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A Spanish-speaking former prosecutor experienced in the representation of professionals and tradesmen

Paulo honed his skills in the courtroom, often being called upon to try the most difficult and complex cases for the Virginia State Bar (VSB). He prides himself on knowing the true value of a case, being a good listener, a good communicator, and a passionate defender of his clients’ interests.

For the last 18+ years, Paulo E. Franco Jr. was a prosecutor for the VSB, prosecuting lawyers on its behalf. He has deep knowledge of the regulatory landscape and can serve as an advocate, helping you navigate the system. With experience defending against suspension or license revocation, Paulo is the lawyer tradesmen and certified professionals can turn to should their career be in jeopardy with a licensing authority.

Prior to joining the State Bar, Paulo was in private practice for over 16 years, serving design and construction professionals, lawyers, accountants, real estate agents, and  more. Paulo represented the owners of a well-known concert venue in downtown Norfolk, VA in a complex mechanic’s lien case. He also routinely represented design professionals such as architects, mechanical and electrical engineers, and geotechnical engineers who were sued for errors and omissions. Paulo has experience representing numerous clients in contract and commercial disputes in courts throughout Virginia. In addition to regulatory work, Paulo’s practice encompasses all facets of civil litigation, including the representation of injured persons. After law school, Paulo clerked for the Chief Staff Attorney of the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Paulo grew up in Northern Virginia but has called Richmond home for the last 26 years. He is a first generation American whose family is originally from Medellín, Colombia, and he is fluent in Spanish.

When he is not practicing law, Paulo performs with his band, Shockoe Records recording artists Los Hermanos Alacranes, which features Paulo’s original songs in English and Spanish. They have opened for artists such as Los Lobos and performed at the 2023 Richmond Folk Festival. Paulo is also an avid road cyclist.


Civil Litigation

Professional Licensure, Administrative, and Regulatory Disputes

Representative Experience


  • Successfully prosecuted state attorneys for violations of the Virginia Rules of Professional Conduct that resulted in both public and private discipline, including revocation
  • Represented the Virginia State Bar in Impairment and Impairment Reinstatement Hearings
  • Worked closely with law enforcement where Virginia attorneys were accused of ethical misconduct deemed to be criminal activity


  • Represented owner of a music venue in Norfolk, VA in complex mechanic’s lien case
  • Represent design professionals, lawyers, accountants, and healthcare professionals in professional liability actions
  • Prosecuted subrogation actions on behalf of insurance companies
  • Representation of members of closely held corporations and LLCs in ownership disputes
  • Represented trucking companies in accident-related claims


  • University of Richmond School of Law, J.D., 1989
    • Associate Editor, Law Review
    • Moot Court Board Member
  • Kenyon College, Bachelor of Arts, English, with Distinction


  • All Virginia courts including the Supreme Court of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
  • U.S Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia


  • Virginia State Bar
  • JAMInc., Board Member
  • Richmond Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Past Board Member



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