Joe Franco is a Portland trial attorney who is well versed in all stages of litigation. Mr. Franco has significant experience with cases involving breach of contract, unlawful trade practices, protection of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, legal malpractice and insurance coverage. He has served as lead trial counsel in numerous cases, and has successfully tried jury trials, bench trials and arbitrations to verdict. Mr. Franco also has experience litigating mass actions, and he previously represented a pharmaceutical company in federal and state court litigation across the country – including in the multidistrict litigation (MDL) captioned In re: National Prescription Opiate Litigation.
Mr. Franco's recent engagements include:
- obtained a seven-figure plaintiff's jury verdict on claims for breach of an oral distribution contract, breach of the duty of good faith and fair dealing and intentional interference with economic relations
- represented sellers of a natural foods company against claims of fraud and breach of contract in which the buyers sought more than $50 million, including punitive damages; obtaining a take-nothing award from the jury after a two-week trial and an award of more than $2 million in attorneys' fees
- represented a real estate investment firm against more than 40 investors in a four-week arbitration alleging rescission, fraudulent concealment, breach of fiduciary duty and negligence arising from alleged real estate investment losses of more than $20 million; resulting in complete victory for the investment firm
- represented a national fitness company in a dispute against a commercial landlord; prevailed at trial and was awarded damages for breach of contract, injunctive relief and attorney fees
- obtained a successful resolution of a multimillion-dollar international dispute over a medical device distribution contract
- defended a client against claims of, and prosecuting counterclaims for, breach of contract and breach of fiduciary duty in dispute over the term of existence of an Oregon limited liability company (LLC); won partial summary judgment recognizing the client's right to dissolve the LLC, which led to an advantageous settlement
- represented a pharmacy against a former employee in a lawsuit alleging breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, misappropriation of trade secrets and tortious interference with business relations; the case was successfully settled prior to trial
- defended claims for breach of fiduciary duty, conversion, unjust enrichment, interference with business relationships, federal racketeering, Oregon state racketeering and violation of Oregon securities laws; case settled in favor of the client
Mr. Franco is also dedicated to giving back to the community and improving the legal profession. He served on the Oregon Bench and Bar Commission on Professionalism, which was founded by the Oregon State Bar to promote the professionalism, equality and efficiency of Oregon's judicial branch of government. He also serves on the board of directors for the Multnomah Bar Foundation, which strives to increase the public's understanding of the legal system, promote civic education and improve the quality and administration of the legal system. In 2018, Mr. Franco was selected to receive the Multnomah Bar Association’s Award of Merit, which honors those who have made significant contributions to the MBA's mission of promoting justice through service, education and leadership to the MBA, legal profession and community.
Before attending law school, Mr. Franco investigated abuse and neglect of vulnerable adults at long-term care facilities for the State of Oregon.
- Northwestern School of Law of Lewis & Clark College, J.D., magna cum laude
- University of Oregon, B.A.
- U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- Multnomah Bar Foundation, Board of Directors, 2020-2023; President, 2023
- Oregon State Bar, Uniform Civil Jury Instruction Committee, 2021
- Oregon State Bar, Oregon Bench and Bar Commission on Professionalism, 2015-2020; Chair, 2019
- Multnomah Bar Association, Court Liaison Committee, 2016-2017, Chair 2017; Judicial Screening Committee, 2013-2015; CLE Committee, 2010-2012
- The Best Lawyers in America guide, Commercial Litigation, 2020-2024
- Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, Business Litigation, 2021-2023
- Rising Star, Oregon Super Lawyers magazine, 2010-2017
- Award of Merit, Multnomah Bar Association, 2018