Justice Franson was born in 1952 and raised in Fresno. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley in 1974 and University of California, Hastings College of the Law in 1978.
Justice Franson was a Deputy District Attorney in Fresno County from 1978 through 1980. He was in private practice for the next 25 years, practicing civil litigation, except when he served from 1988 through 1991 as in-house counsel and later executive vice president at a Fresno-based agricultural lender and processing company. In 1994, Justice Franson helped form the firm of Sagaser, Hansen & Franson (later Sagaser, Franson & Jones), where he practiced commercial and agricultural litigation until his appointment by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Fresno County Superior Court in 2005. While on the Superior Court, he handled a variety of civil, criminal and family law trials and civil and criminal law and motion hearings.
In 2010, Justice Franson was nominated by Governor Schwarzenegger as an Associate Justice to the Court of Appeal, Fifth Appellate District, and later confirmed.
Before his initial judicial appointment, he was involved in community groups, including president of a local fire protection district and board member of the Fresno Regional Foundation and the Central Valley Foundation. Since joining the bench in 2005, Justice Franson has lectured and participated on numerous educational panels on various litigation-related topics, and taught trial advocacy and civil litigation at San Joaquin College of Law. He is presently a member of the Judicial Council Advisory Committee on Civil Jury Instructions.
Justice Franson and his wife Anne have four adult children.