165605_bioimage

Vernon W. Johnson, III



Vernon Johnson is a trial and litigation attorney representing companies and their management in complex commercial civil litigation and solving related problems. His experience handling and trying cases and matters covers a variety of industries including real estate, defense, health care, manufacturing, and financial services.

What do you focus on?

I help clients in a wide range of industries with their complex commercial litigation disputes and issues, and provide assistance and counsel to help address issues with real estate, contract, and other matters. I have significant experience in real property litigation, commercial leasing, health care litigation, unfair competition, covenants not to compete, commercial litigation and arbitration, and general corporate defense work. My practice has also included substantial experience with motions and claims for injunctive relief, in both state and federal courts. I am a member of Nixon Peabody’s NP Trial team, an international team of the firm’s most successful and experienced trial lawyers. I have tried numerous cases in both state and federal courts as well as before arbitration panels.

I regularly represent clients in mediations, arbitrations, and other forms of alternative dispute resolution. I have handled matters before the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (and its predecessor entities, the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) Department of Arbitration), JAMS, and the McCammon Group.

I am a former barrister and officer with the Charles Fahy American Inn of Court and am currently a barrister and team leader with the William B. Bryant American Inn of Court. Additionally, I have served as an officer and on the Executive Committee of the Barristers. I am also active in our local community.

What do you see on the horizon?

These are volatile and uncertain times, and, more than ever, our clients need a steady hand and experienced guidance to help solve problems effectively and efficiently. Advocates must be responsive and able to identify the appropriate resources to apply; we must then pursue the right legal solutions professionally and wisely to enable clients to continue to grow and prosper in their businesses.

Significant Recent Cases

  • Kiddie Academy Domestic Franchising, LLC v. Wonder World Learning, LLC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 132931 (D. Md. 2020) (summary judgment against negligent misrepresentation claims by former franchisee against franchisor)
  • Yudzon v. Sage Title, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 90295 (D.D.C. 2020) (defense of claims of buyer against settlement agent)
  • Huang v. Estes (In re 1436 Foxhall Rd. LLC), 2019 U.S. Bankr. LEXIS 2022 (Bankr. D.C. 2020) (claims involving competing deeds of trust on real property, including equitable subrogation issues)
  • Kiddie Academy Domestic Franchising, LLC v. Wonder World Learning, LLC, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 56126 (D. Md. 2019) (dismissal of Federal racketeering, fraud, and other claims of former franchisee against franchisor)
  • Neitzey v. George W. Allen, LLC, 2017 Md. Cir. Ct. LEXIS 6 (Mo. Co. Cir. Cit. 2017) (finding post-employment restrictions unenforceable under Maryland law)
  • Levin v. ImpactOffice LLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 106480 (D. Md. 2017) (denial of motion to dismiss Stored Communications Act claim)
  • Paul v. ImpactOffice LLC, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87091 (D. Md. 2017) (finding post-employment restrictions unenforceable under Maryland law)
  • ImpactOffice LLC v. Siniavsky, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 161062 (D. Md. 2016) (finding post-employment restrictions unenforceable under Maryland law)
  • Ju v. Carter, 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 115233 (D.D.C. 2015) (dismissal of lawsuit by real property buyer against seller, claiming fraud, breach of contract, and failure to make required pre-sale disclosure)
  • Loewinger v. Estate of Loewinger, 64 Va. App. 1, 763 S.E.2d 826 (2014) (dismissal of appeal for failure to name correct party)

Other Significant Case Experience

  • Bhari Info. Tech. Sys. Private Ltd. v. Sriram, 984 F.Supp.2d. 498 (D. Md. 2013) (dismissal of Federal racketeering claims for failure to state a claim and dismissal of accompanying claims for lack of subject matter jurisdiction)
  • Harnett v. Washington Harbour Condominium Ass’n, Inc., 54 A.3d 1165 (D.C. 2012) (lawsuit by condominium owner against association for breach of fiduciary duty and other issues)
  • Zinone v. Lee’s Crossing Homeowners Ass’n, 282 Va. 330, 714 S.E.2d 922 (2011) (lawsuit by property owner against community association challenging enforceability of covenants)
  • Monument Realty, LLC v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 540 F.Supp.2d 66 (D.D.C. 2008) (preliminary injunction against sale of real estate in ballpark district)
  • Monument Realty, LLC v. Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority, 535 F.Supp.2d 60 (D.D.C. 2008) (denial of motion to dismiss claims relating to attempted sale of real estate in ballpark district)
  • Dunhem v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100790 (D. Md. 2006) (customer claim against financial institution for investment losses)
  • Gowin v. Granite Depot, LLC, 272 Va. 246, 634 S.E. 2d 714 (2006) (dispute between members of limited liability company)
  • H&R Block Financial Advisors, Inc. v. Majkowski, 410 F.Supp.2d. 1 (D.D.C. 2006) (denial of preliminary injunction against departed financial advisors)
  • Vinogradova v. SunTrust Bank, Inc., 162 Md. App. 495, 875 A.2d 222 (2005) (defense of customer claim against financial institution for defalcation by attorney-in-fact)
  • First Am. Title Ins. Co. v. First Trust Nat’l Ass’n (In re: Biloxi Casino Belle, Inc.), 368 F.3d 491 (5th Cir. 2004) (scope of title insurance policy coverage)
  • RCSH Operations, L.L.C. v. Third Crystal Park Associates Limited Partnership, 115 Fed. Appx. 621 (4th Cir. 2004) (commercial lease dispute)
  • American Towers v. Williams, 50 Fed. Appx. 448 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (disputer regarding municipality’s revocation of cell tower building permit)
  • M. Morgan Cherry & Associates, Ltd. v. Cherry 37 Va. App. 329, 558 S.E.2d 534 (2002) (corporate veil piercing claim)
  • Cotten & Selfon v. Charnock, 10 Fed. Appx. 70 (4th Cir. 2001) (claim against law firm partner related to gift from client)
  • Countryside Orthopaedics, P.C. v. Peyton, 261 Va. 142, 541 S.E.2d 279 (2001) (dispute among partners of medical practice)
  • Regency Communications, Inc. v. Cleartel Communications, Inc., 160 F.Supp.2d. 36 (D.D.C. 2001) (Federal racketeering and related claims)
  • Macktal v. Garde, 111 F.Supp.2d. 18 (D.D.C. 2000) (defense of legal malpractice claim)
  • Fidelity Nat’l Title Ins. Co. v. Southern Heritage Title Ins. Agency, Inc., 257 Va. 246, 512 S.E.2d 553 (1999) (suit by title underwriter against title agent)
  • Bell Atlantic-Washington, D.C., Inc. v. Nazario Construction Co., Inc., 716 A.2d 191 (D.C. 1998) (construction dispute)
  • Auger v. Tasea Inv. Co., 676 A.2d 18 (D.C. 1996) (internal partnership dispute)
  • Nautilus Insurance Co. v. Winchester Homes, Inc., 15 F.3d 371 (4th Cir. 1994) (reversal of dismissal of case on prudential abstention grounds)

Legal Presentations

  • “Digging In: Real Estate Litigation in the District of Columbia From the Ground Up,” District of Columbia Bar, February 12, February 26, and March 4, 2020
  • “Digging In: Real Estate Litigation in the District of Columbia From the Ground Up,” District of Columbia Bar, July 18 and 25, 2017
  • “Digging In: Real Estate Litigation in the District of Columbia From the Ground Up,” District of Columbia Bar, August 11 and 18, 2016
  • “Digging In: Real Estate Litigation in the District of Columbia From the Ground Up,” District of Columbia Bar, August 10 and 17, 2015
  • “Digging In: Real Estate Litigation in the District of Columbia From the Ground Up,” District of Columbia Bar, August 6 and 13, 2014
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases in the District of Columbia,” District of Columbia Bar, August 7 and 14, 2013
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases in the District of Columbia,” District of Columbia Bar, October 9 and November 28, 2012
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases in the District of Columbia,” District of Columbia Bar, October 4 and 11, 2011
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases in the District of Columbia,” District of Columbia Bar, October 6 and 13, 2010
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases in the District of Columbia,” District of Columbia Bar, September 16 and 23, 2009
  • “Title Law in Washington, D.C.,” National Business Institute, April 27, 2009
  • “Road Access Law: Successfully Handling Disputes,” National Business Institute, October 16, 2008
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases in the District of Columbia,” District of Columbia Bar, September 10 and 17, 2008
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases in the District of Columbia,” District of Columbia Bar, September 12 and 19, 2007
  • “Troubleshooting Title and Title Insurance Problems,” National Business Institute, April 4, 2007
  • “Issues You Need To Consider In Litigating And Trying Real Estate Cases,” District of Columbia Bar, November 1 and 8, 2006
  • “How to Survive an Arbitration and Cross Examination,” SunTrust Annual Compliance Conference, November 9, 2005
  • “Issues You Need to Consider in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases,” District of Columbia Bar, November 2, 2005
  • “Title Law: Solutions to the Most Common Problems (Rebound from surprises and setbacks to keep real estate transactions on track),” National Business Institute, April 18, 2005
  • “Virginia Boundary Law: Critical Issues and Solutions Every Practitioner Needs to Know,” National Business Institute, October 14, 2004
  • “Issues in Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases,” District of Columbia Bar, September 23, 2004
  • “Effective Boundary Dispute Resolution in Virginia,” National Business Institute, March 24, 2004
  • “Introduction to Litigating and Trying Real Estate Cases,” District of Columbia Bar, August 25, 2003
  • “Boundary Law in Virginia,” National Business Institute, June 18, 2003
  • “Advanced Principles of Title Insurance in Washington, D.C.,” National Business Institute, November 12, 2002
  • “Boundary Law in Virginia,” National Business Institute, January 11, 2002
  • “Tech Fast Track: The Advantages of Alternative Dispute Resolution,” Vienna, Virginia, August 10, 2000
  • “Boundary Law in Virginia,” National Business Institute, June 20, 2000
  • “Technology and E-Commerce Contracts for ‘Non-Techies’,” Greater Washington Board of Trade, October 19, 1999
  • “Real Estate Litigation in Virginia,” National Business Institute, July 28, 1999
  • “Defend or Settle? The Title Company’s Options in Handling Claims,” ABA/TIPS Title Insurance Litigation Committee, Spring 1997 Title Insurance Claims Seminar, April 4, 1997

Legal Publications

  • Contributor, “Civil Practice in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia,” Bar Association of the District of Columbia, 2004 edition
  • “To Compete or Noncompete” (with T. Vermeer), Journal of Accountancy, February 2004
  • “Use of Expert Testimony in Copyright Infringement Cases,” Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, July 2002
  • “Drawbacks to UDRP Hearings,” The National Law Journal, October 22, 2001
  • “Insuring Title Is Sometimes Neglected” (with D. Cox), The National Law Journal, October 23, 2000
  • “Racing to the Courthouse Takes On a New Meaning,” The National Law Journal, August 21, 2000
  • “State Equity Doctrine Helps Title Insurers” (with D. Cox), The National Law Journal, February 7, 2000
  • “Fair Housing Act Case Law Developments,” Community Associations Institute Quorum, July 1993
  • Editor, Digest of the Commercial Law of the District of Columbia (Oceana Publications, Inc., 1990)

CO-NUNDRUM: As questions swirl around WeWork, the region grapples with what coworking will look like going forward

Washington Business Journal | November 15, 2019

This article quotes Washington, DC, Complex Commercial Disputes partner Vernon Johnson on how commercial landlords in the Beltway can protect themselves against economic uncertainty by diversifying the types of tenants who lease space in their properties.

Tax Officials Reduce Trump’s Tax Bill on DC Hotel by Nearly $1 Million

Washington Post | January 11, 2018

Washington DC commercial litigation partner Vernon Johnson is quoted in this article explaining how DC tax assessors agreed to lower the assessment on the Trump Hotel by $53.6 million. Vernon says the result indicates the hotel “was able to show the tax office that the actual income was much lower than the District was assuming.”

Contact

Vernon W. Johnson, III

Partner
Deputy Leader, Construction & Real Estate Litigation

Washington, DC

Phone: 202-585-8401


Fax: 866-692-7459

George Washington University Law School, J.D.

Duke University, B.A.

District of Columbia

Maryland

Virginia

U.S. District Court, District of the District of Columbia

U.S. District Court, District of Maryland

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia

U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

Vernon was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2020 in the fields of Litigation—Construction and Litigation—Real Estate. Vernon has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2018.

Vernon has received an AV Preeminent® Peer Review Rating™ from Martindale Hubbell®, the highest possible rating for ethics and legal ability.

Vernon has been recommended in The Legal 500 United States 2019 editorial (as well as in previous editions) for Intellectual property—Trade secrets (litigation and non-contentious matters).

Back to top