Frank J. Barone

County of San Diego, Office of the Primary Public Defender - Assistant Supervising Attorney, Juvenile Delinquency Division

Years admitted to practice in California: 19
Years practicing in San Diego: 19
Years as a member of the SDCBA: 17
Areas of practice: Indigent Criminal Defense, Juvenile Law, Appellate Litigation

SDCBA Sections or Committees

  • Awards Committee (2014 – present)
  • Judicial Election Evaluation Committee (2013 – present)
  • Appellate Practice Section
  • Immigration Law Section
  • Juvenile Law Section

Other SDCBA projects

  • New Lawyers Orientation Program , Criminal Law (2014)
  • SDCBA Softball League, participant (1997 – present)

Leadership positions at the SDCBA

  • Subcommittee Chair, Judicial Election Evaluation Committee

Leadership roles in other bar associations or other non-legal associations

  • San Diego Public Defenders Association
    • Member, Board of Directors (2013 – present)
  • San Diego County Public Defender Community Outreach Program
    • Program Co-Founder (2009)
    • Past President (2013)
    • Board of Directors (2009 – 2013)
    • Founder, Chair, and Organizer of the Annual Charity Golf Tournament & Dinner Benefiting San Pasqual Academy (2010 – present)

Awards and honors

  • 2013 Community Service Award, San Diego County Bar Association
  • 2014 Board of Directors Award, Disability Rights California
  • 2016 Board of Directors Appreciation Award, Friends of San Pasqual Academy

Description of what inspires you

I am inspired by people who engage in acts of public service.  My parents were teachers who stressed the significance of public service and giving back to the community.  Even though we all serve our clients, I am inspired by attorneys who also give back outside of the office or courtroom – volunteering their valuable time to work in the community.  As members of the Bar, we have the unique opportunity to use our education, specialized knowledge, and influence to help others.  We should feel compelled to use these resources to assist those less fortunate.

Description of what you would bring to the SDCBA Board

My contribution is the unique perspective gained from nearly 20 years representing the county’s most diverse clients.  As a deputy public defender, I have spent my career fighting for clients from all walks of life and protecting their constitutional rights.

My professional experience motivates me to ensure a continuing goal of the Board is increasing diversity.  Diversity should be pursued within the legal profession and also fostered in the community at large.  All deserve a voice in the greater San Diego legal community.  

A self-described “early adopter,” I am keenly interested in making sure our legal system keeps up with the latest technology.  But advancements in technology should make justice more accessible to the public, not more intimidating.  I will advocate to form a SDCBA “Law and Technology Section” to address these issues and create educational opportunities for all members.

Practicing and supervising in one of the largest law offices in the county affords me countless opportunities to mentor law students and young lawyers.  Mentorship shapes the future of our legal community.  Promoting and providing more mentorship opportunities, whether in solo practices or large firms, will help maintain the high quality of legal representation in San Diego.

Other information you would like to share with the SDCBA membership

In 2009, I co-founded the San Diego County Public Defender Community Outreach Program.  The mission statement: “To connect with our partners in the community to enrich the lives of those less fortunate and assist in securing equal access to justice.”  The program has assisted and raised funds for community organizations including Reality Changers, Outdoor Outreach, Family Health Centers, SDCBA High School Mock Trial Competition, and Village of Promise.  And since 2010, the program has sponsored an always popular float in the San Diego LGBT Pride Parade.

But the highlight of the Community Outreach Program is an annual charity golf tournament and dinner benefiting San Pasqual Academy – a first-of-its-kind residential high school for foster teens.  I created the tournament in 2010, and continue to organize the event, which has raised nearly $175,000.

Because of my work with the Public Defender Community Outreach Program, I received the 2013 SDCBA Community Service Award.

Endorsements by individuals or groups

Past SDCBA Presidents
John Williams (2014)
Marcella McLaughlin (2013)
Marvin Mizell (2012) 
Heather Rosing (2008)
Tom Warwick (2004)
Christopher Todd (2003)
Todd Stevens (1999)
Regina Petty (1995)

Consumer Attorneys of San Diego
Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association
Filipino American Lawyers of San Diego
Korean American Bar Association of San Diego
San Diego Public Defenders Association
San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association
Tom Homann LGBT Law Association

Henry Coker, Public Defender
Randy Mize, Chief Deputy, Office of the Primary Public Defender
Angela Bartosik, Chief Deputy, Office of the Alternate Public Defender
Megan Marcotte, Chief Deputy, Multiple Conflicts Office
Robert Stall, Director, Office of Assigned Counsel

Alejandro Balvaneda – Past President, San Diego La Raza Lawyers Association
Charles Bell, Jr. – Past President, Earl B. Gilliam Bar Association

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