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Melissa Vickers has been Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Criminal Defense Law since 2006. She has been practicing for over 24 years and has represented adults and juveniles in every aspect of their criminal cases. She served in management at the Public Defender’s Office for Orange and Osceola County for over 14 years and, in private practice, has experience working on injunction and personal injury cases.

Melissa’s experience in working for a Public Defender’s Office began after her freshman year in college by working summer and winter breaks at the Public Defender’s Office in Jacksonville in the Fourth Circuit. She was responsible for interviewing incarcerated clients and relaying those reports to their respective attorneys. It was that experience that ignited her passion for representing members of her community who were unable to afford their own attorney. During law school Melissa worked part time at the Public Defender’s Office in Fort Lauderdale in the Seventeenth Circuit.

After law school she began her career and served as an Assistant Public Defender in Fort Lauderdale in the Seventeenth Circuit from 1998 to 2001.  Melissa moved to Orlando in 2001 and worked for the Public Defender’s Office for Orange and Osceola County for over 18 years. She was quickly promoted and served in management at that office for over 14 years.  Melissa worked in various management positions such as the Chief Assistant Public Defender, Trials Chief, Felony Chief and Juvenile Chief. As the Chief Assistant Public Defender, Melissa supervised over 130 attorneys and over 50 support staff.  Throughout her years she has supervised, trained and mentored hundreds of attorneys and law students.

Melissa was the recipient of the Joe Durocher Foot Soldier of the Constitution Award, presented by the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. This award was especially meaningful as Mr. Durocher served as the elected Public Defender in Orange and Osceola County for twenty years. The award is presented to an attorney “who exemplifies the actions of a true criminal defense lawyer.  They fight for their client’s rights, as well as improving the Criminal Justice system as a whole.”  She was also honored with the Franklin Graham Award for outstanding service while at the Public Defender’s Office.

Melissa has served on two Grievance Committees for The Florida Bar and is past Chair of the Criminal Law Committee for the Orange County Bar Association. Melissa is a former 1st Vice President of the League of Women Voters of Orange County and is currently the Chair of the Government Committee. She is a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Central Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers where she served for years on the Board and as President. She is a member of the George C. Young Inns of Court, Orange County Bar Association, Osceola Bar Association, Central Florida Association of Women Lawyers, Paul C. Perkins Bar Association, Hispanic Bar Association of Central Florida, League of Women Voters, and Tiger Bay. Melissa has served as a mentor to young lawyers through the Orange County Bar Association and the Paul C. Perkins Bar Association. She has volunteered as a judge at Moot Court and Mock Trial competitions for the University of Central Florida. Melissa also served as a member of the City of Winter Park Planning and Zoning Board for two years.

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