Franz Hardy is a trial attorney with a focus on business and insurance litigation, including commercial disputes, employment matters, real estate, insurance coverage, and ERISA. Franz is also recognized as an accomplished professional liability practitioner with a successful record representing dozens of attorneys and law firms. Franz has tried several cases to verdict and handled many appeals in both state and federal courts. For example, he successfully obtained a jury verdict in favor of his client in a breach of contract action brought by one of the nation's largest telecommunications providers. He also recently argued an appeal resulting in judicially-recognized federal preemption of newly enacted Colorado legislation.
Franz has leadership positions within Gordon & Rees, as well as local and national bar associations. As the Chair of the firm's national Diversity Committee, he is responsible for guiding the firm's award-winning commitment to diversity and overseeing diversity initiatives in its more than twenty offices.
Franz is also President of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado and participates on the Board of Directors for the Center for Legal Inclusiveness, a non-profit organization dedicated to diversity in the legal profession. In addition, Franz serves on the University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board.
Franz has frequently written and lectured on various topics affecting attorneys and the practice of law, including ethics, privileges, confidentiality, and diversity. His presentations have been before local and national attorney audiences.
United States District Court for the District of Colorado
United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
United States Supreme Court
American Bar Association - Section of Litigation (Co-Chair of Content Management Committee, Co-Vice Chair Committee on Corporate Counsel, and Member of Diversity Committee)
Colorado Bar Association
Denver Bar Association
Sam Cary Bar Association
Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Colorado (President)
Center for Legal Inclusiveness (Board of Directors)
Defense Research Institute
University of Colorado Law School Alumni Board
Franz enjoys helping new generations of law students and lawyers have successful and rewarding legal careers. He regularly meets with students and new lawyers in informal settings to assist in their career development. He also participates in a variety of speaking engagements and formal mentoring programs in this area. For example, Franz organized an annual “Keys to Success” program featuring advice and guidance from a panel of prominent Colorado lawyers in both public and private practice. These panels have included Colorado Supreme Court justices, in house counsel, government attorneys, and prominent outside practitioners to assist law students in determining their career path. Franz has also worked with officials in Colorado’s law schools, members of local specialty bar associations, and other leading lawyers to address diversity and inclusion efforts in the legal profession.
Examples of Franz's extensive experience include the following:
Obtained a defense verdict in a breach of contract dispute involving damage to a telecommunications company’s equipment. After a one-week trial, the jury returned a defense verdict in favor of Franz's business client. The plaintiff is one of the nation’s largest telecommunication providers. The co-defendant was found liable for all damages.
Obtained dismissal in a legal malpractice lawsuit including an award of attorneys fees. The district court held that the plaintiffs had failed to state a claim upon which relief could be granted against the lawyers. The case was affirmed on appeal in a published opinion, wherein additional attorneys fees were awarded.
Obtained summary judgment in favor of an employer based upon claims that it owed continuing health insurance coverage to a former employee. Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the district court determined that the former employee was not entitled to health insurance coverage and awarded the employer costs.
Participated in the defense of a putative class action lawsuit against Colorado's largest utility company. The claims involved intentional nuisance regarding the upgrade of an electrical transmission line. After substantial litigation, the plaintiffs agreed to dismiss their claims.
Timm v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, 259 P.3d 521(Colo. App. 2011) (ERISA)
TMJ Implants, Inc. v. Aetna Inc., 498 F.3d 1175 (10th Cir. 2007) (business defamation and disparagement)
Stauffer v. Stegemann, 165 P.3d 713 (Colo. App. 2006) (legal malpractice)
TMJ Implants, Inc. v. Aetna Inc., 405 F. Supp. 2d 1242 (D. Colo. 2005) (business defamation and disparagement)
Morrison v. Goff, 91 P.3d 1050 (Colo. 2004) (legal malpractice amicus curiae)
Cyprus Amax Minerals Company v. Lexington Insurance Company, 74 P.3d 294 (Colo. 2003) (insurance coverage)
Henderson v. MasterKlean Janitorial, Inc., 70 P.3d 612 (Colo. App. 2003) (premises liability)
White v. Denver Seminary, 157 F. Supp. 2d 1171 (D. Colo. 2001) (civil rights)
Modern Role of In-House Counsel and the Attorney-Client Privilege
Defense Research Institute, In-House Defense Quarterly (Winter 2008)
Application of the ‘Case Within a Case’ Standard to Transactional Legal Malpractice Claims, Defense Research Institute, For the Defense (March 2008)
Defending the Transactional Legal Malpractice Case: Trends and Considerations for Defense Counsel, Vol. 73, No. 4, International Association of Defense Counsel, Defense Counsel Journal 332 (2006)
Beyond the Client: The Protection of the Corporate Attorney-Client Privilege, Vol. 35, No. 6, Colorado Lawyer 31 (2006)
Protecting Your Law Practice: Malpractice Insurance Basics, 34 Colorado Lawyer 4 (2005)
Getting Hitched: Confirming the Attorney-Client Engagement, 32 Colorado Lawyer 37 (2003)
Tort Law Desk Reference: A Fifty-State Compendium, Colorado section pp. 83-97 (Morton F. Daller ed. 2003-2007)
Program Co-Moderator, Raising Your Affiliate’s Profile and Serving Its Community, National Asian Pacific American Bar Association Affiliate Leadership Summit (November 15, 2012)
Program Panelist, Being a Mentor, Mentee, and Entrepreneur in the Changing Legal Environment, University of Colorado Law School (November 3, 2012)
Program Panelist, Innovative Ways Bar Associations Are Increasing Awareness About the Importance of Diversity, Defense Research Institute’s Diversity for Success Seminar (June 7, 2012)
Program Moderator, Highlights from Committee Websites, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Annual Conference Content Workshop (April 18, 2012)
Seminar Co-Chair, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar (February 16-19, 2012)
Speaker, Technology and Confidentiality, Preventing Legal Malpractice Seminar, Colorado Bar Association (January 27, 2012)
Program Moderator, From Law Student to Lawyer: Keys to Success, University of Denver Sturm College of Law, Gordon & Rees LLP Program (October 12, 2011)
Program Moderator, Editors: Understanding Their Roles and How to Work Together, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Leadership Conference Editors' Symposium (September 23, 2011)
Program Moderator, Life After Law School, University of Colorado Law School - Gordon & Rees LLP Program (October 20, 2010)
Program Moderator, From Law Student to Lawyer: Keys to Success, University of Denver Sturm College of Law – Gordon & Rees LLP Program (October 8, 2009)
Program Moderator, Think Before Hitting ‘Send’: Protecting Privilege Between In-House Counsel and the Business Client, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Committee on Corporate Counsel CLE Seminar, (February 14, 2009)
Speaker, Privileges and Confidentiality, CLE International Thirteenth Annual Ethics Conference (December 8, 2008)
Speaker, Looking to 2009 - Employment Practices Liability Update: The Law, The Risks, The Solutions, Marsh Risk and Insurance Services Seminar (October 14, 2008)
Program Moderator, From Law Student to Lawyer: Diverse Perspectives on the Keys to Success, University of Colorado Law School - Gordon & Rees LLP Program (September 23, 2008)
Program Co-Chair, Preventing Legal Malpractice Seminar, 2007 Colorado Bar Association (January 25 and 26, 2007 and February 7 and 9, 2007)
Speaker, Privileges and Confidentiality, CLE International Eleventh Annual Ethics Conference (December 11, 2006)
Speaker, Trends and Considerations for Defending the Transactional Legal Malpractice Case, 2006 International Association of Defense Counsel Professional Liability Roundtable (May 4, 2006)
J.D., University of Colorado School of Law, 2000
B.A., Political Science, Colorado State University, 1996
Rising Stars® in the fields of Civil Litigation Defense, Professional Liability Defense and Employment Litigation Defense (2009-2013, Law & Politics)