Becker & Poliakoff, a Ft. Lauderdale headquartered law firm, recently made a generous donation to the University of Miami School of Law to form the Alan S. Becker & Gary A. Poliakoff Preeminent Leaders in Law Speaker Series. The speaker series honors the legacy of the law firm’s founding shareholders by bringing renowned national and international legal experts to Miami Law every semester.
“As leaders of our firm, Alan Becker and Gary Poliakoff often sought inspiration from successful people in various fields including law, politics, the arts, and business,” said Managing Shareholder Gary Rosen. “Both were dedicated advocates of lifelong learning and would be thrilled to know that this exceptional program will provide law students at their alma mater with enhanced opportunities for enrichment.”
Alan Becker and Gary Poliakoff both graduated from Miami Law in 1969. They met when they were paired for a mock trial competition while attending law school which led to a partnership and ultimately the formation of the firm. Most notably, Becker and Poliakoff helped conceive, draft and pass the laws governing shared ownership housing in Florida. The firm, which has since evolved into a multidisciplinary practice, is now one of Florida’s largest with 11 offices in Florida, plus additional locations in New York, New Jersey and Washington, D.C.
“We are so grateful to the law firm for their generosity in creating the Alan S. Becker & Gary A. Poliakoff Preeminent Leaders in Law Speaker Series at Miami Law,” said Dean Anthony Varona. “What a truly wonderful way to recognize two of our most prestigious alumni. We will continue to honor their memory by bringing preeminent legal scholars and experts to our campus through this annual event.”
Becker, who died this past July, began his career at the Office of the Attorney General and as an assistant public defender, a position he held until 1972. He then became the youngest representative in the Florida Legislature at age 26, serving three terms from 1972 to 1978.
While a member of the Legislature, Becker authored several laws governing condominium ownership. He was the principal author and/or sponsor of much of Florida’s housing legislation, including the Condominium Act as well as the Florida Corporation Act, Mechanic’s Lien Act, Evidence Code and more.
He also served as an adjunct professor at Miami Law, where he taught the business of law.
Poliakoff, who died in 2014, served as Managing Shareholder from the firm’s inception in 1973 until 2008. In addition to managing the daily operations and growth of the firm, he devoted a significant part of his career to the practice of Community Association law and was considered one of the foremost authorities on the subject.
Poliakoff served as a member of the State of Florida Condominium Study Commission and as a member and chairman of the State of Florida Advisory Council on Condominiums. Twice he testified before Committees of the United States Senate looking into potential areas of abuse in the sale, development, and operation of condominiums. He served as chair of the H¬ Group of the American Bar Association, which oversees the Common Interest Ownership Development Committee, the Sports Entertainment & Games Committee, the Hotel, Resorts & Tourism Committee, and the Timeshare & Interval Uses Committee.