Stephen Ross Johnson

Director, Class of 2019

Mr. Johnson is a trial and appellate attorney whose practice is focused on the defense of persons and companies accused of white-collar crimes, major felonies, and other serious matters in federal and state courts. He has argued or briefed cases before the Supreme Court of the United States; the Supreme Court of Tennessee; the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, and Seventh Circuits; all federal district courts in Tennessee; the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals and Tennessee Court of Appeals. Mr. Johnson has been defense counsel in jury trials in state and federal courts involving a wide variety of criminal offenses, including charges of theft of trade secrets, money laundering, health care fraud, wire and mail fraud, perjury, firearms offenses, illegal drug distribution, sexual offenses and homicide. He has also defended persons at jury trial in murder prosecutions when the death penalty was sought.

Mr. Johnson has served as President of the Tennessee Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (TACDL), and for three consecutive years served as chair of the Tennessee Bar Association (TBA) Criminal Justice Section. He is on faculty with the Tennessee Criminal Defense College (TCDC), and is an active member of the white-collar defense and federal sentencing committees of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers (NACDL). He serves as the chair of the technology committee of the Knoxville Bar Association (KBA) and is a member of the Hamilton Burnett American Inn of Court. For his volunteer efforts, the TBA honored Mr. Johnson with its Access to Justice Award. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America in the area of white-collar criminal defense.

Mr. Johnson is an adjunct professor with the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he supervises third year law students in the Innocence and Wrongful Convictions Clinic. He has published articles and taught lawyers, law students, members of law enforcement, and others on the topics of trial practice, wiretapping, ethics, federal grand jury investigations, the death penalty, pretrial preparation, forensics, and other criminal law and litigation issues.

Mr. Johnson is a graduate of the National Criminal Defense College (NCDC) at Mercer Law School. He received his Doctor of Jurisprudence, with honors, from the University of Tennessee College of Law, where he served on the Constitutional Law Moot Court Team and the Moot Court Board, chaired the Speaker Series and UT Pro Bono, and was one of the founders of the Tennessee Innocence Project. He received the Excellence in Criminal Advocacy Award from the UT Legal Clinic. Mr. Johnson completed his undergraduate education at Carson-Newman College, receiving a Bachelor of Arts in International Economics with a minor in Political Science. He was a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar to the United Kingdom, where he obtained a Postgraduate Diploma in Contemporary Economic History from the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and served as a consultant to a Scottish economic development agency. Mr. Johnson lives in Maryville, Tennessee, and has two children, who are the light of his life. The most important title he holds is Daddy.

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