Publicity/Press Releases

Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida Announce 2017 Honorees on Law Day

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA (May 5, 2017) – Broward Lawyers Care, the pro bono project of Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA), announce the recipients of the 2017 Attorney of the Year, Law Firm of the Year, and Spirit of Justice awards – Chad Van Horn, Esq. and Talenfeld Law and Paul Regensdorf, Esq. respectively. Additionally, the CCLA Commitment to Justice Award recipient is Steven Jaffe, Esq. and the LAS Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award recipient is Jesse H. Diner, Esq. 
 
The announcement will be made on Friday, May 5th during the annual Law Day Luncheon hosted by the Broward County Bar Association.The ongoing need for volunteer legal assistance to the poor and disadvantaged affects the daily life of many in our community, including veterans and families. These awards honor attorneys who recognize that need and have committed themselves to serving the community. 

LAS and CCLA are honoring Chad Van Horn, Esq. as the 2017 Attorney of the Year. Mr. Van Horn has been a relentless advocate for the disadvantaged in Broward County, particularly our Veterans, facing financial crisis. He provides a holistic approach to practicing law that is invaluable to our clients who often have more than one legal issue, and due to his zealous advocacy he has helped many low-income Veterans escape the physical and emotional burdens of bankruptcy. Dedicated attorneys like Chad Van Horn literally change the lives of their pro bono clients. 

The 2017 Law Firm of the Year award honors a firm that has a history of supporting the missions of LAS and CCLA. Talenfeld Law has made major contributions to the legal service providers and their clients here in Broward County. Talenfeld Law was established with the sole focus of protecting the rights of physically and sexually abused, medically fragile, foster and other at-risk children. Collectively and individually, attorneys at the firm have been longtime supporters of many community initiatives that

support individuals and families in need, including the Tracey McPharlin Pro Bono Childrens Advocacy Project at LAS.  The firm also has been a supporter of LAS and CCLA public activities like the annual Bridge to Justice breakfast and For the Public Good fundraising events.     The 2017 Spirit of Justice Award recipient is Paul Regensdorf, Esq. The Spirit of Justice award is presented annually to a person or group who furthers the mission of legal aid providers like LAS and CCLA. Mr. Regensdorf has personally contributed hundreds of pro bono hours in Broward County, serving as co-counsel to CCLA attorneys on complex mortgage foreclosure cases. He is a vital resource in litigating reverse mortgage foreclosures at both trial and appellate levels, and has become a one-man driving force in seeking changes to reverse mortgage servicing practices statewide. He is a tireless ally in the fight for the rights of senior homeowners, working with a number of legal aid organizations across the state. Paul Regnsdorf embodies the “spirit” of ensuring access to justice for all. The 2017 Commitment to Justice Award recipient is Steven Jaffe, Esq. Mr. Jaffe has shown a multi-faceted dedication and commitment to ensuring the low income population in Broward County has access to legal representation. He personally takes pro bono cases, recently logging over 150 hours on a housing conditions case for a former Special Forces disabled veteran. He also has donated his time by serving on the LAS and CCLA Board of Directors since 2013. Jaffe understands that financial contributions are critical to the success of the organizations as well. To that end, he has initiated generous financial support from his firm, Farmer, Jaffe, Weissing, Edwards, Fistos, & Lerhman for the legal aid fundraisers, For the Public Good and Bridge to Justice. Most recently, Jaffe helped generate more than $118,000 in cy pres awards for legal aid programs in Broward through his successful efforts in a class action case. Led by Jaffe, the law firm has directed in excess of $325,000 in cy pres awards to legal aid over the last three years.

The Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award is given annually to an advocate whose actions exemplify a personal and professional commitment to making justice available to the poor and disadvantaged. The Award was named after its first (1998) recipient, Mr. Carlisle himself. He is a lifelong champion of the rights of the poor and disadvantaged and was the first chairperson of the LAS Board of Directors in 1974. The Russell E. Carlisle Advocacy Award recipient for 2017 is Jesse H. Diner, Esq.  Throughout his career spanning over forty years, Diner has been a steadfast supporter of funding for legal assistance to the poor. A past president of The Florida Bar, past president of the Broward County Bar Association, immediate past chair of the LAS and CCLA Executive Council, and past board chair for LAS and CCLA, Diner has tirelessly used those platforms to support and advance the availability of legal services to the poor. He has personally and professionally made direct financial contributions, leading by example among his peers and colleagues. Jesse also does not shy away from pro bono work, taking a number of cases from Broward Lawyers Care over the years. 

The official awards will be presented at the 17th Annual FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD event which will be held in October 2017. FOR THE PUBLIC GOOD is an annual fundraiser for Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida.  Proceeds benefit families and individuals in gaining access to equal justice.  To learn more and get involved, contact Dorian Lange, Director of Development, Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida at 954-7362429 or dlange@legalaid.org.
 
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COAST TO COAST LEGAL AID OF SOUTH FLORIDA is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit law firm established in 2003 and funded, in part, by the Legal Services Corporation.  Our mission is to improve the lives of low income persons in our community through advocacy, education, representation and empowerment.
 
LEGAL AID SERVICE OF BROWARD COUNTY is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit law firm established in 1974.  Our mission is to provide high quality free civil legal advice, representation and education to the poor of Broward County so as to improve the lifestyle and living conditions of the low-income community and to encourage self-sufficiency.
 
BROWARD LAWYERS CARE is the pro bono unit within Legal Aid Service of Broward County and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida and is the recognized pro bono program in Broward County, Florida. Broward Lawyers Care (BLC) was formed in 1983 by a joint effort of the Broward County Bar and Legal Aid. BLC enables busy attorneys to make a difference in their community. 
 
Legal Aid Service of Broward County (LAS) and Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida (CCLA) are 501(c)(3) corporations registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer services (LAS #SC-02337 and CCLA #CH19226).  All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. A COPY OF THE OFFICIAL REGISTRATION AND FINANCIAL INFORMATION MAY BE OBTAINED FROM THE DIVISION OF CONSUMER SERVICES BY CALLING TOLL-FREE 1-800-435-7352 WITHIN THE STATE OR VISITING WWW.FRESHFROMFLORIDA.COM/DIVISIONS-OFFICES/CONSUMER -SERVICES.  REGISTRATION DOES NOT IMPLY ENDORSEMENT, APPROVAL OR RECOMMENDATION BY THE STATE.

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