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Robert E. Johnston - Washington, DC

1350 I Street, Northwest Washington, DC 20005

Super Lawyers®

1

Updated: 08/16/2019

Washington Complex Litigation Lawyer

Overview

Robert E. Johnston's practice focuses on trials and appeals of complex litigation matters, with an ‎emphasis on defending pharmaceutical product liability litigation and on prosecuting insurance ‎coverage disputes for corporate clients. In 2015, he was selected by Corporate America Legal Elite for Best in Product Liability Litigation-Washington, DC.

Mr. Johnston has served as co-lead ‎trial counsel in multiple pharmaceutical products liability trials, including Hogan v. Novartis Pharm. Corp...

Robert E. Johnston's practice focuses on trials and appeals of complex litigation matters, with an ‎emphasis on defending pharmaceutical product liability litigation and on prosecuting insurance ‎coverage disputes for corporate clients. In 2015, he was selected by Corporate America Legal Elite for Best in Product Liability Litigation-Washington, DC.

Mr. Johnston has served as co-lead ‎trial counsel in multiple pharmaceutical products liability trials, including Hogan v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. 1-06-CV-00260-BMC (E.D.N.Y. 2011), which ‎resulted in a defense verdict for our client. He manages the defense of class action, consolidated, and serial litigations and represents ‎clients in significant individual matters as well. He has developed key liability defenses to sweeping allegations of corporate ‎misconduct, and he has worked with experts and senior company employees to advance those ‎defenses in depositions and at trial. He defends depositions of corporate employees and has been involved in motions disputing the admissibility at trial of videotaped corporate depositions. He prepared eight corporate witnesses to testify at trial in Meng v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. MID-L-7670-07-MT (N.J. Super. Ct. Law Div. May 15, 2013) in New Jersey, and in Davids v. Novartis Pharm. Corp., No. 06-CV-431 (E.D.N.Y.2012) in New York federal court (where he served as co-lead trial counsel). Mr. Johnston has developed and presented the testimony of scientific experts and cross-examined plaintiffs’ experts both at deposition and trial. In support of his work developing liability defenses, he is co-leader of the Firm’s e-Discovery group. He has experience implementing court-approved document review strategies and stays current on developments regarding Technology Assisted Review and other emerging document review protocols. He has supervised productions numbering in the tens of millions of pages of documents and regularly counsels clients regarding e-Discovery issues. He is a member of The Sedona Conference.

Mr. Johnston has successfully defended class action claims and handled the ‎nationwide defense of matters coordinated in one of the longest-standing multidistrict litigations ‎in the United States, In re Aredia® and Zometa® Products Liability Litigation. He has written and spoken on the defense of class action claims and spoken on issues regarding the defense of claims in multidistrict litigation.

Mr. Johnston has prevailed on summary judgment in ‎numerous cases, including cases from the Aredia®/Zometa® litigation involving issues of warnings (proximate) causation, the inapplicability of cross-jurisdictional class-action tolling, the applicability of punitive damages limitations, and other topics of interest to medical products liability defense. He has participated in appeals of trial verdicts and ‎summary judgments, including oral argument before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Mr. Johnston represents clients in both state and federal courts in actions seeking insurance coverage for ‎environmental liabilities, asbestos-related claims, defamation, errors and omissions by insurance ‎agents, and various other business torts. As co-leader of the Firm’s insurance coverage practice, he recently obtained a significant recovery for insulation-installer Porter Hayden Company in its decade-long litigation with AIG over asbestos-related bodily injury claims. He also consults with clients regarding the pursuit of ‎insurance proceeds under solvent and insolvent schemes of arrangement. He has written and ‎spoken on numerous issues relevant to insurance coverage, including issues of fidelity insurance ‎and specialty coverages available for e-commerce enterprises.

Mr. Johnston has pursued litigation in connection with government contracts, including procurement-related claims, ‎Winstar-related claims, and claims for the taking of property by the ‎government without just compensation. He assisted nuclear power utilities in a successful trial before the Court of Federal Claims regarding the federal government’s breach of its contractual obligations to begin removing spent nuclear fuel from power plants by 1998. He has significant experience representing clients in ‎commercial business disputes, including suits arising out of the telecommunications and e-‎commerce industries.‎ He has written and spoken on issues related to the federal False Claims Act, particularly its qui tam provisions.

Mr. Johnston is a member of the National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel (NARTC) and, in June 2015, served on the faculty at NARTC’s College of Railroad Trial advocacy – an intensive six-day trial techniques course for thirty young trial attorneys. At NARTC's Winter Meeting in 2014, he spoke on the impact of no-recourse litigation funding for plaintiffs and their counsel.

For 2019, Mr. Johnston is once gain named in the Washington, DC edition of Super Lawyers, and is recognized as a 2019 AV Preeminent® Lawyer by ‎Martindale-Hubbell™. He is a member of the Defense Research Institute. In law school, he served as a member of The George Washington Law Review, where his note on qui tam issues was published.

About Robert E. Johnston

Current Employment Position(s)

  • Partner

Practice Areas

  • Complex Litigation
  • Common Carrier Liability
  • E-Discovery
  • Federal Claims
  • Financial Institutions
  • Insurance
  • Pharmaceutical Products
  • Toxic Torts & Products Liability

Qualifications

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia
  • Maryland
  • Montana
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 2nd Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court District of Maryland
  • U.S. District Court District of Montana
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims

Other Affiliations

  • Litigation Counsel of America (Fellow)
  • National Association of Railroad Trial Counsel

Education

  • George Washington University Law School, Washington, District of Columbia, 1994
    J.D.
    Honors: With High Honors
    Honors: Order of the Coif
  • Southern Methodist University, 1991
    B.A.
  • Southern Methodist University, 1991
    B.B.A.

Office Information

Address

1350 I Street, Northwest Washington, DC 20005

Fax

  • (202) 682-1639

Achievements

Other Sources of Feedback About Robert E. Johnston

Included on the 2024 Washington DC list


Past Lists

  • 2023 Washington DC Super Lawyers list
  • 2022 Washington DC Super Lawyers list
  • 2021 Washington DC Super Lawyers list
  • 2020 Washington DC Super Lawyers list
  • 2019 Washington DC Super Lawyers list
  • 2018 Washington DC Super Lawyers list
  • 2017 Washington DC Super Lawyers list
  • 2014 Washington DC Super Lawyers list

View the profile for Robert E. Johnston on Super Lawyers

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