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Criminal Appeals

James E. Felman, Katherine Earle Yanes, Gus M. Centrone, and Brandon K. Breslow have extensive experience litigating criminal appeals and post-conviction matters in state and federal courts in Florida and across the United States. Their appellate and post-conviction experience spans an array of areas, including appeals in matters ranging from homicide to sex offenses to racketeering to complex white-collar cases; post-conviction relief in the state, appellate, and federal courts; and appeals of related civil matters. Mr. Felman, Ms. Yanes, and Mr. Breslow are former federal judicial law clerks, and each brings to the firm’s practice outstanding academic training and professional experience.

A selection of notable cases handled by the firm is listed below:

Direct Appeals

State v. Grammig, unpublished 289 So. 3d 907 (Fla. 5th DCA 2019), reh’g denied (Feb. 3, 2020) (dismissal of charges affirmed)

King v. State of Florida, unpublished (Fla. Cir. Ct. 2017) (conviction reversed)

United States v. Bane, 720 F.3d 818 (11th Cir. 2013) (restitution order vacated)

Sanders v. State of Florida, 74 So. 3d 1100 (Fla. 2d DCA 2011) (reversal of conviction based on jury instruction error)

In re Stewart, 641 F.3d 1271 (11th Cir. 2011) (denying writ brought to challenge sentencing court’s refusal to order restitution)

Butts v. State, 975 So. 2d 590 (Fla. 2d DCA 2008) (conviction reversed due to evidentiary error)

Behanna v. State, 985 So. 2d 550 (Fla. 2d DCA 2007) (conviction reversed due to evidentiary error)

Henrion v. State, 895 So. 2d 1213 (Fla. 2d DCA 2005) (conviction reversed due to evidentiary error)

Pierce v. State, 873 So. 2d 618 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) (ordering disqualification of trial judge)

United States v. Liss, 265 F.3d 1220 (11th Cir. 2001) (restitution order and sentence vacated)

United States v. Sigma International, 244 F.3d 841 (11th Cir. 2001), reh’g en banc granted, opinion vacated, 287 F.3d 1325 (11th Cir. 2002) (panel opinion reversed convictions due to prosecutorial misconduct; case settled after court agreed to rehear en banc)

United States v. Burns, unpublished (11th Cir. 2001) (conviction reversed due to evidentiary error)

United States v. Gepp, unpublished (11th Cir. 2001) (restitution order vacated)

United States v. Gepp – from court, unpublished (11th Cir. 2001)

United States v. Siegel, unpublished (11th Cir. 2000) (sentence vacated)

Hayden v. State, 760 So. 2d 1031 (Fla. 2d DCA 2000) (conviction reversed due to discovery error)

Royster v. State, 741 So. 2d 606 (Fla. 2d DCA 1999) (conviction reversed due to evidentiary error)

United States v. Crutchfield, 26 F.3d 1098 (11th Cir. 1994) (conviction reversed due to prosecutorial misconduct)

United States v. Hassan, 966 F.2d 1415 (11th Cir. 1992) (conviction reversed for insufficient evidence of guilt)

Post-Conviction Proceedings

Parker v. Sec’y, Dep’t of Corr., — Fed.Appx. —- 2021 WL 1235722 (11th Cir. Apr. 2, 2021) (denial of habeas vacated and remanded)

Shelton v. Secretary, Dep’t of Corrections, 802 F. Supp. 2d 1289 (M.D. Fla. 2011) (reversal of order striking Florida’s controlled substance statute on federal postconviction motion on federal constitutional grounds), rev’d, 691 F.3d 1348 (11th Cir. 2012)

Purvis v. State, 43 So. 3d 734 (Fla. 2d DCA 2010) (denial of post-conviction motion reversed on rehearing)

Stewart v. State, 902 So.2d 879 (Fla. 1st DCA 2005) (reversing summary denial of post-conviction motion)

Acker v. State, 787 So. 2d 77 (Fla. 2d DCA 2001) (petition for post‑conviction relief granted; remanded for new trial)

Mr. Felman and Ms. Yanes have also handled numerous complex civil appeals, frequently in matters arising from related criminal proceedings, including:

Mishkin v. Gurian, 2006 WL 2374238 (2d Cir. Aug. 14, 2006) (reversing $200 million judgment)

Smith v. Foremost Insurance Company, 884 So. 2d 341 (Fla. 2d DCA 2004) (reversing order granting summary judgment for defendants in class action litigation)

Lochmere Development Group, Inc. v. Eiger Fund I, L.P., unpublished (11th Cir. 2002) (case settled after filing of initial brief)


  • Mr. Felman was named by Best Lawyers in America as the 2024 Tampa “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: General Practice. Previously, Mr. Felman was named by Best Lawyers in America as the 2023 Tampa “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: White Collar, 2021 Tampa “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: General Practice and 2018 Tampa “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: White-Collar. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America for appellate practice, “bet-the-company” litigation, and white-collar and non-white collar criminal defense. Florida Super Lawyers has listed Mr. Felman for criminal defense:  white collar practice and named him one of the Top 50 Tampa Bay Lawyers in Tampa Bay and previously named him a Top 100 Lawyer in Florida from 2014-2016.  Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite names Mr. Felman for criminal law.
  • Ms. Yanes is listed in Best Lawyers in America for white-collar criminal defense and appellate practice. Ms. Yanes was named by Best Lawyers as the 2017 Tampa “Lawyer of the Year” for Criminal Defense: White Collar. She is also named in Florida Super Lawyers for criminal defense:  white collar.  In 2023, Super Lawyers named her one of the Top 50 Women Lawyers in Florida, one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Tampa Bay, and one of the Top 100 Lawyers in Florida.  Florida Trend’s Florida Legal Elite names her for criminal law.
  • Mr. Centrone is listed in Best Lawyers in America for criminal defense: general practice and white-collar. Florida Super Lawyers has listed Mr. Centrone for criminal defense.  Mr. Centrone was named by Tampa Magazine as 2019 Consumer Protection Attorney of the Year. He was also listed by Tampa Magazine as a Top Lawyer in Consumer Law. Florida Trend also lists Mr. Centrone Florida Legal Elite.
  • Mr. Breslow is listed in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch and Florida Super Lawyers Risings Stars for appellate practice.
  • Kynes, Markman & Felman, P.A. has been named eight years in a row as a Best Law Firm in Tampa by U.S. News and Best Lawyers, the leading survey of lawyers worldwide. Most recently, the firm has been recognized for Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Governmental Investigations; Criminal Defense: White-Collar – Litigation; Criminal Defense: Non-White-Collar; and Appellate Practice.
  • The firm is AV‑rated by Martindale-Hubbell, which is the highest rating available, and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers.
  • Contact Mr. Felman, Ms. Yanes, Mr. Centrone, or Mr. Breslow to discuss your legal needs by calling 813-229-1118 or 800-584-3375.
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