Our interests are aligned with those of our clients.
Their success determines our own.
Business and Commercial Litigation
Johnson Fistel’s lawyers are experienced in high-stakes, complex civil litigation. Our litigation team has vast experience in a broad range of practice areas, including breach of contract, fraud, products liability, copyright and trademark, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition. Our lawyers have represented clients ranging from individuals and small businesses to publicly-traded companies (Taylor Made, Qualcomm, GNC, Yahoo!, and Microsoft to name a few) in all types of business disputes. We pride ourselves in providing personal attention to our clients in a cost-effective manner.
Johnson Fistel represents both plaintiffs and defendants in federal and state courts throughout California and the entire United States. We work with our clients from pre-lawsuit counseling through appeal in order to achieve a winning result that meets our clients’ goals and business objectives. Please contact us today so that we can discuss how best to achieve your litigation goals.
Johnson Fistel's lawyers are experienced in high-stakes, complex civil litigation...
Shareholder Derivative Litigation
When the officers and directors of a publicly-traded company breach their fiduciary duties, they don’t just harm investors, they harm the company as well. Of course, the company will not sue the officers and directors since the officers and directors are the very people who control the company. That’s where the shareholder derivative action comes in.
In a shareholder derivative action, shareholders enforce the corporation’s rights and redress its injuries when the board of directors fails or refuses to do so. The derivative action is practically the only remedy for calling the management to account for its wrongs against the corporation and to obtain restitution.
The attorneys at Johnson Fistel have considerable experience litigating derivative actions on behalf of small, medium, and Fortune 500 companies. If you own stock in a company, and believe the officers and directors have put their own interests first, please contact us so that we can obtain better corporate governance for you and your fellow shareholders.
When the officers and directors of a publicly-traded company breach their fiduciary duties...
Corporate Takeover Litigation
When a company decides to enter into a merger or acquisition, there are unique pressures and incentives that can tempt boards of directors to subvert shareholders’ interests. Directors and the advisors they hire should work for shareholders, but they are often conflicted and may place their own interests ahead of investors’ interests. Johnson Fistel is tenacious in challenging these transactions and has worked to stop bad deals from happening and to help shareholders recover damages after a deal has closed.
When a company decides to enter into a merger or acquisition, there are unique pressures and incentives that can tempt...
Securities Class Actions
“To open the newspaper today is to receive a daily dose of scandal, from Adelphia to Enron and beyond.” Small v. Fritz, 30 Cal.4th 167, 181 (2003). Fraud continues unabated. “Corruption, embezzlement, fraud, these are all characteristics which exist everywhere. It is regrettably the way human nature functions, whether we like it or not.” Alan Greenspan.
Congress enacted federal securities laws to (1) penalize officers and directors who make false and misleading statements about the financial condition of their company and (2) provide a remedy to injured investors. Investors who purchase stock at artificially-inflated prices face devastating consequences when the truth is inevitably revealed and the stock price plummets. It’s no exaggeration to say that some investors could even lose their life savings. The attorneys at Johnson Fistel are experienced in bringing class action lawsuits on behalf of defrauded investors. If you’ve been damaged by corporate fraud, please contact us today.
To open the newspaper today is to receive a daily dose of scandal, from Adelphia to Enron and beyond.” Small v. Fritz, 30 Cal.4th 167, 181 (2003). Fraud continues...
Consumer Class Actions
From false advertising to price fixing, companies have come up with all kinds of ways to put profits ahead of fairness. Class actions are an important and necessary tool for vindicating the rights of innocent consumers. Without class actions, corporate wrongdoing would often times go unpunished because most consumers do not have the time or money to take on the big corporations. The attorneys at Johnson Fistel are committed to making sure that companies don’t get away with cheating the public. If you feel that you’ve been harmed, please contact us so that we can fight for you.
From false advertising to price fixing, companies have come up with all kinds of ways to put profits ahead of fairness.
Employment and Labor Litigation
Common in workplaces and courtrooms today are issues concerning unpaid wages and benefits, employee/independent contractor misclassifications, discrimination, and retaliation, as well as disputes over employment contracts and separations. However, these issues are often mishandled, misunderstood, or overlooked entirely. It’s important for both employers and employees to be aware of what the law requires, and how effective representation may help protect their rights, as the consequences can be significant.
The attorneys at Johnson Fistel have obtained successful and efficient results for both employers and employees in litigating employment disputes, negotiating separations and severance, and evaluating employment policies, practices, and contracts.
Johnson Fistel can help employers and employees with the following issues:
● Minimum Wage & Overtime Pay
● Misclassifications (Employee/Independent Contractor)
● Discrimination, Harassment & Retaliation
● Employment Contracts, Severance & Separations, and Restrictive Covenants
Whether you’re an employee or an employer, please contact us today to determine whether and how we may be able to assist you.
Common in workplaces and courtrooms today are issues concerning unpaid wages and benefits, employee/independent...
Special Counsel & Trial Attorney
“There’s no question in my mind that this settlement is in the best interest of this Estate. So I’m prepared to approve it. . . . But I want to compliment Mr. Johnson, and I want to compliment on the successful recovery for the Estate. The creditors thank you, and I thank you.” In re Artes Medical, Inc., (Bankr. S.D. Cal., Case No. 08-12317-LT7) (approving a $3 million settlement recovered for the estate of a bankrupt public company after the Chapter 7 Trustee retained Johnson Fistel to pursue claims for breach of fiduciary against the directors). In approving the final award of attorneys’ fees, Judge Taylor further stated: “The Court thanks [Johnson Fistel] for its outstanding work on behalf of the Chapter 7 Trustee and the Estate.”
“The quality of representation by the Derivative Plaintiffs’ Counsel was witnessed first hand by this Court through their articulate, high quality, and successful pleadings. Moreover, as shown by their excellent efforts in this case, Derivative Plaintiffs’ Counsel are dedicated to vindicating the rights of shareholders.” In re Heelys, Inc. Derivative Litig., No. 3:07-CV-1682 (granting final approval of a settlement agreement that required the company to implement sweeping improvements to its governance).
Johnson Fistel’s predecessor firm, Johnson & Weaver (“J&W”) has “demonstrated that they are qualified and experienced and are capable of acting as lead counsel.” “The Court is favorably impressed by J&W’s presentation and knowledge” and “J&W’s experience litigating shareholder derivative actions gives it a certain amount of pre-existing expertise.” In re Oclaro, Inc. Derivative Litigation, (N.D. Cal., Case No. C-11-3176 EMC) (appointing Johnson & Weaver lead counsel in a complex shareholder derivative litigation in which three separate lawsuits were filed).
“As chairman of the board of a public company, my company was represented by Mr. Johnson to pursue claims for breach of fiduciary duty for millions of dollars against former directors of a company formed in England. I have retained law firms throughout the world and found Mr. Johnson’s services to be superb. He was very responsive and grasped complex corporate matters involving international real estate transactions. His firm aggressively litigated my company’s claims against several defendants who were represented by one of the largest law firms in the world. This case was very complex and complicated and involved three jurisdictions (U.S., Europe, and Sweden). Mr. Johnson’s firm played an instrumental role in bringing the whole case to a successful settlement out of court. We ultimately reached a resolution short of trial with which I was very pleased.”
“While I was the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for a publicly traded company, I consulted Frank Johnson on various legal issues. As CFO I was responsible for SEC reporting requirements and compliance with GAAP. In addition, I successfully completed the public offering of the company’s stock which was a consistent top performer on the NASDAQ from 1998 to 1999. During the ten years I’ve known him, I’ve been very impressed with Mr. Johnson’s integrity, business acumen, and understanding of complex securities issues. Based upon these factors, I retained Mr. Johnson to represent me in matters where it appeared that a public company’s officers or directors engaged in fraudulent conduct to the detriment of the company’s shareholders (of which I was one). As a former CFO for a public company and as a shareholder, I can say with confidence that this firm has proven to be aggressive and astute in identifying claims for fraudulent conduct in connection with the sale of publicly traded securities.”
“While I was assistant general counsel for GNC Corporation, a publicly traded company at the time, I had the good fortune of working with Frank Johnson as GNC’s lawyer. While he was at Sheppard Mullin, he successfully defended GNC in several matters, including a consumer class action and various business litigation matters. I have since left GNC Corporation and am now a partner at one of the largest law firms in the country. I have worked with Mr. Johnson on various matters, including a jury trial in San Diego, California. Mr. Johnson proved to be an exceptional trial lawyer who assisted my firm in obtaining an outstanding verdict in our client’s favor. I have recommended their services without reservation to both clients and lawyers who need highly skilled and effective representation.”
“In 2004, Axeus, Inc. was using Sheppard Mullin, a large law firm, for nearly all of its legal matters. When Frank Johnson, who was then a partner at Sheppard Mullin, announced that he was departing to start his own law firm, I did not hesitate in my decision to send all of Axeus’s litigation work to Mr. Johnson. At the time, Axeus was embroiled in a huge legal battle involving more than 20,000 pages of evidence and millions of dollars. Mr. Johnson helped Axeus successfully resolve that matter and has since handled several litigation matters for Axeus, all with outstanding results. I have worked with many different law firms over the years and I can say with confidence that Mr. Johnson is one of the best lawyers I’ve worked with. He understands what is important to his clients: excellent legal work and value. While other firms may be less expensive, Johnson Fistel provides value for its fees.”
“Frank Johnson was Awesome! He was professional, organized and as evidenced by juror testimonials following a one-week jury trial…. extremely effective. On claims for breach of contract and fraud, his law firm helped me win a 7 figure verdict for me and my company and I will forever be grateful. You never realize how important it is to have a good attorney until you need one!”
“I am the owner of Natural Energy, which was established in 1977 and is the largest solar energy company in the western United States. Although we have an exceptional reputation, as with any large company, legal disputes are sometimes inevitable. After using a number of law firms, for the past several years Natural Energy has used Frank Johnson’s law firm for all of its business litigation matters, from general business disputes to successfully getting a baseless class action dismissed. Mr. Johnson is aggressive, has a strong work ethic and, of utmost importance to me, has unquestionable integrity. I have the utmost faith and confidence in Mr. Johnson.”
“I first retained Johnson Fistel when my husband and I became concerned with what I thought looked like wrongful conduct by executive management at one of the publicly traded companies in which we had invested. Mr. Johnson always clearly communicated his strategy and the underlying legal reasons why it needed to done that particular way. Most importantly, he always responded to any questions or concerns in a timely manner and consistently updated us without overwhelming us with complicated details. We were very happy with the outcome of the securities case. When I needed a lawyer again to help me with employment matters, I retained the firm again. They demonstrated that they were well informed and helped me get a settlement with which I was very pleased. I highly recommend Johnson Fistel and I would not hesitate to use them again.”
“The settlement was reached through hard fought, arm’s-length negotiations conducted by skilled counsel in good faith…. The Plaintiffs also are represented by counsel that I know and respect … which I count among the finest shareholder rights advocates.”
“Counsel for the parties were highly experienced in derivative litigation, well informed on the current law, and had performed considerable work to prepare the case for mediation.… The advocacy on both sides of the case was of the highest caliber and counsel for both parties exhibited great effort, creativity, and zeal in advocating their positions.”
“You guys are truly amazing. We’ve only worked together for a short period of time, but I already have an amazing opinion of you. The support, the detailed answers, your insights, the transparency, your prompt responses, everything. Please keep up the good work. I think the quality of your service is really unique in this world.”
“The team at Johnson Fistel far exceeded our expectations from the very beginning. We honestly didn’t know what to expect but this team made each step so easy to understand. If we ever need legal counsel for anything else again, we will definitely be using them again. Thank you for everything.”
“I’d also just like to acknowledge just really the professional way you all handled this case . . . and I think it is that type of substantial work from opposing sides that I think that is what we look at a settlement that both sides of this case have been well represented and represented so the Court is satisfied that it has been in the hands of people who knew what they were doing, and therefore the Court could well adopt and accept the representations made that are supported by the record with regard to just the settlement here.” In re Flowers Foods Inc. Derivative Litigation, No. 7:18-cv-00084 (M.D. Ga.) (approving a $21 million class action settlement)
“It is worth reiterating that the advocacy on both sides of the case was outstanding. I have decades of experience with attorneys from the law firms on both sides of this case, which are nationally recognized for their work prosecuting and defending large, complex class actions such as this. All counsel displayed the highest level of professionalism in carrying out their duties on behalf of their respective clients. The settlement is the direct result of all counsel’s experience, reputation, and ability in these types of complex class actions.”
“I’ve worked with law firms in the past and found the lawyers and paralegals at Johnson Fistel to be first-rate. They kept me informed at every stage of this matter, they were responsive, I found their ideas to be creative, and their relentless approach caused me to believe they were passionate about having my best interest and the best interest of the class in mind.”