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Ms. Johnston represents clients in a range of complex litigation matters and a variety of industries. Her focus includes complex product liability defense, oil/gas/mineral and pipeline, mass torts and toxic torts, defense of pharmaceuticals and medical devices and restrictive covenant/non-compete actions, particularly in technology and product-intense industries. She serves as national, local and trial counsel to the automotive industry, heavy equipment manufacturers and others in asbestos, benzene and toxic tort cases, and represents pharmaceutical clients in mass tort proceedings at the state and federal levels. Additionally, she has litigated claims related to trademark infringement, RICO, fraud, wage and hour, and other business-related litigation.

Ms. Johnston is the chair of the firm’s Product Liability practice group.

Community & Pro Bono

  • Venture Outdoors, Board of Directors, former Chair
  • Hidden Valley Foundation, Inc.
  • Girl Scouts Western Pennsylvania, Lifetime member
  • Hello Neighbor
  • American Canoe Association


  • Washington and Lee University School of Law, J.D., 1986
  • Franklin & Marshall College, B.A., 1983

Bar Admissions

  • Pennsylvania

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
  • United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court

Professional Affiliations

  • Litigation Counsel of America, Fellow
  • Allegheny County Bar Association, Court Rules Committee, past-chair
  • Pennsylvania Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute

Other Distinctions

  • 2014 recipient of the Jefferson Award for Public Service

Representative Matters

Representative matters in which Ms. Johnston was lead or co-lead counsel include:

  • Trial of an asbestos/mesothelioma death case against an auto defendant – defense verdict.
  • Frye hearings in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia resulting in exclusion of asbestos plaintiffs’ causation experts.
  • Representation of one of a group of petitioners seeking public access to bankruptcy records impacting defendants in mass tort litigation.
  • Representation of employer in connection with the hiring of a cluster of employees from a competitor, all of whom were bound by non-compete obligations.
  • Pro bono representation of adoptive parents in termination of parental rights of birth parents, and successful conclusion of the adoption.

Her practice is complemented by frequent speaking engagements and publications. She has written and spoken on diverse topics such as product liability in the pharmaceutical industry, asbestos litigation, Frye and Daubert challenges to causation in toxic torts, personal jurisdiction, transparency regarding bankruptcy trust claims in asbestos litigation, and work-life balance.

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