Why Choose Shepard Law?

After an arrest in the Panama City area, it is important to hire an attorney who will defend your rights, help you navigate the criminal justice system and work with you to avoid a conviction. Choosing the right attorney is crucial. So why choose Shepard Law?

Attorney Rusty Shepard

Attorney Rusty Shepard

Mr. Shepard has handled thousands of criminal cases over the course of his career ranging from Disorderly Conduct to First Degree Premeditated Murder.

Mr. Shepard regularly handles cases in Bay (Panama City), Calhoun (Blountstown), Gulf (Port St. Joe), Holmes (Bonifay), Jackson (Marianna), Walton (DeFuniak Springs) and Washington (Chipley) counties.

  • President, Bay County Criminal Defense Bar (2011-Present)
  • 10.0 for 10.0 "Superb" rated by Avvo (2013-15)
  • "Nationally Ranked Superior DUI Attorney" and "Top 100 DUI Attorneys - Northern Florida" as recognized by The National Advocacy for DUI Defense (2014-15)
  • Member, The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers (2013-15)
  • President, Bay County Bar Association (2007-2010)
  • Member, 14th Judicial Circuit Pro Bono Committee (2013)
  • Member, Law Related Education Committee of the Florida Bar (2003-2009)
  • Bencher, St. Andrews Bay Inns of Court
  • Member, Criminal Justice Section, American Bar Association
  • Member, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers
  • Recipient, Florida Bar President's Pro Bono Service Award ( 2011)
  • Featured as "One to Watch" by Bay Life Magazine
  • Featured as one of "The New Vanguard: The Smart & Savvy" by Panama City Living Magazine
  • Member, Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels (Commissioned 1990)
  • Legal Commentator:
  • - WMBB/News-13 (ABC)
  • - WJHG/News Channel 7 (NBC)
  • - Law Call, a live weekly call-in show
  • Former Assistant State Attorney

The Florida Bar, 2000

United States District Court, Northern District of Florida, 2004

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit, 2004.

Juris Doctor, Florida State University College of Law, 2000

Bachelor of Arts, University of Arizona, 1993

Prior to law school Mr. Shepard worked as a political consultant for a national political committee and respective United States Senate candidates in Washington, DC. Additionally, Mr. Shepard served in the Washington, DC based political affairs office of Astrum International, the parent company of Samsonite, Culligan International and the 500 Fashion Group.

As a former Assistant State Attorney, Mr. Shepard is able to anticipate the tactics and strategies used by prosecutors and law enforcement officers allowing weaknesses in the State's case to be isolated and exploited. Mr. Shepard has handled literally thousands of criminal cases in Florida's 14th Judicial Circuit (over 5,000 at last count). Mr. Shepard regularly represents clients charged with offenses ranging from misdemeanor theft crimes and DUI to serious felony violent offenses that are subject to Florida's 10-20-Life law.

Attorney Jean Marie Downing


Ms. Downing represents criminal defendants in felony, misdemeanor and violation of probation cases in both state and federal courts.

Ms. Downing is an experienced trial lawyer with over 50 jury trials including First Degree Murders as well as Federal Drug Conspiracies. Prior to entering private practice, Ms. Downing was a selected to serve as Federal Law Clerk in the United States District Court Middle District of Florida where she served as advisor and research attorney for The Honorable Ralph Nimmons.

Ms. Downing received her Juris Doctor magna cum laude (top 5%) from Stetson University College of Law in 1999, a Master of Science in Management from Troy University in 1993, and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice from The Florida State University in 1991.

Ms. Downing is a member of The Florida Bar (2000), and has been admitted to practice before the United States District Court Northern District of Florida (2000), the United States District Court Middle District of Florida (2001), and the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit (2001).

Ms. Downing has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Florida Coastal School of Law in Jacksonville, Florida and Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida.

Shepard Law: Focused on Defending Your Rights and Protecting Your Future

Regardless of whether your case is in Panama City, Blountstown, Bonifay, Port St. Joe, Marianna, DeFuniak Springs or Chipley, Mr. Shepard, Ms. Downing and the dedicated paralegal staff at Shepard Law are ready to handle your case and defend your rights.

View the firm's profile at FindaCriminalDefenseAttorney.com.

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Why Choose

Shepard Law

  • Handled 5000+ Cases
  • Superb Rating on Avvo
  • A Decade of Experience
  • Former Prosecutor
  • Excellent Case Results
  • Available 24/7
  • Free Initial Consultation