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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 35 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. In 2015, he received the Gideon Award from the Department of Public Advocacy for his extraordinary commitment to equal justice and courage in advancing the right to counsel for the poor.  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.

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 and became Chief of the Division in 2012.  Since 2014, he has served as a Chief in the Adult Trial Division and has received several Walker Awards for excellent advocacy in felony jury trials that resulted in acquittal on all charges.

Jay Lambert is a 1983 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law. He came to work for the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office soon after graduation and worked in the Adult Trial and Major Litigation Divisions until 1993, when he left to establish his own firm concentrating in criminal law. After a successful stint in private practice, Mr. Lambert returned to the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office in 2000 as an Adult Trial Division Chief. In 2003, he assumed leadership of the Capital Trial Division, where he served until 2011 when he became Director of Training and Performance Evaluation, the position in which he presently serves. In 2017, responsibility for Special Litigation was added to his duties. During his years of practice, Mr. Lambert has tried more than eighty Circuit Court jury trials, 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 U.S. Court of Appeals. He has served as an instructor in criminal procedure at the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville, where he currently teaches trial practice. He has taught various criminal law topics and trial techniques at numerous conferences 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 directing the office’s New Lawyer Orientation &Training Program and various ongoing in-house training presentations and initiatives.  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, the 2009 Frank E. Haddad, Jr. Award, presented by the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of exceptional professional achievement, and the 2017 Dean’s Service Award from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville.

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.

Cicely Jaracz Lambert graduated from Transylvania University in 1979 and from the University of Kentucky College of Law in 1982. She began her legal career as a Kentucky Assistant Attorney General, where she penned Attorney General Opinions in the areas of Open Records and Open Meetings, and served in the Criminal Appeals Division, eventually advancing to the position of Branch Manager. In 1989, then Kentucky Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert F. Stephens appointed her General Counsel for the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts where she advised, wrote policy and procedure for, and trained the over 3000 elected officials and employees of the Kentucky unified court system. In 1997, Ms. Lambert left AOC for the opportunity to work with her husband in his general practice firm, Lambert and Lambert. In 1999, she returned to the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts as Director, where she was responsible for the day to day operation of the Kentucky Court system, including administration of the $200 million Judicial Branch budget. From 2004 to 2006, she served as a Staff Attorney for the Senior Judge Program within the Kentucky Court of Appeals. In 2006, Ms. Lambert joined the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office as an Assistant Appellate Defender, advancing to Deputy Appellate Defender in 2015 and to her current position as Chief Appellate Defender in 2017. In 2003, Ms. Lambert was awarded the Robert F. Stephens Public Service Award by the Kentucky Department of Public Advocacy. During her current tenure, she has been twice awarded the Louisville Metro Public Defender “Tex Award” for outstanding excellence in appellate advocacy. She is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Kentucky, the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky. She is also a member of the Kentucky Bar Association, the Louisville Bar Association, the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the National Association for Public Defense.           

Amy I. Hannah is currently the Assistant Director of Training and Special Litigation at the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office.  As part of her duties in that capacity, she is participating in the office team effort focusing on and litigating bail issues in Jefferson County.  She graduated from American University in Washington, DC in 1996 with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Political Science.  Ms. Hannah received her Juris Doctorate degree 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.  She also worked as a law clerk at the Hennepin County Public Defender’s Office where she assisted on both Juvenile and Adult cases.  Ms. Hannah has been a member of the staff at the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office since June of 2004.  She initially served as an attorney in the Adult Trial Division, and eventually became a Division Chief. In 2009, Ms. Hannah received the Clarence Darrow Prodigy Award from the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (KACDL).  Ms. Hannah also has worked in the Capital Trial Division where she successfully represented clients facing the death penalty.  She is a past president of Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.  Ms. Hannah was the recipient of the 2017 Professionalism & Excellence Award, co-sponsored and presented by the Kentucky Bar Association at the Annual Kentucky Public Defender Conference. 

Julia T. Mudd is currently a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division. She began her legal career as a staff attorney with the office in 2007. In 2009, she moved from Louisville and was employed as a staff attorney with the Department of Public Advocacy (DPA) in Pike County, Kentucky for three years before moving on to represent capital murder clients in various parts of Kentucky through her work with the DPA Capital Trial Branch. After a short stint in private practice, she returned to the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office in 2016. She is a 2001 graduate of Bellarmine University where she majored in Economics and Philosophy. While at Bellarmine, she participated in a summer study abroad program in Morelia, Mexico. Upon graduation, she worked with an insurance firm in Indianapolis for two years where she supervised the company’s bond and policy issuance departments. From there, she attended law school at Indiana University School of Law at Indianapolis. She participated in the law school’s criminal clinic and was an extern with the Indiana Court of Appeals. She also participated in the Guantanamo Bay Military Commission Defense Project in which students complete research projects for attorneys representing Guantanamo Bay detainees. She spent three months in The Hague where she interned with the Association of Defense Counsel at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia and worked with a defense team representing a former Bosnian commander charged with war crimes. Over the course of her career, she has received three Walker awards for excellence in advocacy in felony jury trials that resulted in verdicts of acquittal, and she obtained verdicts of acquittal on two additional cases she tried while employed with the Department of Public Advocacy.

Matthew Weynard was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and is currently a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division. Prior to that, he spent three years as a Deputy Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division. He graduated magna cum laude from Santa Clara University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English. After college, he worked for three years as a technical writer for a software company in Silicon Valley. In 2012, he graduated cum laude from the Indiana University Maurer School of Law. While at the Maurer School of Law, he was on the Executive Board of both the Indiana Journal for Global Legal Studies and the Public Interest Law Foundation.

 

His passion for public service led him to the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s office, where he has served as an attorney in the adult trial division for the past six years.  Mr. Weyand was elected to membership in the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court, from which he received a certificate of good standing after serving a two-year term as an Associate. Mr. Weyand was the 2017 recipient of the Louisville Bar Association’s Frank E. Haddad, Jr., Young Lawyer Award. He also currently serves as Vice-chair of the LBA’s Criminal Law Section. Mr. Weyand is an experienced trial attorney, having tried multiple felony and misdemeanor cases to jury verdict.

Sheila Seadler is currently a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division.  In that role, she represents individuals accused of criminal offenses in the district and circuit courts, supervises and works with other attorneys on her team, and participates in attorney training. 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 D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 1991, Ms. Seadler joined the office as a staff trial attorney. She tried over forty felony cases and obtained nine complete acquittals. She then joined the Capital Trial Unit at the 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 an attorney in the Juvenile, Mental Health, Capital and Adult Trial Divisions. Since 2014, she has served as a team member with the Jefferson County Veterans Treatment Court. She has received twelve Walker Awards for excellent advocacy in a felony jury trial cases 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 1994 and the Clarence Darrow Death Penalty Defense College in Ann Arbor Michigan in 2000. In October of 2017, Ms. Seadler was honored as a recipient of a Presentation Academy Tower Award in the category of Government and Law for women leaders in their fields, highlighting their contributions and talents as role models to Presentation Academy students and the Kentuckiana community. She is a member of the Louisville Bar Association, the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the National Association for Public Defense.

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. She went on to receive her law degree from Cornell Law School in 2002. 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. Additionally, 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. She has served as Chair of the Criminal Law Section of the Kentucky Bar Association and is currently First-Vice President of The Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

Beth 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, and the 2015 Gail Robinson Juvenile Justice Award, presented by the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers in recognition of her contributions to and achievement in the development of juvenile law and her representation of children. Ms. McMahon 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 a member of the Kentucky Supreme Court Standing Committee on the Juvenile Court Rules of Procedure and Practice. She is a member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Restorative Justice Louisville Program Advisory Committee, and the Kentucky Bar Association’s Committee on Child Protection and Domestic Violence. Ms. McMahon serves as co-chair of the Jefferson County Juvenile Justice Advisory Committee and the Jefferson County steering committee for the Juvenile Detention Alternatives Initiative.

Aaron M. Dyke graduated cum laude from American University in 2006, with a degree in Justice.  He then attended, and graduated, from the Louis D. Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville in 2011.  Upon graduation, he began his practice in the Adult Trial Division at the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office.  While at the public defender’s office, he has tried numerous circuit court trials to verdict, and has received multiple Walker Awards for excellence in advocacy in circuit court felony jury trials that resulted in the full acquittal of his client.  He is a 2016 graduate of the Louisville Bar Association’s Leadership Academy, and the 2016 recipient of the Louisville Bar Association’s Frank Haddad Jr. Young Lawyer Award.  He has been a Division Chief in the Adult Trial Division since September 2016.

Angela S. 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 theDean’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.

Que Christian is an Adult Trial Division Chief (Team 5). She graduated from Louisiana State University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. She then attended University of Kentucky College of Law.  During law school, she spent one summer working for the U.S. Attorney’s office of the Eastern District of Kentucky, participated in an externship with the Department of Public Advocacy’s Fayette County Office, and was a member of the Trial Advocacy Board.  After graduating in 2014, she began her career as a staff trial attorney with the office in Fall of 2014. In her time at the office she has tried multiple felony jury trials and one misdemeanor trial. She has received two Walker Awards for excellence in advocacy in felony jury trials that resulted in verdicts of acquittal. She was also a co-recipient of the DPA’s Defender Uprising Award in 2018.  She is currently an Associate Member of the Louis D. Brandeis American Inn of Court and a member of the Louisville Bar Association.

Ryan Dischinger is an Adult Trial Division Chief (Team 2). After graduating from the University of Louisville with a B.A. in Philosophy and English in 2011, he moved to New Orleans, Louisiana, to study at Tulane University Law School. While at Tulane, he was the managing editor of the Journal of Law and Sexuality. Following his graduation from Tulane Law School in 2014, he returned to Louisville and began his career with the Louisville Metro Public Defender’s Office. While with the office, he has defended clients in both District and Circuit Courts, including several jury trials. In 2018, he was a co-recipient of Dept. of Public Advocacy’s inaugural Defender Uprising Award, presented to attorneys who have quickly established themselves as someone who will challenge the system to benefit indigent clients. He is a member of the Kentucky Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Louisville Bar Association.

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 35 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. In 2015, he received the Gideon Award from the Department of Public Advocacy for his extraordinary commitment to equal justice and courage in advancing the right to counsel for the poor.  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.