Frank J. Johnson

Managing Partner

Mr. Johnson is one of the founding partners of Johnson Fistel.  Prior to starting his own law firm, Mr. Johnson was a partner in the law firm Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton, LLP, a full-service Am Law 100 law firm with 750 attorneys in 15 offices located around the world.  Mr. Johnson has represented some of the largest companies in the country in complex business disputes.

Areas of Practice:  Mr. Johnson’s practice focuses on complex litigation.  Mr. Johnson has extensive experience in all aspects of trial practice, mediation, trial preparation, and non-jury and jury trials in state and federal court.  In addition to his general trial practice, Mr. Johnson has both prosecuted and defended a number of cases involving securities fraud in class actions and derivative cases.

Professional Qualifications and Activities:  Mr. Johnson was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1994.  He has an AV rating with Martindale-Hubbell, which indicates very high to preeminent legal ability and very high ethical standards as established by confidential opinions from members of the Bar.  He is currently admitted in good standing with the following courts:

  • The Supreme Court of the United States of America
  • All courts in the State of California
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • The United States District Courts for the Southern, Central, Eastern and Northern Districts of California
  • The United States Court of Federal Claims
  • The United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • The United States District Court for the District of Colorado

Mr. Johnson is also a member of the following professional organizations:

  • The San Diego County Bar Association
  • The Federal Bar Association
  • The Litigation Section of the State Bar of California
  • SD Regional Chamber of Commerce, Vice Chair Tech Comm.
    (2002-03, 2003-04, 2004-05)
  • Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Member of the Board of Governors (2018-2020)

Mr. Johnson completed the following trial advocacy programs:

  • San Diego County District Attorney one-month misdemeanor jury trial program
  • Louis M. Welsh American Inn of Court, one year program
  • San Diego Inn of Court College of Advocacy, multi-week trial course
  • San Diego Inn of Court College of Advocacy, multi-week evidence course

Following graduation from law school in 1994, Mr. Johnson served as a judicial law clerk for one year for the Honorable John S. Rhoades, a federal trial judge in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.

Education and Awards:  Mr. Johnson was named a Super Lawyer in Business and Securities Litigation for 2019.  Thomson Reuters awards this recognition to the top 5% of attorneys who have obtained a high-level of professional achievement and are highly regarded by their peers.  Similarly, in its March 2019 edition, San Diego Magazine recognized Mr. Johnson as one of the Top Lawyers in San Diego.  Each year, San Diego Magazine compiles a list, based on peer reviews, of local lawyers who have reached the highest levels of ethical standards and professional excellence.  This year, the magazine listed only seven lawyers in Complex Litigation in San Diego and Mr. Johnson was on the list once again.  This year is the sixth consecutive year that San Diego Magazine recognized Mr. Johnson for his achievements.  Mr. Johnson received his Juris Doctor degree from Washington University School of Law in 1994, where he was in the top 10% of his class while in attendance.  In his first year of law school, Mr. Johnson received the American Jurisprudence Award in Contracts.  At both Washington University School of Law and the University of San Diego School of Law (where Mr. Johnson was a visiting student in his third year), Mr. Johnson won first place awards in each school’s Moot Court Competition.  He received his Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from San Diego State University in 1990, where he graduated second in his class major, with honors and summa cum laude.

Community and Volunteer Activities:  Mr. Johnson serves on the Board of Governors for the San Diego Chapter of the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.  And for a number of years, he served as a volunteer at Voices for Children, where he acted as a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) meeting several times each month with a foster child and attending court hearings to advocate for the child’s best interests.

Mr. Johnson was recently featured
in the San Diego Attorney Journal

Mr. Johnson has been recognized as one of San Diego’s top lawyers by a number of third-party sources based upon peer reviews, including the following: