Fighting to Protect the Accused
Born and raised on the west side of Cincinnati, Chelsea J. Panzeca has been an intense competitor and fighter for the underdog all her life. Her appetite for a challenge coupled with her ambitious attitude destined her for a career in criminal defense.
As a former competitive gymnast, Chelsea trained for over 25 hours each week at a facility 45 minutes away from her home. This continued until she retired from gymnastics and began her undergraduate studies. She attended the University of Cincinnati where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice and psychology. As an undergrad, she secured an internship with the Cincinnati Prosecutor’s Office and initially set her sights on a career as a prosecuting attorney. Her interests shifted, however, as she gained more exposure to the legal system and witnessed firsthand that the right to a fair trial is not a given.
Proving Innocence for the Wrongfully Accused
While attending law school, Chelsea was selected to take part in the Kentucky Innocence Project, an initiative developed by the Department of Public Advocacy to provide incarcerated men and women with a resource through to have their legitimate claims of innocence investigated and presented to the courts.
Chelsea reviewed case files and interviewed witnesses to uncover new evidence in a case involving a 40-year sentence for a murder conviction. She supported the case for an additional year until it went up for an appeal. This exposure to flaws in the legal system and the effects of poor representation further fueled Chelsea’s passion for criminal defense work.
As a second-year law student, she began working at a local law office where she was immediately assigned to work on a complex case in which a mother faced allegations from her son. Chelsea had the opportunity to research, gather evidence, prepare witnesses, and organize a case at the defense table to appropriately refute claims. After two years of working on this case and three days at trial, the jury deliberated for only seven minutes before finding the client not guilty.
Chelsea is now using her skills and expertise to represent the clients of Bleile & Dawson. She earned her Juris Doctor from Northern Kentucky University’s Salmon P. Chase College of Law, where she served as vice president of the Legal Association for Women.
Areas of Practice
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Highland Heights, Kentucky – J.D.
- University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio – B.S. (cum laude)
Honors: Dean’s List
Major: Criminal Justice
Professional Associations & Memberships
- Cincinnati Bar Association, Member
- Ohio Bar Association, Member
Past Employment Positions
- Alig & Bellamy, Criminal Defense
- Law Office of Roger W. Howland, Bankruptcy