Michael Johnston has more than thirty-two years experience as a trial lawyer and has been lead counsel in over 125 trials, the majority of which were jury trials. Mr. Johnston, a member of the bars of both Florida and Georgia, focuses his practice on employment litigation and counseling, including matters involving non-competition and non-solicitation agreements, trade secret laws, federal and state discrimination laws, Sarbanes-Oxley and other whistleblower statutes, wage and overtime statutes, the WARN Act, ERISA, employment agreements, and state tort law. Mr. Johnston has defended complex class action and multi-plaintiff employment cases in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He has served as lead defense counsel in numerous class actions and avoided class certification in all of them. Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business, has noted that Mr. Johnston is “bright, determined and a go-to name for any employment law issue” and quoted a client as saying Mr. Johnston is “an employment lawyer of striking intelligence and experience, clearly at the top of his game.” U.S. News and World Report also quoted a client as describing Mr. Johnston as “one of the best, most experienced employment trial lawyers in the country. His excellent skills coupled with the laudable support always provided by his colleagues makes him and King & Spalding an especially attractive firm in any matter, but especially high stakes litigation.”
Mr. Johnston is a former prosecutor who now coordinates and directs internal investigations for companies accused of violations of the whistleblower provisions of the False Claims Act, Sarbanes-Oxley and other employment-related statutes, as well as the investigation of employment irregularities, such as sexual and racial harassment.
Mr. Johnston also provides counsel and advice to companies on employment-related matters, including the successful implementation of reductions in force and the separation of senior executives or other employees with sensitive and confidential business information or trade secrets. In this capacity, Mr. Johnston is often called upon to either enforce or defeat enforcement of non-compete, non-solicitation and confidential information/trade secrets agreements. He has been successful in doing both in numerous cases throughout the country.
Mr. Johnston has represented companies in a broad array of industries, including the pharmaceutical, grocery, food service and distribution, soft drinks, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, healthcare, mortgage lending and banking industries.
Mr. Johnston graduated from the United States Air Force Academy (with academic distinction) in 1975, and received his J.D., with highest honors, from the University of Florida in 1980. Mr. Johnston also earned an LL.M. in labor law from the Georgetown University Law Center in 1986.
- State Bar of Georgia, Labor and Employment Law Sections
- The Florida Bar, Labor and Employment Law Sections