BCAWL Board of Directors
Rachel McCreary is an associate in Wicker Smith’s Melbourne office handling medical malpractice, automotive, civil litigation, premises liability, product liability, construction, product liability and real estate litigation. Prior to joining Wicker Smith, Ms. McCreary worked as a trial lawyer at a personal injury firm where she handled catastrophic injury, wrongful death, negligent security, liquor liability, automobile accidents and premises liability.
Ms. McCreary earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law and graduated from the University of Central Florida with a major in Microbiology & Molecular Biology and a minor in Psychology.
Alexandrea R. Simser is a corporate and intellectual property attorney in the Melbourne office of Lowndes, Drosdick, Doster, Kantor & Reed, P.A. Ms. Simser grew up in Cocoa Beach and attended Florida State University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. She received her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.
Patricia D. Smith
Immediate Past President
Patricia D. Smith serves as Deputy City Attorney for the City of Palm Bay concentrating on police liability, (Civil Rights, Fourth Amendment search and seizure, false arrest and excessive force claims), procurement and land use issues. Ms. Smith is one of two attorneys in the state of Florida Board Certified in both State & Federal Government & Administrative Practice and City, County & Local Government Law. She previously served as Assistant General Counsel for the Department of Health prosecuting regulatory complaints for the Boards of Dentistry and Acupuncture. She was a former Assistant Public Defender in the 19th Judicial Circuit defending felony, juvenile and misdemeanor cases. Ms. Smith has written and lectured on legal matters relating to constitutional law, civil forfeiture, public records and ethics.
Ms. Smith received her Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University and her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from Florida State University.
Jennifer Kerwin is an Assitant Public Defender in Viera handling felony criminal litigation up to and including homicides and other life felonies. In addition to serving as the BCAWL treasurer, Ms. Kerwin serves as the membership chair/webmaster of the Brevard Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys. In 2018 Ms. Kerwin received the James T. Miller Scholar Award from the Florida Association of Criminal Defense lawyers for her appellate work challenging unconstitutional so-called “Nebbia Holds.”
Ms. Kerwin earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Florida where she earned a Family Law Certificate as well as serving as the Intramural Chair of the Florida Moot Court and on the Student Recruitment Team. Ms. Kerwin also graduated magna cum laude from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in Criminology and History and a minor in Psychology.
Christel Lawrence is a current 3L at Barry University School of Law. She received her Bachelors of Science in political science and sociology from Florida State University.
Rebecca Lober serves as Staff Counsel to the Clerk of Court.
Ms. Lober received her Juris Doctorate from Stetson University College of Law.
Issa Velho is an associate attorney at DKN Legal. Ms. Velho earned her Juris Doctorate from Florida A&M University College of Law and was a member of the FAMU Law Review. Ms. Velho is currently practicing Family Law and Estate Planning for DKN Legal in Melbourne, FL.
Wendy L. Fisher, is the Managing Attorney of Fisher Law, PLLC, which practices in the area of City, County and Local Government Law. Ms. Fisher previously worked as an attorney for the City of Palm Bay before being recruited by Serene Harbor Domestic Violence Shelter to build the Injunction for Protection Project, which gave free representation to victims of domestic violence in injunction hearings.
Ms. Fisher graduated in the top third of her class from Stetson University College of Law. She was selected as the 2014 recipient of the Anthony S. Battaglia Excellence in Leadership Award which is given to a law student who, in the opinion of the dean, faculty, and her classmates, has exemplified outstanding qualities of professionalism and has the greatest promise of becoming an outstanding leader in the legal profession. Ms. Fisher interned with the Honorable Judge Kovachevich of the US District Court Middle District of Florida, Tampa and the City of St. Petersburg’s City Attorney’s Office
Tara C. Couture is the founding attorney of Couture Law P.A. Ms. Couture graduated with honors from the University of California San Diego, then obtained her law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of Law in 1999. Ms. Couture is licensed to practice law in Florida and California. Ms. Couture served as a Deputy City Attorney for the City of Los Angeles prior to starting her own law firm. Ms. Couture focuses her practice on serious personal injury claims, wrongful death cases, car accident claims, truck & big rig accident claims and bus accident claims. Ms. Couture is a member of the Brevard County Bar Association, the State Bar of California, the Brevard County Association of Women’s Lawyers and has previously served on the Board and as President of the Brevard County Association of Women Lawyers.
Karen M. Montas
Karen Montas is a mother, wife, lawyer and advocate for the less fortunate. She is the managing partner of Johnson & Montas, PA, a personal injury law firm in Brevard County, Florida. Karen is active in several organizations, including: The Children’s Hunger Project; Love INC.; the Brevard Cultural Alliance and the League of Extraordinary Women for weVenture (formerly the Women’s Business Center at FIT). She and her family are active members of LifePoint Church in Palm Bay and can be found on/at/or near the beach during any free time.
Kyle Lieneck received her Juris Doctorate from Nova Southeastern University with a concentration in Health Law. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from the University of South Florida.
Diane Baccus Horsley
Diane Baccus Horsley manages her own law firm. Her practice areas are: Family Law, Probate, Estate Planning, and Civil Law
Ms. Baccus Horsley earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Florida.
Jennifer Coberly is a sole practitioner. Her practice areas are: civil litigation and labor and employment.
Ms. Coberly earned her Juris Doctorate from Yale Law School.