It is with mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of partner Ferdie Franklin at the end of January 2022 after 46 years of practice.
As one of the founding partners of the firm, (and the F in WFBM), Ferdie has been an institution at Walsworth for over 30 years. His accomplishments and vision to provide high-quality work and exceptional client service have stood the test of time and helped grow the firm from a handful of employees in one office to over 100 employees working out of three different offices.
Ferdie began practicing in 1975 and quickly developed a reputation as a skilled trial attorney representing both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of different types of matters, including environmental claims, product liability cases, toxic tort litigation, and employment, business, and real property matters. He represented clients at numerous arbitrations, administrative proceedings, and government agency hearings, and tried both jury and non-jury cases in state and federal courts throughout California. He also has a Martindale-Hubbell® AV Preeminent Rating and is a member of the esteemed American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), one of the nation’s preeminent organizations for experienced trial lawyers.
Despite his significant caseload, Ferdie has always been selfless with his time, willing to share his broad experience with others in the firm and provide guidance in the analysis of difficult legal issues and determine the best approaches to solving these problems. His office door was always open for anyone in the firm to come in, sit down, and chat about anything, from work to scuba diving adventures. Our Walsworth family has tremendously benefited from Ferdie’s knowledge, kindness, friendship and leadership.
We are so thankful for Ferdie’s dedication to Walsworth and his many contributions to the firm, and he will be greatly missed, though we know he is only ever a phone call away. We all wish Ferdie nothing but the best as he retires, spends more time with his beautiful family, and enjoys the next exciting chapter in his life.
- Represented a golf car manufacturer against the heirs and the estate of a man who died while using the manufacturer’s car. A defense verdict was given at trial.
- Represented the plaintiff in a false arrest case against a major department store. Defense did not make an offer on the case. Jury returned a verdict in favor of the plaintiff and awarded damages. Case settled during the punitive damages phase of the trial for a confidential amount.
- Achieved a dismissal by aggressive discovery in a case brought by an individual who makes a practice of buying contaminated properties and then suing insurance companies to collect for that contamination. Aggressive discovery led to the plaintiff dismissing the case, without any payment by the insurance company.
- Successfully obtained a defense finding in an employment case heard during a bench trial in Federal Court.
- In Federal Court employment case, successfully brought a motion to determine a preliminary fact. The trial judge found in favor of the defendant, thereby avoiding a trial by jury.
- Brought a motion to compel arbitration, based on the fact that the plaintiff was a member of an LLC that was the employer and the plaintiff had signed an agreement that included an arbitration provision. The trial court denied the motion to compel arbitration. The appellate court reversed the trial court and sent the case back for arbitration. The case settled shortly thereafter.
- Represented a national company in a dispute over the lease of a wharf in the Los Angeles/Long Beach harbor. The rate for this lease was well under market, so the landlord took the position that the client had breached the lease and brought a suit to terminate it. Case was dismissed before trial, without any payment by the client, and with a stipulation that the lease had not been breached.
- Doe v. Various Defendants – Obtained a grant of new trial on all causes of action after a jury awarded damages roughly halfway between demand and offer in an alleged breach of contract, fraud and business tort case. The case subsequently settled for an amount substantially less than the verdict.
- Golden Rain Foundation v. Woolslair – Obtained a defense verdict and award of costs on behalf of elderly individual defendant and her son in an attempted eviction by retirement community owners.
- Goodwin v. Club Car – Obtained a defense verdict in a wrongful death/products liability case.
- Cline v. Bastanchury – Defense judgment in case brought by a former driver/distributor who made allegations of wrongful termination, breach of contract, and other claims.
- Lopez v. Volk – Successfully resolved a difficult lead exposure case involving eight children claiming exposure to excessive amounts of lead in an apartment complex.
- Johnson v. Scheuneman – Successfully defended a partnership dispute in a complaint where the plaintiff sought dissolution, winding up and accounting as well as a substantial personal judgment. We successfully prosecuted and obtained judgment in a cross-complaint brought against plaintiff and had the plaintiff sentenced to 15 days in jail for contempt of court as the result of the handling of partnership assets in violation of a preliminary injunction.
- Doe v. Roe Retailer – Obtained a verdict for plaintiff in a false arrest case, which settled during the punitive damage phase of trial.
- Weston v. EMPI – Defense judgment in a bench trial on contract interpretation issues. The court’s findings on these issues in favor of our client negated the need for a jury trial.
- Doe v. Various manufacturers and distributors of diacetyl-containing products (popcorn lung case) – Settled during trial.
- Doe v. Roe Water Retailer – Case brought by minor plaintiffs against supplier of household water for lead poisoning claiming brain damage and other injuries. Settled during trial.
- Brady v. Woodcrest – Obtained verdict for clients against developer for misrepresentations.
- Doe v. Roe Freight Company – Defended case through verdict, which was overturned on motion for new trial – case then settled for a fraction of the demand.
- 60 plaintiffs v. Roe Manufactured Housing Defendants – Multiple claims alleging toxic exposure to chemicals in manufactured housing settled during trial.
- Orange County Bar Association
- Trial Attorneys of America
- American Board of Trial Advocates
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review rated