Ray joined the Florida Justice Institute in 2018 and brings to FJI many years of litigation experience in civil rights and criminal defense cases. Upon graduation from law school in 1982, he began his career as a trial attorney with the Office of the Public Defender in Miami. As a public defender, he has represented clients charged with all levels of criminal offenses and has tried nearly a hundred cases to verdict. After relocating to New York City in 1989, he worked briefly for the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society in Brooklyn. Ray then joined the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem (NDS), a community based indigent defense and civil rights non-profit law firm located in Harlem. There, he was a supervising attorney of a team of lawyers providing direct representation of clients in the criminal courts of Manhattan and the Bronx.
In 1994, Ray returned to the Public Defender’s Office in Miami as a Senior Trial Attorney. His responsibilities included the defense of death penalty cases, appeals, post-conviction matters, and the supervision and training of lawyers in the felony trial division.
In 2006, he joined Chavez & DeLeon, PA, a public-minded private law firm where he litigated civil rights, criminal defense and personal injury cases. In 2010, he opened his own law office, Ray Taseff, PA, which concentrated on civil rights and criminal defense litigation. His civil rights practice specialized in representing victims of police misconduct and a wide range of people whose rights under the First Amendment were violated. In 2014, Ray teamed up with FJI to represent the family of Travis McNeil, a young man who was senselessly killed by a Miami police officer. That case reached a settlement for $1.125 million.
Ray was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Miami School of Law and has taught criminal justice courses at Florida International University. He served for many years as the Legal Panel Chair of the Miami ACLU and is active in UPPAC, a grass-roots, community activist group in Miami Gardens.
Ray graduated from Illinois State University and the Southern Illinois University School of Law. He is a member of the Florida, New York and District of Columbia Bars, and is admitted to practice in the U.S. District Courts for the Southern, Middle, and Northern Districts of Florida, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.