David Johnson has been a partner at Morris, Downing & Sherred since 1980, and enjoys extensive experience in litigation, estate planning and administration, and real estate matters.
Mr. Johnson has earned a peer rating of “AV: Preeminent”, from Martindale Hubbell, the highest possible peer rating for ethical standards and legal ability.
Estate Planning and Administration
Mr. Johnson specializes in estate planning including the most current and sophisticated estate planning techniques, with an emphasis on family wealth transfers, helping clients avoid probate, protecting their assets, minimizing death taxes, and providing for the security of their loved ones with a well-crafted estate plan.
He has extensive experience in the administration of estates of all sizes, and has successfully litigated many estate matters, including will contests, holographic will claims, defense of claims against the estate, and succession disputes.
Mr. Johnson formed the litigation practice area at the firm over thirty years ago, and has successfully represented clients in a variety of complex civil litigation matters, including:
- wrongful death and serious personal injury claims;
- employment claims, including wrongful termination, CEPA (whistleblower), and discrimination (LAD) claims;
- estate litigation; and
- commercial claims
He has successfully represented many clients over the course of his career and is a member of the American Association for Justice, the New Jersey Association for Justice, and the American, New Jersey, and Sussex County Bar Associations.
His professional and charitable contributions include having served on the District X Ethics Committee, the Civil Trial Committee of the Sussex County Bar Association, President of the Board of Trustees of the Sussex County Chapter of the American Red Cross, Co-Chair of the Campaign for New Initiatives, Newton Memorial Hospital Foundation, and Honorary Lifetime member, Sparta Volunteer Ambulance Squad. He has been active for many years as a volunteer Little League baseball and basketball coach, and has served as a golf instructor and mentor for junior golfers.
Areas of Practice
- Estate Litigation/Will Contests
- Estate Planning & Administration
- Commercial Litigation
- Personal Injury Litigation
- Real Estate, Condominium Law
- 60% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
- New Jersey, 1976
- New York, 1986
- U.S. District Court District of New Jersey, 1976
- U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York, 1986
- U.S. District Court Northern District of New York, 1986
- U.S. District Court Southern District of New York, 1986
- U.S. District Court Western District of New York, 1986
- University of Maryland School of Law, Baltimore, Maryland
- J.D. – 1975
- Honors: With Honors
- Law Review: University of Maryland School of Law Review, 1973 – 1974
- Duke University, Durham, North Carolina
- B.A. cum laude – 1970
- Honors: Dean’s List
- Honors: All-ACC Academic Team (1968)
- Honors: With Honors
- Major: Accounting
- Baldwin Enterprises
- Intercar, Inc.
- Lakeland Bancorp
- Barn Hill Care Center, Inc.
- Ascent Securities
- Ascent Medical Technology Fund
- Reed Lane, Inc.
- Family Ford, Inc.
Honors and Awards
- AV Peer Rating Martindale – Hubbell
Professional Associations and Memberships
- ABA, 1976 – Present
- NJ State Bar Association, 1976 – Present
- American Association for Justice, 1989 – Present
- NJAJ, 1989 – Present
Past Employment Positions
- Hon. John L. Ard, AJSC, JAD, Judicial Clerkship, 1975 – 1976
- USS Wasp (CVS-18), Legal Officer, 1970 – 1972
Pro Bono Activities
- Chairman, Board of Directors, American Red Cross Sussex County Chapter, 2007 – 2009