Chris A. Johnson is a litigator focused on understanding clients’ legal and business goals and developing strategies and teams to achieve those goals. He is focused on resolving disputes before trial, if possible, through focused discovery and meticulous preparation for trial.
Chris helps clients evaluate disputes and develop plans to address them according to their business needs. In addition to running case teams and trying cases, Chris has developed a focus on formulating and developing medical, scientific and statistical strategies for addressing large and small matters by developing efficient, highly qualified teams of professionals to protect clients’ rights.
For example, in the context of pharmaceutical cases, he has successfully resolved client matters before trial through targeted discovery of fact witnesses, prescribing physicians, other health care providers and experts.
He has also created defense strategies for litigation and arbitration involving a broad range of exposures and products, including foods, alcohol, tobacco, automobiles, pharmaceuticals and medical devices in federal, state and international venues.
Chris has extensive experience in product liability, business tort, environmental and mass tort litigation as well as commercial litigation and trade regulation. He has represented clients in governmental cost-recovery suits, class actions, multidistrict litigation and arbitration, as well as cases brought on behalf of individuals and business entities.
He also counsels clients on strategies for reducing litigation and enforcement risk in the context of domestic and international clinical trials. He counsels clients on Proposition 65 regulatory actions and litigation.
Chris is a member of the firm’s Pro Bono committee and the Knowledge Management Working Group, and is a past member of Shook’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He is involved in the firm’s mentoring and business development programs.
Before joining Shook in 1997, Chris’s practice focused on federal white-collar criminal trial and appellate law and unfair trade regulation and litigation.
He completed an extern clerkship at the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and served as a pro bono housing attorney for Mid-Minnesota Legal Assistance.
- Novoa v. California Department of Mental Health (favorable settlement and attorney fee award)Hunter v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Defense verdict)
- Good v. Pfizer Inc. (In re: Diet Drug Litigation) (Favorable settlement after expert discovery and motion practice)
- McMannis v. Philip Morris Inc. (Defense verdict)
- IN RE: E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company C-8 Personal Injury Litigation (MDL settlement)
- Lock v. Philip Morris USA Inc. (Favorable verdict)
- Nichols v. Asbestos Corporation Ltd. (Dismissed on motion after expert discovery)
- Szymanski v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (Defense verdict)
- Willis v. R. J. Reynolds Tobacco Company (Willis I mistrial, Willis II defense verdict)
- Pokarney v. Kraft Foods North America, Inc. (Settled on favorable terms after expert discovery)
- Krigbaum v. American Tobacco Company (Dismissed after taking treater depositions)
- Coolidge v. Philip Morris Incorporated (Defense verdict on medical issues)
- J.D., with distinction, University of Iowa College of Law, 1993
- B.A., with honors, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1989
- U.S. District Court, Central District of California
- U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
- American Bar Association
- Section of Litigation, Automobile Subcommittee, Co-Chair
- Science and Technology Section
- California Bar Association, Litigation Section
- Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
- San Francisco Bar Association
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