Photo of Michael D. Johnston

Michael D. Johnston

Shareholder and General Counsel
Key Bank Tower
36 S. State Street
Suite 1900
Salt Lake City, UT 84111

Related Info

Mr. Johnston is Chair of the firm's Risk Management/Insurance section and a member of the Employment and Labor and the Litigation sections. He represents clients as lead attorney in jury and bench trials and throughout all other stages of the litigation process.

Mr. Johnston has extensive experience defending general contractors and other construction entities against multi-million dollar construction defect claims. He also has extensive experience defending against employment discrimination and/or wrongful termination claims, breach of contract claims, professional liability claims (such as those brought against real estate agents, health care professionals and other professionals) and general tort claims.

Mr. Johnston has been recognized as one of Utah’s Legal Elite for civil litigation and as a Mountain States Super Lawyer Rising Star in employment litigation. 


Reported Cases:

  •  Jorgensen v. Trees Acquisition, Inc., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17051 (D. Utah 2013) (defended employer against alleged discrimination and breach of contract claims).
  •  Ball v. Carper, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83125 (D. Utah 2012) (defended against alleged civil rights violations).
  • N653CT v. Player’s Air, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10816 (D. Utah 2010) (successfully represented purchaser of Brasilia aircraft in case involving violation of aircraft maintenance standards and breach of an aircraft purchase agreement).
  • Western World Ins. Co. v. Special Population Learning Outdoor Rec. & Educ., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9534 (D. Utah 2009) (insurance coverage dispute).
  • Hackford v. Corporation of the President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 25250 (10th Cir. 2011) (defended against complaint seeking injunctive relief).
  • C&A Construction, Inc. v. Fire Insurance Services, 2007 UT App. 365 (Utah App. 2007) (construction/property damage dispute).



Brigham Young University, J.Reuben Clark Law School, cum laude, J.D., 2006

  • Associate Editor, Brigham Young University Journal of Public Law
  • Research assistant Professor Stanley Neeleman
  • Research assistant Professor Steven Huefner (The Ohio State University)

Brigham Young University, B.A., Marketing, 2003

  • Recipient of Merit Scholarship


  • Judicial Clerk, Judge David Sam, United States District Court for the District of Utah, 2003
  • Law Clerk, Alverson, Taylor, Mortensen & Sanders, Las Vegas, Nevada, 2004
  • Law Clerk, Kirton & McConkie, 2005

Bar Admissions

  • Utah, 2006

Honors & Awards

  • Mountain States Super Lawyers: Rising Star in Employment and Labor
  • Utah Legal Elite: Up & Coming in Civil Litigation
  • Utah Legal Elite: Civil Litigation