Endorsements

“If more prosecutors showed that kind of integrity, Florida wouldn’t have such a crying need for a statewide conviction integrity unit.”

The Orlando Sentinel endorses Alison Kerestes in the Circuit 9 Group 9 judicial race.

“Alison Kerestes, a veteran attorney with experience that cuts across a wide cross-section of legal practice”

We give the edge to Kerestes, for a few reasons. First, when she talks about the need for a circuit judge to be even-tempered, respectful and impartial, it’s easy to believe she has those qualities. “I think it’s the judge’s obligation to listen to what the parties have to say and make them feel heard, ” she told the editorial board. “You might not be able to rule in their favor but you can at least provide them that opportunity to say what’s on their minds.” Supporters speak of her ability to quickly adapt to changing circumstances without getting flustered, and overwhelmingly praise the dedication to justice she’s shown throughout her career.

One story stands out. In 2012, when she was still with the State Attorney’s Office, Kerestes prosecuted two men accused of kidnapping and attempted sexual assault. The case was complex; the two accused men spoke a Mexican dialect that required an interpreter to be flown in from Washington State at great expense. Eventually, both men agreed to plea bargains — one of them on the eve of his trial, after a jury had been chosen. It was a solid win.

But a few days later, a friend of the named victim reached out, saying the original story was a fabrication and that the men were innocent. Kerestes listened, and then investigated. In a monitored call, the accuser admitted to making up the story of the attack. Just like that, the case fell apart. In both men’s files are hastily handwritten motions to drop the charges — signed without hesitation by the prosecutor who put them away. “I couldn’t stand the fact that they would be in jail one more day than they had to be,” Kerestes said.

If more prosecutors showed that kind of integrity, Florida wouldn’t have such a crying need for a statewide conviction integrity unit. Even more notable: During her editorial board interview, Kerestes mentioned this case in the context of answering a question about non-English speakers in court — but didn’t boast about her own praiseworthy actions. A former colleague tipped us off.

… Kerestes’ experience, combined with her quiet passion for justice and commitment to run a courtroom with respect and efficiency, give her the edge.

— Orlando Sentinel Endorsement, Aug. 5, 2022

 

Vote on or before Tuesday, August 23

The Committee to Elect Alison Kerestes for Circuit Judge

    • Alena Baker, Committee Co-Chair
    • Jacob Stuart Jr., Committee Co-Chair
    • Steve Kerestes, Treasurer

Committee Members

  • Kendall Ali, Ali & Blankner
  • Molina Arena, Randall Cohen Grossman
  • Alena Baker, Alena Baker Criminal Defense, P.A.
  • Justin Bleakley, Martinez and Manglardi
  • Brian Catelli, Attorney
  • Sara Chalkley, Law Office of Sara A. Chalkley, PLLC
  • Julie Clarke, Julie Clarke Law, P.A.
  • Tommy Feiter, Fighter Law
  • Marah Fitos
  • Trey Flynn, NeJame Law
  • Jose Garcia, Jose L. Garcia, P.L.
  • Robert Grimaldi, Attorney at Law
  • Jennifer Jacobs, Law Offices of Jennifer A. Jacobs, LLC 
  • Jerry Jenkins, The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins P.A.
  • Nicole Kahl Riggs, Nicole L. Kahl, LLC
  • Chris Kaigle, The Kaigle Law Firm
  • Ellen Krall, Realtor
  • Sara Krinitz, Kerestes Law Firm PLLC
  • Julie Markiewicz
  • Rachel Mattie, The Umansky Law Firm
  • Blaine McChesney, Law Office of Blaine McChesney, P.A.
  • Nicole McKernan, Siemens
  • Neal McShane, McShane & McShane Law Firm
  • Karla Micka, Retired Human Resources
  • Jonathan Mills, Law Office of Jonathan Mills
  • Heiko Moenckmeieir, The Law Firm of Heiko G. Moenckmeier
  • Sujata Patel, The Law Office of Sujata J. Patel, P.L.
  • Lindsay Perez, DLR Group
  • Jacki Simmons
  • Pamela Smith, Attorney
  • Natasha Stonehouse, The Walt Disney Company

  • Jacob V. Stuart, Sr. Stuart & Stuart, Inc.
  • Jake Stuart, Jacob V. Stuart, P.A.
  • Eric Trabin, The Trabin Law Firm, P.L.
  • Melissa Vickers, Attorney

Endorsements for Alison Kerestes for Circuit Judge

 

  • Sandy Acevedo, Former Judicial Assistant
  • Kendall Ali, Ali & Blankner
  • Ashley Baillargeon, Baillargeon Law Firm
  • Alena Baker, Alena Baker Criminal Defense, P.A.
  • Jaya Balani, Balani Law, P.A.
  • Michael D. Barber, Law Office of Michael D. Barber
  • Eric H. Barker, Attorney
  • Johanna Benedi, Geico
  • Anissa Bolton, Attorney
  • Stuart Bryson, Office of the Public Defender
  • Cesery Bullard, Bullard Law
  • Orley Burey, Office of the State Attorney
  • Jamie Caballero, McCalla Raymer Leibert Pierce
  • Sara Chalkley, Law Office of Sara A. Chalkley, PLLC
  • Julie Clarke, Julie Clarke Law, P.A.
  • Matthew Clements, Engineer, Leidos
  • Corey Cohen, Attorney/Business Owner, Law Office of Corey I. Cohen
  • Nick Congelossi, Law Office of Nick Congelossi, PLLC
  • Stephen Craig, Legal Investigator
  • Elizabeth Cruikshank, Cruikshank Ersin, LLC
  • Brandon Dark, Brandon Dark Law
  • Monica Darrow, Attorney, Robertson, Anschutz, Schneid, Crane
  • Luis Davila, Davila & Torres P.A.
  • Jennifer Davis
  • Susie Deen
  • Jennifer Englert, The Orlando Law Group
  • Marco Farah, Marrero, Chamizo, Marcer Law LP
  • Thomas Feiter, Attorney, Fighter Law
  • James Feuerstein, James F. Feuerstein, P.A.
  • Alex Finch, Finch Law Firm
  • Trey Flynn, Attorney-Partner, NeJame Law
  • Mark Fromang, The Fromang Law Firm P.A.
  • Chad Frost, Private Attorney
  • Theresa Fulmer, Attorney
  • Brandon Gans, Gans Law
  • Ryan Ghantous, Ghantous & Branch PLLC
  • James Gigliotti, Law Office of James J. Gigliotti
  • Sarah Gulati, Gulati Law P.L.
  • Adam Haba, The Haba Law Firm, P.A.
  • Lisa Haba, The Haba Law Firm, P.A.
  • Steve Halim, Halim Law
  • JP Hare, Retired IB Chemistry Teacher
  • Nina Hare, Nina M. Hare, D.O.P.A.
  • Anessa Hess, Student
  • Brendan Hess, Chief Executive Officer
  • Breezi Hicks, Community Legal Services of Mid Florida
  • Ryan Hillary, Attorney and Small Business Owner
  • Kristen Holodick
  • Richard Hornsby, Richard E. Hornsby P.A.
  • Kendall Horween, Attorney
  • Victoria Isbell, Retirement Community Health Care
  • Blair Jackson, Attorney
  • David L. Jancha, Attorney, Jancha Law P.A. 
  • Jerry Jenkins, The Law Office of Jerry Jenkins PA
  • Akeam Joseph, Business Owner
  • Nicole Kahl Riggs, Nicole L. Kahl, LLC
  • Andrea Kendrick, Teacher
  • Ashley Kimes, Speech Pathologist
  • John Knutton, Attorney, Geico

 

  • Emily Konicek, Konicek Law, PLLC
  • Ellen Krall, Realtor
  • Annette Krinitz
  • Richard Krinitz
  • Sara Krinitz, Kerestes Law Firm PLLC
  • Lawson Lamar, Retired 9th Circuit of Florida State Attorney
  • Scott Leitner, Climate First Bank
  • Rayna Levine, Marketing Associate, Zencorr Management LTD
  • Chris Lim, Attorney
  • Mark Longwell, Longwell Lawyers
  • Alison Lopes, Law Offices of Alison M. Lopes, P.A.
  • Eric Ludwig, Law Office of Eric W. Ludwig
  • Thomas Luka, Thomas B. Luka, P.A.
  • Robert Magill, Magill Law Offices
  • Tom Malone, Attorney
  • Susan Malove, Malove Law, P.A.
  • Ted Marrero
  • Anthony Martinez, Anthony Martinez & Associates
  • Michael Martinko, Law Office of Michael E. Martinko
  • Christina Mazaheri, Mazaheri & Mazaheri
  • Blaine McChesney, Law Office of Blaine McChesney, P.A.
  • Everett McKeown, Veteran’s Legal Services
  • Ed McKernan, Attorney
  • Nicole McKernan, Siemens
  • Neal McShane, McShane & McShane Law Firm
  • Craig Meinhardt
  • Curtis Mendenhall, Curtis Dee Mendenhall, Attorney at Law
  • Sean Méndez-Catlin, MC and J Law, PLLC
  • Josh Meyer, Attorney
  • Jonathan Mills, Law Office of Jonathan Mills
  • Heiko Moenckmeier, The Law Office of Heiko G. Moenckmeier
  • Michael Morrison, Law Office of Michael Morrison, LLC
  • Dean Mosley, Law Offices of Dean F. Mosley
  • Thomas Nicholl
  • Bryana Nguyen
  • Rahul Parikh, Parikh Law, P.A.
  • Robert Power, Law Office of Robert C. Power
  • Shante Pressley, Heritage Property & Casualty Insurance
  • Molina Arena Randall, Cohen Grossman
  • Andrea Roebuck, Mandarich Law Group, LLP
  • Dominic Sagorski
  • Nicholas Seidule, McKeever & Seidule
  • Markeishia Smith, The Law Offices of Markeishia L. Smith
  • Pamela Smith, Attorney
  • Natasha Stonehouse, The Walt Disney Company
  • Zachary Stoumbos, Esq., Zachary E. Stoumbos P.A.
  • Jonathan Suh, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell
  • Jennifer Synnamon, Attorney
  • Jose Torroella, Law Office of Jose Torroella
  • Eric Trabin, The Trabin Law Firm, P.L.
  • Ryan Vescio, Shuffiled, Lowman & Wilson, P.A.
  • Melissa Vickers, Attorney
  • William C. Vose, Former Chief Assistant State Attorney; Ninth Circuit Office of the State Attorney
  • Rashida Willhoit, Gegan Law Office
  • Travis Williams, The Law Office of Travis Williams
  • Lori Wurtzel, Co-Owner, Wurtzel Law, PLLC
  • Annissa M. Yost, Associate Attorney
  • Michael Zmijewski, Attorney, Z Law Firm

Testimonials About Alison Kerestes for Circuit Judge

“I’ve known Alison for roughly 15 years. I have no doubt that as a Circuit Judge she would make rulings with knowledge, poise, & consideration. I endorse her with no reservations.”

— Kendall Horween, Attorney

“Alison has the full package of courage, contemplation, and compassion to be a circuit court judge. She is the kind of attorney that humbles us when we compare ourselves to her.”

— David Varet, Assistant Regional Counsel

“I have known Alison for her entire legal career, and have watched her become a thoughtful, empathetic, and dedicated attorney that will make a great Circuit Court Judge. Not only does she possess the right temperament to serve, but having practiced both civil and criminal law, her experience is something we need on the bench. I fully support and endorse Alison to become our next Circuit Court Judge, and ask that you support her as well.”

— Ryan Vescio, Shuffield, Lowman & Wilson, P.A.

“Mrs. Kerestes is a consummate professional and top shelf at her craft. She is smart, experienced and tireless. She has loads of common sense, exceptional judgment and a calm disposition. She is a natural for the bench. I fully and unreservedly endorse her candidacy for Circuit Judge.”

— Robert Power, Law Office of Robert C. Power

“I have practiced with, and against Alison since 2007. She has always been well prepared for hearings and trials and has a command of professional empathy in dealing with people experiencing their toughest times. Alison is smart, hard working and fair minded. I wholeheartedly believe Alison will be an outstanding Circuit Court Judge.”

— Heiko Moenckmeier, The Law Office of Heiko G. Moenckmeier

“Alison possesses an in depth understanding of the Law, has the appropriate judicial demeanor that is patient and devoid of bias. She will be an excellent addition to the Orange County Judicial Bench and will serve our community well. I strongly recommend her for this position.”

— Zachary Stoumbos, Esq., Zachary E. Stoumbos P.A.

“Alison Kerestes is hardworking, intelligent, kind, and fair. Her legal writing and pleadings were invaluable reference materials to me as a new prosecutor. I have the greatest respect for her work product. I endorse Alison Kerestes for Judge, not only because she’s very capable, but because she’s a great listener, thoughtful, and just.”

— Brandon Dark, Brandon Dark Law

“I’ve had the privilege of working with Alison on several litigation matters fighting for the people. Alison brings professionalism, honesty, and a great sense of integrity into the courtroom. Florida needs more judges of Alison’s caliber who operate without agenda, remain impartial and stand to adjudicate cases on the merits. Elect Alison Kerestes for Circuit Judge!”

— Anthony Martinez, Anthony Martinez & Associates

“I have known Alison for a long time, starting when we had cases against each other when she was a prosecutor in Osceola County. She has always been fair and diligent at her work and responsibilities to her clients. She will make a great Judge.”

— Corey Cohen, Attorney/Small Business Owner, Law Office of Corey I. Cohen

“I have known Alison for approximately 15 years and have had numerous cases with her when she was an Assistant State Attorney. I can categorically state that based on all criteria Alison will make an outstanding Judge. Alison is extremely well versed in the law, is highly intelligent and has always exhibited a high degree of patience. In addition, Alison exhibits all of the qualities necessary to be an outstanding Judge. More particularly, Alison’s demeanor, diligence, freedom from bias and impartiality were consistently outstanding when she was an Assistant State Attorney. These traits will suit Alison well as a Circuit Court Judge. I strongly endorse and recommend that everyone vote for Alison Kerestes for Circuit Judge.”

— Neal McShane, McShane & McShane Law Firm

“Ms. Kerestes is blessed with smarts and unwavering integrity. She will make an outstanding judge.”

— Blair Jackson, Attorney

“Even keeled and academic, Alison will make an excellent judge. We would be lucky to have her on the bench. Good luck, Alison. You have my vote.”

— Annissa M. Yost, Associate Attorney

“Alison will make an amazing judge and she will work hard for us all here in our community. She is intelligent, experienced, good-tempered and moral. She is a mother and a wife with significant experience working for the government and in private practice. What more can you ask for in a judge? It also does not hurt that she is married to a Marine. I’m with Alison and I would encourage anyone in our community to support her as well.”

— Thomas Feiter, Attorney, Fighter Law

“Alison is extremely intelligent and hard working. She always follows through on her commitments. She has a vast legal knowledge and a grasp on the issues at hand. She would make an excellent judge!”

— Sara Chalkley, Law Office of Sara A. Chalkley, PLLC

“I am confident Alison Kerestes will make and exemplary judge. She is highly respected in the legal community, possesses a great knowledge of the law, and has the skill and temperament needed to be on the bench. She will serve the citizens of Orange and Osceola counties very well.”

— Eric H. Barker, Attorney

“Alison and I have worked closely together ever since we began our legal careers back in 2006 at the State Attorney’s Office. As a judge, Alison will prove herself to be wise and hardworking because that is who she is. Alison’s experience both as a lawyer and in life are diverse. Alison has managed a successful legal practice and at the same time has been a wonderful mother to our son.”

— Steve Kerestes, Attorney, Kerestes Law Firm PLLC

“I heartily endorse Alison Kerestes in her campaign for Circuit Judge. She was an important prosecutor in my Office of the State Attorney who always sought justice to protect our citizens. She believes in the right to a jury trial where all deserve equal application of the law. Her work ethic, consideration and respect for the public distinguished her public service as a prosecutor. We can rely upon her to be a fair judge to all who appear before her. She will be a great Circuit Judge.”

— Lawson Lamar, Retired 9th Circuit of Florida State Attorney

“Alison is exactly the kind of person we need on the bench. She has the perfect temperament and the ideal mix of experience in both criminal and civil law to make an excellent judge.”

— Lori Wurtzel, Co-Owner, Wurtzel Law, PLLC

“Alison Kerestes is one of the best lawyers I have ever come across and after meeting her there is no other lawyer that can compare.”

— Akeam Joseph, Business Owner

“I first met Alison Kerestes when we were both new prosecutors and I’ve had the pleasure of working with her on both sides of the courtroom. Alison is not only smart and hard-working, she also is fair, open-minded, and treats everyone with respect. These are the qualities that a good judge must possess. I am proud to endorse Alison Kerestes for Circuit Judge and I know she will serve with honor.”

— Eric Trabin, The Trabin Law Firm P.L.

“As a prosecutor and defense attorney Alison has always been one of the most fair and intelligent attorneys I know. She would be an amazing asset to the bench.”

— Trey Flynn, Attorney/Partner, NeJame Law

“Alison is hard working, determined, intelligent, and a zealous advocate for her clients. She has been a great lawyer and will make a great judge!”

— Lisa Haba, The Haba Law Firm, P.A.

“I had the pleasure of working alongside Alison as an attorney for years and her professionalism has always stood out. I know her legal knowledge and demeanor will be well served from the bench, but it is her professionalism and courtesies which will set her apart and why I endorse her without hesitation.”

— Robert Magill, Magill Law Offices

“I first met Alison when she was a prosecutor and have had the opportunity to work with her on many cases after she went into private practice. Alison possesses all the qualities you would want in a judge: broad legal experience, patience, kindness, empathy, and reasonableness. Alison would make an extraordinary judge and would be an asset to our community.”

— Richard Hornsby, Richard E. Hornsby P.A.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with Alison for a number of years, and can’t think of someone more qualified as judge. She brings a unique combination of knowledge, skill and character not often found. I recommend Alison Kerestes for Circuit Court Judge.”

— Stephen Craig, Legal Investigator

“During the time I’ve known Alison she has displayed integrity, intelligence and compassion – qualities that would make her a great addition to the bench.”

— Theresa Fulmer, Attorney

“Alison and I have been colleagues for several years. She will make a wonderful addition to the bench and has my full support! Alison is smart, organized, kind, and most importantly, experienced.”

— Monica Darrow, Attorney, Robertson, Anschutz, Schneid, Crane

“Born in Denver Colorado, Alison is the eldest of four daughters raised by her physician mother and addiction treatment center director father. Clearly a gifted learner from the start, Alison was an early reader and excelled all the way through high school. With very diverse interests having majored in Psychology in college, she chose a career in law because of the wide variety of applications it offered. A perfect match, her years of experience are enriched by advanced legal engagement in both prosecutor and defense roles. She has also served in financial and bankruptcy casework and currently partners with her husband in their independent private practice. Guilty of preference as her father, I can’t imagine a better combination of talent and experience for someone now willing to serve the home community of her entire career as Circuit Judge.”

— JP Hare, Retired IB Chemistry Teacher

“I have known Alison for the entire decade that I have been practicing law. I have every confidence that she will make an excellent judge. She has the legal knowledge, skills, and demeanor necessary to execute the duties of the office of circuit judge with the upmost competence. I happily give her my endorsement.”

— Michael D. Barber, Law Office of Michael D. Barber

“Alison is an extremely experienced litigation attorney who will make a phenomenal judge! Vote Alison for Circuit Court Judge!”

—Nicole Kahl Riggs, Nicole L. Kahl, LLC

“Alison has been a wonderful attorney, and if she even comes close to Judge Polodna she will make an equally fair and efficient judge.”
(In reference to the late Honorable Judge Scott D. Polodna, a judicial influence on Alison Kerestes)

—Thomas Nicholl

“Thank you for the great opportunity to express my trust to Alison to be our future Judge in the Ninth Judicial Circuit. Alison is an experience Attorney that you can trust in judiciary. I was one of her prosecution support and I witness how knowledgeable and great she does to her job.”

Victoria Isbell, Retirement Community Health Care

“Alison will unquestionably make an excellent judge. She has the skill, experience, knowledge and demeanor that is needed on the bench. She is also an outstanding mother and is very family oriented. Alison Kerestes for Circuit Court Judge!”

— David L. Jancha, Attorney, Jancha Law P.A.

“Because Alison has appeared in so many different types of courts and has so much court experience under her belt, I believe she will be a great choice for Judge, with a broad base of knowledge to draw from.”

— Jennifer Englert, The Orlando Law Group

Endorse Alison Kerestes for Circuit Judge