Founder & partner

Arthur Johnson

Attorney Art Johnson has long been recognized as one of the best trial lawyers in the West. In a cover article in the Oregonian’s Sunday “Northwest” Magazine, the author wrote, “Art Johnson is by many accounts the most successful personal injury lawyer in Oregon, and perhaps the Northwest. He holds one of the most impressive win-loss records on the West Coast.” Even a prominent insurance defense lawyer described Art as “the best trial lawyer you will ever meet.”

While admittedly pleased by such praise, Art would emphasize that success in complex trials results only from team efforts; work shared in preparation and in trial with the fine lawyers who are his younger partners, and the firm’s exceptional staff. Art suggests that perhaps a better measure than words of printed praise are the results that have been obtained for clients over a wide range of cases. Civil Rights cases, as in this landmark case, generate headlines. Delores Huerta, co-founder and vice president of the United Farmworkers Union, was conferring with reporters on the steps of a hotel across from San Francisco’s Union Square in 1988 when a police tactical squad moved in to move the crowd.

Art Johnson, the Prince of Torts. Northwest Magazine, October 12, 1986. Click here to read the story.

Delores was brutally beaten; a police baton shattered her spleen and nearly ended her life. She turned to Art Johnson to seek justice in U.S. Federal Court (California), and under his counsel the case was settled for a record amount, and important police conduct reforms were put into place. To read Art’s account of this headlining civil rights case, click here.

Longtime Willamette Valley residents are likely to remember the fatal pile up on I-5 during field burning season. In 1989, thick smoke from a large grass farm next to I-5 caused 67 northbound vehicles to crash in the smoke, and 27 cars to collide in cars traveling southbound. Art Johnson was hired by a badly injured driver who was violently stuck and sandwiched between semi trucks. Because of the number of plaintiffs, and his reputation for fairness, Art Johnson was appointed lead counsel for all plaintiffs through a long mediation process. To read Art’s account of his work as lead plaintiff counsel, click here.

Helicopter crashes are complex cases that involve thorough investigation. In one of Art’s many high profile cases, two Douglas County Deputy Sheriffs were in a helicopter chartered by the Sheriff’s Department to search the North Umpqua valley and adjoining valley of Steamboat Creek for plots of marijuana. The pilot hit poorly marked high voltage PacifiCorp power lines that stretched across the wide Steamboat valley, killing both sheriffs. Art Johnson represented the surviving family members of both men. During the discovery process, when reviewing minutes of PacifiCorp board meetings, Art discovered that on two occasions, the Board had considered recommendations to place balls on the wires to improve visibility, but voted “no” because of the cost. Art settled both cases prior to trial for confidential sums. To read more about Art’s account of this wrongful death case, click here.

In yet another well known case, a landslide that triggered in a clear-cut area above a residential area crashed down on homes following a heavy rain storm, killing 4 adults. Art Johnson was retained by surviving family members to prosecute the wrongful death claims. After exhaustive investigation and depositions, Art concluded that the defendants responsible for the logging knew that a clear-cut, and removal of trees from a steeply forested slope, would substantially increase the risk of a disastrous landslide. The cases were confidentially resolved. To read Art’s account of this wrongful death case, click here.

Art Johnson received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Oregon, and his J.D. from Harvard. Art has been honored every year since 1989 in Best Lawyers in America, and he was honored as the Lawyer of the Year in 2011. Art received the distinguished “Owen M. Panner Professionalism Award” in 2006, was the recipient of the “Meritorius Service Award” from the University of Oregon School of Law in 1994, received the Distinguished Trial Lawyer Award from the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association in 1990, and the nationally regarded Public Justice Award in 1991.

A past president of the Oregon Bar Association, a President’s Club member of the American Association of Justice, President’s Club member of the American Association for Justice (AAJ), Art continues to represent injured plaintiffs locally and nationally in the pursuit of justice.

Art Johnson founded his practice nearly 60 years ago, believing then — and today — that JUSTICE is a RIGHT.

Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton continues to reflect his founding mission, and his continued dedication to providing the best possible legal counsel. AV is a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

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  • President, Oregon State Bar 1981-1982
  • President, Oregon Trial Lawyers Association 1988-1989
  • President, Lane County Bar Association 1971-1972
  • President, Oregon Chapter American Board of Trial Advocates 1978
  • National Association of the Bar Presidents 1983-1984
  • American College of Trial Lawyers 1981 to present


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