Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – Howard M. Talenfeld, a preeminent children’s rights attorney, was recognized by the Heart Gallery of Broward County as Child Advocate of the Year at the annual “Eat Your Heart Out” culinary feast.
The Heart Gallery of Broward County is a respected not-for-profit committed to finding loving families for the hardest to place foster children. The organization started in 2007 as a traveling photography exhibit of foster children who were waiting to be permanently adopted, and has evolved to work closely with ChildNet and local foster care providers to seek adoptive families and other connections for these children.
Talenfeld is the Founder and Managing Partner of Talenfeld Law, the first law firm in Florida to focus exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused, medically fragile, foster and other at-risk children. His work on behalf of at-risk individuals has earned multi-million dollar awards and resulted in sweeping judicial and legislative reforms.
Among his wins, Talenfeld earned significant damages awards and settlements against New York City and the Archdiocese of Brooklyn, which together paid more than $27 million in the case of Judith Leekin, a foster mother whose “house of horrors” imprisoned, abused and starved 10 disabled foster children. In Florida, he is responsible for scores of million dollar plus victories in federal civil rights claims against DCF employees and providers also resulting in the landmark decisional law protecting the rights of children and disabled persons. Talenfeld was among the first attorneys nationally to utilize the federal civil rights damage statute 42 USC section 1983 to recover damages for injured foster children. In the 2001 case Roe v. Florida Department of Children & Family Services he recovered a $5 million damage award, an amount in excess of Florida’s sovereign immunity limit of $100,000, on behalf of six foster children. In another example, the state agreed to pay more than $14 million in a case where foster mother Nellie Johnson repeatedly and brutally beat her foster children, even after the Florida Department of Children and Families knew of the harm they were enduring.
Earlier this year, Talenfeld was honored with the University of Miami Law Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award and received the Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award from the Daily Business Review. Additionally, he has been recognized for his efforts with The Florida Bar’s “President’s Award of Merit” and the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 17th Judicial Circuit. He also received Legal Aid’s Russell Carlisle Award for child advocacy law. Talenfeld is the founding president of Florida’s Children First, the state’s preeminent nonprofit that advocates for foster children and the developmentally disabled.
About Talenfeld Law
Talenfeld Law is led by one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys focusing exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused children, developmentally disabled children and other at-risk children. Learn more at 844-4KIDLAW or http://www.justiceforkids.us.