Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender Corporation
Leadership Team

Daniel T. Goyette - Leo G. Smith - Jay Lambert - Angela S. Elleman
Patricia L. Echsner - Michael C. Lemke - Angela M. Rea - Amy I. Hannah - Sheila A. Seadler
Ashley R. Edwards - Elizabeth McMahon - Sherry L. Hurley - Bruce P. Hackett


Cindy L. Downs - Sharon D. Johnson


 

Daniel T. Goyette
Daniel T. Goyette
Chief Public Defender/
Executive Director

Daniel T. Goyette is the Chief Public Defender for Jefferson County and has served as Executive Director of the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender Corporation since 1982. A former Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney, he was a member of the original Career Criminal Bureau. Mr. Goyette is a past president of both the Louisville Bar Association and the Louisville Bar Foundation. A recipient of the American Bar Association’s prestigious Dorsey Award, he is a current member of the ABA House of Delegates, the ABA Standing Committee on Legal Aid and Indigent Defendants, and a former member of the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility. He was a longtime member of the KBA Ethics Committee and a past chair of the LBA Committee on Professional Responsibility. Since 1979, he has been a member of the adjunct faculty at the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, receiving the Dean’s Service Award in 2003. He has lectured on a variety of legal issues and topics both locally and nationally, and the Kentucky Bar Association presented the 2003 Justice Thomas B. Spain Award to him for outstanding service in continuing legal education. In 2007, Mr. Goyette was selected as the recipient of the state’s Outstanding Lawyer Award by the Kentucky Bar Association. That same year, in its inaugural rating of Kentucky lawyers, Mr. Goyette was recognized by SuperLawyers in the category of criminal defense, and he has been featured in the Top Lawyers edition of Louisville Magazine and other publications. He is a charter member of the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court and Chair of its Membership Committee. He is also a charter Board member and past President of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL), and was the recipient of the KACDL Special Recognition Award in 2009. The Department of Public Advocacy presented the Gideon Award to Mr. Goyette in 1994 for “his extraordinary commitment to equal justice and his courage in advancing the right to counsel for the poor in Kentucky,” and also honored him with the Lincoln Leadership Award in 2004. He is a 1985 graduate of Leadership Louisville and a 1995 Bingham Fellow. Among other organizations, he has chaired Citizens for Better Judges and the Center for Educational Leadership. He was one of the recipients of the 2003 Hall of Fame William H. Sheppard – Excellence in Community Leadership Award. Mr. Goyette is a graduate of Marquette University, the Rome (Italy) Center of Liberal Arts, and the University of Oklahoma College of Law.

Leo G. Smith
Leo G. Smith
Deputy Chief
Public Defender

Leo G. Smith is a trial attorney who serves as Deputy Chief Public Defender in the Office of the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender. A Louisville native, he attended St. Xavier High School, graduated from the University of Louisville with high honors and a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce and, thereafter, graduated cum laude from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, where he served as Executive Editor of the Law Review. He was also a member of the Brandeis Honor Society and, upon graduation, received the Robert C. Jayes Memorial Award. For the past 29 years, he has served as a staff trial attorney and held several leadership positions with the Public Defender's Office, including Director of Training and Chief of the Adult Trial Division. He has acted as lead counsel in numerous jury trials, including several death penalty cases. In 2000, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Louisville's Brandeis School of Law. His work was also recognized by the Department of Public Advocacy and Kentucky Bar Association in 1999 with the presentation of its first Professionalism and Excellence Award. He has authored several articles on criminal defense practice that have been published in The Advocate, the Journal of Criminal Justice Education & Research publication of the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. Mr. Smith is a former member of the Board of Directors of the Louisville Bar Foundation. He is past chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association, as well as a past chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Louisville Bar Association and a former member of the LBA Professional Responsibility Committee. Mr. Smith was trial counsel in the case of Griffith v. Kentucky, 107 S.Ct. 708 (1987), which decided the retroactivity question left open in the landmark case of Batson v. Kentucky. He has received numerous Walker Awards in recognition of excellence of advocacy in felony jury trials that resulted in the acquittal of his clients.
Jay Lambert
Jay Lambert
Director of Training and Performance Evaluation

Jay Lambert is a 1983 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law. He came to work for the Office of the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender upon graduation and worked in the Adult Trial and Major Litigation Divisions until 1993, when he left to establish his own firm concentrating in the areas of criminal law and civil rights litigation. After a successful stint in private practice, Mr. Lambert returned to the Office of the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender in 2000 as an Adult Trial Division Chief. In 2003, he assumed leadership of the Capital Trial Division and served in that capacity until 2011 when he became the office’s Director of Training and Performance Evaluation. During his years of practice, Mr. Lambert has tried more than eighty jury trials in Circuit Court, including many high profile felony cases and a number of death penalty cases. He is admitted to practice in Kentucky state courts, the United States District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky and the Sixth Circuit. He has served as an instructor in criminal procedure at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville and has taught various criminal law topics and trial techniques at numerous seminars and workshops throughout Kentucky for the Department of Public Advocacy, the Louisville and Kentucky Bar Associations, the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the American Trial Lawyers Association. His current duties include the office’s new lawyer orientation and training program.  Mr. Lambert is the recipient of the 2005 Gideon Award, presented by the Department of Public Advocacy for extraordinary commitment to equal justice and courage in advancing the right to counsel for the poor, and the 2009 Frank E. Haddad, Jr. Award, presented by the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of exceptional professional achievement.

Angela S. Elleman
Patti L. Echsner
Chief, Capital Trial Division

Angela Elleman is Chief of the Capital Trial Division of the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office. Ms. Elleman has spent her entire career defending those charged or convicted of capital crimes. Prior to her 2012 return to her hometown of Louisville, she was an Assistant Federal Defender in the Capital Habeas Unit of the Philadelphia Federal Public Defender's Office representing death row inmates on Philadelphia, Delaware and Federal Death Rows. She started her career in indigent capital defense at the Georgia Resource Center in Atlanta. Ms. Elleman is a 2000 graduate of Emory University's Law and Religion program. At Emory University School of Law, Ms. Elleman received First Place in the 1997 Law Day Moot Court Competition, Best Oralist in the 1997 Law Day Moot Court Competition, the Herman Dooyeweerd Prize in Law and Religion and the Dean's Public Service Award. Upon graduation she was a recipient of an Equal Justice Works Fellowship (then, NAPIL) aimed at enforcing Georgia's prohibition against executing mentally retarded offenders prior to the United States Supreme Court ruling in Atkins v. Virginia. In 2007 she received the Liberty Award from the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is a 2014 graduate of the "Defense of the Damned" Trial Lawyer's College and a 2014/2015 graduate of the Louisville Bar Association Leadership Academy.

Patricia L. Echsner
Patti L. Echsner
Adult Trial Division Chief,
Team 1
Patricia L. Echsner is currently a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division at the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office. Prior to that, she spent seven years as a Deputy Chief in the Juvenile Trial Division. She began her career at the office in May 1991 as a law clerk after earning a BA from the University of Kentucky in 1985 and her JD from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law in 1992. She was selected to attend the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia in 1995. She is an experienced trial attorney in the district and circuit courts, representing both juveniles and adults. In July 1998 she represented a juvenile client facing the death penalty who was acquitted of murder and robbery first degree. In February 2001 she represented an adult client facing the death penalty for two intentional murders who received a penalty of life without the possibility of parole for twenty-five years. In June 2002 Ms. Echsner received the Department of Public Advocacy's In re: Gault Award "for specially advancing the quality of representation of juveniles in Kentucky." She is a former member of the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court and a former member of the Jefferson County Juvenile Delinquency Prevention Council.

Michael C. Lemke
Michael C. Lemke
Adult Trial Division Chief,
Team 2

Michael C. Lemke is currently a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division. He is a 1982 graduate of the University of Louisville Brandeis School of law and is admitted to practice in Kentucky, federal courts for the Western District of Kentucky and the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. After a position as law clerk to Kentucky Supreme Court Justice Marvin Sternberg, Mr. Lemke came to the Public Defender’s Office in 1983. During a six-year period, he handled appeals, misdemeanor and felony trials, civil commitment defense, and several capital cases. Mr. Lemke attended the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia in 1985 and the Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2008. From 1989 until 2004, he was in the private practice of law that included securities fraud litigation, criminal trial work, criminal appeals, and various other matters. In 2004, he returned to the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office to take a position in the Capital Trial Division. He has been on the faculty or served as mentor for Department of Public Advocacy training programs for several years. Mr. Lemke has been recognized numerous times for the successful defense of felony cases at trial, as well for the successful representation of defendants in capital trials. Additionally, in 2009, Mr. Lemke received the Furman Award from the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy for “courageous representation of capital clients.” He was named Deputy Chief of the Capital Trial Division that same year.  
Angela M. Rea
Angela Rea
Adult Trial Division Chief,
Team 3

Angela Rea currently serves as a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division of the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office. She began her career as a staff trial attorney with the office in April of 2003. Prior to that, in 1997, she graduated from Indiana University with Bachelors of Arts degrees in English and French. During her time at IU, she spent a year living and studying in Strasbourg, France. She went on to receive her law degree from Cornell Law School in 2002. While at Cornell, she worked with the school's Legal Information Institute. She also spent four months living in Bridgetown, Barbados while working for the United Nations Drug Control Program there. During her tenure at the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office, she has practiced in the Adult and Capital Trial Divisions, as well as in the Appellate Division. In 2005, she was selected to attend the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia. In 2007, she took part in a Spanish language study program with other attorneys and with judges that culminated with an immersion stay in Morelia, Mexico to practice language skills and undertake a comparative study of the justice systems of Mexico and the United States. Angela has won eight Walker Awards for excellent advocacy in felony jury trials that resulted in verdicts of acquittal. Her work has also earned her the Clarence Darrow Prodigy Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and designation as one of Louisville's Best Lawyers under 40 by Louisville Magazine. Additionally, in a ceremony that took place in New York City in February 2016, Angela received the Law School Alumni Exemplary Public Service Award from Cornell Law School. Later that same year at the Annual Kentucky Public Defender Conference, she was named recipient of the 2016 Professionalism & Excellence Award, co-sponsored and presented by the Kentucky Bar Association.

Amy I. Hannah
Amy I. Hannah
Adult Trial Division Chief,
Team 4

Amy Hannah is currently a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division. She has been with the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office since June 2004. She graduated from American University in Washington, DC in 1996 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. While at AU, she spent a semester living and studying in Merida, Venezuela. Ms. Hannah graduated from the University of St. Thomas School of Law in 2004. While at UST, Ms. Hannah worked in the Immigration Clinic representing clients seeking asylum. Ms. Hannah also worked as a law clerk at the Hennepin County Public Defender's Office where she worked on both juvenile and adult cases. Ms. Hannah was a Summer Intern in the Alexandria, Virginia Public Defender's Office. Ms. Hannah's experience with the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office includes representing adult clients in both district and circuit court. Prior to becoming a Division Chief, Ms. Hannah was in the Capital Trial Division where she successfully represented clients facing the death penalty. In 2009, Ms. Hannah was awarded the Clarence Darrow Prodigy Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is also the recipient of two Walker Awards for excellence in advocacy that resulted in jury trial acquittals for clients charged with felony offenses.

Sheila A. Seadler
Sheila A. Seadler
Adult Trial Division Chief,
Team 5
Sheila Seadler is currently a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division. She graduated cum laude from Bellarmine University in 1988 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and economics, and began her career at the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office as a law clerk in the spring of 1990. She completed an internship at the office in 1991, during which she assisted in the jury trial of a murder case that resulted in a lesser conviction for manslaughter in the second degree. After graduating from the Louis B. Brandeis School of Law in 1991, Ms. Seadler joined the office as a staff attorney in the adult trial division, where she tried over forty felony cases and obtained nine complete acquittals. She joined the Capital Trail Unit at the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy in 1995, where she tried her first death penalty case. She has since served as counsel in numerous capital cases. Ms. Seadler returned to the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office in 1997 and has served as a trial attorney in the Juvenile, Mental Health, Capital Trial , and Adult Trial Divisions. She has received ten Walker Awards for excellence in advocacy in a felony jury trial that resulted in a verdict of acquittal, an Ace Award for obtaining felony acquittals in juvenile court, and four Disconnected Switch Awards for obtaining non-death verdicts in death penalty trials. Ms. Seadler was selected to attend the National Criminal Defense College in Macon, Georgia in 1993 and the Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College in Ann Arbor, Michigan in 2000. She is a member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Ashley R. Edwards
Ashley R. Edwards
Deputy Chief,
Adult Trial Division
Ashley Edwards is a Deputy Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division of the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office. She graduated from the University of Rochester (NY) with Bachelors of Arts degrees in Political Science and Psychology in 2004. She then returned to her native Ohio to study law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law. During her time in law school, she competed with the College's Moot Court Team and held a fellowship with the Ohio Innocence Project, earning The Lois and Richard Rosenthal Award from the Project in 2006. Upon graduation from law school in 2007, Ms. Edwards accepted a position as a staff attorney in the Adult Trial Division of the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office. Since joining the office, she has defended her clients in a variey of major felony cases and received a Walker Award for her effective advocacy in a jury trial that resulted in acquittal. In 2008, Ms. Edwards was selected to attend the Public Defender Trial Advocacy Program at the University of Dayton, and, in 2012, to participate in the Louisville Bar Association's Leadership Academy. She continues her civic involvement through participation in the LBA and the Leadership Academy. Ms. Edwards was the 2010 recipient of the Louisville Bar Association's Frank E. Haddad, Jr., Young Lawyer Award. In March of 2011, she was featured in Louisville Magazine's cover story entitled, "The Defense That Never Rests."

Elizabeth
McMahon

Peter Schuler
Chief, Juvenile Trial Division

Elizabeth McMahon is the Chief of the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Juvenile Trial Division. She graduated summa cum laude from Transylvania University in 1991 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and graduated from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1994, where she served as Executive Editor of the Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law. Ms. McMahon began her career at the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office in 1994 and has served as an attorney in the Juvenile, Mental Health, and Appellate Divisions. Ms. McMahon is the recipient of the 2014 In re: Gault Award, presented by the Department of Public Advocacy for advancing the quality of justice for juveniles in Kentucky. She has received excellence in advocacy awards for obtaining felony acquittals in juvenile court and in circuit court, and earned The Tex Award for successfully appealing a significant number of cases that resulted in complete reversals. She has been an associate member of the Louis D. Brandeis Inn of Court and is a member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Sherry L. Hurley
Sherry L. Hurley
Deputy Chief,
Juvenile Trial Division
Sherry Hurley is the Deputy Chief of the Juvenile Trial Division of the Louisville Metro Public Defender's office. She graduated from the University of Louisville with a Bachelor of Science degree in Justice Administration in 2000. During her time at U of L, she was a four-year scholarship athlete on the Volleyball team, and was selected as its Captain in 1998. In 2000, She received the University's highest athletic honor when she was awarded the Ed Kallay Outstanding Athlete Award. Prior to entering law school, she worked for one year with the law firm of Fernandez Friedman Grossman & Kohn. She earned her juris doctor from the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 2005. In 2006, she accepted a position as a staff attorney with the Louisville Metro Public Defender's Office. Since joining the office she has successfully defended her clients in numerous felony and misdemeanor cases in both the Adult and Juvenile Trial Divisions. She was selected to attend and graduated from the Public Defender Trial Advocacy Program. Additionally, she was elected to membership in the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court, from which she received a certificate of good standing after serving a two-year term as an Associate.
Bruce P. Hackett
Bruce P. Hackett
Chief, Appellate Division
Bruce Hackett graduated from the University of Louisville in 1973 and the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1978. After two years as a staff attorney with the Government Law Center at the Brandeis School of Law, concentrating in the areas of legislative analysis, energy law, affirmative action and disabilities law, he joined the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender as an appellate attorney, serving as an Assistant Public Defender and Deputy Appellate Defender. In 1982, he accepted a commission in the Judge Advocate General Corps of the United States Navy, where he initially served for three years as a defense attorney. He followed that with four years as a prosecutor and staff judge advocate. Concurrently, he served as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Maryland. After seven years of active duty naval service, Mr. Hackett returned to the Louisville-Jefferson County Public Defender in 1989, where he held the position of Deputy Appellate Defender before assuming his current assignment as Chief Appellate Defender. He has served as counsel in death penalty cases at trial, on appeal, in post-conviction, in collateral civil litigation and in federal habeas corpus proceedings. He has taught criminal procedure as an adjunct instructor at the Brandeis School of Law. In 2010, Mr. Hackett was honored with the Professionalism and Excellence Award by the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy and Kentucky Bar Association. He is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Kentucky, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky.
   

Cindy Downs
Cindy Downs
Chief, Computer Services and
Intake/Docket Control Division
Sharon Johnson
Sharon Johnson
Executive Administrative Assistant
and Office Manager