Friday, November 13, 2015

Introducing The Criminal Law Section’s New Co-Chair

By Justin Petredis

This year brings a new co-chair to the Criminal Law Section. My name is Justin Petredis, and I will be joining Matt Luka, who is remaining on and continuing his years of invaluable service as section co-chair. After working as an assistant state attorney in Pasco County for eight years, I am currently a solo practitioner and (including my time as an assistant state attorney) have practiced criminal law in Florida for 11 years.

I look forward to learning from Matt this year and serving the section to the best of my abilities. Matt and I would greatly appreciate your input and support so that we can make our section the best the HCBA has to offer. We welcome your submission of articles for publication in the Lawyer magazine. If you would like more information on how to submit an article or would like assistance finding a topic, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Our section has upcoming quarterly luncheons scheduled for December 8, February 3, and April 6. We intend to offer CLE credit for those luncheons, if possible. So please add these luncheons to your calendar and watch for upcoming announcements. By the way, visiting the Criminal Law Section page on the new HCBA website is a great way to keep up to speed on updates and information regarding our section. If there is a particular topic of interest that you believe our membership would find noteworthy and educational, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We also need your help choosing this year's recipient of the Marcelino “Bubba” Huerta III Award for Professionalism and Pro Bono Service. In March 2009, Bubba, a local defense lawyer, passed away at the too-young age of 56. For his professionalism, good heart, and friendly personality, Bubba was universally respected throughout the Tampa Bay area by defense counsel, prosecutors, and judges alike. His commitment to pro bono service was not known to many, but it was appreciated and admired by those who knew him best.

This award is presented to an attorney who exhibits the professionalism and dedication to pro bono service and diligent work in the pursuit of equal justice that made Bubba a remarkable lawyer. The recipient of the award is selected by a committee consisting of local, state, and federal criminal practitioners. In 2009, the first recipient was James Felman. Last year's recipient was Ty Tison. The award will be presented at our February 3 luncheon. Please nominate an attorney who exemplifies the professionalism and pro bono spirit that made Bubba Huerta exceptional. Submit your nomination to or

Although the Criminal Law Section does not have a section committee, we always welcome the assistance of anyone who would like to participate. Please contact us if you have any questions about the upcoming year or how you can participate. You can also contact HCBA staff if you are interested in sponsorship and advertising opportunities or would like to schedule an event at the Chester H. Ferguson Law Center. I look forward to the opportunity to serve as co-chair and hope to see you at our quarterly luncheons.