Talcott J. Franklin has been a leader in legal innovation throughout his career. In 2010, he established one of the nation’s first virtual law offices, which grew to over 20 senior attorneys licensed in twelve states, before transitioning the concept to Franklin Scott Conway LLP. Tal’s creation of the Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities Investor Clearing House was “a milestone for investors” according to Reuters. The strategy Tal created on behalf of the Knights of Columbus was called “the most novel and sensible of the litigation strategies that we have seen” in the American Banker.
In anticipation of an explosion of litigation involving mortgage-backed securities, Tal co-authored Mortgage and Asset Backed Securities Litigation Handbook (West 2008, updated annually), which remains one of West’s top selling books and the recognized treatise in the field. Tal has served as lead counsel litigating all aspects of securitized instruments, including co-lead counsel on the largest mortgage loan repurchase case in history involving 100 trusts containing 500,000 loans.
Prior to 2010, Tal was an equity partner, Deputy Chair of Litigation firm-wide, management committee member, and Dallas office head of litigation at Patton Boggs LLP. During his tenure, Tal and Patton Boggs partner Micah Green, under the tutelage of the legendary Tom Boggs, pioneered the litigation / public policy dispute resolution strategy, using the judicial, administrative, and legislative branches of government to achieve enhanced dispute resolution results for clients. Their successful gutting of the “servicer safe harbor” – after it had passed both houses of Congress – kept the door open for investors to recover for losses due to the financial crisis.
Tal’s innovative thinking even changed an entire industry. When American Airlines acquired TWA and he was working in house as Intellectual Property Counsel, he was tasked with keeping the TWA brand alive given the use it or lose it nature of trademark rights. His solution: Continue to fly one of the TWA planes as a tribute. Tribute planes to legacy brands are now standard throughout the airline industry.
Tal has also applied his innovative thinking to pro bono activities. His pro bono work early in the pandemic led to numerous states obtaining millions of units of free medical supplies. He received the Mecklenburg County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Program Award for Exemplary Service to the Indigent, the E. Randolph Williams award for Outstanding Pro Bono Service, and was one of two attorneys personally recognized for the work that earned Hunton & Williams the American Bar Association national pro bono award.
In 1995, Tal graduated magna cum laude from Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he was Editor in Chief of the Washington & Lee Law Review, a member of Order of the Coif, and the recipient of the Robert and Anne Banse Honor Scholarship. He holds an M.A. and B.A. from the University of Washington. Tal has been featured on television, radio, and print media, including CNBC, NPR, the Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, HousingWire, FOX, and numerous other outlets.
Tal is the author or co-author of three legal treatises, two books on student safety, a book on helping incarcerated persons successfully transition back into society, and numerous articles. In 2017, he created a student safety program at the request of the Virginia Board of Education to be taught throughout the state in physical education classes. He also devotes time to enhancing mental health opportunities for attorneys and the public.