Todd Franks


Todd Franks

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t.franks@azfamlaw.com

 

PROFILE

Todd Franks, the founding shareholder of Franks, Houser & McVey, P.C., has been a member of the Arizona Bar since 1980.  Initially, he practiced in the area of complex civil litigation.  Since approximately 1982, his focus primarily has been Family Law, including, but not limited to, prenuptial and post-nuptial agreements, cohabitant contracts and rights, divorce, paternity, child custody, appeals, post-decree representation, tax issues, bankruptcy and creditor rights issues, civil tort litigation (including, but not limited to breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, physical torts and emotional abuse torts), commercial litigation, and same-sex relationships.  He is well known for his representation of clients in Family Law matters involving complex issues, ownership and division of business interests and professional practices (including related valuations), waste issues, forensic accounting and debtor/creditor and bankruptcy issues related to divorce.  Todd also is available to serve as a mediator, arbitrator and Special Master.

Before founding Franks Houser & McVey, P.C., Todd practiced law at Brown & Bain, P.A. (now Perkins Coie), Mariscal, Weeks, McIntyre & Friedlander, P.A. (now Dickinson Wright) and Sacks, Tierney & Kasen, P.A.  Before commencing law practice in Arizona, Todd also worked for one year for Sprague, Goldberg & Rubenstone, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, working on such cases as Abscam.

EDUCATION

Juris Doctorate degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, in May, 1979. 

As a Samuel S. Fels Fellow, Todd also attended the University of Pennsylvania, School of Public & Urban Policy (A Wharton School), from 1975 to 1980, in the Ph.D. program in regulatory economics, with concentration on urban and housing economics.

Bachelor of Science undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, May, 1975, graduating from the Honors Program, and awarded membership in Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi and Phi Eta Sigma honorary academic fraternities.  Mixing his interests in science and humanities to obtain the Bachelor of Science degree, Todd majored in English and wrote two Senior Honors Theses, one in his major, “Thomas Hardy: Outside Space and Time,” and the other in Journalism regarding reporter’s privilege.   Todd was the beneficiary of a Knapp Summer Research Fellowship, from the Honors Program.

PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS, DESIGNATIONS AND ACTIVITIES

AV Rating, Martindale & Hubbell

Listed in Best Lawyers in America (Family Law)

Southwest SuperLawyers Magazine, listed among leading attorneys in Arizona and New Mexico. Arizona’s Best Lawyers, June 2006, invited to become charter member.

Arizona Living Magazine, November, 1985, named as one of seven leading Domestic Relations lawyers in Arizona.

Family Law Council of Community Property States, Chair, 1996-1997, 2005-2006. Arizona State Delegate, 1993-present.

Maricopa County Bar Family Law Section, Chair 1993-1995. Chair, Judicial Training Committee (1993 to 1998).

Faculty: Family Law Council of Community Property States Symposiums, 1993-2008; State Bar of Arizona Continuing Legal Education; Arizona Judicial College; Maricopa County Superior Court Judicial Training — Family Court Division; Maricopa County Bar Continuing Legal Education; Arizona Forum for Improvement of Taxation; NBI Seminars; Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants; “For Better or Worse Seminars” jointly presented by State Bar of Arizona and Arizona Chapter of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers.

Judge Pro Tem, Maricopa County, Arizona Superior Court.

Arizona Domestic Relations Committee.  Governor’s Appointee – 2007 to present.

Arizona Supreme Court – Creditors’ Rights Workgroup of Domestic Relations Committee, 2005 – present.  Chair, 2008 – present.  Author of various legislative revisions to family law statutes proposed and/or enacted during that time period.

Governor’s Committee on Child Support Guidelines, November 1986.

Maricopa County Domestic Relations Study Committee, Member 1986 -1987; 1993 – 2007.

Maricopa County Bar Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Member 1991 to 1996.

American Bar Association – Family Law Section.

Maricopa County Volunteer Lawyers Program, Participant 1981 to present (Franks & Bodinet, a predecessor of the Firm in name, was recipient of the Family Law Firm of the Year award for 2000).  The firm, under Mr. Franks’ direction and supervision, continues to provide pro bono services through VLP.

PUBLICATIONS

Post Reconciliation Collection of Attorneys’ Fees, State Bar of Arizona, 1986;

Pendente Lite Practice, State Bar of Arizona, 1986;

Community Opportunities Doctrine and the Limitations of the Fiduciary Relationship Between Spouses, State Bar of Arizona, 1986;

Proper Allocation of Income Tax Liability Between Spouses, Maricopa County Bar Association, Family Law Section, 1991;

Domestic Relations and Community Property Considerations in Bankruptcy, Maricopa County Bar Association, 1991 (co-author);

Divorce Taxation: Frequently Encountered Arizona Community Property Applications, Problems and Myths, Maricopa County Bar Association, 1992;

Cockrill Issues: A General Overview of Selected Topics Concerning Commingling, Maricopa County Bar, 1992;

A General Overview of Arizona’s Evolution in the Law Concerning Separate and Community Property Commingling, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), New Orleans, Louisiana, 1993;

A Bankruptcy Primer, MCBA Family Law Section Judicial Training Subcommittee for Maricopa County Superior Court, 1993 (co-author);

Arizona Community Property Valuation Issues, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 1994;

A General Overview of Arizona Property Division Issues, Maricopa County Bar Judicial Training Committee, 1994;

Income, Gift and Estate Tax Considerations for Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1995;

Division of Employer Granted Stock Options, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), San Antonio, Texas, 1996;

Arizona Community Debt Issues, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Phoenix, Arizona, 1997;

Arizona Cohabitation Issues, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Las Vegas, Nevada, 1998;

Donor’s Remorse: When a Gift is Not a Gift – Recovery of Contributions of Property During Marriage, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), San Francisco, California, 1999;

A General Overview of Arizona Marital Property and Debt Division Issues, Judicial College of Arizona New Judge Orientation Program, 1999 (and updates thereafter through 2005);

Pendente Lite Orders and Other Asset/Debt Division Issues Following Termination of the Marital Community, State Bar of Arizona, 1999;

Fiduciary Duties Between Spouses and Management of Community Property — Emerging Law in Arizona, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Santa Fe, New Mexico, 2000;

Common Errors Made By Appraisers in Valuing Business and Professional Practices in Arizona Divorce Cases, Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, Business Valuation Conference, September, 2000 (reprinted in both excerpted an complete form by Business Valuation Resources, LLC and Shannon Pratt’s Judges & Lawyers Business Valuation Update);

Characterization, Valuation and Distribution of Intangible Assets in Divorce Proceedings, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Seattle, Washington, 2001;

A General Overview of Selected Family Law and Bankruptcy Topics, NBI Seminars, February, 2002;

Matrimonial Agreements: Requirements for Validity, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), New Orleans, Louisiana, 2002;

Retirement, Pension and Deferred Compensation Division, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, 2003;

Divorce and the Family Owned Business, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Madison, Wisconsin, 2004;

The Impact of Bankruptcy on Marriage and Dissolution of Marriage, Arizona Judicial College, 2004 (co-author);

Hidden Assets and Debts, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Fort Worth, Texas, 2005;

The Relationship Between Spouses and With Third Parties in Management of Joint, Common and Community Assets During Marriage and During a Divorce Proceeding, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Phoenix, Arizona, 2006 (co-author);

Arizona’s Relationship Between Community Property and Spousal Maintenance, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Las Vegas, Nevada, 2007;

A General Overview of Arizona Property and Debt Division Issues, 250+ page monograph for Arizona Judicial College (2007 as latest revision);

Philosophical Differences Among and Common Errors Made by Appraisers in Valuing Businesses and Professional Practices in Divorce Cases, Arizona State Bar Convention, June, 2007;

Credits and Debits in Temporary Orders Calculations, For Better or Worse Seminar of State Bar and Arizona Chapter of American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, January, 2008;

Considering the Impact of Estate Planning on Family Law Matters, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Palm Springs, California (co-author, 2008);

Quantitative Valuation Issues in Family Law Cases, Pankow & Company Seminars, 2009; Valuation and Disposition Strategies in a Changing Economy (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Seattle Washington, 2010;

Division of Employment Benefits, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), New Orleans, Louisiana, 2011;

A General Overview of Arizona Debt Division Issues, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Idaho, 2012;

Arizona Same Sex Relationship Law and Issues, Community Property Symposium (Family Law Council of Community Property States), Madison, Wisconsin, 2013.

1998 Revisions to ARS §§ 25-211 et seq. regarding termination of community property acquisition and community debt incurrence on service of petition for dissolution of marriage (co-author);

1990′s version of Proposed Rule 26.2, ARCP, regarding domestic relations disclosure (co-author);
Various 1997 revisions to state family law statutes;

OTHER ACTIVITIES

City of Phoenix Commission on Housing, Chair 1987 to 1990, Vice Chair 1984 to 1987.

Arizona Department of Health, Citizen representative to Maricopa County Association of Governments, 1991-1992.

Center for New Directions/Arizona Action for Displaced Homemakers, Board Member 1990 to 1995.

Hillel Foundation (at Arizona State University), Member of Board 2002 – 2003.  Prior Board several years earlier.

Planned Parenthood of Central and Northern Arizona, Member of Board, 1990 – 1991.

B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation League (Arizona Region), Member of Board, 1987 to 1989.