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Bruce D. Johnson

Bruce D. Johnson has been in private practice for over 38 years.  His clients have included Fortune 500 corporations, foreign high-tech, industrial and banking corporations, textile and fashion companies, real estate developers, construction companies, computer software companies, service companies, trading companies, shippers, retailers, beverage manufacturers and distributors, limited partnerships, individual investors, entrepreneurs, and professionals involved in a wide variety of commercial endeavors, and prominent law firms. 

Mr. Johnson practices in the areas of:

•    Accounting malpractice

•    Antitrust and unfair competition

•    Breach of contract and warranty

•    Business torts

•    Civil RICO 

•    Commercial paper

•    Construction contracts

•    Copyrights, trademarks, and trade dress

•    Corporate securities and finance

•    Contract litigation and licensing

•    Employment and employment discrimination

•    International sales of goods

•    Healthcare industry transactions

•    Lender liability

•    Mergers and acquisitions

•    Patents

•    Shareholder and joint venture disputes

•    Trade secrets

•    Workouts, reorganizations, and bankruptcies


Mr. Johnson graduated from Carleton College in 1973 with a BA. in philosophy (magna cum laude). Mr. Johnson graduated from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1976, where he was a published member of the Law Review.

Legal Experience:

Mr. Johnson began his career as an associate with the Wall Street law firm of Law firm Donovan Leisure Newton & Irvine in 1976, where he worked on the antibiotics antitrust case, the Eastman Kodak antitrust cases, and the Westinghouse uranium cartel case, along with providing antitrust counseling to Ford Motor Company and Mobil Oil Company.

Since 1979, Mr. Johnson has headed his own firm in New York City.  Among his firm’s clients have been Haliburton, Olivetti, Arab-African International Bank, Banesto Banking Corp., Coudert Brothers, Kashi Company, and Yasuda Mutual Life Insurance Company.

Examples of cases that Mr. Johnson has worked on include:

Accounting Malpractice.  During pre-trial discovery in a case in the Commercial Division of the Nassau County Supreme Court, he recovered twice the amount he could have proven at trial from the plaintiff’s malpractice insurance carrier.

Beverage Industry.  In the Commercial Division in the Queens County Supreme Court, he won two cases involving competing claims to ownership of a startup energy drink manufacturer and to the rights to distribute its products in New York.  In one of those cases, he also won a unanimous decision in New York’s Appellate Division, Second Department reversing a preliminary injunction requiring our client to sell products to the now defunct plaintiff New York distributor.  In the process, he helped take a company from the verge of bankruptcy to the fourth largest energy drink manufacturer in the United States.

Beverage Industry.  He resolved, at the very beginning of pre-trial discovery, a case brought in the Federal District Court in Minnesota against our client – the fourth largest manufacturer and distributor of energy drinks in the United States – by a large regional beverage distributor.  Our client had terminated the services of that distributor, who then sued raising claims under Minnesota and Wisconsin franchise and other laws.  He have prevailed in every other lawsuit brought by or against that client since its inception, including at trial and on appeal.

Construction Law.  After a week-long trial, he obtained a jury verdict for all of our client’s damages arising out of hazardous materials remediation services it provided during renovations of Carnegie Hall.

Debt Collection Practices.  In litigation in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, he successfully negotiated a series of favorable settlements disposing of claims by professional plaintiffs against our Pennsylvania based client under the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.

Denial of Bankruptcy Discharge.  In a reported decision, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York affirmed the Bankruptcy Court’s granting of our motion to deny the debtor discharge.  Upon lifting of the automatic bankruptcy stay and after a four day trial, the New York County Supreme Court found the debtor in contempt and ordered him imprisoned, following which he obtained a recovery from the defendant well in excess of our clients’ actual damages and legal fees.

Employer Claims Against Former Employee.  Prior to litigation being commenced, he persuaded the world’s largest manufacturer of OTC pharmaceuticals to give our client a general release, including from allegations by a disgraced former employee of embezzlement of millions of dollars by our client.  The disgraced former employee subsequently plead guilty to Federal felony tax evasion.

Federal Civil Rights.  After successfully defeating motions to dismiss and for summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, he obtained a very large recovery under the Federal civil rights laws on behalf of a real estate developer who had been put out of business by local government officials in retaliation for exercising his First Amendment Rights concerning illegal drug use in the community.

Federal Civil Rights.  In a reported decision in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, he obtained dismissal before any discovery of claims under the Federal Civil Rights Act that legal counsel had conspired with a trial judge in New York County Supreme Court to deny the plaintiff his civil rights.

Furniture and Fabrics He obtained dismissals in New York’s Appellate Division, First Department, of both appeals the defendant/judgment debtor filed from the verdict and a post-verdict motion after a bench trail in a breach of contract case for our client in the fabrics and furniture industry against a former independent sales agent who refused to repay unearned advances against commissions.  The trial court decided that virtually all of what our client was claiming must be repaid with statutory interest, which is 9% per annum in New York State.

Healthcare Industry Failed Merger He settled three litigation matters – for breach of contract, for legal malpractice, and for accountant malpractice – and recovered all of our client’s financial losses arising out of an attempted acquisition of it by a mid-size health care company.  Our client provides specialty pharmacy services to hospitals and other medical institutions and home infusion of drugs in collaboration with visiting nursing services.  As a result of those settlements, our client recently was able to become one of about 30 pharmacies in the United States licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to prepare bulk quantities of compounded prescription medicines for delivery to hospitals and certain other providers.  Our client also has received a license from the New York State Board of Pharmacy to conduct the same operations and is in the process of acquiring a license from the Drug Enforcement Administration to do such compounding using controlled substances.

International Commercial Paper.  During trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, he settled a lawsuit by a Spanish furniture manufacturer against our client, Spain’s third largest bank, for the amount our client had offered in settlement six years earlier.

International Grain Deal.  During pre-trial discovery in the U.S. District Court of Minnesota, he obtained recovery of 125% of our Egyptian clients’ landed costs for a shipload of legumes purchased from Pillsbury.  In the course of that case, he managed thirteen Ph.D. expert witnesses from four universities and the U.S. Department of Agriculture and developed scientific evidence proving why the legume at issue had not been consumed by humans for a millennium prior to World War I.

Patent Co-Ownership Dispute.  He successfully enforced the rights of our client co-owner of patents for one of the first wearable computer systems against the other co-owner and investors.

Sanctions.  In a reported decision, he won a unanimous decision in New York’s Appellate Division, First Department upholding sanctions in the form of striking the defendant’s answer and counterclaims in a corporate control dispute for failing to provide certain pre-trial discovery.

Successor Liability.  In a reported case of first impression in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, he were granted summary judgment on the grounds that our Massachusetts based corporate client had acquired only certain assets of a sole proprietor who had manufactured a large boat hoist that injured a yacht yard worker.

Takeout of Complex Wells Fargo Mortgage.   His client, the owner of a high-end office building in Nassau County, New York, successfully negotiated a take-out of all loans and mortgages held by Wells Fargo as successor to Wachovia National Bank.  Wells Fargo has agreed to accept a substantial reduction in what it is owed as part of a refinancing package with another lending institution.  That take-out was the successful culmination of a strategy he devised four years earlier to take advantage of changes in the capital markets, prime lending rates, bank failures, and the local real estate market in order to achieve the take-out terms just agreed to by Wells Fargo.

Bar Association and Professional Membership:

Mr. Johnson is admitted to practice in New York State and in the United States District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York. He has represented clients in the Federal District Courts in Florida, Minnesota, and New Jersey and the in the state courts of Florida and has represented clients before the American Arbitration Association, FINRA, and the New York Stock Exchange.

He can be reached at bruce.johnson@johnsonsonassociates.nyc