The Society for Design Administration advances management and administrative professionals in the A/E/C industry.

Tales From the Trenches – Is Your Company At Risk of Being Sued?


Howard FrancoJoin us with Howard Franco, Jr., of Collins Collins Muir + Stewart, LLP, as he discusses key issues affecting designers and their businesses today. This is not a lecture. It will be more of a town hall event. Bring your tough questions as this will be highly interactive. With thirty years of experience, he will discuss important legal decisions, impact on contracts, insurance and risk allocation together with practical advice from a legal and business standpoint for designers. The present market place has many different opportunities. Learn tips to evaluate what is a high risk project, how to assess that risk, what alternatives exist to manage, allocate and redistribute risk. Success depends not on how many project hours you work, but how you manage to spend those hours on projects that are worth it. Come join us at Cavignac & Associates on October 15th for an informative luncheon with your colleagues and friends.


Mr. Franco is a Partner at Collins Collins Muir + Stewart LLP with offices in Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego Counties, as well as Northern California. His practice includes representation of both self-insured and insured entities and individuals in civil litigation. His recent jury trial results concluded defense verdicts for his clients on serious personal injury matters. He is a Certified Legal Malpractice Law Specialist, California Board of Legal Specialization.

Mr. Franco successfully handled a wide variety of litigated matters for professionals, including attorneys, architects, engineers, insurance and real estate brokers. In addition, he has also represented public entitles in both personal injury and property damage litigation. Mr. Franco has been active in the Orange, North San Diego and San Diego County Bar Associations, Lawyers Professional Liability Consortium; Professional Liability Underwriting Society (PLUS); Risk Insurance Management Society – San Diego County Chapter (SD-RIMS); Institute for Supply Management; AIA San Diego and Palomar Chapters- Allied Member and is a Judge Pro Tempore for the San Diego County Superior Court. Mr. Franco is also rated AV – Preeminent TM by Martindale-Hubbell ®

Mr. Franco has also tried other cases to a jury or the bench on both contested and admitted liability matters for the issue of damages, had at least 25 binding arbitrations in the areas of personal injury, property damage, auto accidents, premises liability, construction defect, insurance coverage/bad faith and mortuary malpractice.

Mr. Franco has also authored or co-authored articles including: “Supreme Court Upholds Health Care Reform,” E & O Weekly Prevention (July 5, 2012) (with Eric C. Brown)”; “If the Price is Right – Keep Reading;” Inside Supply Management Magazine (December, 2010/January, 2011 with Christie B. Swiss); “Take Care with Medicare,” OC RIMS Newsletter (June, 2010); “Risk Tip: Keep Evidence as Promised,” International Risk Management Institute, Inc. – IRMI.Com Newsletter (November 18, 2009); He was a featured speaker for the 2011 and 2013 Combined Claims Conferences and the 2014 RIMS Western Regional Conference, 2014 AIA San Diego and Palomar Chapter Events.

Mr. Franco graduated with Honors from the University of Dayton, Dayton, Ohio in 1981. He attended Pepperdine University School of Law. He graduated and passed the California Bar Examination in 1984. For the 30 years which followed, he has practiced law based in Orange County, California handling cases in Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and San Diego Counties in both State and Federal courts.
In his spare time, Mr. Franco is a Special Education Sports Coach near his home in North San Diego County. He also served as a volunteer teacher at his local church for 10 years.


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