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San Mateo County, CA June 3, 2008 Election
Smart Voter Full Biography for Don Franchi

Candidate for
Superior Court Judge; County of San Mateo; Office 7

This information is provided by the candidate

Don Franchi was born on June 12, 1963 at Peninsula Hospital in Burlingame. He grew up in San Mateo with 2 brothers and one sister. Don attended Aragon High School. While at Aragon, he was on the Varsity Wrestling Team as well as Track and Field (shot-put and discus); he received a Varsity letter in both sports. During high school Don worked pumping gas at the local Hillsborough Shell station. He graduated from Aragon in 1981 and started attending classes at the College of San Mateo. His studies included aeronautics and business administration. Don received an AS in Business Administration. He had planned to become an Air Force Pilot and joined the ROTC. He was given a pilot's slot and if not for a bout of pneumonia, would never have found his true calling.

Don continued his education at Cal State Hayward where he received both a B.S. Degree in Business Administration, Marketing and an M.B.A. with an emphasis in Finance. Throughout his college career, Don worked a number of jobs ranging from flight attendant to delivery truck driver and night auditor. In 1990, he attended Pepperdine Law School where he excelled. During his first year, Don was in the top 5% of class, graded on to Law Review and received numerous scholastic scholarships. In his first summer, he assisted two of his professors in preparing a death penalty appellate brief. During his second year, he was given the honor of a full time, five-month externship with The Hon. Alex Kozinski on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. Don made the Dean's List all six semesters of Law School and graduated from Law School Magna Cum Laude, 7th in his class of 242.

Shortly after graduating from Law School in 1993, Don opened his own law firm, the Law Office of Don Franchi. There, he gained experience as a litigator handling hundreds of cases in areas including criminal law, contracts, family law, government claims, insurance, personal injury, landlord-tenant, probate, sexual harassment, wills/trusts and wrongful termination. Don was exceptionally gifted in financial issues and the practice of law in the areas of taxation, estate planning and business litigation. His first experience with Family Law came from a referral through the San Mateo County Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service in 1996. Because of the complexity of the financial issues mixed with the need for sensitivity and compassion, Don began taking on more and more Family Law matters over the next several years. By 2001, more than half of his cases were in areas related to Family Law.

In 2001, Don Franchi was asked by Rita Ma, the Court's Family Law Facilitator, to apply for a position in the San Mateo County Superior Court's Family Law Facilitator's Office. He had volunteered on several occasions in the office and knew that on average, the office helped almost 20 people a day. As a Facilitator over the last six years, Don has personally assisted more than 10,000 San Mateo County residents with their family law related issues, including: domestic violence, paternity, child support, child custody/visitation, divorce and much more. He has assisted hundreds of domestic violence survivors with their applications for restraining orders and has helped in the preparation of thousands of motions. In addition to helping litigants, as a member of the Facilitator's Office, Don also helped develop Court policies related to domestic violence, including dedicated domestic violence calendars. He is known among his colleagues for his humor, expertise in the law and willingness to help anyone at a moment's notice. Don is an integral member of the team. He gets along well with judges, attorneys and staff alike.

He has been an active member of the community. Prior to working for the Court, Don volunteered his time to the Court and to the Legal Aid Society of San Mateo County. Since working for the Court, he joined the Legal Process Committee, a sub-committee of the San Mateo County Domestic Violence Council, and has been on numerous other sub-committees, including the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) Work Group. He was on the organizing committee and was treasurer for Putting Children First. Don is on the organizing committee for Community Law Night, an evening that brings together attorneys who will give free legal advice to litigants who might not otherwise afford it. In 2007, Don supported CORA, San Mateo County's domestic violence agency by helping to paint their shelter and being a team leader for Take-A-Hike, a three-day hike and fundraiser for CORA.

He is a proud uncle to nine nieces and nephews, seven of whom live next door to him. He enjoys attending their concerts, taking family vacations and joining family meals. Don's interests include scuba diving, hiking and snow boarding. In 2006, Don hiked to the top of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Africa, an elevation of 19,340 feet. This summer, he plans on reaching the summit of Mt. Shasta.

As a lifetime resident of San Mateo County, Don looks forward to being the Family Law Judge for this County where he will be able to employ the best of his professional and personal skills as well as expertise. He has the knowledge, dedication and personal qualities that are necessary to be a Superior Court Judge in any department of the Court.

Residents of San Mateo County need to elect more than just another Judge. The Court needs a dedicated and committed Judge whose first choice and top priority is to serve as a Family Law Judge. Currently, the Family Law Judge rotates every two years. Traditionally, this assignment is given to the newer judges who often have little experience in family law and generally rotate out of Family Law and on to more prestigious assignments. On June 3, 2008 your vote can make a difference. Your vote will elect a Judge who, unlike most, wants to serve in the area of Family Law for the entirety of his term. Your vote will give our families and children the attention and consistency that they deserve. Vote Don Franchi for Judge!

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: May 20, 2008 11:21
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