This post is also available in: Español

Attorney Michael Panella


For Mike Panella, the concept of zealous advocacy developed at an early age – fueled by what he perceived to be an unjust resolution in a personal family legal matter. Mr. Panella would later attribute his passion to defend the rights of those who stand accused to those inequities in the legal system he observed, and considered unjust.

Mr. Panella went on to graduate at the top of his class at UCF and spent several years working for the United States Senate, where he assisted Senators in rectifying constituent concerns involving state and federal agencies.

At the University of Florida College of Law, Mr. Panella earned the highest possible grade in several courses, including Criminal Law and Family Law. He was unanimously elected the President of Phi Alpha Delta, a legal fraternity. Mr. Panella also worked closely with a respected criminal defense firm while in law school and earned certificates in Criminal Justice, pro-bono work, and community service. He graduated from the University of Florida College of Law with honors.

From there, Mr. Panella joined the small defense team in the State v. George Zimmerman case and became a critical member, contributing to two successful appellate writs, overall strategy, and self-defense issues. After seeing that case through to a successful resolution, Mr. Panella spent time as a partner in a criminal appellate firm, where he worked on both capital and non-capital appeals. Mr. Panella also helped initiate a class-action lawsuit focused on prison abuse.

Mr. Panella has been a guest law school lecturer on Florida’s Justifiable Use of Force laws.

Before opening Panella Law Firm, Mr. Panella served as an Assistant Public Defender for Florida’s 18th Judicial Circuit Public Defender’s Office and worked hundreds of cases in both Brevard and Seminole Counties. Mr. Panella was undefeated at trial.

In private practice, Mr. Panella and his team have been vigorously defending the rights of their clients for the better part of a decade, consistently securing extraordinary wins including jury trial acquittals, murder case dismissals, and even helped re-define the law of self defense for all Floridians through achieving favorable appellate court opinions. This zealous advocacy is also the cornerstone of Mr. Panella’s approach to every family law case, as he personally understands the stakes can be just as high.

Panella Law Firm is ready to devote the time and effort necessary to achieve the best possible outcome for your criminal trial or appellate matter.

Panella Law Firm also stands ready to protect your family in your dissolution, paternity, or other domestic relations case.

If you think we may be able to assist, call today for a free consultation at 407-602-6559.


University of Florida Levin College of Law, Gainesville, Florida
Juris Doctor, cum laude

  • Book Award, Criminal Law
  • Book Award, Child, Parent, and the State
  • Criminal Justice Certificate
  • Community Service Certificate of Outstanding Achievement
  • Pro Bono Certificate of Outstanding Achievement
  • Justice (President), Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity International, Fletcher Chapter

University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida
B.A. Political Science: International Relations/Comparative Politics
Minor: Philosophy

  • Recipient of the Research and Mentoring Program fellowship
  • Recipient of the Research and Mentoring Program grant


  • Florida Bar, Member
  • Orange County Bar Association, Member
  • Broward County Bar Association, Member
  • Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Member
  • Phi Alpha Delta, Member
  • The National Trial Lawyers
  • The National Trial Lawyers, Top 40 Under 40
  • Super Lawyers, Rising Stars
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Florida, Member
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Florida, Member


  • Avvo Rating 10.0
  • The National Trial Lawyers 40 Under 40
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Super Lawyers 2019-2024
  • Best of Orlando Finalist 2023
This site is registered on as a development site. Switch to a production site key to remove this banner.