About Joaquin Mendez, P.A.
After graduating with Honors from Princeton University (1980) and the University of Pennsylvania Law School (1986), where he was also an Editor of the Law Review and had a labor law article published in the Law Review, Joaquin Mendez completed a two-year federal judicial clerkship with the Honorable Thomas N. O’Neill, Jr., of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Joaquin then returned to Miami, Florida, where he became an associate at the law firm of Steel, Hector and Davis specializing in federal securities litigation, labor law and First Amendment litigation.
Since 1990, owing primarily to his interest in constitutional law and the need to protect the civil liberties of individuals against government overreach, Joaquin has concentrated on criminal defense, specializing in defending complex federal criminal prosecutions. He has appeared in over 450 federal criminal matters. In addition, his federal criminal courtroom experience includes over 75 jury trials, including several lengthy, complex, and highly publicized ones. Joaquin also has a great deal of experience before the federal Court of Appeals, having successfully handled several highly significant matters there as well. In 2001, he was awarded the Rodney Thaxton Memorial Award by the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which is given annually to an attorney or attorneys who “exemplify the principle of Equal Justice.” In 2002 he was named as the “Best Lawyer in Miami” by the New Times magazine. In law school, he was awarded the M.H.Goldstein Memorial Prize for outstanding work in the field of labor and employment law.
Joaquin believes that our constitutional rights will wither away if we do not vigorously assert them. He is firmly committed to the view that anyone charged with an offense is innocent until proven guilty and has devoted his professional life to making sure that persons accused of crimes are treated with the dignity and fairness they deserve. Joaquin also deeply believes that persons convicted of criminal offenses are entitled to a fair sentence that takes into account that individual’s many good personal qualities and deeds as well.
Joaquin’s family includes three adult children, of whom he is extremely proud. His hobbies include travel, literature and sports, especially cycling. He is a member of the American Bar Association (Labor section) and, for many years, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Coral Gables Youth Center.
Joaquin was born in Havana, Cuba and is fluent in Spanish.
University of Pennsylvania Law School, Juris Doctor, 1986
Honors: Law Review, Editor M.H. Goldstein Memorial Prize in Labor Law
Rutgers University, Master’s Degree in Sociology, 1983
Honors: Graduated with High Honors Teaching Fellowships, 1981-1983
Princeton University, Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science
Honors: Graduated with Honors Academic Scholarships
- Miami Senior High School, Class of 1976
Publications and Presentations:
- Comment, “One Step Forward and Two Steps Back: The Court and the Scope of Board Discretion in Sure-Tan v. NLRB,” 134 U.Pa.L.Rev. 703 (1986).
- Florida Supreme Court Racial and Ethnic Bias Study Commission. Presented legal memorandum concerning the constitutional right of non-English speaking defendants to translators in criminal trials. September 1991.
- Numerous presentations over the years on a wide range of criminal defense topics and professional ethics to Florida Bar groups and members of the Criminal Justice Act panel.
- Guest lecturer on criminal procedure at the University of Miami Law School.
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
- United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit