Howard J. Franco, Jr.

SUMMARY

Mr. Franco is a trial attorney in the firm’s San Diego and Orange County offices. He is a Certified Legal Malpractice Law Specialist, State Bar of California: Board of Legal Specialization. Mr. Franco focuses his practice on the representation of lawyers, designers, insurance, and real estate professionals. He also represents consumer product, life science, and products liability and medical technology manufacturers in catastrophic injury cases, and also handles insurance coverage disputes and related litigation. Mr. Franco also provides contractual review and business advice to a wide variety of clientele. Mr. Franco is rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell.

He is a member of the Orange County Bar Association Masters Division, North San Diego and San Diego County Bar Associations, Lawyers Professional Liability Consortium, Claims and Litigation Management Alliance, Risk Insurance Management Society (S.D. RIMS) and is a Judge Pro Tempore of the San Diego County Superior Court. Mr. Franco was selected as a Top Lawyer in San Diego in San Diego Magazine for 2015 through 2017 and in Southern California in the Los Angeles Times for 2017.

Mr. Franco received his Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, from the University of Dayton in 1981, his Juris Doctor from Pepperdine University School of Law and was admitted to practice in 1984. Mr. Franco has represented professionals for over thirty years, has authored and lectured on risk management for lawyers to the Orange, North San Diego and Riverside County Bar Associations including: Preventing and Defending Legal Malpractice for the Small Firm; Understanding Legal Malpractice and Cyber Liability.

He is an Allied Member of the American Institute of Architects San Diego and Palomar Chapters and has presented on: Americans With Disabilities Act and Risk Management; Design Build: An Old Idea for a New Age.

EXPERIENCE

Defense Verdict for Product Manufacturer: Mr. Franco represented a product manufacturer in a wrongful death action based on design defect and failure to warn. The Plaintiff’s demand was for $2.5 million. Mr. Franco successfully tried the case and obtained a defense verdict.

Defense Verdict for Product Manufacturer: Mr. Franco represented a product manufacturer in a catastrophic injury case based on design and manufacturing defects. The plaintiff’s demand was for $5 million. Mr. Franco successfully tried the case and obtained a defense verdict.

Early Dismissal and Costs Awarded in Legal Malpractice Defense: Mr. Franco represented an attorney in a legal malpractice lawsuit based on an alleged failure to protect client accounting licensure resulting in a lifetime revocation. Mr. Franco successfully recovered defense costs as well.

Anti-SLAPP Victory for School Teacher in Fraud Action: Mr. Franco represented a school teacher sued by her former husband for alleged mischaracterization of assets from divorce proceedings. Mr. Franco prevailed on an Anti-SLAPP Motion to Strike. As a result of this success, the client was awarded costs of suit and attorney’s fees.

Swift Dismissal with Prejudice in Business Dispute: Mr. Franco represented a private physician sued by former partners in business dispute over patients. Mr. Franco successfully obtained a dismissal with prejudice for waiver of costs within 45 days of assignment of the case.

Summary Judgment for Product Manufacturer and Retailer: Mr. Franco represented a product manufacturer and retailer in wrongful death action based on design and manufacture defects and failure to warn with expired policy limits demand. Through a motion for summary judgment, Mr. Franco prevailed by defending all claims based on the affirmative defense of product misuse.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • State Bar of California
  • AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell ™
  • Allied Member: San Diego and Palomar Chapters of the American Institute of Architects
  • Orange County Bar Association Masters Division
  • San Diego and North San Diego County Bar Associations
  • San Diego Magazine: Top Lawyers in San Diego 2015 through 2017
  • Los Angeles Times: Top Lawyers in Southern California 2017
  • Member, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance
  • Lawyers Professional Liability Consortium
  • Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS)
  • Risk Insurance Management Society-San Diego Chapter
  • San Diego County Superior Court, Judge Pro Tem (2007-Present)
PUBLICATIONS/SEMINARS
  • Lawyer’s Professional Liability and Cyber Risk
  • Americans with Disabilities Act Lawsuits and Risk Management
  • Preventing and Defending Legal Malpractice for the Small Firm
  • Keeping the Meal Happy: A Risk Manager’s Recipe to Restaurant Liability
  • Trip, Fall and Catch A Wave: Accidents and Evidence
  • Obstacles and Opportunities: Indemnity and Insurance
  • If the Price is Right-Keep Reading