Former United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson excels at finding creative solutions to seemingly intractable problems. An aggressive advocate, Mr. Johnson has spent his career trying cases, deposing hostile witnesses, and cross-examining experts. His courtroom advocacy led Shared Hope International, an organization dedicated to abolishing human trafficking, to describe Mr. Johnson as a “force of determination, initiative and skill…” Together, his unique background and skill set power his ability to guide clients to solutions that serve not only their legal interest, but also to safeguard their reputation in high stakes litigation.
Mr. Johnson’s experience comes from his time at the Department of Justice as well as his political and public advocacy work. While serving as the United States Attorney for the District of South Dakota, Mr. Johnson was selected by the Attorney General of the United States to chair the Department of Justice’s Native American Issues Subcommittee and to serve on the Attorney General’s Advisory Committee. He was also a member of the Justice Department’s Terrorism/National Security and Cybercrime Subcommittees. In addition, he was named one of the nation’s top 40 political rising stars under the age of 40 by the Washington Post, and Campaigns and Election listed him as one of the 500 most influential people in politics. Chambers USA lists Mr. Johnson nationally as a “Notable Practitioner in Native American Law” and Indian Country Today named him to their “Hot List” of attorneys.
Mr. Johnson has also received numerous awards for his advocacy. These include the University of South Dakota’s Women in Law Attorney of the Year Award, the South Dakota Violence Against Women Prosecutor of the Year Award and, following his successful argument in the case of United States v. Jungers in the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals, Shared Hope’s 2014 Pathbreaker Award. When summarizing the impact of Mr. Johnson’s career with the Justice Department, former Attorney General Holder stated that, “As a lawyer and as a leader, Brendan has set a standard of excellence that will not soon be surpassed. Particularly with regard to public safety challenges on tribal lands, he has served as a key advisor to senior Justice Department officials-including me.”
- Keoland Media Group, “City settles wrongful death lawsuit with Iowa family who lost their 5 year old daughter in a drowning at Falls Park” (February 18, 2021)
- Dakota News Now, “City of Sioux Falls settles lawsuit over Falls Park drowning” (February 18, 2021)
- Sioux Falls Argus Leader, “Sioux Falls agrees to settle with mother of 2018 Falls Park drowning victim” (February 18, 2021)
- Keoland Media Group, “Johnson says he’s prepared to appeal pot amendment without help from AG’s office” (February 12, 2021)
- Star Tribune, “South Dakota judge rejects amendment legalizing marijuana” (February 8, 2021)
- Sioux Falls Argus Leader, “Legal marijuana amendment comes under fire in Pierre courtroom” (January 27, 2021)
- Rapid City Journal, "Marijuana supporters say in court filing that voiding Amendment A would overturn will of the people” (December 10, 2020)
- Sioux Falls Argus Leader, "Former U.S. Attorney, Chamber president talk marijuana legalization" (October 5, 2020)
- Keloland Media Group," Robins Kaplan LLP Law Firm Advice on Choosing a Personal Injury Attorney” (October 15, 2018)
- Keloland Media Group, "Brendan Johnson Announces Law Firm Expansion in Sioux Falls" (April 5, 2018)
- The Washington Post, "3 S.D. Indian Tribes Sue Drugmakers over Opioid Addiction" (January 9, 2018)
- Minneapolis Star-Tribune, "Upper Midwest Tribes File Suit over Opioid Crisis" (January 9, 2018)
- CBS News, "Native American Tribes Sue Opioid Manufacturers, Distributors" (January 9, 2018)
- Argus Leader, "South Dakota Tribes Sue Drugmakers Over Opioid Painkillers" (January 8, 2018)
- The Bismarck Tribune, "Native American Tribes File Federal Lawsuit Against Opioid Industry" (January 8, 2018)
- Argus Leader, "Lawsuit on behalf of brain damaged girl settles" (November 3, 2017)
- Law360, "Tribal Leaders Look to Avoid Taint of Racer's $2B Fraud" (October 18, 2017)
- The Atlantic, "Who Can Tribal Courts Try?" (December 7, 2015)
- Supreme Court Brief, "Q&A: Questioning Justice and Jurisdiction in Indian Country" (December 1, 2015)
- Indian Country Today Media Network, Former US Attorneys Hope to Level Playing Field for American Indians (June 6, 2015)
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