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Critical Florida Children’s Advocacy Bill Awaits Governor Scott Signature

For as long as any Florida child advocate or children’s rights attorney can recall, Florida case law has said children have no constitutional right to an attorney in dependency court. That has meant kids’ futures would be decided with no attorney advocating for their needs, lives or futures.

In what some believe is a watershed moment for at-risk and vulnerable children statewide, the Florida Legislature this year passed House Bill 561. The measure requires the appointment of and payment for an attorney ad litem for Florida’s at-risk children facing court or dependency court proceedings. Read a Daily Business Review article.

Written in part by Howard Talenfeld, a leading Florida child advocacy attorney and shareholder with Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate and Webb, P.A., the measure awaits the signature of Gov. Rick Scott. With widespread, bipartisan support – and the backing of advocates statewide – it is hoped this measure will be signed and children will received the professional advocacy they so desperately need.

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