Mr. Francis was admitted to practice in West Virginia in 1978, earning his law degree from the West Virginia University College of Law, where he was Managing Editor of the West Virginia Law Review (1977-1978). He received his bachelor degree from Amherst College and his master of public administration degree from the University of North Dakota. He was a U.S. Air Force pilot from 1969 to 1975, and from 1994 to 1999 he was the Chancellor of the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia.
In 2006, the Supreme Court of the United States decided (6 – 3) in favor of his client in Howard Delivery Service, Inc. v. Zurich American Insurance Co., 547 U.S. 651, 126 S.Ct. 2105, 165 L.Ed.2d 110 (2006). Mr. Francis was counsel of record for the Petitioner, Howard Delivery Service, a Chapter 11 debtor.
He previously served as Chairman of the Bankruptcy Committee of the West Virginia State Bar (1989-1991), and as Chairman of the Administrative Law Section of the West Virginia Bar Association (1978-1980).