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Archive for January, 2014

South Florida Children’s Rights Attorneys Recognized as Leaders in Law by Lifestyle Media Group

January 23rd, 2014   No Comments   Advocacy, News & Events

Leaders in Law for FCAHoward M. Talenfeld, a child advocacy attorney and shareholder with Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb P.A., was among the attorneys honored at Lifestyle Media Group’s inaugural Leaders in Law event. Firm Shareholder Joel S. Fass was selected as a finalist for the awards. Both attorneys, along with the other honorees, were recognized this week at Southeastern University in Davie.

Mr. Talenfeld (pictured here with Lifestyle Publisher Gary Press and First Southern Bank President/CEO Lynne Wines), has been a shareholder in the firm since 1982 and founder of Florida’s Children First, the state’s premier child advocacy organization. He focuses his practice on protecting the rights of vulnerable individuals in civil rights cases, personal injury cases and systemic reform litigation. He is also experienced in litigating complex commercial and class action cases in state and federal courts.

Among his honors, Mr. Talenfeld has been named in Florida Super Lawyers Magazine since 2006 and was selected by the South Florida Business Journal as a Key Partners Awards honoree in 2012. Additionally, he has been recognized as a “Top Lawyer” in the South Florida Legal Guide. In 2013 he was named among the Daily Business Review’s Most Effective Lawyers in the Public Interest category.

The Leaders in Law Awards is a unique program created by Lifestyle Media Group to honor the lawyers, law firms, and corporate counsel that promote excellence in law, maintain the highest level of ethics, show a commitment to their community and are proven leaders. Nominees were judged on outstanding litigation, advocacy, counseling, and advancements to the legal profession, as well as contributions to the advancement of the bar, such as public service, bar association activities, and pro bono activities.


Florida’s Children First to Hold 2014 Broward Child Advocacy Awards & Reception on Feb. 27

January 21st, 2014   No Comments   Advocacy, News & Events

Florida’s Children First, the state’s premier child advocacy organization, will hold its 2014 Broward Child Advocacy Awards & Reception on Thursday, February 27 at 5:30pm at the 110 Tower in Fort Lauderdale (110 SE 6th Street, Fort Lauderdale 33301).

The event will honor:

Children’s Services Council of Broward County as the Children’s Advocate of the Year

Taevon Pierre & Aaron Dames as the Youth Honorees of the Year and

Forever Family Bella’s Group as the Youth Inspiration Award

Master of Ceremonies  will be Todd Templin, former WPLG reporter and current Vice President with Boardroom Communications.

Sponsors include Boardroom Communications; Colodny Fass Talenfeld Karlinsky Abate & Webb; Guardian Trust: Coral Gables Trust; Lifestyle Media Group; Daily Business Review; and Paul Palank Memorial Foundation.

For more information, contact: Debby Beck (fcf@floridaschildrenfirst.org or 954-796-0860).

We hope to see you there!

In Passing, Florida Child Highlights Fight for In-Home Skilled Care for Sick, At-Risk Kids

January 14th, 2014   No Comments   Advocacy, Disability Issues

The death of Karolina Gonzalez was more than the passing of a 12-year-old child known as a fighter to her family and children’s advocates who knew her. It was the final page in an ongoing story of a mother’s love for her daughter, and her battle with state health administrators to receive skilled in-home care for her daughter so Karolina could be cared for at home – and not institutionalized in a nursing home. Karolina’s struggle is over, yet she remains the personification of many families’ struggles to receive the in-home care needed to live “normal” lives.

Karolina suffered from the rare genetic disorder called Marshall-Smith Syndrome. Those affected often suffer severe breathing impairments, facial abnormalities and irregular bone maturation.

From when Karolina was diagnosed at age 4, her mother Marcia Saladin battled Florida healthcare administrators for their refusal to offer round-the-clock in-home assistance – and force parents either to provide the care or institutionalize affected children. The financial, physical and emotional burdens for many are insurmountable. The United States government eventually joined the battle.

Institutionalization was not an option for Saladin and Karolina. Hardships notwithstanding, Saladin appealed the state’s ruling and convinced the Agency for Health Care Administration to reverse its policy. 

Howard Talenfeld, the attorney who handled the family’s appeal, told the Miami Herald, “She inspired us all to fight for her and other children just like her. This was a little girl who couldn’t walk, who couldn’t talk, but she touched all of our lives.”

Florida Children’s Rights Attorney Calls for Gov. Scott to Make Right Call for DCF Head

In a letter entitled, “Scott and DCF must get it right,” Florida children’s rights attorney Gloria Fletcher argues in the Tallahassee Democrat that she and other child advocates are watching closely as Gov. Rick Scott weighs candidates and implications surrounding his next choice for secretary of the Department of Children and Families. The reason is clear, she says.

“The post and agency have been among the highest-profile — and most embattled — in the state over the past few years. The facts are heart-wrenching. More than two dozen children known to be at risk or under the watch of DCF have died in the past few years.”

“Like the governor, the candidate should have one over-arching belief,” Fletcher writes. “The mission of DCF is to serve at-risk kids and to ensure that the providers paid by the state to care for the state’s most vulnerable are held accountable for providing professional services. The kids must come first.”

Read the entire letter here.