Derek Byrd was born and raised in the Sarasota/Bradenton area. Derek grew up watching his father defend high profile criminal cases in the old Sarasota County Courthouse. His father’s legal skills and the excitement surrounding the legal system inspired Derek to become a criminal defense lawyer. Derek graduated from Florida State University in 1990 with a B. A. in Criminology. He earned his Juris Doctorate Degree from Quinnipiac College of Law in Hamden, Connecticut in 1995 graduating cum laude (top 5% of his class). While in law school, Derek Byrd concentrated his studies on criminal and trial law. He served as Notes and Comments Editor for the Law Review Journal.
SARASOTA’S CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY
After being admitted to the Florida Bar in early 1996, Derek went to work for the Public Defender’s Office in Sarasota, where he gained extensive and valuable trial experience. He opened The Byrd Law Firm in 1998. Mr. Byrd is a Past President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Statewide Chapter which has close to 2,000 members. He also served as the President of the Sarasota Chapter of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers from 1999 – 2001. Additionally, Mr. Byrd is a Past President of the Sarasota County Bar. Notably, Derek is also on the Board of Directors of the Innocence Project of Florida, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping innocent prisoners in Florida gain their freedom and rebuild their lives. Additionally, Derek is the President-Elect of the Judge John M. Scheb American Inn of Court. He is licensed in all State Courts and the Federal Court, Middle District of Florida. Mr. Byrd has written articles for the Defender magazine and spoken at FACDL seminars. He is a Life Member of FACDL, a member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL), the American Bar Association, Florida Bar-Criminal Law section, and the Sarasota County Bar Association. Finally, Mr. Byrd is an active Little League Baseball coach, coaching All-Star and Travel Ball teams.
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