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Frank W. Chen (陳威宏) was born in Taipei, Taiwan, and came to the United States in 1968 at the age of 4. He received his undergraduate degree in Economics from Stanford University in 1985, and his law degree from UCLA School of Law in 1988. He practiced law in Southern California for thirty years before becoming a Los Angeles Superior Court Commissioner.
He was formerly a partner of the law firm of Wasserman, Comden, Casselman & Esensten, L.L.P. He has successfully tried dozens of cases to verdict, as well as obtained favorable results in arbitrations and mediations. In 2005, 2006, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019, he was selected for inclusion in Southern California Super Lawyers, a distinction given only to the top 5% of all lawyers in the state. In 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018, he was named as one of Pasadena Magazine's Top Attorneys.
His practice focused on real estate litigation involving hotels, shopping centers, office buildings, residential complexes and single family residences. The broad spectrum of real estate matters he handled include breach of purchase agreements, breach of owner/contractor/architect contracts, broker liability, partition and sale, enforcement of mechanic's liens, construction defect, land subsidence, commercial landlord-tenant, homeowners association, specific performance, quiet title, easements, adverse possession, eminent domain, inverse condemnation, usury, and judicial foreclosures. To enable clients to control their litigation costs, he was able to handle most cases on a fixed fee basis.
Throughout his career as a lawyer, he volunteered to teach numerous seminars on real estate, business, ADA accessibility defense, and employment law for various bar associations, chambers of commerce, community groups, and non-profit and professional organizations which include the Chinatown Service Center, Asian Youth Center, Chinese American Dental Society of Southern California, Chinese American Construction Professionals, Pan Pacific Real Estate Institute, Alhambra Chamber of Commerce, Culver City Chamber of Commerce, Seal Beach Chamber of Commerce, La Canada Flintridge Chamber of Commerce, Chinese Chamber of Commerce, Asian Professional Exchange (APEX), Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association, San Gabriel Valley Bar Association, Pasadena Bar Association, and Alhambra Rotary Club. Since 2005, he volunteered as a Temporary Judge (Judge Pro Tem) for the Los Angeles Superior Court.
In recognition for his public service involvement, he was named a recipient of California Lawyer Magazine's Attorney of the Year (CLAY) Award for 2003. He was also the recipient of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center of Southern California's Pro Bono Service Award in 2003. Both of these awards were given for his volunteer work with state and local prosecutors, local elected officials, legislators, and the State Bar of California in coordinating a unique and sweeping defense to abusive litigation brought by the Trevor Law Group of Beverly Hills.
In 2006, he received the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association's Judge Delbert E. Wong Distinguished Service Award. Also in 2006, he received recognition from California Assemblymember Judy Chu at the 49th Assembly District's Third Annual Asian Pacific Islander American Heritage Month Celebration for making significant contributions as a Community Leader. In 2007, he received the Los Angeles New Horizons Lions Club Citizen of the Year award.
He is a former President of the Southern California Chinese Lawyers Association (2000-2001), a former President of the Taiwanese American Lawyers Association (2004-2005), a former Trustee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association (2001-2003), a former Board Member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Los Angeles County (2001-2003), a Past President of the Alhambra Chamber of Commerce (2013-2014, and board member from 2007-2017), a Past President of the San Marino City Club (2016), and a former board member of the Asian Pacific Islander Public Affairs Association's Southern California Region. In the community, he served three years as an elder for San Marino Community Church (2005-2008), and as a member of Session served as the Chair of the SMCC Personnel Committee (2007-2008). He was also a head coach for AYSO Soccer in Region 40.
Hobbies include ballroom/latin/salsa dancing (former dance instructor and choreographer), gardening and landscaping, and responding to questions.
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