People

Harold Franklin specializes in defending corporations in complex and high-stakes product liability litigation. As a partner in the firm’s nationally ranked Product Liability practice, Harold’s national litigation and trial practice focuses heavily on high-profile product liability litigation and has also included business disputes and internal investigations. He has represented many of the world’s largest automotive, pharmaceutical, beverage, logistics, and tobacco companies throughout the continental U.S. and abroad in “bet-the-company” litigation and trials. He has utilized his fluency in Spanish in his law practice in matters in Puerto Rico, Europe and South America.

Five of his recent trials include four high-stakes tobacco trials and a high-profile automotive product liability trial, the latter of which was selected and featured in 2014 by the Daily Report’s “Litigation Department of the Year” award publication.

Earlier in his career Harold was selected by an international Fortune 500 corporation to serve as in-house counsel in its product litigation group. In this role, Harold (while on-loan from King & Spalding) was responsible for selecting and retaining outside counsel and managing complex product liability litigation across the nation. More recently, he was selected by one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers to serve as one of its national written discovery counsel.

Harold is a 1990 graduate of Emory University, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Spanish. Prior to entering the legal profession, he served as vice president of an insurance brokerage firm specializing in group benefit plans for many of the nation’s leading insurance companies. Harold received his Juris Doctor from the Georgia State University School of Law in 1999. During law school, he served as a Student Judicial Clerk to the Supreme Court of Georgia and also as a judicial extern with the Federal Reserve Bank. In addition, he studied international law in the 1997 Transnational Comparative Dispute Resolution Program at the law school at Johannes Keppler University in Linz, Austria. While in law school, Harold received numerous awards in local, regional, and national trial and appellate competitions.

Harold is the immediate past president of Atlanta Bar Association, the largest voluntary bar association in the Southeast U.S. A recognized leader, Harold has actively engaged in and led numerous pro bono and community service endeavors in both the legal profession and broader community. A past president of the Gate City Bar Association (Georgia’s oldest historically African-American bar association), in 2007 Harold established the Gate City Justice Robert Benham Law Camp, the organization’s first institutional “pipeline” program. The three-week program (a collaborative effort with the Georgia State University College of Law, King & Spalding, and Clark Atlanta University), fosters and increases diversity in the legal profession by exposing local high school students to the study of the law and career opportunities in the legal profession.

During his tenure as Atlanta Bar president, Harold established the Equal Justice In Law Enforcement (EJLE) Initiative, 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.

Harold serves on the national Executive Board of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and he is 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.

Harold has lectured locally and nationally on both legal and pro bono related topics ranging from evidentiary issues involving product liability law, to deposition strategy/best practices, to Voting Rights and Non-Partisan Election Protection initiatives, to Ethics in the legal profession. Keynote speaking engagements include: 2008 Bench and Bar Keynote Speaker at the Georgia State University College of Law; 2009 Election Protection Keynote Speaker at 25th Anniversary of the World Conference of Mayors; and 2009 Law Day Keynote Speaker (A Legacy of Liberty - Celebrating Lincoln’s Bicentennial) at the Georgia State University College of Law.

In 2009, Harold was selected by the Georgia United States Congressional Delegation to serve on a 13 member Federal Judicial Advisory panel to the delegation regarding Presidential appointments to selected judgeships on the U.S. District Courts, U.S. Attorneys, and U.S. Marshals in Georgia.

Harold has been named a Georgia Super Lawyer for 2008-2017 by Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine, as a Legal Elite by Georgia Trend Magazine, recognized by the Daily Report in 2007 as 1 of the Top 15 Lawyers in Georgia under the age of 40, and in 2016 by the Daily Report as a Georgia Attorney of the Year Finalist and he has been recognized by Legal 500 for his national profile as a litigator.

Full Bio

Credentials

B.A., Emory University

J.D., Georgia State University

Georgia

American Bar Association

Lamar Inn of Court

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Gate City Bar Association, President 2007

Bleckley Inn of Court

Atlanta Bar Association, President (2015-2016); Executive Committee (2009 - Present); Board of Directors (2007-2015), Treasurer (2012), Secretary (2013), Judicial Tenure and Selection Committee (2007-2010), Membership Chair (2009-2010)

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers’ Foundation (2007-2008; 2015-2016)

Gate City Bar Foundation, Founder, Chair (2006, 2008)

National Bar Association - Board of Governors (2007-2008); Regional Director (Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, 2008-2009) National Chair, Election Protection (2008, 2010)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law - Board of Directors (2007-Present); Regional Vice Chair (2010-Present)

State Bar of Georgia (Children and the Courts Committee (2010-Present); Georgia Diversity Program Committee (2000-Present)

International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (2008-Present)

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)

2010 Just The Beginning Foundation Conference (of Federal Judges) - National Chair of Programs Committee

Leadership Atlanta - Class of 2012

Truancy Intervention Project Volunteer (2000-Present), Executive Board (2010-Present)

National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty for annual deposition skills program

Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) – Member (2014-Present)

Recognized for his national profile as a litigator


Legal 500

Georgia Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers, 2008-Present

Ranked as one of the top 15 lawyers in Georgia under the age of 40 and featured in a cover story


Fulton Daily Report, 2007

Ranked as a "Rising Star"


Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine, 2006-2007

Recognized as Legal Elite


Georgia Trend, 2006

Justice Benham Community Service Award


State Bar of Georgia, 2016

Man of the Year Award and Law and Justice Award


Men Looking Ahead Magazine, 2016

Men of Influence Award


Atlanta Business League, 2015

Commitment to Equality Award


State Bar of Georgia, 2012

Outstanding Lawyer Award


Gate City Bar Association, 2012

Presidential Award


National Bar Association, 2007-2009, and 2012

Service Award for leadership & service in founding the Justice Benham Law Camp


Gate City Bar Association, 2009

Matters

Served as trial counsel in four high-stakes product liability cases, three of which resulted in complete defense verdicts and the fourth in a zero dollar judgment.

Served as trial counsel in high-profile automotive product liability case in federal court and obtained favorable settlement on the eve of closing arguments.

Served as one of two national written discovery counsel for one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers in high stakes “bet-the-company” product liability litigation.

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Matters

Served as trial counsel in four high-stakes product liability cases, three of which resulted in complete defense verdicts and the fourth in a zero dollar judgment.

Served as trial counsel in high-profile automotive product liability case in federal court and obtained favorable settlement on the eve of closing arguments.

Served as one of two national written discovery counsel for one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers in high stakes “bet-the-company” product liability litigation.

Represented global automobile manufacturers in high stakes product liability personal injury litigation. Led and supervised defense of automobile manufacturers in cases (individual and consolidated actions) involving the designs of air bags, roofs, seat belts, steering, brakes, throttle control systems, and overall vehicle structure.

Deposing fact and expert witnesses in complex product liability actions across the country and arguing evidentiary, substantive, procedural motions, dispositive and pre-trial motions.

Worked from abroad by playing active role in time sensitive and highly complex corporate internal investigation (in Spanish) of European energy company after it restated its oil and gas reserves. Provided analysis of numerous corporate governance issues.

Represented global beverage company by conducting review and analysis of trial and appellate court records (in Spanish) involving licensing agreement dispute between various distributors and sub-licensees in South America.

Represented global manufacturer in depositions (in Spanish) in complex product liability action. Prepared analysis of deposition proceedings, directed negotiations and secured global settlement.

Served as lead counsel in providing advice and counsel to one of the world’s largest manufacturers by conducting comprehensive review and analysis of document retention policies and associated records retention schedules and providing recommendation regarding policy implementation throughout engineering and manufacturing functions within the corporation.

Served as member of King & Spalding team that served as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel in product liability litigation involving antidepressant medication, including in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Mass Tort Program, ranked number one in the American Tort Reform Association’s 2010 list of “Hellhole Jurisdictions.” Led and managed numerous case teams in all aspects of fact and expert discovery, including the depositions of fact witnesses, medical doctors, and expert witness preparation.

Served as lead counsel for public sector investigative body in contentious and high profile ethics investigation.

Matters

Served as trial counsel in four high-stakes product liability cases, three of which resulted in complete defense verdicts and the fourth in a zero dollar judgment.

Served as trial counsel in high-profile automotive product liability case in federal court and obtained favorable settlement on the eve of closing arguments.

Served as one of two national written discovery counsel for one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers in high stakes “bet-the-company” product liability litigation.

See more
Icon close

Close

Matters

Served as trial counsel in four high-stakes product liability cases, three of which resulted in complete defense verdicts and the fourth in a zero dollar judgment.

Served as trial counsel in high-profile automotive product liability case in federal court and obtained favorable settlement on the eve of closing arguments.

Served as one of two national written discovery counsel for one of the world’s largest automobile manufacturers in high stakes “bet-the-company” product liability litigation.

Represented global automobile manufacturers in high stakes product liability personal injury litigation. Led and supervised defense of automobile manufacturers in cases (individual and consolidated actions) involving the designs of air bags, roofs, seat belts, steering, brakes, throttle control systems, and overall vehicle structure.

Deposing fact and expert witnesses in complex product liability actions across the country and arguing evidentiary, substantive, procedural motions, dispositive and pre-trial motions.

Worked from abroad by playing active role in time sensitive and highly complex corporate internal investigation (in Spanish) of European energy company after it restated its oil and gas reserves. Provided analysis of numerous corporate governance issues.

Represented global beverage company by conducting review and analysis of trial and appellate court records (in Spanish) involving licensing agreement dispute between various distributors and sub-licensees in South America.

Represented global manufacturer in depositions (in Spanish) in complex product liability action. Prepared analysis of deposition proceedings, directed negotiations and secured global settlement.

Served as lead counsel in providing advice and counsel to one of the world’s largest manufacturers by conducting comprehensive review and analysis of document retention policies and associated records retention schedules and providing recommendation regarding policy implementation throughout engineering and manufacturing functions within the corporation.

Served as member of King & Spalding team that served as national coordinating counsel and trial counsel in product liability litigation involving antidepressant medication, including in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Mass Tort Program, ranked number one in the American Tort Reform Association’s 2010 list of “Hellhole Jurisdictions.” Led and managed numerous case teams in all aspects of fact and expert discovery, including the depositions of fact witnesses, medical doctors, and expert witness preparation.

Served as lead counsel for public sector investigative body in contentious and high profile ethics investigation.

Credentials

B.A., Emory University

J.D., Georgia State University

Georgia

American Bar Association

Lamar Inn of Court

Defense Research Institute (DRI)

Gate City Bar Association, President 2007

Bleckley Inn of Court

Atlanta Bar Association, President (2015-2016); Executive Committee (2009 - Present); Board of Directors (2007-2015), Treasurer (2012), Secretary (2013), Judicial Tenure and Selection Committee (2007-2010), Membership Chair (2009-2010)

Atlanta Volunteer Lawyers’ Foundation (2007-2008; 2015-2016)

Gate City Bar Foundation, Founder, Chair (2006, 2008)

National Bar Association - Board of Governors (2007-2008); Regional Director (Georgia, Alabama, and Florida, 2008-2009) National Chair, Election Protection (2008, 2010)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law - Board of Directors (2007-Present); Regional Vice Chair (2010-Present)

State Bar of Georgia (Children and the Courts Committee (2010-Present); Georgia Diversity Program Committee (2000-Present)

International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (2008-Present)

International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC)

2010 Just The Beginning Foundation Conference (of Federal Judges) - National Chair of Programs Committee

Leadership Atlanta - Class of 2012

Truancy Intervention Project Volunteer (2000-Present), Executive Board (2010-Present)

National Institute for Trial Advocacy (NITA), Faculty for annual deposition skills program

Product Liability Advisory Council (PLAC) – Member (2014-Present)

Recognized for his national profile as a litigator


Legal 500

Georgia Super Lawyer


Super Lawyers, 2008-Present

Ranked as one of the top 15 lawyers in Georgia under the age of 40 and featured in a cover story


Fulton Daily Report, 2007

Ranked as a "Rising Star"


Law & Politics and Atlanta Magazine, 2006-2007

Recognized as Legal Elite


Georgia Trend, 2006

Justice Benham Community Service Award


State Bar of Georgia, 2016

Man of the Year Award and Law and Justice Award


Men Looking Ahead Magazine, 2016

Men of Influence Award


Atlanta Business League, 2015

Commitment to Equality Award


State Bar of Georgia, 2012

Outstanding Lawyer Award


Gate City Bar Association, 2012

Presidential Award


National Bar Association, 2007-2009, and 2012

Service Award for leadership & service in founding the Justice Benham Law Camp


Gate City Bar Association, 2009