Top Attorney 2015: Finalist

Wendy M. Behan

Casey Gerry Schenk Francavilla Blatt & Penfield LLP

Law School
California Western School of Law

Major Cases
Wendy Behan practices in the areas of personal injury and pharmaceutical products liability. She has secured seven-figure settlements for her clients seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and by defective products. She has represented plaintiffs for product liability claims against the manufacturers of Hydroxycut, Yaz, Baycol, Propulsid, DePuy Biomet, among others. Recently, Behand was part of a trial team in a several-week trial in federal court representing a permanently injured man against the United States government. This case took seven years to get to trial and ended with the judge finding 100 percent liability on the United States.

Professional Background/Affiliations
Behan joined Lawyers Club of San Diego over 10 years ago, the only women’s bar association in San Diego. She initially became involved with Lawyers Club as the chair of the membership committee and was soon thereafter elected to the Board of Governors in 2007. She served as secretary during her first year on the board. Behan was then elected as president in 2010. During her tenure as president, Lawyers Club hosted Sen. Dianne Feinstein and California State Attorney General Kamala Harris. Behan continues to serve on the Lawyers Club’s Advisory Board.

After ending her tenure with Lawyers Club’s Board of Directors in 2011, Behan was appointed to the Board of Governors for California Women Lawyers, the only statewide women’s bar association. Soon after joining the CWL board, she was selected as first vice president, then president elect, and finally being sworn in as president in September 2014 at CWL’s 40th anniversary dinner in San Diego. As president elect, Behan was the annual dinner chairwoman for the 40th Anniversary dinner last year, which set records for both attendance and sponsors and featured retiring California State Supreme Court Justice Joyce Kennard as keynote speaker.

As president, Behan is again raising the bar and setting records with membership and implemented a new annual sponsorship program for supporters of CWL. In October 2015, as she ends her role as CWL president, she will serve a one year term as president of the CWL Foundation. As CWL president, Behan has the opportunity to travel around the state and nation, representing CWL and protecting the interests of women in law and society.

In addition to her work in the women’s bar associations, Behan remains committed to serving the community. She has served as a mentor to Cal Western students over the years and has remained in close contact with some of her mentees. She also served as a mentor to young attorneys and students through Lawyers Club’s mentorship program. Last year, she, along with another seasoned attorney, led a small Lawyers Club mentoring circle, meeting with young attorneys throughout the year for ongoing advice and encouragement. In 2011-12, she served as a mentor to an 11th grade student at Clairemont High School through their Academy of Business and Technology program helping at-risk students become the first in their families to attend college.

Personal Affiliations
Behan is very active with her children's school and their sports teams. Along with her mother, a breast cancer survivor, Behan completed the Susan G. Komen 3-Day for the Cure, a 60-mile walk benefiting breast cancer research, as well as the Avon 39-mile Walk to End Breast Cancer. She also plays on a competitive indoor soccer team with her husband.

Personal Background
Behan is a native Southern California resident. She grew up in Laguna Hills and attended undergraduate school in Santa Barbara, where she met her husband, Sean. In 1995, she moved to San Diego to attend law school and soon thereafter married Sean, a native San Diegan. Their family includes two sons, Connor, age 14, and Colin, age 10.

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Top Attorneys Emeritus

View our Top Attorneys Emeritus, attorneys who have been named finalists four years or more from 2009 through 2013.

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Deadlines

Nominations Open February 24
Nominations Close April 17
Sponsorship/Advertising Close July 17
Publication Date July 29
Reception August 10

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