Carmel Valley resident wins $5.4 million verdict in high-profile case
Top San Diego trial lawyer and longtime Carmel Valley resident Robert J. Francavilla is a partner with CaseyGerry, where he has practiced law for more than 25 years, specializing in serious personal injury, head trauma and wrongful death.
He most recently achieved a $5.4 million verdict against the U.S. government in a case involving a motorcyclist who was seriously injured in a collision caused by a Border Patrol agent.
“This was a zero-offer case heading into trial — the verdict acknowledges the responsibility the government has to do its job safely and protect the public,” Francavilla said. “It’s my hope the verdict will increase awareness of motorcycle safety, and the importance of watching out for everyone on the road, including motorcyclists.”
When not in court, he enjoys spending time with his wife and two sons, and also enjoys running, weight training and golf. In the following Q & A, he shares his philosophy for life and work:
1. What brought you to this neighborhood?
When my wife and I got married, we were planning a family, and thought this would be a great place to raise our children. It is centrally located, and near our church and great schools. And the people are great; we love Carmel Valley.
2. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
My family: my wife, Carla, and boys Zach and Dominic, ages 8 and almost 5.
3. If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom would you invite?
My Father, my wife, Carla, and my two boys, for sure, especially since the boys never had a chance to meet and know their grandfather and I would love for them to see firsthand what a great guy he really was.
I would also include my mom and my two brothers, Steve and Paul, so the entire family could be together again.
4. Who or what inspires you?
I am most inspired by my father, who taught me the importance of kindness, hard work, family and treating everyone with the respect and dignity with which I would want to be treated. He also attended almost all of my trials and made me a better lawyer. My dad, God rest his soul, was the best human being I have ever known and was truly my best friend, along with my wife and children. They continuously remind me just how blessed I am to have them to love every day of my life. With all the love they give, they make me a better person.
5. Tell us what you are currently reading.
I’m too busy to read novels, but do pick up magazines like Sports Illustrated and Golf Digest; and I love to read the newspaper every day. I’m traditional and read the printed version!
6. Name a few of your favorite movies.
I love comedies. The sillier the better … “Dodgeball,” “Wedding Crashers,” “Stripes,” to name a few.
7. What is your most prized possession?
A copy of “A Poem for Parents.” It’s by an unknown author. My dad carried it around in his wallet every day and gave it to me shortly before he passed. I try to live by a compelling line in the poem: “You are setting an example every day in all you do, for the little boy who’s waiting
to grow up to be just like you.”
I also prize all the cards, notes and letters from my children, which tell me how much they love me.
8. What would be your dream vacation?
Hawaii, with the family. It was our first big trip together as a family and it was amazing. Hawaii has now shaped up to be a family tradition. I also love our annual trips to Disneyland.
9. What is your motto or philosophy of life?
I try to teach my children that it is easy to be critical of someone or make people feel bad — and that the real challenge and joy in life is to make people feel better about themselves and help them any way we can. I also try to set a positive example for everyone whose life I touch — from my wife and children, to the people I am privileged to represent, to those I encounter every day.
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