Name: Robert H. Friedman
Distinction: Legal Aid Society’s Civil Litigation Pro Bono Award winner
Town of business: Palm Beach
He may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, but Robert H. Friedman is a superhero. Just ask the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County. That organization will give Friedman the Civil Litigation Pro Bono Award during its 25th Annual Pro Bono Recognition Evening on Saturday at the Palm Beach County Convention Center.
The evening will have a superhero theme and Friedman fits right in. The Brooklyn, N.Y., native will be recognized for his pro bono work representing the non-profit Area Agency on Aging. His work allowed the non-profit to settle two cases – one brought by a preschool girl who was molested by a volunteer in Area Agency’s Foster Grandparent Program and another filed by the non-profit’s insurance company, which refused to provide insurance coverage for the lawsuit.
In securing insurance coverage to settle each case, Friedman obtained a significant settlement payment for the child’s family, and ensured that Area Agency could continue its work of promoting, supporting, and advocating for seniors and adults with disabilities.
This won’t be the first time Friedman is recognized for his pro bono work. In 2006, he received the Cornerstone Award from the Lawyers Alliance for New York for his “extraordinary contributions through pro bono legal services.”
He won that honor for helping secure insurance coverage to rebuild a housing project damaged by fire and vandalism. The housing project was owned by a non-profit organization that provides housing and mental health services to adults with serious mental illnesses.
Friedman was also recognized by the New York City Bar Association for volunteering to provide legal counsel to victims and families of the 9/11 attacks.
In his day job, Friedman P.A. (headquartered in Palm Beach), he focuses on helping clients navigate through difficult insurance coverage issues. He represents policyholders in disputes with their insurers involving property damage, bodily injury, environmental liability, products liability, director and officer liability, intellectual property liability, business interruption, and crime and fidelity matters. He has litigated insurance and other complex commercial disputes in various state and federal courts.
He represents such large companies Publix and Hess Oil, sports organizations like the New York Mets, and entertainment enterprises like Disney. And he writes a blog on new cases and litigation — www.insurancelawflorida.com.
“I really like insurance work because it always has to do with some other area of law,” he said. “I deal with a whole range of issues from people getting injured to environmental law to breach of contract issues. Just about everything implicates insurance.”
Education: Law degree from Harvard Law School and Bachelor of Science in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University.
Personal: Married to Ruth; three children: Sam, 9, Rose, 7, and Max, 5; recently built a house in West Palm Beach.
Hobbies: Fishing, boxing, cruising, vegetarian cooking.
Career highlight: Being honored with the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County’s Civil Litigation Award for pro bono work.
Favorite quote: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” - Albert Einstein