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Fort Lauderdale Litigator Sheldon Schlesinger Dies at 85

Born in Brooklyn, NY, Sheldon Schlesinger moved to Florida and pursued his legal education there. Enrolled in the University of Miami School of Law, Sheldon met his wife, Barbara there. The couple was married for 60 years, creating a lasting legacy with two sons and six grandchildren—a constant source of joy and happiness for them.

Both his sons, Gregg and Scott, followed in Sheldon’s footsteps, becoming legal professionals who practiced alongside him over the years.

From a young age, Sheldon knew that he wanted to be an attorney. He loved every day he spent on the job representing clients—mostly, he loved being in the courtroom. Sheldon leaves behind a major void in the local legal community. He was respected by peers, judges, and opponents for his exceptional legal work.

The Schlesinger family remains consistently involved in the local South Florida community, supporting numerous civic and charitable organizations. During his life, Mr. Schlesinger served on the Board of Governors of Nova-Southeastern Law Center, as well as the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Broward Community College. The college was an opportunity for Sheldon to pour his resources back into the next generation seeking a college education. A building is named for him on the Hollywood Campus.

To date, Sheldon J. Schlesinger was among the most successful personal injury lawyers in the country. For more than six decades, he has faithfully represented individuals in major cases, from medical malpractice to consumer law matters across the country.

Sheldon was listed in every edition of “The Best Lawyers in America” and was described as “The Dean of Broward Civil Litigators” by the Miami Herald. The Fort Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel labeled him a “Bulldog for the Underdog,” and a “super-lawyer in every sense of the word.”

He has been described as “one of the most experienced and skilled attorneys which the Florida Bar has to offer” by a trial judge and noted that his “experience and ability in medical malpractice litigation is exceeded by no one.”

Mr. Schlesinger had an impressive track record, boasting significant verdicts and settlements in numerous high-profile legal matters. He set records nationwide and in 1995 was part of a landmark legal team that defeated the tobacco industry on behalf of Florida residents.

Sheldon was one of the Broward County Trial Lawyers Association founders, serving as its president at one point. He was also a respected member of the Inner Circle of Advocates and received numerous awards and accolades over the years. He was featured in Time, People, Forbes, Florida Trend, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and more.

More recently, Mr. Schlesinger was inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame at Temple University in Pennsylvania. He was also given the Lifetime Achievement Award at the Florida Verdicts Hall of Fame and gave a Legacy lecturer for the Inner Circle of Advocates.

Sheldon is survived by his sons Scott and Gregg, as well as his six grandchildren Charlotte, Alexander, Theodora, Samuel, Theodore, Molly, and his brother-in-law, Larry Butler.