“Don’t set limits on yourself … don’t assume you can’t do something because somebody said it can’t be done”—wise words that Dan Johnson lives by. Early in his legal career, Dan decided he’d always be comfortable in his own skin and embrace his authentic self. In this episode of B.S.: Beyond Stereotypes, he talks to Merle Vaughn about attending Yale law school with the Clintons and Clarence Thomas, being the first Black partner at Cooley and growing grapes for his award-winning label, Okapi Wines.
Before opening his own firm at the end of 2015, Dan Johnson was a senior litigation partner in the law firm Morgan Lewis. He has earned a reputation as a premier civil trial lawyer, specializing in complex patent and intellectual property matters. He has successfully tried numerous high stakes, high profile cases for technology clients from Silicon Valley to Seoul.
Mr. Johnson’s skills have been recognized repeatedly over the years. He has been acknowledged in various publications as a top Intellectual Property Trial Lawyer. He is rated among the top lawyers in America by Chambers US, IP 360, the Daily Journal and Super Lawyer magazine. He has had a string of some of the largest verdicts in the country; 2015 (AMF), 2013 (ActiveVideo), 2011 (LG), 2009 (Phillips Lumileds), 2005 (Compuware).
Mr. Johnson began his law career in 1973 in the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California, where he was a Deputy AG. From there, he joined the San Francisco law firm now known as Cooley LLP. He eventually became the first African American partner at that firm. He continued to develop his skills as a litigator in the technology space as a senior partner at Fenwick & West LLP, before joining Morgan Lewis in 2005.
Mr. Johnson grew up in the Bay Area. He graduated from UC Berkeley and then Yale Law School. He and his wife, Kim, are the owners of Okapi Wines, a micro-boutique winery in Napa Valley that produces limited barrels of award-winning wine each year.
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