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Pepperdine Caruso Law Mourns the Loss of Adjunct Professor Dennis Franks

Pepperdine Caruso Law adjunct professor Dennis Franks lost his life on November 30 due to a tragic accident in which an ancient and protected tree fell on his home in Encino, California. Professor Franks most recently taught an entertainment law seminar, Special Problems in the Film Industry, at Caruso Law.

Franks was Assistant Chief Counsel at a major motion picture studio. For 19 years, he was Senior Vice President, Legal & Business Affairs at Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Los Angeles, which he joined in 2000. Prior to Fox, Franks was an associate and then a partner in the litigation department of Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, Los Angeles, where his trial and appellate practice emphasized antitrust, business, real estate, and commercial law.

"I was devastated to learn of Dennis' passing," said Professor Victoria Schwartz. Professor Chris Goodman originally introduced me to Dennis in June 2018 as he had been a former colleague and mentor to her and he had expressed interest in teaching at Caruso Law. I met with him and he came prepared with a long outline of everything he wanted to cover and with a level of enthusiasm I had rarely seen in meeting with potential adjunct professors. I immediately could see that he was a gifted teacher who really wanted to give back to the community by sharing his tremendous knowledge of the film industry with Caruso Law students.

"At the end of his first semester teaching at Caruso Law, he reached out to express, 'I had no idea how much fun I would have speaking with enthusiastic people about their futures. When a couple of them went on job interviews, I worried as if they were my own kids.' That was the kind of person he was. He was generous with Caruso Law students and alumni, and he will be greatly missed in our Entertainment, Media and Sports law curriculum."

An additional tribute to Professor Franks is published at Above the Law( registration may be required).