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Howard M. Talenfeld is a Partner in the firm’s Fort Lauderdale office. He is the Practice Lead of the Justice for Kids Division, the firm’s national practice dedicated to providing legal services to abused, disabled, and catastrophically injured children harmed at home, in child welfare and foster care settings, group home settings and residential treatment centers, as well as all children harmed by the acts of others.

One of the nation’s preeminent children’s rights attorneys, Howard has spent three decades representing and protecting thousands of children in cases of foster care abuse, child sexual abuse, child rape, and other harm, in child welfare settings. Since the 1990s, when Howard began representing at-risk minors, he has amassed successes in trial courts, appellate courts, and direct settlement negotiations. His creative legal approaches have achieved extraordinary results in both earning significant damage awards – often in excess of Florida’s sovereign immunity limits – as well as bringing to justice those responsible for catastrophic harm to children.

His work not only has achieved multi–million dollar damage awards, but his cases have resulted in landmark decisional law protecting the rights of children and disabled persons. He and the legal teams he has led, have ushered in systemic change in how government agencies and private institutions care for society’s most vulnerable citizens.

Howard began his career representing the state of Florida in lawsuits involving the foster care system, children’s mental health system, juvenile justice system, state psychiatric hospitals, and Medicaid services. He pioneered defenses that advocate for the improvement and reform of human service systems, while protecting states’ rights and avoiding federal over-sight. He also represented Florida’s governors, secretaries of state agencies, the Insurance Commissioner, the Legislature, and Florida’s Auditor General in civil rights cases in federal and state court.

Beyond the courtroom, Howard has argued for systemic reform before many state and national groups, including the U.S. Congress, Florida legislative committees, the National Association of State Mental Health Lawyers, and the American Public Welfare Association. He helped to establish tens of millions of dollars in annual funding for child welfare programs; helped write laws impacting child victims of sexual abuse and rape; and he successfully advocated for passage of a State House bill requiring minor victims of sexual abuse or trafficking, those prescribed psychotropic medications or those who have been committed to a residential treatment facilities, to be able to have attorneys represent them in all legal or administrative proceedings.

Howard earned both his Bachelor of Arts degree and Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami.

Location

  • 10360 West State Road 84
    Fort Lauderdale, FL 33324

Education

  • University of Miami School of Law, J.D., graduated 1979
  • University of Miami, B.A., graduated 1974

Bar Admissions

  • Florida, 1980

Affiliations

  • Florida's Children First - Founding President
  • Florida’s Voice on Developmental Disabilities - Member
  • Justice For Kids - Founder

Court Admissions

  • United States Supreme Court
  • United States District Court of Appeals – 1st, 5th and 11th Circuits
  • United States District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida
  • Florida State and Appellate Courts

Kelley Kronenberg
Headquarters: Fort Lauderdale, Florida

5 The Best Lawyers in America® awards

18 Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch® in America awards

Best Law Firms Badge Full Firm Profile

Recognized in The Best Lawyers® in America 2023 for work in:

  • Civil Rights Law
  • Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs

Awards:

  • Martindale-Hubbell™, AV Preeminent® Top Rated Lawyer, 1986 – Present
  • Broward Committee for Prevention of Child Abuse, Outstanding Citizen of the Year, April 2000
  • Blue Ribbon Hero Award for Guardian ad Litem Pro Bono Attorney (2001-2002)
  • “Making a Difference” Award, Justice for Children and Families, 2002
  • Kathleen Wright Award for a professional who has improved the quality of life for children in Florida, Family Central, 2002
  • Legal Aid Service of Broward County, Russell Carlisle Award, 2004
  • Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyer recognition, 2006
  • March of Dimes Award, 2007
  • President’s Pro Bono Service Award for the 17th Judicial Circuit, 2006
  • South Florida Business Journal, “Let’s Do Something Giant” Award Recipient, Legal Category, 2008
  • Lawyers for Children America, “Policy Advocate Award”, 2010
  • Broward Days, “Community Advocate Award”, 2010
  • Florida Bar Association, “President’s Award of Merit”, 2010
  • Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyer recognition, Pro Bono, 2011
  • South Florida Business Journal, “Key Partners Awards” honoree, 2012
  • Daily Business Review, Most Effective Lawyer recognition, Public Interest, 2013
  • Lifestyle Media Group, Leaders in Law Winner for Personal Injury, 2014
  • Daily Business Review, Professional Excellence Lifetime Achievement Award, 2016
  • The Heart Gallery of Broward County, Child Advocate of the Year, 2016
  • The University of Miami Law Alumni Association, Alumni Achievement Award, 2016
  • Florida Trend, “Florida 500 Most Influential Business Leaders,” 2018 – 2020
  • The Florida Bar Foundation, Medal of Honor Award for a Lawyer, 2018
  • 211 Broward, Non-Profit Organization Board Leader of the Year Awards, Finalist, 2020
  • Super Lawyers magazine, Florida “Super Lawyers,”, 2006-2020
  • South Florida Legal Guide, “Top Lawyers”, 2007 – 2021
  • Martindale-Hubbell™, AV Preeminent® Top Rated Lawyer, 1986 – Present

Publications

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