HOUSTON– Oct. 11, 2022 – Veteran trial lawyer Ethel J. Johnson joined global law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP as a shareholder in its growing Houston office, where she will be a key contributor to the Litigation Practice, particularly in employment and product liability litigation, with an emphasis on the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Johnson joins the firm from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP.
“We are very pleased with the accelerating growth we are experiencing in Texas and in our Global Litigation Practice. Ethel’s decision to join Greenberg Traurig during this time of disruption and change is a testament to the attractive geographic and practice platform we have built and our unique core values among BigLaw firms, where empowerment, innovation, respect, trust, excellence, and true diversity are essential elements. Our firm’s Litigation Practice remains an area of focus as we continue expanding our presence in the Texas market and globally during challenging times for our clients,” said Executive Chairman Richard A. Rosenbaum, who has played an integral role in developing and executing the firm's Texas strategies since first opening there almost 20 years ago.
With more than 31 years of experience and notable victories for clients as a trial lawyer, Johnson is known for handling bet-the-company litigation matters. As she focuses on pharmaceutical/life sciences, products liability, mass torts, and complex business disputes, Johnson is frequently lead counsel and first chair trial attorney on complex cases. In her role as a member of Greenberg Traurig’s award-winning Pharmaceutical, Medical Device & Health Care Litigation Practice, Johnson will be parachuted into some of the practice’s most active client matters and trials. She will also assist in the practice’s continuing growth and expansion efforts.
Johnson’s notable experience within products liability includes consumer products and fraud for a variety of products. She has tried upwards of 35 civil cases (jury and bench trials) in state and federal courts across the United States and arbitrated more than 75 additional cases related to labor disputes.
“Ethel’s stellar reputation in the court room along with her known trial skills and savvy are an excellent addition to the firm’s Litigation Practice. She will undoubtfully be a crucial member of the firm’s powerhouse trial group, working hand in hand with its co-chair William Michael, Jr.,” said Lori G. Cohen, vice chair of Greenberg Traurig, co-chair of the firm’s global Litigation Practice, and co-chair of the Trial Practice. “Ethel’s impressive record, valuable tenure and experience, and commitment to client excellence will offer enormous value to clients firmwide.”
Johnson holds the distinction of being Board Certified in Labor and Employment Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Her practice also focuses on employment law matters and she regularly litigates single and multiplaintiff discrimination, retaliation, harassment, disability, Family and Medical Leave Act, defamation, Employee Retirement Income Security Act, breach of contract, wage and hour, temporary restraining orders /injunctive relief, trade secret, and non-competition disputes. Additionally, it includes Equal Employment Opportunity Commission administrative matters, including Commissioner’s Charges, employment law advice and counsel, training, workplace investigations, and drafting employment policies, practices, procedures, and employee handbooks.
Johnson’s current representations include a variety of national clients, such as Fortune 500 companies, large automobile manufacturers, and leading pharmaceutical companies. “I am very excited to join such a respected and formidable team with deep and intentional roots in Texas, as well as throughout the nation,” Johnson said. “The Greenberg Traurig team’s highly effective and client-centric approach will complement my practice. I look forward to working alongside a team of talented practitioners and contributing to their efforts.”
“Greenberg Traurig continues to grow key areas of practice in Texas with high calibre attorneys who fit our unique family culture. More specifically, the Litigation Practice becomes even stronger with the addition of Ethel, whom I’ve known since law school. Her focus and tenacity have always distinguished her in the study and practice of law,” said Demetrius G. McDaniel, regional operating shareholder for Texas. “Ethel brings strength, character, and commitment to practicing law which are qualities we look for in all Greenberg Traurig team members. I look forward to the impact that Ethel will make to the firm’s Litigation Practice in Houston and firmwide. From a Texas perspective, the recent hiring of four outstanding litigators, Christina M. Carroll, G. Michael Gruber, and Brian E. Mason in Dallas, and Jamie Rose in Austin, and now Ethel, adds to the excellent team of litigators that the firm has in the state. Greenberg Traurig’s culture of collaboration will increase the capacity for the firm to put the best team on the field for clients in the most complex legal cases and controversies.”
Johnson has been recognized by Best Lawyers in America, Texas Super Lawyers, The Legal 500, Chambers USA Guide to America, and more. She currently serves as an adjunct professor at Howard University School of Law. Johnson received her J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law and her B.S. from Siena Heights College.
The firm’s three offices in Texas have recently added strategic hires in various core practice areas including Shareholders Ashley Aten (Real Estate), Steven E. Bartz (Corporate), Denis Braham (Real Estate), Christina M. Carroll, (Litigation), G. Michael Gruber (Litigation), Adam H. Laughton (Health Care & FDA), Vernon L. Lewis (White Collar Defense & Special Investigations), Brian E. Mason (Litigation), and Austin R. Wyker (Tax); Senior Counsel Sheryl Tatar Dacso (Health Care & FDA); and, Of Counsels Richard A. Crow (Real Estate), Martye Kendrick (Public Finance & Infrastructure), and Jennifer S. Kukla (Real Estate).