Interior of the Office of Kaplan Johnson Abate & Bird LLP

Clark Johnson



Areas Of Practice

  • Appellate & Constitutional Law
  • Complex Commercial & Business Litigation
  • Arbitration & Alternative Dispute Resolution
Ranked In Chambers | USA 2021 | Clark C Johnson

Clark Johnson’s practice focuses on complex business disputes and class action litigation. Mr. Johnson represents business entities, directors, officers and shareholders in a wide range of litigation. He has litigated and tried corporate governance and control matters, lender liability claims, shareholder disputes and derivative actions, restrictive covenant suits, securities and consumer fraud cases, construction matters and franchise disputes, among others. He has litigated cases in twenty-three states.

Examples of Mr. Johnson’s class action work include defending life insurance companies in cost of insurance increase and failure to decrease cases, vanishing premium cases, modal premium cases, DAC tax cases, effective-date cases and interest crediting cases. He has extensive experience in class litigation concerning fixed index annuities and universal life insurance. In addition, Mr. Johnson has litigated FLSA collective actions involving several difference industries, ERISA class actions, and state consumer protection act and California UCL and elder abuse matters. Mr. Johnson also has defended class actions against mortgage companies involving payoff statement fees and predatory lending, and TILA claims against credit card issues.

Examples of Mr. Johnson’s experience in securities-related litigation include the defense of a number of securities fraud class actions and shareholder suits, and prosecution and defense of FINRA arbitrations. In addition, Mr. Johnson has significant experience in representing issuers, officers and others in SEC investigations and enforcement actions, and in internal corporate investigations.

Mr. Johnson represents clients across a variety of industries including financial services and banking, construction, transportation, real estate development, food and beverage, hospitality, and manufacturing.

Prior to joining the firm, Mr. Johnson was a partner at a large regional firm for thirteen years. He also was an associate (1996-2001) and then an equity partner (2002-2004) at Jenner & Block LLP in Chicago. Mr. Johnson began his legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable S. Hugh Dillin, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, Indianapolis Division.

Representative Matters

  • Edwards Moving & Rigging, Inc. v. Sims Crane, Inc. – Mr. Johnson served as lead trial counsel for Plaintiff in this contract and business tort action in federal court in Tampa. The court entered a partial preliminary injunction, and then Plaintiff established that Defendants were in contempt of the injunction. After a three-day bench trial in Summer 2020, the Court entered a permanent injunction in favor of Plaintiff. See 2020 WL 7707025 (M.D. Fla. Dec. 29, 2020).
  • Nautilus Ins. Co. v. SOCAYR SFH, LLC – Mr. Johnson served as lead counsel for a defendant insured in an action seeking a declaratory judgment that the defendant was not entitled to insurance coverage in an underlying litigation. The trial court granted Defendant’s motion to dismiss the suit. 2020 WL 3260995 (W.D. Ky. June 16, 2020).
  • Ohio River Valley Associates, LLC v. PST Servs., Inc. – Mr. Johnson served as lead counsel for plaintiff ORVA in this matter seeking to enjoin an arbitration commenced against ORVA. The trial court granted ORVA’s motion to enjoin the arbitration. 2018 WL 773424 (W.D. Ky. Feb. 7, 2018)
  • Private Arbitration – Mr. Johnson served as lead counsel for respondent in a three-day evidentiary hearing under the AAA Complex Commercial Rules in which the claimant asserted a variety of claims seeking to impose liability on the respondent for its subsidiary’s debts incurred in intralogistics field. The Panel issued a reasoned award in March 2021 rejecting all of those claims, and a federal judge in Atlanta thereafter entered judgment on the award in favor of Mr. Johnson’s client.
  • Tompkins v. ReliaStar Life Ins. Co.— Mr. Johnson served as lead counsel in Defendant in this matter removed to federal court in Seattle. Plaintiff claimed that Defendant substantially under-credited interest on certain annuities dating to the early 1980s. In December 2019, at oral argument, the trial court granted Defendant’s motion for summary judgment, and Plaintiff abandoned her appeal of that judgment.


  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Illinois
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Indiana
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Western District of Kentucky
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of Michigan


  • Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana
    • J.D. - 1994
    • Honors: magna cum laude
  • Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois
    • B.A. - 1989
    • Major: Slavic Languages & Literature


  • Law Clerk, Hon. S. Hugh Dillin, United States District Court for the Southern District of Indiana

Honors And Awards

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV-Preeminent Peer Review Rated
  • Chambers USA, “America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” Litigation: General Commercial, 2017-2021
  • Best Lawyers in America, Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions-Defendants
  • Benchmark Litigation magazine, Future Star, 2017
  • Kentucky Super Lawyers, 2013-2021

Professional Memberships

  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • American Bar Association, Litigation Section
  • Louisville Bar Association
  • Member, Joint Local Rules Commission for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Western Districts of Kentucky, 2016-present
  • Member, Jefferson County (Kentucky) Business Court Docket – Pilot Project Committee, 2019-present