“The advocacy was outstanding…the highest level of professionalism”
The Honorable Howard B. Weiner
Retired Associate Justice
California Court of Appeal
The Honorable Mark H. Cohen
“The Court finds that the Settlement is the product of hard-fought, arm’s-length negotiations by prepared, skilled, and experienced counsel conducted over the course of months through in-person, telephonic and written exchanges, and that there is no evidence of collusion. Federal Derivative Action Plaintiffs’ Counsel include nationally recognized leaders in shareholder litigation.” In re Southern Company Shareholder Derivative Litigation, No. 1:17-cv-00725-MHC (N.D. Ga.) (granting final approval of a settlement agreement that court-appointed Lead Counsel Johnson Fistel negotiated for the company after more than five years of litigation).
The Honorable Laura S. Taylor
“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 Honorable Ed Kinkeade
“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).
The Honorable Edward M. Chen
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).
The Honorable W. Louis Sands
“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).
The Honorable Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers
“The Court rarely comments on counsel’s performance. Here, such commentary is appropriate . . . . Counsel performed excellent work in not only investigating and analyzing the core of the issues, but in negotiating and demanding the necessary reforms to prevent malfeasance for the benefit of the shareholders and the consumers. The Court complements counsel for its excellence. . . .” In re RH Shareholder Derivative Litig., No. C 18-02452YGR (granting final approval of a settlement agreement that required the company to implement innovative and comprehensive corporate governance reforms).
The Honorable Layn R. Phillips
“The settlement was reached through hard fought, arm’s-length negotiations conducted by skilled counsel in good faith…. The Plaintiff’s Lead Counsel, [Johnson Fistel], is a firm I know and respect, and is a law firm which I count among the finest shareholder rights advocates.” Crystal v. Medbox, Inc., No. 2:15-CV- 00426-BRO (C.D. Cal.) (declaration in support of plaintiff’s motion for approval of a securities fraud class action settlement which provided for millions of dollars worth of shares of stock and cash to be paid to injured class members).
The Honorable Howard B. Wiener
“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.” Eagle Canyon Owners’ Association v. USA Waste of California, Inc., Case No. 37-2018-00005897 (declaration in support of plaintiff’s motion for final approval of a class action settlement providing $7.85 million in cash payments made to class members, an amount which represented approximately 50% – 90% of the total, potential class-wide damages).
“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.” Weitzman v. Ullman, et al., Civ. No. 4:13-cv-00585 (E.D. Tex.) (declaration in support of plaintiff’s motion for final approval of a settlement in a derivative action which provided for a series of material reforms to JC Penney’s corporate governance systems, designed to strengthen the company’s internal control functions and board accountability, and ultimately prevent the recurrence of the events that led to the alleged harm to the company and the filing of the lawsuit).
“Throughout five years of litigation, Johnson Fistel delivered thoughtful analysis, aggressive lawyering, and excellent service. As a stockholder of a large publicly traded company, I became concerned about the performance and integrity of the company’s officers and directors. I retained Johnson Fistel to investigate potential wrongdoing and ultimately file a derivative lawsuit for the benefit of the company and its shareholders. Throughout the entire litigation, from my initial contact with the firm through the excellent result achieved for the company and its stockholders, the lawyers and staff at Johnson Fistel have been professional, responsive, and personable. I would use them again and recommend them without hesitation.”
Rolf L. Nordstrom
“As chairman of the board of a public company, my company was represented by Johnson Fistel 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 Johnson Fistel’s services to be superb. They were very responsive and grasped complex corporate matters involving international real estate transactions. The 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). The 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 Johnson Fistel 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.”
Gerald J. Stubenhofer, Esq.
“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 him without reservation to both clients and lawyers who need highly skilled and effective representation.”
Sean H. Mallean
“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.”
“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 Johnson Fistel for all of its business litigation matters, from general business disputes to successfully getting a baseless class action dismissed. They are aggressive, have a strong work ethic and, of utmost importance to me, have unquestionable integrity. I have the utmost faith and confidence in them.”
Jean Marie Cinotto
“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. They always clearly communicated their strategy and the underlying legal reasons why it needed to done that particular way. Most importantly, they 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.”
“I recently had the pleasure of working with the attorneys at Johnson Fistel in connection with a motion to have me appointed the lead plaintiff in a class action alleging claims for securities fraud. Throughout the process, Brett Middleton (the partner in charge at Johnson Fistel) did a fantastic job of explaining everything to me and made himself available for all questions. Unfortunately, I was not selected as the lead plaintiff because the court found other shareholders had even greater losses arising out of what appeared to me to be a fraud on the market. I truly regret not being able to work with Johnson Fistel on this case because I had a great deal of confidence in the firm and its lawyers based upon their attention to detail and representation of me up to that point. I highly recommend Johnson Fistel to anyone looking for excellent representation.”
“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.”
Ronald T. Fricke
“They were Awesome! They were 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!”
“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.”