Charles Francis is the founder and Managing Partner of The Francis Law Firm, PLLC. A practicing attorney since 1989, Francis represents a wide variety of clients: personal injury and medical malpractice victims, landowners whose property is being taken by eminent domain by the government, colleges and universities, housing authorities, cities and towns, insurance companies, businesses of all sizes, churches and non-profits.
Francis is especially proud of his successful representation of hundreds of personal injury and medical malpractice victims over the last 20 years. Through fierce and relentless advocacy, Francis and the Firm have secured hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation for people injured by negligence and for property owners in condemnation cases. In 2002, Francis tried the case of a Chicago woman who suspected her son’s cerebral palsy and severe brain damage were caused by medical malpractice during childbirth. After a month long trial, he won a $19 million settlement, one of the largest of its kind ever by a North Carolina lawyer.
He pleads the cases of those who have been wronged - folks like John H. Hurst and his sister, Harriett Hurst Turner, who had a reversionary interest in a trust. The State of North Carolina tried to take their family’s 289-acre Onslow County waterfront property without compensation. The land once served as a beach for African-Americans in the days of racial segregation. After a victory at trial and two trips to the Court of Appeals and Supreme Court, Francis secured $10.1 million in compensation for the Hursts. That result was one of the largest settlements or verdicts in North Carolina in 2015. “We are attorneys and entrepreneurs at law,” says Francis. “We devise solutions and advocate for clients to transform lives.”
Dr. Everett Ward, the President of Saint Augustine’s University, says “Charles has been extremely successful . . . he is someone with great choices but has chosen to give back to his community. Charles has changed the landscape of Raleigh.” Some of that terrain he’s elevated has been in public housing. As the attorney for Raleigh Housing Authority, Francis assisted in the Halifax Court, Walnut Terrace and Chavis Park re-building helping to give mixed-income housing residents a bridge from poverty to a better life. Dr. Ward says, “He serves as our University attorney, representing the interests of Saint Augustine’s. It’s not just a client and attorney relationship, he understands the history of the institution.”
Charles Francis has been committed to community service and leadership over the years. He served as a Raleigh City Council member, Raleigh Planning Commission member, Vice Chairman of the Wake County Democratic Party, Vice Chairman of the Raleigh Wake Citizens Association, a Rex Hospital trustee, a John Rex Endowment founding trustee, a director of the Centennial Authority of the Entertainment and Sports Arena which built and operates the PNC Arena, a YMCA of the Triangle director, a Greater Raleigh Chamber of Commerce director, a member of the Board of Governors of the North Carolina Advocates for Justice and a Research Triangle Park Foundation director.
Francis is also a founding Director of North State Bank, Raleigh, North Carolina. He serves as Vice Chairman of the Board and Chairman of the Compensation Committee of the independent full-service community bank founded in 2000 with offices in Wake and New Hanover Counties in North Carolina.
In addition to injury victims and property owners, Francis has represented clients including Alcoa, Yadkin, Inc., Food Lion, Mitsubishi Electric & Electronics USA, Inc., the Providian Corporation, First Citizens Bank, North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, the City of Wilmington (N.C.), the City of Durham (N.C.), the Raleigh Housing Authority, Roxboro Housing Authority, Saint Augustine’s University, North Carolina State University, Fayetteville State University and its affiliates, numerous small businesses, churches, non-profits and many other entities and individuals.
Charles Francis was born and raised in Raleigh. A product of the Wake County public schools, he is a graduate of Princeton University and Duke University School of Law. He began his legal career as a law clerk to the late Chief Judge Richard C. Erwin, then Chief United States District Judge in the Middle District of North Carolina. He went on to become a federal prosecutor in the Middle District of North Carolina during the tenure of then U.S. Attorney (and now North Carolina Supreme Court Justice) Bob Edmunds. After serving as a federal prosecutor, Mr. Francis chose to return to Raleigh, because he wanted to practice law and live life helping people he had known throughout his life and participate in the dynamic growth of the region. After practicing for three years in the Raleigh office of an international firm, Mr. Francis co-founded Wood & Francis, PLLC, the predecessor firm to The Francis Law Firm, PLLC.
Mr. Francis is married to Marvea Jackson Francis and they are the proud parents of three children.