Lee Allen Johnson is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer concentrating his practice in commercial and business litigation. He has handled cases from intake through trial (including jury trials, bench trials, and arbitrations), and through appellate resolution. Matters he has handled have included breach of contract, fraud, interference with contract, construction failures, business dissolutions, contested foreclosures and deficiency claims. He has litigated cases in the Arizona Superior Courts in most of the counties in the state; in the United State District Court; and in United States Bankruptcy Court. From 2006 through 2015, Mr. Johnson served as General Counsel at a privately-held real estate development and investment business based in Tempe, Arizona. In that capacity he was a senior advisor to management, and directed the work of outside counsel, in successfully navigating the challenges of the financial crisis and years of turmoil in the real estate markets. As he now returns to private practice, his experience as in-house counsel has given him a unique understanding of the needs of business owners and managers in dealing with the legal system. Mr. Johnson has been rated A/V Preeminent by Martindale-Hubble for more than 15 consecutive years. He is a fifth-generation native Arizonan.
- Successfully represented owners, general contractors, and trade contractors in various construction failure and breach of contract cases.
- Handled numerous cases involving real estate issues, including condemnation, adverse possession, specific performance of contracts for sale, quiet title actions, and title insurance claims.
- Extensive experience in “business divorce” litigation, including dissolution and winding up of entities, ouster of corporate officers, claims for breach of fiduciary duty, enforcement of buy-sell agreements, employment agreements, and adversary proceedings in bankruptcy.
- Successfully obtained and opposed restraining orders and other provisional remedies in a variety of commercial case.
- Obtained post-conviction relief setting aside felony convictions in a white-collar criminal case on the basis that trial counsel for the client had failed to provide adequate representation; client was released from prison and prosecutor declined to re-file charges.
- Successfully opposed a petition for certiorari at the United States Supreme Court, preserving an appellate victory in a case involving federal preemption and Indian law.
- Drafted initial pleadings and directed litigation of a §1983 action for wrongful search & seizure of business premises, resulting in a settlement in excess of $1,000,000.
- Successfully briefed and argued post-trial motions overturning an adverse jury verdict in excess of $150,000,000 in a commercial tort case.
- During tenure as in-house counsel at a private real estate investment company during 2008 financial crisis and subsequent Great Recession, played a key role in restructuring and resolving land loans totaling more than $500,000,000.
Arizona State University Law School, Tempe, AZ (J.D. cum laude, 1983)
Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ (B.A. cum laude, 1979)
- Cal X–Tra v. W.V.S.V. Holdings, 229 Ariz. 377, 276 P.3d 11 (App. 2012)
- Parking Concepts, Inc. v. Tenney, 207 Ariz. 19, 83 P.3d 19 (2004)
- Wayne Cook Enterprises v. Fain Properties, 196 Ariz. 146, 993 P.2d 1110 (App. 1999)
- Toy v. Katz, 192 Ariz. 73, 961 P.2d 1021 (App. 1997)
- Red Mountain Machinery Co. v. Grace Inv. Co., 29 F.3d 1408 (9th Cir. 1994), cert. denied, 513 U.S. 1044 (1994)
- State v. Schneider, 148 Ariz. 441, 715 P.2d 297 (App. 1985)
Volunteer Lawyers Program, Maricopa County (Consumer Rights Attorney of the Year, 2005)