Meet the Jones Chesnutt team
A native Floridian, I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a major in Political Science and a minor in Sociology. After graduation I taught Social Studies at Port St. Lucie High School for two years before going to Cardozo Law School in New York to obtain my law degree. During law school, I was a member of the highly selective Criminal Defense clinic, where I represented clients in Manhattan criminal court. I also interned at South Brooklyn Legal Services where I helped represent tenants in housing court and helped draft a lawsuit regarding changes to zoning regulations that would greatly effect the lives of families living in our service area.
Before going into private practice, I was an Assistant Public Defender with the 19th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office. I represented clients in misdemeanor, felony, and juvenile court, as well as individuals facing involuntary civil commitment (Baker Act proceedings).
For me, the law has always been a tool I can use to help people. Whether it’s helping people in a neighborhood fight for zoning regulations that make sense to them, making sure people are treated with respect and dignity when facing involuntary civil commitment, or zealously defending a client in a criminal trial, I know that appeal to fundamentals of law is key.
Growing up in the system I have always had a special place in my heart for families and their children. After I graduated from the University of Florida, I worked as a Child Protective Investigator for 4 years here on the Treasure Coast. That experience showed me that I could do even more to help children and people involved in complicated legal situations. I completed my Masters Degree in Applied Sociology with a specialization in Domestic Violence at the University of Central Florida. I then went to law school at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville. During law school I focused on family law and thought for sure that’s the type of law I would practice and planned to return to the Department of Children and Families. I also clerked for one of the most prestigious family law firms in Jacksonville for a year and a half or so.
When I graduated from law school, I realized I wanted jury trial experience. I became a prosecutor with the Office of the State Attorney here in the 19th Judicial Circuit. In 4 years I had over 30 jury trials and countless non-jury trials. I then went into private practice and had the opportunity to learn criminal defense from one of the best attorneys in this area. I learned a lot and now have the opportunity to go out on my own.
My background in family law and my experience in the system both as a child and as an employee have given me a unique perspective in dependency cases. I know what it is like from every angle and the impact these cases have on all parties involved. With my prosecutor experience I can understand a prosecutor’s logic, know exactly what they’re looking for and focusing on, and anticipate almost every move they make. I know their tricks. With all this combined, I can represent my clients knowing the full scale effects that families experience whether it’s in a family or criminal law case. I care and I understand that this is your life and you are the one who is living it. So, let me help you!
I recently joined the Jones Chesnutt team and look forward to helping our clients in any way I can. I’ll be answering the phone when you call and will be happy to assist you.