Greg L. Johnson

Partner

  • location icon Sacramento, CA
    2020 West El Camino Avenue
    Suite 700
    Sacramento, CA 95833

Greg Johnson is a partner in the Sacramento office of Lewis Brisbois and a member of the Commercial Litigation Practice. Mr. Johnson is a lead trial attorney with over 25 years of experience. Mr. Johnson practices general commercial litigation with an emphasis on financial services litigation. He has handled complex cases in both state and federal trial courts, as well as state and federal appellate courts. He has represented clients in securities fraud class actions, lender-liability actions, actions involving technology subject matters and related disputes over patents, trade secrets and alleged anticompetitive/unfair trade practices (primarily in bio-medical, semiconductor and communication fields), state and federal consumer class actions, actions involving disputes over payment and reimbursement for managed health care services and actions arising from the denial of claims against governmental entities.

Over his 25+ year career, Mr. Johnson has represented over a dozen national and regional financial institutions (many on a current and on-going basis) in complex commercial disputes and class actions. Mr. Johnson has taken various of those cases to successful conclusion in federal and state courts as well as in arbitrations. As a result of the expertise Mr. Johnson has developed in representing financial institutions, Mr. Johnson has also accepted representations of other companies that support financial institutions, such as in the areas of credit reporting and collection, vehicle repossession and liquidation, vehicle title issues, protection of privacy and personal identification information and general regulatory compliance, including in the areas of insurance and securities marketing. Mr. Johnson’s most current experience includes representing financial institutions in lender-liability disputes, consumer class actions and judicial foreclosures (including appointment of receivers and pursuit of prejudgment attachments).

Mr. Johnson’s experience also involves regular defense and prosecution of common law and statutory business claims. These claims include such traditional business torts as interference with established business relations, interference with prospective economic advantage, fraud and trade libel; the statutory business claims that Mr. Johnson routinely deals with include misappropriation of trade secrets under California Civil Code §§3426, et seq.; unfair, fraudulent or deceptive business practices under California Business and Professions Code §§ 17200, et seq.; violations of the Song-Beverly Act, California Civil Code §§ 1747, et seq.; violations of the Consumer Legal Remedies Act, California Civil Code § 1770; violations of the Gift Card Act, California Civil Code §§ 1749.45 et seq.; unfair and anti-competitive practices under California Business and Professions Code §§ 17500, et seq.; the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991, 47 U.S.C. 227, et seq.; and the Sherman Act.

Publications

  • “Litigation Planning: A Guide to Quality Results” [eBook edition], 2012, Placed in Top 10 on Amazon.com
  • Client Alert - State Law May Create Liability Under Federal Regulations Not Intended To Impose Liability (04/2013)
  • Client Alert - Loss Of Market Share Is Sufficient Injury To Invoke Unfair Competition Law, Even In Absence Of Direct Business Dealing (03/2013)
  • Client Alert - CA Supreme Court Declines To Apply Song-Beverly To On-line Purchases, Citing Fraud Prevention (02/2013)
  • Client Alert - California Makes Holder of Assigned Installment Sales Contract Liable to Consumer for Seller Misconduct (02/2013)
  • Client Alert - CA Court Enforces Consumer Arbitration Provision, Negating Class Action Suit: A New Day For Business In CA (01/24/2013)
  • Client Alert - California Supreme Court: “Requesting and Recording a Cardholder’s ZIP Code” Violated State Law, 02/11/2011
  • Client Alert - California Supreme Court Rules Intentional Discrimination Not Required for Unruh Civil Rights Act Claims Involving ADA Violations, 06/22/2009
  • Client Alert - CA Supreme Court Approves Bank Recovery of Overdrafts and Fees from Accounts Containing Public Benefit Direct Deposits, 06/10/2009
  • Client Alert - Recent Uptick in California Class Actions Challenging Lender Notices in Vehicle Repos, 03/30/2009
  • Client Alert - California Supreme Court Limits Suits Under the Consumers Legal Remedies Act, 02/03/2009
  • Client Alert - California Reduces Managed Care Capitation Rates for Medi-Cal as of July 1, 07/09/2008
  • Client Alert - Lender Liability: California Appellate Decision Likely to Spur Class Actions Against Institutions That Finance Motor Vehicle Purchases, 07/24/2007
  • Advisory - ASFA Permits Offset But Prohibits Manipulation of Cost Disclosures, 07/28/2010
  • Advisory - Supreme Court Reduces Companies’ Options for Removing State Suits to Federal Courts, 06/01/2010
  • Advisory - New California Law Reveals Winners May Be Losers: Significant Impact on Settlement Strategies?, 05/20/2010
  • Advisory - CARD Act Will Exempt Prepaid Phone Cards (Not Mobile Broadband/Internet Access), 05/18/2010
  • Advisory - CARD Act: Loyalty, Award and Promotional Card, Code and Other Device Exemption, 05/05/2010
  • Advisory - California Court Revives CLRA Class Action on ‘Inference of Common Reliance’, 03/15/2010
  • Client Alert - California Financial Institutions Have a New Option for Foreign Translations of Contracts, 03/11/2010
  • Advisory - California Bill Would Require Manufacturers and Retailers to Combat Human Trafficking, 02/16/2010
  • Advisory - Settlement of Individual Claims Did Not Moot Class Representative’s Appeal in Class Action, 02/10/2010
  • Advisory - Under Senate Bill 885, $10 Threshold for Gift Card Cash Refunds Will Be Upped to $20, 02/10/2010
  • Advisory - The $10 Limit: Court Clarifies California’s Law on Redemption of Retail Gift Cards, 01/25/2010
  • Advisory - California Attorney General Interprets ASFA’s Single Document Rule, 01/13/2010
  • Advisory - California’s ASFA Construed to Permit Leeway in Consumer Disclosures, 12/22/2009
  • Pillsbury Secures Dismissal of Disciplinary Charges Filed Against Anheuser-Busch, 12/21/2009
  • Advisory - Recurring Monthly Late Fees Generated by Single Late Auto Loan Payment Found Permissible, 12/16/2009
  • Advisory - Ninth Circuit Ruling Leads to Spike in Class Actions Over Text Messages from Retailers, 11/11/2009
  • Advisory - No Free Ride: 9th Circuit Permits Lender to Repossess Vehicle When Bankruptcy Debtor Fails to Recommit, 11/03/2009
  • Advisory - New California Law Fosters Compliance with Existing Building Accessibility Standards, 12/16/2008

Representative Cases

Examples of matters recently handled by Mr. Johnson in the financial services area are as follows:

Representation of regional financial institution.

  • Represented client with respect to alleged violations of California law relating to Spanish language translation of consumer credit documentation.

Representation of regional financial institution.

  • Represented client with respect to alleged violations of California law relating to forced placement of insurance coverage in the context of automobile finance installment credit transactions.

Representation of national financial institution.

  • Represented client with respect to judicial foreclosure (including appointment of receiver) and winding up of large Central Valley agricultural based business operation.

Representation of Central Valley financial institution.

  • Represented client with respect to judicial foreclosure (including appointment of receiver) of commercial office building.

Representation of various Central Valley financial institutions.

  • Represented multiple clients in collection actions on guarantees promising repayment of debt owed by large real estate development interests, including, in most cases, defense of cross-claims for alleged lender-liability issues.

Representation of regional financial institution.

  • Represented client with respect to prosecution of trade libel claims for falsely reporting financial condition of client.

Representation of various regional financial institutions.

  • Represented clients with respect to work-out arrangements on troubled commercial loans, including those secured by real property and involving underlying personal guarantees.

Representation of financial institutions in defense of Consumers of Automobile Reliability and Safety (“CARS”) Litigation.

  • Represented three Northern California financial institutions in defense of § 17200 actions filed by CARS seeking to force disgorgement of collections of deficiency judgments allegedly collected in contravention of California’s Commercial Code and Rees-Levering Act.

Representation of several Central Valley financial institutions.

  • Represented clients in multiple alleged class actions involving claims of interference with economic relations, fraud, § 17200 violations and Rees-Levering violations, as well as defense of lender liability actions.

Representation of regional financial institution.

  • Represented client in several alleged class actions involving claims of interference with economic relations, fraud and § 17200 violations.

Representation of national financial institution.

  • Represented client in action involving claims of destruction of business and loss of profits.

Representation of Central Valley company involved in electronic management of collateral titles for financial institutions.

  • Representation of client in connection with alleged claims for § 17200 violation, trade libel and interference with economic advantage.

Representation of Bay Area automobile auction company in connection with issues arising as a result of CARS Litigation, discussed above.

Representation of regional financial institution in defense of lender liability claims asserted by real estate developer/borrower for alleged damages resulting from failed development and prosecution of related financial institution claims against guarantors of borrower’s indebtedness.

Representations of financial institutions in judicial foreclosure actions on commercial real estate, including pursuant of deficiency judgments and collection of related guaranties.

Legal Experience

Mr. Johnson served as a Judicial law clerk to the Honorable Robert L. Vining, federal district court judge, Northern District of Georgia, 1987-1988.

Mr. Johnson joined the law firm of Pillsbury Madison & Sutro in 1987 prior to beginning his judicial clerkship. Following a leave of absence to complete his clerkship, Mr. Johnson returned to Pillsbury in 1988. He became a partner at Pillsbury in 1996 and remained there in that capacity until 2011.

Additional Representative Cases

Examples of matters recently handled by Mr. Johnson involving the statutory and common law business claims experience, referenced above, are as follows:

Representation of nationwide retailers/merchants/lenders in consumer class actions in defense of a variety of alleged statutory violations.

  • Representation of nationwide retailers in defense of Song-Beverly Credit Card Act litigation.
  • Representation of nationwide retailers, restaurant chains and an oil company in defense of national class actions alleging violations of Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA).  Defeated a motion for nationwide class certification in a FACTA case filed against one of the nation’s largest retailers.
  • Representation of pharmaceutical company in multiple California-wide consumer class actions involving claims of California gift card law violations, § 17500 violations and § 1750 violations.
  • Representation of national bank in a California-wide consumer class action involving claims of California gift card law violations, § 17500 violations and § 1750 violations.
  • Representation of media distributor in a California-wide consumer class actions involving claims of California gift card law violations, § 17500 violations, and § 1750 violations.
  • Representation of retailer in a California-wide consumer class actions involving claims of § 1747 violations and § 1750 violations.
  • Representation of national retail pharmacy services provider in defense of putative class action brought for alleged violation of California’s Gift Card and Consumer Legal Remedies Acts and Business and Professions Code § 17200.
  • Multiple representations of various companies engaged in internet-based marketing and tele-marketing activities in defense of putative class actions for alleged violations of the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act (47 U.S.C.A., § 227 et seq.)

Representation of California utility company.

  • Defended telecommunications carrier at trial against monopolization and attempted monopolization claims brought by competing carrier under section 2 of the Sherman Act.  Trial counsel in six-week jury trial in U.S. District Court.

Representation of world-wide alcoholic beverage manufacturer.

  • Defense of enforcement action brought by California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control to close Northern California production facility.

Representation of national medical test laboratory and Bay Area biomedical company.

  • Represented clients in connection with claims for interference with business opportunities and misappropriation of trade secrets.

Representation of Midwestern equipment manufacturer.

  • Representation of client in connection with alleged claims for § 17200 violation and breach of distributorship agreement.

Representation of national record, compact disc and book distributor.

  • Representation of client in connection with multiple actions involving alleged claims for §§ 17200 and 17500 violations, breach of distributorship agreement and interference with economic relations.

Representation of international toy manufacturer in connection with misappropriation of proprietary information claims.

Representation of national law firm in connection with prosecution of business tort claims.

Representation of minority shareholders in derivative action to permit corporation to recover for fraud and self-dealing by corporate insiders operating pre-paid legal services business.

Representation of Northern California regional hospital district in prosecution of action against major hospital chain to invalidate agreement, based on conflict of interest in entering alleged agreement, to sell district hospital facility.

Professional Presentations

  • Speaker for RMA Young Professionals Audio Conference, May 2013
  • Central Valley Chapter, Risk Management Association (“RMA”): “Credit Relationship Case Study—Recognizing and Minimizing Lender Liability Risk” (June 2012)
  • Commercial Lenders Advisory Group (“CLAG”): “Credit Relationship Case Study—Recognizing and Minimizing Lender Liability Risk” (December 2011)

Admissions

California

Associations

Awards & Honors

Ranked as Northern California Super Lawyer (Thomson Reuters publication) for multiple years in Business Litigation

Education

J. Reuben Clark Law School, Brigham Young University

Juris Doctor, cum laude,1987

Brigham Young University

Bachelor of Arts, 1984

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