney you can be.
Those are the traits I have tried to embody since serving as president of our Eighth Judicial Circuit chapter, member of the legislative affairs committee, and then as a chapter rep. FACDL board members don’t count the days until they are released from service with a resume line. They stay committed to the cause. That’s why I am running for director-at-large, because being a member of this group is an honor and imposes an important duty—to remind all of us that we are Liberty’s Last Champions and essential to the cause of justice.
I ask for and will appreciate your vote for Ron Kozlowski as director-at-large. Click here to watch Ron Kozlowski video
- Betty Llorente (Miami-Dade Chapter):
Betty Llorente born and raised in Miami, received her B.B.A. in International Finance and Marketing from the University of Miami and her J.D. from St. Thomas University School of Law. In 2000, she started her career at the Miami-Dade Public Defender’s Office as a Certified Legal Intern and then became Assistant Public Defender. In 2005 she started her own firm focusing on Criminal Defense and Real Estate. She has served on Florida Bar Grievance and Juvenile Rules Committee, an alumni of Florida Bar Leadership Class 2 and Guardian at Litem. She is a member South Miami Kendall Bar Association, FAWL, CABA, Junior League of Miami, Women’s Fund of Miami-Dade, ZTA, University of Miami and St. Thomas Alumni Association, and Dade County Bar Association where she has held various positions. She is a mentor for UM School of Business Mentor Program. She loves to spend her time with her nieces and nephew and volunteers with Dog Therapy, Inc. visiting nursing homes and reading to kids. She is a past president of the FACDL Miami Chapter and currently a Chapter Representative for the Statewide FACDL where she has served in committees including Membership, Annual, Young Lawyers, By Laws, and Human Trafficking. Click here to watch Betty Llorente Director at Large video
- Huda Ajlani Macri (Broward County Chapter):
Huda Ajlani Macri is an AFPD in the Southern District of Florida. She is Board Certified in Criminal Trial Law. She was formerly the President of the Broward Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and was only the second woman to hold that position in the organization’s 48-year existence. She has been instrumental in growing that organization into what it is today with over 300 active members and a much more diverse board. She is also a Director at Large on the board of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Huda has been a member of the Board of Directors for the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers since 2011. She has been a state assistant public defender, a contractor for Regional Conflict Counsel, in private practice, and now she is an assistant federal defender. She has worked in every role of a criminal defense attorney and understands what each member wants and needs from FACDL.
Huda’s wide-ranging practice and years of experience make her a perfect candidate to be a Director-at-Large of FACDL. Her commitment to the organization has grown stronger in the wake of the global health crisis. VOTE HUDA AJLANI MACRI FOR DIRECTOR-AT-LARGE! Click here to watch Huda Ajlani Macri video
- Tony Moss (Miami-Dade Chapter):
Tony Moss has practiced criminal defense in the state of Florida since March 1988. He has been admitted to practice before all Florida state courts, the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Tony is a proud Life Member of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (statewide and Miami chapters), and has been a longtime member of the FACDL-Miami Board of Directors, serving on a variety of committees, including chapter secretary in 2009-10.
Tony Moss has also volunteered untold hours toward the advancement of the legal profession and the criminal defense bar. He has served for decades as a guest lecturer and faculty member at numerous defense seminars and workshops around the country, and is especially proud to be a 2000 charter faculty member of the Clarence Darrow Death Penalty College (currently sponsored by the University of Iowa School of Law). He also provides free legal consultation statewide to prison inmates who no longer qualify for free appointed counsel, and has been a sought-after speaker for youth groups and school programs throughout Miami-Dade County.
- Sabrina Puglisi (Miami-Dade Chapter):
Sabrina Puglisi is a Florida Board Certified Criminal Trial attorney since 2008. Sabrina, along with her associate Dianne Carames, run a law practice handling Federal and State criminal defense matters since 2011. Prior to that, she was an Assistant Public Defender and Assistant Federal Defender for the Southern District of Florida.
Sabrina was the president of the FACDL-Miami chapter and has been involved on the FACDL board since 2010. She started as a chapter representative and has served as a Director at Large, continuously, since 2012. For the last several years, Sabrina has been the co-chair to the CLE committee, where she has helped to organize BB&T, Death is Different and the Board Certification Review Seminars.
Sabrina has been an active voice in the organization and would love to continue as a Director at Large. Click here to watch Sabrina Puglisi video
- Jahnee Todman (Tallahassee Chapter):
Jahnee M. Todman is a native of Nashville, Tennessee, but she has lived in Tallahassee, Florida since 2016. Since March 2016, Jahnee has worked as an Assistant Public Defender in the Second Judicial Circuit and is currently assigned to the felony trial division. Jahnee received her undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice from Cumberland University and earned her Juris Doctor degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. Jahnee is an active member of the Tallahassee Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (FACDL), and she is a member of Statewide FACDL. Jahnee is licensed to practice law in Tennessee and Florida. Click here to watch Jahnee Todman video
- Samantha Vacciana (Palm Beach Chapter):
Growing up in London, England, I did not know any attorneys any who had such an impactful legacy of advocacy like Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall. His fight to solve the problem of segregation, awakened a passion in me to become a lawyer. I knew then that the law was the vehicle where I could help solve problems on a larger scale.
Throughout my career as criminal defense attorney, I have represented many individuals in misdemeanor and felony cases. I have tried a substantial number of jury cases including serious felonies to acquittal. In 2012, I proudly opened the doors to my own law firm, Trial Lawyers of Florida, where more than ½ of my practice is dedicated to helping clients charged with criminal offenses.
Following in Justice Marshall’s footsteps, I love serving as a leader in my community. I have held and hold leadership roles as the Palm Beach County Chapter Rep in FACDL, President elect of Florida Legal Services, legal counsel to Florida’s Gang Alternative: Project Renew and as the Scholarship chair for the Caribbean Americas Soccer Association. In 2018, I was proud to be recognized by the Broward Boys and Girls Club as an outstanding woman leader. Click here to watch Samantha Vacciana video
- Barry Wax (Miami-Dade Chapter):
I am very grateful and proud to have been elected a Director at Large for 4 terms, a recognition by my peers of my dedication to FACDL. I take my role on the Board of Directors very seriously and look forward to a 5th term representing you. I’ve been practicing criminal defense for 35 years, primarily in South Florida. Like many of you, I started out in the best job a lawyer can have – Public Defender. In addition to my criminal defense practice I also handle Florida Bar matters and professional licensing cases. As a Director at Large, I represent all FACDL members around the state, and have always had the best interests of our membership in mind as we consider issues of significance to the criminal defense bar. As we enter a new reality of living with COVID-19, significant change is afoot which will redefine the way we represent clients and handle cases, and foster change in our profession. FACDL will have a seat at that table, and a strong voice – your voice, advocating for necessary, significant changes in the system. Thank you for your consideration and vote. Be safe and stay well! Click here to watch Barry Wax video