Francine D. Ward


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California State Bar No. 251837

Practice Areas

Intellectual Property:

Publishing Law
Social Media Legal Issues
Entertainment Law

Estate Planning:

Trust-based estate plans
Will-based estate plans
Special Needs Trusts

Francine Ward’s intellectual property (IP) law practice focuses on helping clients assess, develop, and protect their valuable IP. She counsels clients on the best and most effective way to achieve copyright protection. She also educates clients as to what can be protected by trademark (e.g., words, logos, slogans, designs, sounds, and in some cases colors and fragrances), and how to defend those valuable rights. Authors hire Francine to counsel them on the intricacies of the publishing process, which often involves carefully negotiating their book contracts. For clients with websites, Francine educates them on the importance of well crafted terms of use and privacy policies, especially in light of the enactment of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).

For her trust and estate practice, Francine is not a trust-mill nor a document factory. She understands all too well that there is no “one size fits all” estate plan. Customization is key. Not everyone needs a complicated trust with sub-trusts, and for others, a simple will may be all that is required. Whether someone needs an irrevocable or revocable trust, a pet trust, or a special needs trust, the topic is always discussed, so clients understand their options. Having clearly explained facts helps clients make intelligent decisions as to what works best for them.

Francine is an active participant in her legal, church, and support communities. She serves on the governing body of the American Bar Association’s Intellectual Property Law Section (IPL), which has over 19,000 members, and she chairs IPL’s Attorney Wellness Committee. In addition, Francine teaches intellectual property and contract drafting at the California Desert Trial Academy of Law in Indio, California.

Author of two traditionally published self help books, Francine is nationally known as a gifted and inspiring keynote speaker.

Francine is a 1989 graduate of Georgetown University Law Center and is admitted to practice in California, New York, and the District of Columbia.