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Franklin D. Julian Jr.

Car accident Attorney at South Bend, IN

4.9   40 reviews
  • Licensed for 24 years
    State IN
    Acquired 1999
    Active in Good Standing No misconduct found

We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.

About Franklin

Learn Franklin’s areas of practice.


Frank Julian has known for a long time that he wanted to earn his living in the courtroom as a trial attorney. However, he did not take the normal path from school towards the leadership of a major law firm. Before law school, Frank followed another calling by serving his country in the United States Navy. In making your choice of a personal injury law firm, we think it is important to know the lawyer and his or her history.  

Frank comes from a Navy family. Frank’s father (Frank Sr.) was a naval officer who served for over 35 years commanding several ships and retiring as a Captain. In fact, Frank was born while his father was serving in Vietnam as the Commanding Officer of the USS ASHEVILLE (PG-84). While growing up, Frank’s family lived all over the country, wherever his father’s duty assignments took them. Frank’s mother is a nurse with a specialty in geriatric care. Frank’s mother was the Director of Nursing at several nursing homes over the course of her career.


As early as the eighth grade, Frank knew that he wanted to be a lawyer. That year, his social studies class was studying World War II and the difficult decision to use nuclear weapons to end the war. The class was given the difficult assignment of a “war crimes” trial. Harry Truman stood accused of war crimes for his decision to use the atomic bomb at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Surprisingly, Truman had been consistently found guilty in the prior years of mock trials. Frank was given the assignment of lead counsel defending Truman. This was the early eighties, the height of the cold war and the anti-nuclear movement. The five day trial was headline news throughout New England. In the end, Harry Truman was resoundingly acquitted by the jury. Frank Julian had won his first trial and had found a vocation. Frank knew that one day he wanted to be in the courtroom, fighting against the odds.


After high school, Frank took a Naval ROTC scholarship at Villanova University in Pennsylvania. At Villanova, Frank majored in Political Science with a concentration in Arab & Islamic Studies.  Instead of immediately going to graduate school or law school like most of his classmates, Frank joined the United States Navy. It turned out that Arabic studies would serve him well because soon after graduation Frank found himself in the Middle East in support of Operation Desert Storm. Frank was assigned to the USS KALAMAZOO (AOR-6) as part of the John F. Kennedy Battle Group and later the George Washington Battle Group.


The KALAMAZOO was an extremely large ship (40,000 tons, 659 feet long, 96 foot beam, 32,000 shaft horsepower) that was designed for the replenishment at sea of a Navy battle group. Replenishment operations often required that the KALAMAZOO be operated within yards of an aircraft carrier, sometimes with another large ship on the other side and
often in high seas.


Even as a 22-year-old ensign, Frank reveled in this type of high-stakes, high pressure assignment. He was quickly qualified as a Surface Warfare Officer. He also enjoyed working with the giant steam boilers that drove the ship. Although now made almost extinct by high-tech gas turbine propulsion, operating the ship’s complex steam system appealed to Frank. Although not required by his assignment, he obtained the qualification of Engineering Officer of the Watch.


While in the pressure-cooker environment of the Persian Gulf during Desert Storm, Frank qualified as one of the ship’s two Tactical Action Officers. In that role, Frank was charged with the operation of the ship’s multiple radars, electronic warfare equipment, and the ship’s missile system. Had the ship been attacked, it would have been his responsibility to defend the 500 person crew.


After serving on the KALAMAZOO, Frank was honored by being one of a select few officers chosen to serve on the pre-commissioning crew of the USS STETHEM (DDG-63). STETHEM is a special ship. It was named for Robert Dean Stethem, a United States Naval Petty Officer who was brutally murdered by terrorists in 1985. In June of 1985, Robert Stethem was on his way home after having completed an overseas assignment for the Navy. As he flew home on TWA Flight 847, Shi’ite terrorists took over the plane. After they discovered that Robert was an American and in the U.S. Navy, he was singled out and then brutally beaten and tortured. Despite being beaten for several hours, Robert Stethem did not waiver or yield. The cowardly terrorists eventually became so enraged that they killed him and threw his body onto the tarmac of the airport in Beirut, Lebanon. Robert Stethem was awarded the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for heroism and bravery. The Navy would later honor Robert Stethem by naming its newest and most technologically advanced warships in his honor.


Frank joined the crew of the STETHEM while it was still being built in the shipyard at Ingalls Shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi. After the shipyard, the ship traveled through the Panama Canal and then up to its home port of San Diego California. STETHEM was commissioned in California with most of the members of the Stethem family in attendance. During the commissioning ceremony, then LT. Julian had the honor of being the ship’s first Officer of the Deck. After commissioning, STETHEM took part in several shakedown cruises and an extensive missile testing program at the Pacific Missile Test Range off the coast of Hawaii.

At the end of his tour on STETHEM, Frank had a tough decision to make. He had to choose between a naval career and his long-held desire to become a trial lawyer. Having been around the world and having done everything he wanted to in the Navy, Frank decided to leave the Navy and go to law school. During his time in the Navy, Frank received several commendations and medals. Awards and Commendations included the Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Navy Achievement Medal, the Battle ‘E” Award, National Defense Service Medal, Southwest Asia Service Medal, and the Sea Service Ribbon. After looking at law schools around the country, Frank decided that the University of Notre Dame was the best fit for him. He packed up a truck and drove from San Diego to South Bend, Indiana.


Forming the Sweeney Julian Team


Fresh out of law school, Frank went to work both on his own and with other personal injury lawyers. In 2000, he was approached by Charles Sweeney with an idea of opening a new branch of his personal injury law firm in South Bend. Charlie had practiced in South Bend for 30+ years, but at the time only had an office in Fort Wayne. The South Bend office of Sweeney Law Firm opened in 2001 with Frank Julian and Charles Sweeney working together on their client’s behalf.

In 2005, Charles Sweeney decided to retire and become “of counsel” to the law firm. An attorney who is “of counsel” acts as an advisor and is available for consultation and assistance whenever needed. Frank Julian took over the practice, the name of which changed from Sweeney Law Firm to Sweeney Julian PC.

At its core, Sweeney Julian’s role is to help our community both through dedicated legal work and through community service. Helping our fellow man is always profitable, both personally and for the bottom line. We regularly use our firms considerable resources to help out local charities and people in need. Frank Julian is also on the Board of Directors of the Granger Rotary Club.

Early in his career, Frank was elected to the Board of Directors of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, a highly coveted honor. Through the ITLA, Frank promotes legislation to protect the rights of Hoosiers. In 2005, Frank was nominated as the Indiana Trial Lawyer of the Year.  In 2019 Frank was elected President of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association, having served on that organization's Board of Directors and Executive Committee for over ten years.

 A frequent participant on the faculty of continuing legal education seminars, Frank has given many lectures on a variety of subjects. Some of those subjects include The Use of Expert Testimony is Spine Injury Cases, Handling Residential Gas Explosions and Attorney Advertising in the Age of Insurance Company Propaganda Frankis the President of the Annual Litigation Seminar for Northern Indiana. Topics of the seminar have included: Automobile Litigation, Topics in Litigation and Damages in Automobile Litigation.  Frank recently was Chair of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association Lifetime Achievement Seminar and several other seminars dealing with cutting edge issues in litigation.  He has served as the Chair of the Annual Institute,  one of the largest and most prestigious continuing legal education events in Indiana. 


AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating
Client's Choice 2015,2013
Client's Choice
2015 2013

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Contact Franklin

Sweeney Julian P.C.
1620 South Bend Avenue
South Bend, IN, 46617


4.9 / 5.0
  40 customer reviews
5 Star
4 Star
3 Star
2 Star
1 Star
Client's Choice 2015
Client's Choice
Client's Choice is an Avvo award granted to attorneys with a significant number of client reviews over 4 stars in a given year.
Posted by John | May 21, 2011
A Great Lawyer, Great guy
Frank represented me in a case where my car was hit by a semi truck. He explained everything to me right from the beginning. He took the time to sit down with me whenever I asked. The insurance company for the trucking company tried to do a bunch of sleazy stuff, but Frank fought them back every step of the way. He caught the truck driver lying and caught the trucking company faking documents. My settlement was much larger than I ever could have dreamed. No I don't have to worry about my future or my family's future.
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Posted by Mary | January 14, 2010
An Excellent Attorney
Very honest guy. He tells it like it is. Easy to talk to, returns calls. Fought the insurance company like a cornered badger, but was always nice to my family. Our trial went very well, I was pleased.
Posted by Rodrick | February 27, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Excellent Attorney
Frank Julian settled my personal injury case. I’m very satisfied with the result. Him and his paralegal was very easy to communicate with. They were very professional and attentive to my concerns or questions throughout the process. I’d highly recommend him and his firm.
Posted by Loretta | February 26, 2021
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Frank Julian is a five star attorney!
I can honestly say that I was treated with excellent customer service. After having to switch firms from another lawyer to Frank Julian, I was skeptical about the completion of my case, I was however shortly reassured that I would be taken care of. Mr. Julian took care of everything so I could focus on my healing process. He kept me up to date on the status of my case throughout the process which gave me the peace of mind I needed to know his law firm was going to deliver!
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Posted by Angie | June 2, 2020
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent / Professional / Honest / Dependable
Consulted with Frank and his Team, in regard to an auto accident that my son was involved in to see if it was worth going forward with prosecution. Franks Team (Leslie Anderson) was always professional and made sure that all of our concerns were addressed. We felt more confident after speaking with Frank and his Team! Would strongly recommend this office. Not only will you get an efficient and knowledgeable team but Frank is an amazing Supporter of the Local community and gives back as much as he gets! Top Rate Guy here!
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Posted by Lucy | June 2, 2020
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
It too a long time to get my case settled. Mr. Julian explained to me the process from the beginning and fought hard to get me the settlement he knew I deserved. I also have to get a shout out to Angela and Linda for helping me with my concerns. Great job by all!!
Posted by Michael | June 3, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Auto accident
After being injured in a car accident. Frank's office took excellent care in getting the medical treatments covered as well as a settlement covering future medical needs. His office always took the time to keep my wife and myself informed of the process involved . When we had to go to court, everything was handled in a truly professional manner with an excellent outcome. He and his team never gave up on me and I highly recommend his services to anyone in need of a great lawyer.
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Posted by Sharra | April 12, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Approved!
Two months ago I was involved in a terrible car accident and had a serious and debilitating injuries, and thanks to both Frank and Angela for getting me a huge settlement and also for the counsel in my personal injury legal matters. Furthermore, my car accident insurance claimed wouldn't have gone any better in their hands. They are one of the few best attorneys that I know. Highly recommended!
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Posted by Hendricks | March 3, 2018
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Good Attorney
i hired Sweeney Julian after another local law firm did absolutely anything on my case. Mr. Julian spoke with me and assured me that his office would work towards settlement of my case. I will admit that it did take some times, but the wait was well worth it.
Posted by anonymous | March 5, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Highly Recommend
Frank and his team were extremely helpful and professional in handling my case. I can't express my gratitude enough. He is an excellent attorney and went above and beyond to help me in my time of need. Highly recommend.
Posted by anonymous | March 4, 2017
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Thorough, Hardworking, Real
Frank Julian proved to be one of the most passionate attorneys around. He fought for us, the little guys. His staff are some of the most hardworking folks you will ever come across. I was told litigation can be a long, daunting process and the professionalism that his staff has shown with us has been a breath of fresh air.
Posted by Jessy | July 8, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
There When I Needed Them
I was extremely worried that my car accident would keep me in a cycle of debt with all the medical bills I incurred. One day, my son came to visit and had to take the bus. He said he rode in the Sweeney Julian bus and thought that they might be able to help. After a quick online search, I became certain that could help me with my accident. The next day I called and was correct in my assumptions. I felt I was taken care of even after I left the hospital. If I needed any clarification, they responded in a timely manner. Needless to say, that call was one of the best the decisions I made.
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Posted by Jack R. | July 8, 2016
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Nothing but Praise
Frank Julian is an amazingly driven, professional lawyer. He and his staff kept me updated throughout the case and were very comfortable to work with. They handled my case both professionally and ethically, ensuring that I was satisfied at every step. They were an absolute pleasure to work with and I have nothing but praise for them.
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Posted by anonymous | July 6, 2016
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Helpful and Professional
Frank was a complete pleasure to work with. I loved that he explained all the steps in the process and made sure to contact me to check in. I like to ask a lot of questions with anything that I plan on doing, and he answered all of them. Him and his whole team were professional and helpful throughout. I never second guessed that I picked the proper firm to handle my case.
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Posted by Thomas Constantius | December 24, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The GO-TO Lawyer in Michiana
We are Michigan residents who were in an accident in Elkhart. We worked with Frank as well as Bill Keller. They took care of everything. Our settlement was fast and we were very pleased with it.
Posted by Andrea Bottecelli | December 14, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Total Bad Ass Lawyer
Bad ass to the bad guys, nice to us. We were forced to switch to Sweeney Julian when our original lawyer just refused to move things along. The case wasn't easy, it was a complicated motorcycle/truck crash. My injuries were serious and I missed a lot of work. Frank and Bill took over and got things back on track right away. Experts were hired and the insurance companies finally decided they needed to settle. After a long mediation we got more than I could have every hoped. Thanks Frank, Bill and Sally.
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Posted by anonymous | December 11, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
Fighter in Your Corner
We came to Frank with a car crash case. My wife had been hit by a drunk driver. Frank took the time to come up to us, and walk us through how the case would play out. his office was very quick to communicate and handle any issues we had while paying bills from the accident. He and his team fought for us for two years and got us a great settlement. He was in our corner.
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Posted by Lori | December 9, 2015
This review is from a person who hired this attorney.
| Hired Attorney
The best attorney for personal injuries
Mr. Julian handled my case and was very professional through the whole process. Him and his staff were always very courteous and helpful with all of my questions and took their time explaining how my case would be handled. Thank you to the whole team at Sweeney Julian!
Posted by Breanna | December 8, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
I'm Happy I Came To Sweeney Julian
I am very pleased with the service I received while I was a client with Sweeney-Julian. Frank Julian made me feel like I mattered and that he would help me fix everything. After my accident, I felt lost and like I had no one to turn to. Mr. Julian went over my case and told me my options. I feel like now I know where I stand and what I can do. Frank Julian is a wonderful man with wonderful staff. Thank you all for everything.
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Posted by Rochell | December 8, 2015
This review is from a potential client who consulted with this attorney.
| Consulted Attorney
Excellent Service
Hello my name is Rochell. I called the Sweeny Law Firm when I got in an accident. They were very helpful and the paralegal that was assigned to me was excellent. Angela Trotter was very helpful and informative. I would recommend their office to anyone in need.
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  • Contingency 33%-33%


AVVO RATING 10.0 (Superb)

Work Experience

  • USS STETHEM (DDG-63) Navigator, Department Head
  • United States Navy
  • 1995 - 1997
  • USS KALAMAZOO (AOR-6) Combat Information Center Officer
  • United States Navy
  • 1990 - 1995


  • Notre Dame Law School
  • JD - Juris Doctor
  • 1999
  • Troy State University
  • Masters of Public Administration
  • 1994
  • Villanova University
  • BA - Bachelor of Arts
  • 1991

Legal Cases

  • Valerie D. Snider v. Bryan Lee Stowell
  • Plaintiff's Verdict, $760,000
  • Daniel Robinson v. Timothy Becquart and Reaction Services
  • Plaintiff's Verdict in the amount of $3,000,000


  • Ronald McDonald House Charities of Michiana
  • Board of Directors
  • 2019 - Present
  • Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
  • Board of Directors
  • 2005 - Present
  • Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
  • President
  • 2019 - 2020
  • Potawatomi Zoological Society
  • Board of Directors
  • 2010 - 2017
  • Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
  • Executive Committee
  • 2007 - 2021
View all associations

Languages Spoken

  • English
  • Spanish

Honors and Awards

  • Best Law Office
  • South Bend Tribune
  • 2013
  • Max Goodwin Indiana Trial Lawyer of the Year
  • Indiana Trial Lawyers Association
  • 2005
  • Navy Achievement Medal (With Gold Star)
  • United States Navy
  • 1995
  • Navy Commendation Medal
  • United States Navy
  • 1994
View all awards


  • ITLA Lifetime Achievement Seminar
  • Handling Residential Gas Explosions
  • 2006

Speaking Engagements

  • Liens, Claims and Public Benefits
  • Chair
  • 2021
  • 2020 Lifetime Achievement Seminar
  • Chairman
  • 2020
  • After the Trial: Appeal Issues in Modern Day Litigation
  • Chairman and Panelist
  • 2011
  • Indiana Trial Lawyers Association Annual Institute
  • Chairman
  • 2010
  • Truck Accident Litigation
  • President
  • 2009
  • Auto Accident Litigation from A to Z
  • Speaker and Chairman
  • 2009
  • Modern Day Litigation Topics
  • Chairman and Speaker
  • 2008
  • Sunrise Seminar, ITLA Annual Institute
  • Chairman
  • 2007
  • Lifetime Achievement Seminar
  • Use of Video Evidentiary Deposition Clips in Closing Arguments
  • 2006
View all speaking engagements

Attorney endorsements

Received (13)
Given (21)
Endorse Franklin
Personal injury Attorney | Mar 22
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Frank has an excellent reputation in St Joe County Indiana and I endorse him."
Personal injury Attorney | Aug 27
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer."
Personal injury Attorney | Jun 12
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse Franklin. He is a highly skilled attorney that is well respected in the legal community."
Personal injury Attorney | Dec 07
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I endorse this lawyer for his commitment not only to his clients, but also to his country, having proudly served in the military. I have known Frank since law school at the University of Notre Dame. He was a caring and compassionate person both then and now. He is a strong advocate for his clients and cares to see that they are justly compensated for what they have gone through. He will do what it takes to best serve his clients!"
Car accident Attorney | Nov 20
Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter
"I endorse this lawyer."
Unknown Attorney | Sep 13
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"I’ve known Frank Julian for over 10 years, and I can attest to his personal commitment to his work. He is a diligent attorney who works hard for his clients. I do not hesitate to refer clients to him for assistance in personal injury matters because I know Frank will take good care of them."
Personal injury Attorney | Jul 30
Relationship: Other
"Frank is an excellent lawyer, but it is his motivation to do the right thing and advocate for his client that sets him apart."
Personal injury Attorney | Jun 17
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"Dan is the type of lawyer that keeps us striving to be at the top of our game. He's a masterful litigator and an expert in his field. I'm a better lawyer for knowing him."
Personal injury Attorney | Jun 11
Relationship: Worked together on matter
"I have had the pleasure of working with South Bend, Indiana catastrophic injury lawyer, Frank Julian, both in the courtroom and in the community. Frank is a dedicated, passionate and zealous advocate for his clients. His skill and organization, is in part derived from his meritorious service as a Naval Officer during Desert Storm. Frank is a leader in the legal community as demonstrated by unanimous election to the Board and Executive Community of the Indiana Trial Lawyers Association based in Indianapolis. Mr. Julian is also a community advocate, fostering better lives for those that live in the Michiana area and beyond. I endorse Frank Julian."
Car accident Attorney | May 17
Relationship: Friend
"Frank is an excellent litigator and advocate for the rights of injured people. I highly recommend him."
Personal injury Attorney | May 15
Relationship: Other
"I have known Frank Julian for many years and consider him to be among the very best personal injury and plaintiff's lawyers around. His knowledge of the law is extensive, and more importantly, he knows how to obtain the best results for his clients. He is a masterful negotiator, and highly skilled litigator. I endorse Frank Julian enthusiastically and without reservation."
Personal injury Attorney | May 26
Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community
"Frank is a great attorney. Frank and I work on cases together. He has an impeccable reputation for integrity and taking care of his clients."
Personal injury Attorney | May 24
Relationship: Other
"Frank is a fearless and zealous advocate for his clients in settlement negotiations and in the courtroom. He gets results that make many of us envious of the successes he has achieved for his clients. He is also an excellent resource and sounding board for advice on evaluating and litigating personal injury cases and dealing with insurance companies."
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Divorce and separation
Trucking accident
General practice
General practice
Wrongful death
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