Margaret I. Johnson

Margaret I. Johnson

Senior Trial Attorney
Santa Ana, California
888-284-0809 (Toll Free)

Margaret "MJ" Johnson is the Chair of the firm's Appellate Practice Group. MJ has extensive experience both as an appellate practitioner and as a litigator. She devoted several years of practice exclusively to handling appeals and has drafted numerous appellate briefs and petitions in the United States Supreme Court, Federal Courts of Appeal, California Supreme Court, and California Courts of Appeal.

MJ is also an experienced litigator, having advised clients ranging from individuals to multi-national Fortune 10 corporations, representing their interests in California and providing support for their legal teams on a national level. Her broad background and experience makes her uniquely qualified to bring a multi-faceted perspective to the development and execution of litigation strategy in "high stakes" case from the inception of the action through the conclusion of the appellate process.

MJ has served as lead counsel for brief writing and oral argument on key issues at both the trial and appellate levels in numerous cases involving upwards of 100 parties. Her ability to effectively negotiate with opposing and contrasting positions while diligently advocating her clients' interests and focusing on the "big picture" was integral to her work as Defense Liaison Counsel for Judicial Council Coordinated Proceedings filed in the Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties, assisting the Coordination Trial Judge in the development of case management orders governing all proceedings from case filing to discovery and trial.

Among MJ's recent published appellate victories is CertainTeed v. Superior Court (Hart), 222 Cal.App.4th 1053 (2014). She served as lead appellate counsel in a 70+ defendant complex product liability (asbestos) preference action, resulting in successful statutory interpretation writ campaign reversing the trial court's order and confirming that trial courts have the discretion to and "shall allow additional time, beyond any limits imposed by [Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.290] if needed to fairly examine the deponent."

Areas of Practice

  • Appellate
  • Complex Business Litigation
  • Construction Defect
  • Employment
  • Environmental Regulation
  • Government Entity Liability
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Mass Torts
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Professional Errors and Omissions
  • Toxic Torts

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Appellate Law, California State Bar, 1999

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California


  • Southwestern University School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D.
    • Honors: Moot Court Honors Program
  • University of California, Los Angeles, California
    • B.A.
    • Major: Political Science
    • Minor: Business Administration


  • Speaker, HarrisMartin California Asbestos Litigation Conference

Honors and Awards

  • Pro Bono/Community Service Award, McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP
  • Named one of the Top 100 Attorneys in Southern California by Super Lawyer, 2009 - 2015

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • State Bar of California, Member
  • Asian Pacific American Bar Association, Member
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association, Member
  • Judicial and Public Appointments Committee for the Asian Pacific American Bar Association (APABA), Former Board of Directors and Chairperson
  • Community Development Advisory Board for the City of Lomita, Former City Commissioner, Vice-Chairperson
  • General Planning Committee, City of Lomita, Member

Past Employment Positions

  • City of Lomita, City Commissioner; Vice Chairperson, Community Development Advisory Board; Member, General Planning Committee
  • Polsinelli and McKenna Long & Aldridge, Of Counsel

Pro Bono Activities

  • Pro bono Volunteer for the Alliance for Children’s Rights
  • Committee Chair for a Community Outreach Program as a Member of the Junior League of Los Angeles
  • Former President and Chairperson of the Board of Directors for the Los Angeles Rowing Club
  • Volunteer, Camp Pendleton YMCA’s Holiday programs for Junior Enlisted families
  • Volunteer, Habitat for Humanity
  • Volunteer, Union Rescue Mission
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