More than 150 local attorneys and officials were in attendance this week to celebrate the awarding of the University of Miami Law Alumni Association’s Alumni Achievement Award to Howard M. Talenfeld. A leading Florida foster care abuse attorney and life-long advocate for children’s rights, Talenfeld was recognized for his tireless efforts on behalf of society’s most vulnerable citizens.
The award was presented by Fort Lauderdale attorney and 2015 award recipient Bruce Lyons, Miami attorney and president of the Law Alumni Association Edward R. Shohat, and University of Miami School of Law Dean Patricia D. White.
“Howard was a natural for this award. We’re very proud of his pioneering work for children’s causes,” said Shohat. “The association represents over 30,000 alumni around the world, and Howard is an excellent ambassador for the school.”
Notable attendees on hand to celebrate the award included former Florida Attorney General Bob Butterworth; Florida Bar Association past presidents Jesse Diner and Edward H. Zebersky; Miami-Dade County Public Defender Carlos Martinez; Children’s Services Council of Broward County Executive Director Cindy Arenberg Seltzer; Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Shareholder Adele I. Stone; University of Miami School of Law Director of Clinical Legal Education Bernard P. Perlmutter; Broward attorney and past president of the Law Alumni Association and chair of its National Advisory Council Todd Payne; Fort Lauderdale attorney and Florida State Senate candidate Gary Farmer; Boies, Schiller & Flexner Managing Partner Stuart H. Singer; and Florida’s Children First Executive Director Christina Spudeas.
Talenfeld graduated from the University of Miami School of Law in 1979 and has spent most of his career defending the rights of and seeking damages for children and the developmentally disabled harmed in cases of child abuse, child sexual abuse, and denial of benefits.
Over the past three decades, Talenfeld has been awarded The Florida Bar’s “President’s Award of Merit” and the Florida Bar President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 17th Judicial Circuit. The Daily Business Review in May will award Talenfeld its Professional Excellence Award. He also is a past recipient of Legal Aid’s Russell Carlisle Award for child advocacy law.
As founding president Florida’s Children First, Talenfeld’s impassioned pursuit of children’s rights issues is spearheaded by the state’s preeminent non-profit that advocates for foster children and the developmentally disabled.
Also receiving the award was the Hon. Martin J. Bidwill, judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit Court, Criminal Division, in Florida. Past recipients have included the Hon. Stanford Blake, JD ’73; Michael J. Satz, JD ’67; the Hon. John P. “Jack” Seiler, JD ’88; the Hon. Melvin B. Grossman, JD ’68; and Bruce M. Lyons, JD ’67.
Talenfeld in 2014 founded Talenfeld Law, Florida’s only law firm exclusively dedicated to protecting the rights of abused, disabled and injured children. Talenfeld, the preeminent children’s rights lawyer in the nation, has earned numerous significant, multimillion dollar awards for foster children, the developmentally disabled and others harmed while under the care of state agencies and contracted care providers. Throughout his career, Talenfeld has been involved in precedent-setting actions and systemic reform and has established a reputation as champions of the rights of the abused in personal injury claims for damages. Learn more at www.JusticeForKids.us