Nationally-known children’s rights attorney Howard Talenfeld was recognized by The Florida Bar Foundation as the recipient of the 2018 Medal of Honor Award for a Lawyer. The Medal of Honor Award is the highest award given by The Florida Bar Foundation and recognizes individuals who have distinguished themselves through their exceptional achievements in improving the administration of justice in Florida. Talenfeld received this recognition at The Florida Bar Foundation’s 42nd Annual Reception and Dinner on June 14 at the Hilton Bonnet Creek in Orlando, site of the 2018 Florida Bar Annual Convention.
Known as one of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys and advocates, Talenfeld is the founder of Talenfeld Law, the first law firm in Florida to focus exclusively on protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused children, developmentally disabled children and other at-risk youth.
“The Foundation is incredibly honored to name Howard as this year’s Medal of Honor recipient for the vital role he has played as an advocate for children and his stellar legal work. Howard exemplifies the principles on which our highest honor is based as an extraordinary leader whose work has truly improved lives,” said Juliette E. Lippman, Florida Bar Foundation President-elect who has worked with Talenfeld for 25 years.
Talenfeld was selected for the Medal of Honor Award for his legislative efforts that significantly improved services for dependent children with special needs and foster children, for his advocacy that led to an improved child welfare system, and for his almost four decades representing at-risk children and adults. Additionally, he was selected for his leadership of Florida’s Children First, a statewide nonprofit organization that advocates for foster children and the developmentally disabled.
Over his legal career, Talenfeld has been instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation in Florida, including a recent statute that provides legal representation to dependent children with special needs.
Among his many leadership roles and legal accolades, Talenfeld was a member of The Florida Bar Legal Needs of Children Committee for many years, serving as its chair from 2009-2010. In 2016, he 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.