Community Involvement/Pro Bono
The very concept that drives most would-be lawyers to chart their professional course in life is a complex moral concept that espouses not only law, but ethics, rationality, religion, fairness and equity.
To the lawyers of Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb however, justice has a deeper meaning than courtroom results or legal victories. Throughout history, many people like them have felt that charity is not just a demonstration of benevolence or generosity, but rather, a simple act of justice by doing one’s duty of giving with dignity, compassion and empathy, with the goal of ultimately enabling the recipient to be made whole and stand upon his or her own feet.
Justice, in which law plays a fundamental role, is the very essence of community and the core humanity of taking a shared role in the outcome of our civilization’s collective future.
It is for this common goal of justice that, for nearly 40 years, Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb attorneys and staff members have made community support a cornerstone of their practice and a fundamental tenet of their own missions as individuals.
Modeling the leadership of Mike Colodny, Joel Fass, Howard Talenfeld, Fred Karlinsky, Maria Elena Abate, Katie Scott Webb, and the attorneys and staff members of Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb participate in their respective civic, charitable and professional communities in a variety of ongoing ways.
Among the organizations and community organizations touched by their efforts include:
The Joseph Meyerhoff Senior Center, of Hollywood, Florida, which meets the needs of older adults and their families with care and dignity by providing the community with a variety of programs and services. The Meyerhoff Center, which has been Chaired by Colodny, Fass, Talenfeld, Karlinsky, Abate & Webb Shareholder and Founder Mike Colodny, began offering non-denominational senior service programs in 1978 and later constructed its present-day facility as a tribute to the generosity of Joseph Meyerhoff, one of world’s leading philanthropists, who also was a part-time resident of the City of Hollywood. Centrally located in Broward County, the Meyerhoff Center offers meeting rooms, an art studio, a kitchen facility, a stage area, a library and a separate entrance for its Adult Day Care Program. The Joseph Meyerhoff Senior Center, Inc./Southeast Focal Point is funded by the Federal Older Americans Act and State General Revenue funds through the State of Florida Department of Elder Affairs and the Aging and Disability Resource Center/Area Agency on Aging of Broward County.
Jewish Family Service of Broward County, which honored Managing Partner Joel Fass for his ongoing pro bono legal support of domestic abuse victims, is dedicated to empowering individuals, strengthening families and protecting the vulnerable by providing exceptional human services that are guided by the values of social responsibility, compassion and respect. Since 1963, JFS has continued to expand and provide services to people of all ages, ethnicities and religions. Its values of caring, individual dignity and social justice for all are rooted in Jewish heritage. The essence of its mission is to support those who face daily challenges, whether they are the normal transitions of life, new and unexpected hardships, or immediate crises. JFS depends primarily on private contributions and donations from foundations, as well as from the Jewish Federation of Broward County, the Conference on Material Claims against Germany and the United Way of Broward County.
Lawyers for Children America, which honored Shareholder Howard Talenfeld with its "Policy Advocate Award,” is a lead child advocacy organization that protects the rights of children who are victims of abuse, abandonment and neglect by providing quality pro bono legal representation and collaboration for systematic change. Started in 1995 in Hartford, Connecticut, at a ceremony hosted that year by United States Attorney General Janet Reno at the Department of Justice, the LFCA was launched as a national initiative with the announcement of two additional programs developed in Washington, D.C. and Miami, Florida. Since 2002, the LFCA has leveraged over $3 million in pro bono legal time and in-kind contributions through its network of law firms, volunteers and other participating organizations.
Mr. Talenfeld is also the founding President of Florida’s Children First, an organization that was instrumental in the passage of landmark legislation in Florida--the Foster Children Bill of Rights, Florida’s pilot project on representation of foster children in Dependency Court, and Florida’s landmark interagency education bill for foster children. Florida’s Children First helps children by providing: Education advocacy, independent living support, mental health monitoring and assistance, and representation through a network of advocates trained to provide quality representation for children in delinquency, dependency, mental health, immigration and educational proceedings.
The Florida State University Foundation, which Shareholder Fred Karlinsky serves on its Board of Trustees, serves to enhance the academic vision and priorities of Florida State University through its organized fundraising activities and funds management. Established in 1960, the Foundation today manages an endowment that exceeds $397 million and has total assets of nearly $505 million (as of June 30, 2011). The Foundation’s elected Board of Trustees serves as an advocate for the university, its colleges, programs and units. Foundation Board members are professionals from many walks of life, and they are committed to building successful partnerships with FSU and its many generous supporters.
The Women's Breast Health Initiative, of which Shareholder Maria Elena Abate is a Founding Board Member, is a non-profit outreach organization dedicated to educating women about the importance of breast health and providing them with the resources needed to overcome breast cancer. Founded by a breast cancer survivor, WBHI provides free breast health awareness education, screening and referrals through neighborhood door-to-door outreach that targets underserved women. WBHI operates on the fact that early detection saves lives. It serves areas most likely to have the highest concentration of low-income women, then recruits volunteers such as Ms. Abate, who go door to door providing breast health awareness, instruction on breast self-examinations, access to free mammograms and referrals for low, or at-cost screening, as well as assistance to those who require additional treatment.