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Archive for December, 2009

Most Effective Lawyers: Four Years of Work Led to Settlement in DCF Case

The Daily Business Review, a leading legal and professional publication in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and South Florida’s tri-county community, recently named law firm partners Howard Talenfeld and Tracey McPharlin among its Most Effective Lawyers.

To the two foster care and child advocacy attorneys, partners with Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky & Abate P.A., the proposition seemed simple: placing children who are known sexual offenders into a foster home where other foster children reside is a dangerous practice.

But it took nearly four years to persuade a court to recognize that the Department of Children and Families workers who placed two teenage boys with a known history of sexual predation into a home with three younger children acted with deliberate indifference. The workers were not, the lawyers argued, entitled to qualified immunity. Read the original article here…


Child Advocacy, Foster Care Attorneys Lauded for “Tenacity” in Case & $2.9 Million Settlement Against Florida DCF

December 9th, 2009   No Comments   Abuse, Foster Care, News & Events

Child advocacy and foster care attorneys Howard Talenfeld and Tracey K. McPharlin of Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky & Abate P.A., have been recognized as Finalists in The Daily Business Review’s fifth annual Most Effective Lawyers awards competition.

Every year, in what has become one of the most closely watched attorney recognition programs in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties, the Daily Business Review highlights the work of private and public sector lawyers through the Most Effective Lawyers in South Florida.

The program recognizes more than 80 attorneys in 16 categories: real estate, pro bono, complex / business litigation, international, appellate law, public interest, class actions, criminal justice, personal injury, product liability, regulatory, medical malpractice, labor & employment, securities, bankruptcy / receivership, environmental law.

Talenfeld and McPharlin were recognized for having secured significant victories for their clients. Specifically, they were noted for the four years they invested in a case that led to a settlement with the Florida Department of Children and Families. The two attorneys represented the biological parents of three young children who were preschool-aged at the time of late-1990s sexual assaults by two teenage boys with a known history of sexual predation.

The DBR story recognizing Talenfeld and McPharlin begins below… (more…)

When a Florida Foster Child Makes a Call for Help Does Anyone Listen?

December 1st, 2009   No Comments   Abuse, News & Events

If a Florida foster child, vulnerable person or concerned citizen makes a call to a state-sponsored abuse hotline, can he or she be assured help will come?

That’s the question citizens, child advocate attorneys and others are asking as revelations of the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Abuse Report Hotline are going public.

At issue: The state’s admitted “screening” process that takes some calls seriously, while ignoring others.

“Hot-line calls are cries for help on behalf of a child,” said Howard Talenfeld, the Fort Lauderdale-based chairman of Florida’s Children First, an advocacy group. “Any call that is screened out is a cry that falls on deaf ears.”

Click here to read the Miami Herald article.