News & Insights


February 15, 2016

Harold E. Franklin, Jr., Receives Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service

ATLANTA, Feb. 15, 2016 — Harold E. Franklin, Jr., Esq., a partner at King & Spalding and the president of the Atlanta Bar Association, has been named a recipient of a Justice Robert Benham Award for Community Service. The award will be presented at a special ceremony at the State Bar of Georgia office on Feb. 23.

The Benham Awards are co-sponsored by the State Bar of Georgia and the Chief Justice’s Commission on Professionalism. Since 1998, the awards have honored Georgia lawyers and judges who have made significant contributions to their communities and who demonstrate positive leadership beyond their legal or official work. 

A member of King & Spalding’s tort and environmental practice group in Atlanta, Franklin’s national litigation and trial practice focuses heavily on complex and high-stakes product liability litigation and has also included business disputes and internal investigations. He has represented a number of the world’s largest automotive, pharmaceutical, beverage, tobacco and package delivery companies and has litigated and managed the defense of a multitude of matters throughout the continental United States and abroad in “bet-the-company” litigation.

In 2007, Franklin, a past president of the Gate City Bar Association, established the Gate City Justice Robert Benham Law Camp, the organization’s first institutional “pipeline” program. The three-week program, which Franklin has chaired each year since its inception, is designed to foster and increase diversity in the legal profession by exposing local high school students to the study of the law and career opportunities in the legal profession.

Franklin also serves on the national executive board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and as regional vice chair for the organization. He is a key leader of Georgia Election Protection, a non-partisan, pro bono initiative to help ensure the integrity of the electoral process and fair elections.

In 2015, Franklin established and now leads the Equal Justice In Law Enforcement Initiative of the Atlanta Bar Association, which engages the legal community and key stakeholders (law enforcement, prosecutorial and defense bars, former offenders and the public) in a focused, collaborative effort to help prevent and lessen the prospect of law enforcement shootings (and/or the use of excessive force) involving non-violent, unarmed citizens. The school outreach phase of the initiative educates high school students about their Fourth Amendment rights and strategies for helping prevent the escalation of conflict in encounters with law enforcement.

About King & Spalding
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