Section News and Information
April 27, 2011
Harrisonburg Family Law Practitioner Is Recognized for Lifetime AchievementFranklin R. Blatt, a family law attorney who has mentored a generation of Virginia family law attorneys, has been named the 2011 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Virginia State Bar’s Family Law Section.
The award recognizes persons who have demonstrated excellence and integrity and have made a substantial contribution to the practice of family law in Virginia. The award will be presented during the section’s annual Advanced Family Law Seminar on April 28 in Richmond. See http://www.vsb.org/site/sections/family-calendar/seminar4282011/ for details.
Blatt has practiced for more than 30 years. In addition to earning a reputation as a skillful litigator, he was one of the first lawyers in his region to train in collaborative law, through which disputes are settled between parties outside the courtroom.
He is a former president of the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County Bar Association, and he founded its family law section. “His contributions to the arena of family law are unparalleled by anyone in our local area,” according to the nomination letter from 10 area lawyers.
“In his zealous and thorough representation of his client, he never overlooked a detail or statute or nuance in the law that would work to benefit his client. Frank Blatt has been one of our best teachers.”
As much as he enjoys his time in the courtroom, Blatt “has seen, for a long time, the benefits of settling a case after both sides have exchanged discovery. … He is respectful of all sides in settlement conferences, … and then can ‘sting like a bee’ in the courtroom, if settlement is not possible.”
While Blatt was on the Family Law Section’s board of governors, he developed an interest group that grew into the VSB’s Special Committee on Technology and the Practice of Law, which he served as chair.
He helps develop family law in Virginia through the Virginia Family Law Coalition, which advises the General Assembly. He is a member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers; the Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, for which he served on the board of governors from 1994 until 2009; and the Virginia Bar Association. He has taught for the Virginia State Bar’s Professionalism Course required of all Virginia lawyers.
After doing most of his undergraduate work at Emory and Henry College, Blatt graduated from East Tennessee State University and then earned a law degree from the University of Memphis. He practices at the Law Offices of Franklin R. Blatt in Harrisonburg.