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Barbara L. Johnson

Partner, Employment Law Department
T 1(202) 551-1716
F 1(202) 551-0116

Barbara L. Johnson is a partner in the Employment Law practice of Paul Hastings and is based in the firm’s Washington, D.C. office. She is a nationally known employment jury trial and class action lawyer representing employers. She regularly tries cases in various state and federal courts, raising issues of alleged race, age, gender, and disability discrimination, wage and hour violations retaliation, breach of contract, and various employment torts. Ms. Johnson has tried more than 30 employment law cases. She provides employment law advice, handles administrative matters before state and federal agencies, and conducts investigations into all types of workplace matters. In addition to her employment law trials, Ms. Johnson has litigated ERISA, Sarbanes-Oxley, premises liability, toxic tort, environmental racism, and business tort cases. Before joining Paul Hastings, Ms. Johnson was a shareholder in a minority owned litigation boutique in Houston, Texas and in-house counsel with a major chemical company.

Recent Representations

  • Martinucci v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Southern California Medical Group (L. A. Superior Court 2012) (won directed verdict for defendants in connection with retrial of a whistleblower case in which plaintiff had won a $11.4M verdict in 2008.)
  • Served as lead counsel in five pharmaceutical sales representative cases filed against GlaxoSmithKline, including Christopher and Buchanan v. GlaxoSmithKline (D. Az 2009) (summary judgment for GlaxoSmithKline, affirmed by the Ninth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court); all cases were dismissed with prejudice following victory in United States Supreme Court.

  • Brace v. Allergan (W.D.N.Y.2011). Plaintiff dismissed this collective action while motion to compel arbitration was pending.)

Accolades and Recognitions

  • Fellow of the American Bar Association’s College of Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • International Who’s Who of Management Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • DC Super Lawyers

Speaking Engagements and Publications

  • Frequent speaker at seminars sponsored by the American Bar Association, American Law Institute-ABA, the National Employment Law Institute, National Employment Law Council, and the American Employment Law Council
  • Ethical Issues Regarding the Use of Social Media in Litigation (American Bar Association Business Law Section CLE)
  • “Avoiding and Defending Retaliation Claims (American Bar Association Labor and Employment Committee National CLE)
  • “Direct Examination — How to Get Them to Say What You Want” (American Bar Association Annual Meeting)
  • “Conducting Effective Investigations Into Workplace Misconduct” (National Employment Law Institute)

Professional and Community Involvement

  • Secretary, William and Mary Law School Foundation Board
  • Vice-Chair, Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Board of Directors
  • Chairman, National Employment Law Counsel
  • Member, SANAA Circle of the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art
  • Member, American Bar Association, Defense Research Institute and International Association of Defense Lawyers
  • Member of several organizations supporting diversity in the legal profession
  • Member, Faculty of the American Society of Addition Medicine Medical Review Officer Course
  • Former Chairman Firm’s Pro Bono and Community Involvement Committee
  • Member, Firm’s Diversity Policy and Practices Committee


  • William & Mary Law School, J.D., 1984
  • Hampton University, B.S., 1975