Josh Franklin

Top rated Insurance Coverage attorney in San Diego, California

Franklin Soto Leeds LLP
Josh Franklin
Franklin Soto Leeds LLP

Practice Areas: Insurance Coverage, Business Litigation; view more

Licensed in California since: 2009

Education: University of Colorado Law School

Selected to Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2024 Selected to Rising Stars: 2011

Franklin Soto Leeds LLP

444 West C St
Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92101 Visit website


Josh Franklin is a business trial lawyer who has tried nearly fifty jury trials in his career.  He handles cases throughout California and Colorado, focusing primarily on insurance coverage/bad faith litigation and business litigation.  Josh has represented mutual funds, contractors, developers, manufacturers, software companies, biotech companies, law firms, accounting firms, medical practices, and other businesses and individuals as both plaintiffs and defendants in a variety of high-stakes disputes, including class actions.  Having frequently represented underdog clients against insurance companies and other powerful opponents, Josh is in his element when litigating against much larger law firms.

In the insurance coverage/bad faith arena, Josh only represents policyholders.  He regularly handles matters arising out of an array of insurance policies, including directors and officers liability (“D&O”), employment practices liability (“EPL”), errors and omissions liability (“E&O”), and cyber liability.  Josh has also written and presented on the topic of cyber insurance coverage.  In recent years, Josh has litigated insurance coverage matters involving the duty to defend, the right to independent counsel, bad-faith claim handling, and other coverage issues in state and federal courts in California and Colorado.  In 2017, he served as the Chair of the San Diego County Bar Association’s Insurance/Bad Faith Law Section.

Josh also represents businesses in disputes alleging breach of contract and business torts, including fraud, breach of fiduciary duty, unfair competition, and violations of California Business & Professions Code Section 17200, among others.  

Josh’s prior experience includes litigating complex civil cases with Arnold & Porter LLP and serving as a Deputy District Attorney in the Economic Crime Unit of the Denver District Attorney’s Office.  He has tried a wide variety of cases, ranging from insurance bad faith to securities fraud to first-degree murder, among others.

Josh has a peer-review rating of “AV-Preeminent” from Martindale-Hubbell and has been recognized by Best Lawyers in the area of Commercial Litigation.  He is admitted to practice in California, Colorado, and New York.

*AV®, AV Preeminent®, Martindale-Hubbell Distinguished and Martindale-Hubbell Notable are certification marks used under license in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell® is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the anonymous opinions of members of the bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rating™ fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice areas

Insurance Coverage, Business Litigation

Focus areas

Bad Faith Insurance, Insurance

  • 60% Insurance Coverage
  • 40% Business Litigation

First Admitted: 2000, Colorado

Professional Webpage:

Pro bono/Community Service:
  • La Costa Youth Organization, Assistant Coach – T-Ball/Pinto/7U All-Stars (2016-18)
  • Encinitas Little League, Manager – T-Ball/Rookies (2016, 2017)
Bar/Professional Activity:
  • Federal Bar Association, San Diego Chapter
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit  
  • Hon. J. Clifford Wallace American Inn of Court (2015-2017)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, San Diego Chapter
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • Executive Committee Member-at-Large, San Diego County Bar Association, 2016
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
  • Admitted to practice in California (2009), New York (2015), and Colorado (2000).
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • Chair of Insurance/Bad Faith Law Section - San Diego County Bar Association, 2017
Educational Background:
  • B.A. (International/Intercultural Studies), Fordham University, Cum Laude, 1996
  • “Rising Star” in Super Lawyers
  • Recognized by Best Lawyers in area of commercial litigation., Best Lawyers,, 2023
  • “Best of the Bar” list, San Diego Business Journal, 2017
  • San Diego Business Journal - Best of the Bar, San Diego Business Journal , 2017
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent Peer-Review Rating, Martindale-Hubbell, 2013
  • San Diego Magazine Top Lawyers, San Diego Magazine, 2017
  • San Diego Magazine Top Lawyers, San Diego Magazine, 2016
Scholarly Lectures/Writings:
  • Webinar presentation regarding cyber insurance to Colorado chapter of Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC).  , Presenter , A Lawyer’s Guide to Cyber Insurance , Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) - Colorado Chapter, Law, 2022
  • Presenter at online continuing legal education program on insurance bad faith.  Presented on topics of: New and Recurring Issues in Bad Faith Litigation Adjuster Depositions: Creative Questions and New Spins on Old Techniques, Presenter , Insurance Bad Faith 2033, National Business Institute, Legal, 2023
  • Why the Supreme Court Denied Certiorari in United States v. Newman and What to Expect Next, L.A. Daily Journal (October 2015)
  • Presented at live online seminar on the topic of "Adjuster and Bad Faith Expert Witness Deposition and Examination Tactics", Presenter, Advanced Insurance Bad Faith in California, National Business Institute , Law, 2022
  • Speaker at live online seminar, entitled "Insurance Coverage Litigation Boot Camp" on the topics of "Negotiating Bad Faith and Insurance Coverage Claims" and "Keeping Things Ethical." , Presenter, Insurance Coverage Litigation Boot Camp, National Business Institute , 2020
  • Mitigating the Costs of Arbitration and Litigation, Financial Executives International, San Diego Chapter (February 2018)
  • Comment: Three Strikes and You’re Out of Constitutional Rights? The Prison Litigation Reform Act’s “Three Strikes” Provision and Its Effect on Indigents, 71 U. Colo. L. Rev. 191 (2000)
  • Tipping Friends Without Benefits – Will the U.S. Supreme Court Clarify the “Personal Benefit” Element of Insider Trading After United States v. Newman?, L.A. Daily Journal (August 2015)
  • Presentation on cyber insurance given to Construction Financial Management Association at its Southwest Regional Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, Presenter , Navigating the Labyrinth of Cyber Insurance, Construction, 2018
  • Cyber insurance presentation given to the San Diego Chapter of Financial Executives Networking Group., Presenter, Cyber Insurance: What Every Financial Executive Should Know, Financial, 2018
  • In 2015, I spoke to members of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association at their 2015 Insurance Bad Faith Seminar.  I presented on effective strategies for Rule 30(b)(6) depositions of insurance companies in cases alleging insurance bad faith., Presenter, Strategies for Effective Rule 30(b)(6) Depositions of Insurance Companies, Colorado Trial Lawyers Association 2015 Insurance Bad Faith Seminar, 2015
  • Speaker at CLE presentation on cyber insurance., Speaker , Cyber Insurance 101, San Diego County Bar Association, Law, 2015
  • Speaker at round table discussion on J.R. Marketing case, which was presented by Insurance/Bad Faith Law Section of the San Diego County Bar Association., Speaker, Roundtable Discussion: Hartford Casualty Insurance Company v. J.R. Marketing, L.L.C., San Diego County Bar Association, Law, 2016
  • Speaker at CLE presentation on data privacy litigation and cyber insurance coverage., Speaker, Nightmares on Cyber Street: Developments in Data Privacy Litigation and Cyber Insurance Coverage, San Diego County Bar Association, 2016
  • Presentation to Financial Executives International - San Diego Chapter regarding cyber insurance., Speaker, Cyber Insurance Basics, Financial Executives International - San Diego Chapter, Finance, 2017
  • An introduction to and summary of cyber insurance coverage issues., Author , Cyber Insurance 101, Linkedin, Law, 2016
  • Gave presentation on cyber insurance to members of Association of International Certified Professional Accountants at AICPA's Construction and Real Estate Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada., Presenter, Navigating the Labyrinth of Cyber Insurance, Association Of International Certified Professional Accountants, 2017
  • Gave presentation to members of Financial Executives International regarding strategies for mitigating the costs and risks of arbitration and litigation, including: forum selection clauses, arbitration clauses, class action waiver provisions, attorney's fee provisions, Rule 998 statutory offers, alternative attorney fee arrangements, and insurance coverage., Presenter, Mitigating the Costs and Risks of Arbitration and Litigation, Financial Executives International - San Diego Chapter, 2018
Verdicts/Settlements (Case Results):
  • Obtained defense and indemnity coverage for lawsuit against investment advisory firm under Errors & Omissions Liability policy following denial of claim by insurer.  , 2022
  • Defeated motion for partial summary judgment brought by D&O insurer, which sought to cut off damages for breach of the duty to defend, preclude recovery of settlement reached after insurer failed to defend, and obtain declaration that insured's damages for breach of the duty to defend were capped by the policy's remaining limits.  , 2022
  • Obtained summary adjudication ruling that professional liability insurer breached its duty to defend in connection with multi-party lawsuit and arbitration brought against insured accounting firm and its partner.  , 2021
  • Represented construction company in connection with multi-million dollar claim under builders risk insurance policy, which resolved on confidential terms.  , 2021
  • Represented officers of non-profit provider of health, palliative, and hospice services in adversary proceeding alleging breach of fiduciary duty brought in bankruptcy court and in separate interpleader action brought by D&O insurer in federal court.  Obtained confidential settlement resolving all claims in both actions.   , 2020
  • Obtained partial summary judgment in federal court against insurer for breaching its duty to defend under Directors & Officers Liability policy and for breaching the policy by requiring the non-profit insured to satisfy a $50,000 retention as as condition of the policy's alternate duty-to-defend coverage.  The Crosby Estate at Rancho Santa Fe Master Association v. Ironshore Specialty Ins. Co., 498 F.Supp.3d 1242 (S.D. Cal. 2020)., 2020
  • Represented biotech company in defending lawsuit brought in San Diego Superior Court alleging violations of California Business & Professions Code Section 17200 (unfair competition).  The matter was resolved on confidential terms.  , 2019
  • Represented manufacturer of semiconductor packaging in negotiating settlement of business interruption claim arising out of fire that destroyed the company's headquarters and primary manufacturing facility.  , 2019
  • Represented beverage manufacturer in defending "qui tam" action alleging violations of the Insurance Fraud Prevention Act in connection with denial of former employee's workers compensation claim, and in successfully challenging D&O insurer's denial of coverage.  The matter was resolved for less than the anticipated cost of defense, with a substantial contribution from the D&O insurer and an agreement to reimburse defense costs incurred above the policy's retention.      , 2020
  • Represented pharmaceutical research company in coverage lawsuit filed in federal court against insurer in connection with handling of directors and officers liability ("D&O") claim.  The matter settled on confidential terms.     , 2020
  • Obtained settlement above policy limit in insurance bad faith action following denial of coverage under homeowner's policy for damage requiring replacement of roof., 2018
  • Obtained settlement with commercial general liability insurer that denied coverage for copyright and trade dress infringement claims based on an intellectual property exclusion in the applicable policy.  Lawsuit was filed in federal court and alleged breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in failing to defend and indemnify insured in underlying lawsuit., 2017
  • Obtained recovery of $3.8 million commercial property policy limit for manufacturer in connection with commercial insurance claim arising out of fire that destroyed manufacturer's primary facility., 2018
  • Obtained dismissal of antitrust claims brought against New Jersey sports authentication company in federal court in Los Angeles.  Obtained orders quashing service of summons and complaint for lack of personal jurisdiction in subsequently filed state court lawsuits alleging conspiracy and other business torts., 2016
  • Obtained unanimous appellate decision affirming trial court's ruling that our client was entitled to 100% of life insurance proceeds from Servicemember's Group Life Insurance Act policy., 2017
  • In dispute over entitlement to approximately $400,000 in life insurance proceeds, obtained ruling that our client was entitled to 100 percent of the proceeds.  The matter is currently on appeal., 2016
  • Represented former mutual fund portfolio manager and chief investment officer for Wyoming Retirement System charged with insider trading in the Southern District of New York.  We resolved the case through a plea agreement and obtained a sentence of time served (no jail) with two years of supervised release.  The other two co-defendants received sentences of five years (following plea agreement) and six-and-a-half years (following jury verdict)., 2015
  • Obtained settlement of insurance bad faith lawsuit arising out of property claim for damage to roof caused by wind and hail storm., 2018
  • Obtained complete defense verdict for elderly couple accused of securities fraud and violations of the Colorado Viatical Settlement Act following bench trial in which plaintiff sought more than $5 million in damages.  The lawsuit arose out of the formation and sale of three limited liability companies, which collectively owned roughly $27.5 million in life insurance policies insuring an 80-year-old man.  Plaintiff was an investor who purchased the limited liability companies but was unable to sell them or the life insurance policies., 2014
Industry Groups:
  • Biotech
  • Construction
  • Financial
  • Manufacturing
  • Medical
  • Professional Services
  • Real Estate
  • Software

Office location for Josh Franklin

444 West C St
Suite 300
San Diego, CA 92101

Phone: 619-872-2521


5 Years Super Lawyers
1 Year Rising Stars
  • Super Lawyers: 2020 - 2024
  • Rising Stars: 2011

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