Biography Photo of Brian M Johnson

Brian M. Johnson

Member and South Region Litigation Practice Group Co-Chair

Mr. Johnson's practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, product liability litigation, toxic tort litigation, energy law and fiduciary litigation.

Education & Credentials


Transylvania University

B.A., 1994

University of Kentucky

J.D., 1997
  • Member, Journal of Natural Resources and Environmental Law, 1995-1997

Bar Admission

  • Kentucky
  • Ohio


  • Chambers USA Guide
    • General Commercial Litigation, 2021-2023 
  • The Legal 500 United States
    • Labor and Employment Disputes - Defense, 2023
    • Dispute Resolution - General Commercial Disputes, 2023
    • "Recommended Lawyer," 2017
  • The Best Lawyers in America®
    • Commercial Litigation, 2013-2024
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers®
    • Business Litigation, 2013-2022, 2024
  • Thomson Reuters
    • Stand-out Lawyer, 2024

Prominent Assignments

Lead counsel for a glass manufacturing company in a putative class action involving alleged personal injury and property damage resulting from contamination, with the first trial in the matter resulting in a complete defense verdict.

Lead counsel for defendants accused of breaching their fiduciary duties and misappropriating trade secrets, with the trial resulting in a defense verdict and a verdict of over $1 million in our clients’ favor on their counterclaim for abuse of process. 

Lead counsel for a physician in an arbitration proceeding against his management company and its owners for misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of fiduciary duty and conspiracy, resulting in an award of approximately $3 million in his favor.

National counsel for a major trailer manufacturer in the defense of product liability claims.

Lead counsel for a defendant in a case involving alleged coal dust contamination of over 50 properties. The cases were divided into four group of plaintiffs and proceeded to four consecutive jury trials, each resulting in a complete defense verdict.

Counsel for a defendant in a case involving the alleged contamination of over 100 properties with naturally-occurring radioactive material (“NORM”). The case proceeded to a jury trial that concluded with the first defense verdict in the United States in a case involving NORM.

Lead counsel for a hazardous waste disposal company sued in a case for breach of contract. The case resulted in an injunction in favor of the defendant on its counterclaim under RCRA.

Lead counsel for defendants sued in 32 cases consolidated in multi-district litigation involving alleged RICO violations with a parallel criminal investigation.

Lead counsel for defendants sued in two putative class actions in connection with an alleged pyramid scheme.

Lead counsel for an acquitted defendant in a civil forfeiture case involving an alleged $33 million fraud and money laundering scheme.


Professional Involvement

  • Kentucky’s Judicial Nominating Committee 
  • Kentucky Bar Association
  • Fayette County Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Energy & Mineral Law Foundation
  • Kentucky Oil & Gas Association
  • Leadership Lexington, Class of 2002-2003

Community Involvement

  • Kentucky Swimming, Executive Board of Directors, 2018 to2022
  • Commerce Lexington Programs Committee, 2005-2007


  • Co-Author, "Managing Uncertainty Through Financial Crisis Requires Proactive Guidance," Dickinson Wright Client Alert, March 2020 
  • "Criminal Prosecution of Environmental Crimes," Kentucky Chamber Environmental Conference, Lexington, KY, February 9, 2016
  • “Fraud in the Equine Industry: What We Can Learn from the ClassicStar Mare Lease Program,” 30th Annual National Conference on Equine Law, Keeneland Racecourse, Lexington, Kentucky, April 30, 2015
  • "What Role Will Kentucky Have in the Natural Gas Future?" 4th Annual Kentucky Energy Management Conference, November 18, 2014
  • “Toxic Tort and Property Damage Claims,” Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, 12th Annual Kentucky Environmental Conference, February 20, 2014
  • "Emerging Issues in Coal Dust Litigation," Energy and Mineral Law Foundation Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, October 24, 2013
  • "Strong Construction Contracts," National Business Institute seminar, Lexington, Kentucky, March 13, 2007
  • Environmental Law Client Strategies: Leading Lawyers on Strategizing for Litigation, Negotiating Settlements, and Adding the Most Value for Your Client (Inside the Minds), Aspatore Books, November 2007, Chapter on "Strategies for Defending Clients in Environmental Law"
  • "Revivor of Oil and Gas Leases," Energy & Mineral Law Foundation Annual Institute, The Homestead, Hot Springs, Virginia, May 18, 2004
  • "Oilfield Radiation/NORM," Eastern Mineral Law Foundation, 28th Mineral Law Conference, Lexington, Kentucky, October 17, 2003
  • "Construction Claims in Kentucky," Lorman Education Services, Lexington, Kentucky, October 15, 2002
Have a question or want to connect?