Florida's Children First

Howard M. Talenfeld, Esq. – President

  Howard Talenfeld is a leading children’s rights, injury, and child disability attorney representing the needs of abused and neglected children, especially in cases of foster child abuse, child sexual abuse, child rape, and other harm and abuse of children in the child welfare system. He protects individual children and has created systemic change in […]

Laura Reich, Esq. – Vice President

Laura Reich is a commercial litigator and a founding partner of Reich Rodriguez, P.A.  With a practice focusing on complex, commercial disputes and arbitration, Laura represents clients in state and federal courts, as well as before arbitration panels, at both the trial and appellate court levels.  Laura is also a neutral (i.e., an arbitrator) on […]

Gerald Reiss, CPA – Treasurer

Gerald Reiss (Jerry) is currently a CPA for Goldstein Schechter Koch in Hollywood, Florida. He joined the firm as a Shareholder in 1988. His areas of practice include general tax, business and financial consulting. He serves professional practices including attorneys, physicians, engineers, architects, real estate developers and contractors. Jerry earned a Bachelor’s degree in economics […]

Nathan Cook – Secretary

As the former Chief of Staff to two of Florida’s most well-known legislators, Nathan has had a hand in crafting many of the past decade’s largest pieces of legislation.  He has a penchant for policies that solve community problems, with special expertise in environmental issues and economic development.  Over his tenure with the legislature, Nathan […]

Theodore Babbitt, Esq.

Babbitt & Johnson P.A. A prominent West Palm Beach trial lawyer, Ted Babbitt has won more than lawsuits over the past four decades. He’s won accolades and esteem.   He served as trial lawyer and co-counsel in the statewide foster care class action, Bonnie L. v. Bush, which challenges the poor systemic conditions in Florida’s child […]

Dick J. Batchelor

Named one of “The 50 Most Powerful People” by Orlando Magazine (2005 and 2004), the 2003 “Central Floridian of the Year” (The Orlando Sentinel) and the 2002 “Businessman of the Year” (Orlando Business Journal, November 2002), Dick Batchelor is a longtime Orlando resident who received degrees from the University of Central Florida and Valencia Community […]

Matt Blair

Matthew Blair is a partner in the firm Corcoran Partners, managing the lobbying practice and political operations arm of the firm, including candidate, issue, and corporate communications consulting.   With more than 20 years of state and local government relations and political campaign consulting experience, Matthew is highly skilled at developing strategies to achieve complex […]

Debbie Dickinson, Esq.

Debbie Dickinson received her B.A. in Accounting (summa cum laude) from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.  She practiced Employee Benefits, Employment and Labor law in Atlanta at Fisher & Phillips, LLP.  She lectures in the Wharton MBA Program as an Adjunct Professor and […]

Jesse H. Diner, Esq.

Jesse H. Diner is known as a “litigator’s litigator” for his deep knowledge of civil law and trial procedure.  He focuses his practice on resolving commercial disputes. During a career that spans more than 38 years, Diner has advised and represented clients in a wide range of business matters, including real estate, probate, financial and […]

Richard A. Filson, Esq.

Filson & Penge, P.A. Sarasota, Florida   Richard A. Filson is the founder and managing shareholder of the firm Filson & Penge, P.A., located in Sarasota, Florida. Mr. Filson received his B.B.A. from Stetson University in 1981 and his J.D. from the University of Florida in 1984. Mr. Filson is a member of The Florida […]

Justin Grosz, Esq.

Justin Grosz is a Co-Business Unit Leader/Partner in the Justice for Kids Division, Kelley Kronenberg’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. […]

Bruce Maxwell, Esq.

Currently an attorney at Terrell Hogan, Bruce Maxwell started his career in Georgia. He has been active in the Jacksonville legal community and is a member of numerous associations and boards. Bruce is very active in the Jacksonville community, including Host Committee involvement and other participation with Florida’s Children First. He has been a Special […]

Todd R. McPharlin, Esq.

Todd McPharlin is committed to the representation of those injured by reckless drivers, automotive manufacturers, medical device and pharmaceutical companies, tobacco companies, HMOs and insurance companies. Additional areas of practice include negligent security, unsafe and dangerous workplaces, defective construction equipment, medical malpractice and insurance coverage disputes. Todd began his professional career as an Assistant State […]

Joshua Rydell, Esq.

Joshua Rydell is a career long criminal attorney and advocate that has also served on the Coconut Creek City Commission since 2015 and was Mayor for one year from 2018 to 2019, and currently serves as Vice Mayor. During his tenure on the Commission, Rydell has been a part of award-winning budgets, community-policing efforts, smart […]

Richard Slawson, Esq.

Richard Slawson has earned a reputation as one of Florida’s premier Insurance Bad Faith civil trial attorneys.  He has been assisting victims of insurance abuse and personal injury for more than 35 years.  Richard has obtained numerous multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for his clients. The Florida Justice Association (FJA) has recognized Richard with all […]

Julie Silver Talenfeld

Boardroom Communications Plantation, Florida The founder and president of Boardroom Communications, Julie Silver Talenfeld is known for her creativity and superior client service. Prior to establishing Boardroom, she was founder and executive producer of Florida’s first statewide business radio network, syndicated on 30 stations. Julie also served on CNN’s national assignment desk and was a […]

Jennifer Voss, Esq.

Jennifer Voss is a practicing partner with Shook Hardy & Bacon in Tampa, Florida. With significant experience in all stages of litigation, she has successfully represented clients in both bench and jury trials, and on appeal. She has particular knowledge in proposals for settlement and excluding expert witnesses. In the last few years, Jennifer has […]

Edith Osman, Esq. – Director Emeritus

Edith Osman received her BA from the State University of New York, and her JD from the University of Miami School of Law. She practices law in Miami in the areas of business litigation, matrimonial law, and mediation. She has significant experience representing clients in dissolution of marriage proceedings, post-divorce modifications and enforcement, child custody, […]

Bernard P. Perlmutter, Esq. – Director Emeritus

  University of Miami School of Law – Children & Youth Law Clinic Miami, Florida     Bernard P. Perlmutter is Associate Professor of Clinical Legal Education and Director of the Children & Youth Law Clinic, an in-house legal clinic at the University of Miami School of Law. In addition to his teaching duties at […]

Christina A. Zawisza, Esq. – Director Emeritus

University of Memphis School of Law Memphis, Tennessee Co-founder of Children First and counsel in Bonnie L., M. E. v. Bush, and Lofton v. Kearney, now Associate Professor of Law and Director of the Child Advocacy Clinic at the University of Memphis School of Law.

Gloria W. Fletcher, Esq. – In Memoriam

Gloria Fletcher Gloria Fletcher is in private practice in Gainesville Florida. Throughout her legal career, Gloria has taken a special interest in children’s issues. Currently, she is serving on the ABA Bar youth Empowerment Project, Florida Advisory Committee. Long active in her local community, she is a Director of Alarion Bank; is serving her second […]


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