Hon. Franklin D. Elia is a retired Associate Justice of the California Court of Appeal, Sixth Appellate District, where he was the longest serving Justice in the Court’s history. His service as a judicial officer spans 39 years, including 34 years for the Court of Appeal and 5 years for the Santa Clara County Superior and Municipal Courts. Justice Elia has sat in every level of the California judiciary, including the California Supreme Court by assignment of the Chief Justice.
Justice Elia began his legal career in 1975 as a Deputy Attorney General in the Office of the California Attorney General. He represented the People of the State of California in hundreds of criminal prosecutions and appeals, in addition to representing the Attorney General in civil litigation. ln 1980, Justice Elia became the Senior Assistant City Attorney for the City of Palo Alto, where he represented the city and its various departments in civil litigation. He was honored by the Mayor and the City Council by a resolution of commendation for his service in defending the city with distinction and for his outstanding public service to the community.