Virginia Beach attorney Franklin Alex “Lyn” Swartz died Dec. 11. He was 84.
Born in Norfolk on Dec. 11, 1938, Mr. Swartz graduated from Norfolk’s Granby High School in 1957, where he played both football and basketball, the latter under hall of fame coach Lefty Driesell.
Mr. Swartz attended undergrad at the University of Virginia, where he was a handball champion and president of his fraternity. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1961 and earned his law degree from the U.Va. law school in 1964.
Following law school, Mr. Swartz enlisted in the U.S. Army and was deployed to the Dominican Republic during that country’s revolution. He left the Army in 1966, briefly working in private practice before joining the commonwealth’s attorney’s office for two years.
In 1970, Mr. Swartz entered private practice, where he earned a reputation as one of the preeminent criminal defense attorneys in the Hampton Roads region. Among fellow attorneys, Mr. Swartz was known as a “lawyers’ lawyer” who could be called when a fellow lawyer needed a hand.
A past chairman of the Virginia State Bar Criminal Law Section, Mr. Swartz received many accreditations and professional honors during his more than 50 years of work in private practice. He earned induction into the American College of Trial Attorneys and held leadership positions within the Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association during his career.
Since 1996, Mr. Swartz has been included in the “Best Lawyers in America” listing and has been recognized by Virginia Business Magazine as one of Virginia’s “Legal Elite.”
Most recently, he worked as partner at Swartz Taliaferro Swartz & Goodove, specializing in criminal law with an emphasis on federal court practice and white-collar crime, as well as personal injury cases.
Mr. Swartz was a lifelong member of Temple Israel, a synagogue founded by his father and where he served as the first cantor of the congregation.
Aside from his professional accomplishments, Mr. Swartz was noted for his sense of humor and wit, which he used on anyone from friends and family to judges and juries.
Mr. Swartz is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ilene; his children, Jeffrey, Pamela and Howard; his grandchildren, Michael, Rachel, Joseph, Joshua and Max; and his sister, Betty Lou.