Dennis Johnson heads the Firm's Labor and Employment Practice Group, and is a member of its Litigation Group. Mr. Johnson handles cases ranging from single plaintiff claims to national class actions and multidistrict litigation.
His practice covers complex civil litigation in federal and state trial and appellate courts as well as administrative agencies. Mr. Johnson's trial, arbitration and mediation experience in more than thirty years of private practice has focused on employment (including discrimination, ERISA benefits, FMLA, restrictive covenant, trade secret and labor claims) and commercial matters (including healthcare and other contracts and business torts). He also has handled constitutional claims, Section 1983, antitrust, securities and RICO matters and internal investigations.
Prior to joining the Firm in 1992, Mr. Johnson was an equity partner in the Chicago law firm of Bell, Boyd & Lloyd.
The Leading Lawyers Network selected Mr. Johnson as a Leading Lawyer for the past three years. He previously was named an Illinois Super Lawyer. Mr. Johnson is the recipient of the Award for Excellence in Pro Bono Service (2010), presented by Judges of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association.
- Defended clients including a producer and distributor of electricity, financial services firm, universities, manufacturers and marketers of pharmaceuticals, paper, packaging and forest products and consumer products in employment discrimination claims alleging race, age, gender, pregnancy and disability claims as well as FMLA, reduction in force, national origin and Section 1983 claims.
- Defended insurance company in private arbitration involving breach of managed care contract claims.
- Successfully defended retaliatory discharge and whistleblower suits by employees who claimed violations of the Sarbanes Oxley Act, Illinois State Officials and Employees Ethics Act, Illinois Workers Compensation Act and various civil rights and discrimination statutes.
- Successfully defended employers who terminated employees for making threats of violence in the workplace.
- Represented component furniture manufacturer in private commercial arbitration of claims against selling shareholders for fraud and breach of warranties in stock purchase agreement and defended claims for breach of employment contracts by executives of acquired company.
- Won and successfully preserved multiple summary judgment rulings on appeal in age/reduction in force cases by extending “same decisionmaker” doctrine in the Seventh Circuit.
Prior Work History
Bell, Boyd & Lloyd - Chicago, Illinois – Associate and Equity Partner, 1979 – 1992
Complex civil litigation, including antitrust, employment, securities and RICO cases.
American Bar Association (Litigation, Healthcare, Labor and Employment Sections)
Chicago Bar Association
Illinois Bar Association
Speaker, Chicago Bar Association CLE on Class Actions in Employment Cases.
Speaker, Chicago Bar Association Labor and Employment Committee meetings, on burden of proof issues in employment discrimination cases and mental disabilities under the ADA.
Speaker, New York University annual seminar for Federal Judges concerning causation issues in employment litigation and techniques for handling jurors' use of social media during trial.
University of Chicago Law School, J.D., 1979
Georgetown University Law Center, Dean’s List, 1976-1977
Albright College, A.B.,
magna cum laude,1976
U.S. Court of Appeals, First, Third, Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. District Court, N.D. of Illinois, including the Trial Bar
U.S. District Court, C.D. of Illinois
U.S. District Court, S.D. of Illinois