Michael A.F. Johnson litigates complex civil actions, often involving banks and other financial institutions, financial-institution investors, and financial regulatory agencies.

Mr. Johnson has experience in all phases of civil litigation and arbitration, from pre-litigation advice through initial case assessment, dispositive motions, class certification, discovery, trial, and appeal, as well as in proceedings before the Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation. Mr. Johnson has argued in 9 of the 13 federal Courts of Appeals, and has first- and second-chaired numerous trials in state and federal courts, often examining the principal fact witnesses and presenting damages analysis through expert witnesses. Mr. Johnson has successfully examined or cross-examined many of the nation's leading experts in finance, including Andrew Carron, Anjan Thakor, Steven Davis, Andrew Davidson, Barefoot Bankhead, Sam Thompson, and Frank Fabozzi.

Mr. Johnson has been involved in cases involving a variety of constitutional, statutory, and common law claims. Mr. Johnson designed and successfully presented damages analyses supporting eight- and nine-figure breach-of-contract judgments in several Winstar cases in the Court of Federal Claims. He is the lead national counsel defending dozens of class-action cases concerning the application of certain federal statutory tax exemptions to state and local real-estate transfer taxes. He has successfully represented banks in cases involving a variety of customer-facing practices, including overdraft policies and fees. He also has developed and successfully presented arguments concerning whether federally chartered entities are government actors for purposes of constitutional claims, has successfully argued for the dismissal of a variety of lender-liability claims, and has successfully litigated cases challenging federal action under the Administrative Procedure Act.


  • Oakland County v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, 716 F.3d 935 (6th Cir. 2013).
  • Montgomery County v. Federal National Mortgage Association, 2013 WL 1832370 (D. Md. 2013).
  • Nicolai v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, 928 F.Supp.2d 1331 (M.D. Fl. 2013).
  • District of Columbia ex rel. Hager v. Federal National Mortgage Association, 883 F.Supp.2d 107 (D.D.C. 2012).
  • Herron v. Fannie Mae, 857 F.Supp.2d 87 (D.D.C. 2012).

  • In re Real Estate Transfer Tax Litigation, 2012 WL 4479910 (J.P.M.L. 2012).
  • County of Sonoma v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, 710 F.3d 987 (9th Cir. 2013).
  • Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, 815 F.Supp.2d 630 (S.D.N.Y 2011); aff'd sub nom Town of Babylon v. Federal Housing Finance Agency, 699 F.3 221 (2d Cir. 2012).
  • Globe Savings Bank v. United States, 65 Fed. Cl. 330 (2005); 189 Fed. Appx. 964 (Fed. Cir. 2006); 74 Fed. Cl. 736 (2006).
  • American Federal Bank v. United States, 72 Fed. Cl. 586 (2006); 74 Fed. Cl. 208 (2006).


The Legal 500 US
Appellate: Courts of Appeals (2016-2018)
Washington, DC Super Lawyers
General Litigation (2014-2016)


  • JD, Georgetown University Law Center, 1997, magna cum laude, Order of the Coif
  • MA, Indiana University, 1997
  • BA, University of Pennsylvania, 1990, magna cum laude
  • District of Columbia
  • Virginia
  • US District Court for the District of Columbia and Maryland
  • US District Court for the Western District of New York, Wisconsin, and Michigan
  • US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and Virginia
  • District of Columbia Court of Appeals
  • US Court of Appeals for the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuits
  • US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • US Court of Federal Claims
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • Supreme Court of Virginia

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