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Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Logo of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

The Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Inc. (FACDL), is a not for profit corporation formed in 1988. Since its creation, FACDL has continued to promote excellence in the practice of criminal law and protect the rights of the accused.

FACDL is the leading statewide association exclusively serving the comprehensive needs of the criminal defense bar.


Criminal defense lawyers in Florida who join FACDL enjoy publications focused on criminal justice issues and discounts on CLE seminars. Members of FACDL's Legislative Affairs Committee promote FACDL's legislative agenda. FACDL also employes a full-time lobbyist in Tallahassee, FL.

FACDL's standing committee for Amicus Curiae (Amicus Committee) files amicus briefs in pending cases that have a potential state-wide impact on the criminal justice system. The Amicus Committee also monitors rule amendments and proposed jury instructions pending in the Florida Supreme Court.

Contact Information for FACDL

Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
P.O. Box 1528
Tallahassee, FL 32302
(850) 385-5080

Benefits of FACDL Membership

The benefits of joining FACDL include:

  • Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars on topics such as DUI, federal sentencing and the death penalty;
  • The Florida Defender Magazine is circulated to members each quarter and includes articles on hot topics in criminal defense;
  • Access to FACDL website "Find a Lawyer" membership directory which is fully searchable and open to the public;
  • Access to the motion and brief bank; and
  • Networking opportunities with some of the most experienced criminal defense attorneys throughout the state of Florida.

FACDL recently created an ad hoc COVID-19 committee chaired by FACDL Vice President Jude Faccidomo. The purpose of the committee is to find ways to continue to provide valuable services to the members during the public health crisis. For example, members are receiving access to past seminar CLE materials and webinars on varying topics.

Additionally, FACDL is working on new content geared toward criminal defense issues that arise during a global pandemic. Many of those seminars can be accessed through live Zoom CLEs.

County Level Affiliate Criminal Defense Associations

Criminal defense attorneys in Florida can also join affiliate associations at the county level including:

The affiliate organizations typically have monthly meetings, as well as their own networking and social events.

FACDL Seminars

Each year the FACDL sponsors several qualify CLE seminars throughout the year including:

  • the Annual Meeting;
  • the Criminal Law Certification Review Seminar;
  • the Death is Different Seminar; and
  • the Blood Breath and Tears Seminar in September in Orlando, FL.

Due to the current COVID 19 health crisis, FACDL decided to cancel the 33rd FACDL Annual Meeting scheduled for June 11, 2020 – June 14, 2020 at the JW Marriott in Marco Island.

FACDL's Blood Breath and Tears Seminar

Many of the top DUI defense attorneys in Florida attend and present at the Blood Breath and Tears Seminar each year.

Topics for the seminar include bringing legal challenges to Florida’s Intoxilyzer 8000, the sufficiency of the FDLE rules on blood collection, preservation and testing, breath testing defense trial strategies, tips on picking a jury in a DUI case, effective cross-examination techniques, opening statements and closing arguments, using expert witnesses, filing and litigating effective pre-trial motions, DMV hearings and appeals.  

Life Members in FACDL

At the FACDL Board of Director’s Meeting on March 28, 2015, the Board voted on and passed changes to Life Membership with FACDL.  Prior to July 30, 2015, the life membership was offered at the cost of $2,500.00, payable at the rate of $500.00 per year. 

Each life member is designated as such and receives a marble plaque and listing in every issue of The Defender.  As of April 17, 2015, there were 110 Life Members in FDLE.

After a study was conducted by the FACDL committee, it was recommended and subsequently adopted by the Board that as of June 30, 2015, the cost of life memberships was increased to $4,000.00, payable at the rate of $500.00 per year.  All current life members will remain life members under the original terms and conditions.

Membership with the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers is valuable.  Life membership shows your dedication and loyalty to the organization and improving the criminal justice system throughout the State of Florida.

FACDL's Steven M. Goldstein Criminal Justice Award

FACDL presents the “Steven M. Goldstein Criminal Justice Award” at every annual meeting.  The award is given to the individual who, through his/her service, represents or personifies what the criminal justice profession has to offer. The achievements of the award recipient must encourage others within the criminal justice system to act with integrity, independence, expertise and courage to protect and defend the rights of others.

Steven M. Goldstein was a former legal services attorney and professor of law at Florida State University College of Law. He worked as a tireless advocate of the legal rights of the poor and disadvantaged. On a national level, he was respected for his dedication to upholding the constitutional rights of those with unpopular causes.

When he died in 1994, at the age of 49, Steven Goldstein was chair of the legal assistance for the poor grant committee. He was scheduled to become the secretary-treasurer of the Foundation.

The past award recipients include:

  • 2017 Charles W. Ehrhardt
  • 2016 Neal Sonnett
  • 2015 Marion Moorman
  • 2014 William T. Laswell
  • 2013 James T. Miller
  • 2012 Richard Greene
  • 2011 Paolo Annino and Bryan Gowdy
  • 2010 Henry M. (Hank) Coxe, III
  • 2009 Jeffrey M. Fisher
  • 2008 The Innocence Project
  • 2007 Florida Supreme Court Justice Harry Lee Anstead
  • 2006 Hillary Sheehan, Chuck Thomason & Christine Stapleton
  • 2005 Albert J. Krieger
  • 2004 Michael J. Minerva
  • 2003 James M. Russ
  • 2002 William J. Sheppard
  • 2001 Stephen F. Hanlon
  • 2000 Michael L. Radelet
  • 1999 The Honorable O. H. Eaton, Jr.
  • 1998 The Honorable Larry G. Turner
  • 1997 The Honorable Rosemary Barkett
  • 1996 The Honorable Gerald Kogan
  • 1995 Representative Elvin Martinez
  • 1994 Theodore Klein, Esquire
  • 1993 Sandy D’Alemberte, Ph.D.
  • 1992 The Honorable James Adkins 

Past Presidents of FACDL


This article was last updated on Thursday, April 16, 2020.