Vernon L. Francis
Partner | Philadelphia
Vernon L. Francis

Vernon L. Francis is a partner in the firm’s complex litigation group. He has litigated cases in a variety of areas, including products liability and mass torts. He also works with the labor and employment group in litigating employment discrimination actions, performing workplace investigations, and providing advice on workplace privacy and other employment issues for a variety of clients.

Mr. Francis has defended newspapers and television stations in defamation matters and, since 2010, has also been consistently recognized by Best Lawyers in America for his work in First Amendment Law. A past Diversity Committee co-chair, he continues to work as a member of the Committee.

Before joining Dechert, Mr. Francis was an associate counsel in the Office of the Honorable Lawrence E. Walsh, Esq., the independent counsel charged with investigating the Iran/Contra Affair (1989-92).

  • 2018 Philadelphia Fall Labor and Employment Seminar — Philadelphia, PA (October 24, 2018)
  • Unconscious Bias in the Workplace: What It Is, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do About It — Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, (October 29, 2015)
  • Redefining Communities: Getting Everyone Involved in Your Diversity and Inclusion Strategy — Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce 2012-2013 Diversity & Inclusion Network Series, Philadelphia, PA (December 12, 2012)

    Speaker, “Redefining Communities: Getting Everyone Involved in Your Diversity and Inclusion Strategy” — a panel on how to redefine internal boundaries and external partnerships to create a broader definition of community inclusiveness, and how to demonstrate the leadership to provide every individual (employees, customers, external stakeholders) a point of relevance to contribute to and benefit from a new sense of community.
  • Significantly Improving Minority Recruitment and Retention in Tough Economic Times — Pennsylvania Bar Association's Annual Diversity Summit, Philadelphia, PA (October 29, 2010)
  • Working Towards a Clearer Definition of an “Off-Label” Promotion — ACI's Advertising & Promotions for the Pharmaceutical Industry, New York, NY (January 23, 2008)
  • Drawing the Line Between Lawful Scientific Exchange and Off-Label Promotion — ACI's Pharmaceutical Counsel's Guide to Off-Label Communications, Philadelphia, PA (July 17, 2007)
  • Pharmaceutical Counsel's Guide to Off-Label Communications — Presented by the American Conference Institute with Sponsorship by Dechert, Philadelphia, PA  (July 17, 2007)
  • Training and Monitoring the Sales Force to Prevent Them From Crossing the Line — Third Annual Medical Device and Pharmaceutical Counsel's Guide to Off-Label Communications, Chicago, IL (September 13, 2006)
  • Creating and Maintaining Workplace Diversity — Non-Profit Human Resources Conference, Philadelphia, PA (June 13, 2003)
  • Navigating Security Concerns, Privacy Issues, and Privacy Invasion in Cyberspace: A Look at Recent Litigation, Case Law Developments — Minority Corporate Counsel Association 2nd Annual CLE Expo, Chicago, IL (April 30, 2003)
  • Employment Discrimination in the TV News Industry — The Bar-News Media Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association, Philadelphia, PA (January 17, 2003)
  • Overcoming Obstacles Presented by the Temperamental Judge and the Difficult Adversary — The American Bar Association Employment Litigation Skills Training, New Orleans, LA (December 13, 2002)
Services Industries
    • Haverford College, A.B., 1982
    • University of Pennsylvania Law School, J.D., 1987, Editor-in-Chief of the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Vol. 135
    • Pennsylvania
    • Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
    • Served in a variety of community and bar association positions
    • American Law Institute
    • Teaches a course on defamation law as a member of the University of Pennsylvania Law School’s adjunct faculty
    • Former president of the Board of the Philadelphia Diversity Law Group, a group of more than 30 Philadelphia area law firms and corporate law offices dedicated to increasing diversity in Philadelphia’s legal community
    • Former president of the Juvenile Law Center’s Board of Directors
    • Executive Committee on the Board of Directors for Leadership Philadelphia
    • Former co-chair of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Committee on Minorities in the Profession and on the Association’s Task Force on Multidisciplinary Practice
    • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Honorable Louis H. Pollak