Peter James Johnson, Jr.
Peter James Johnson, Jr., is President of Leahey & Johnson, P.C., where he has earned a reputation for excellence as a trial lawyer, appellate lawyer, and litigator in complex litigation, commercial litigation, products liability, professional liability, insurance law, corporate and constitutional litigation. He has handled numerous high-profile, high-exposure cases involving serious personal injury, death, and commercial and corporate disputes. He is well-known for his ability to take over matters when other law firms falter, especially in high-exposure venues. His efforts and experience as an attorney have earned him Martindale-Hubbell’s highest rating—“AV”— and he has been named a “Super Lawyer” in the New York City area.
Mr. Johnson serves as Chairman of the Appellate Division’s First Department Committee on Character and Fitness and as a member of the Governor’s Judicial Screening Panel for the appointment of Supreme Court and Appellate Division Justices. In 2013, he was appointed by Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals, Jonathan Lippman, to serve as the Chair of the Independent Judicial Election Qualification Commission for the First Judicial District encompassing Manhattan and the Bronx. In 2015, He was appointed by the Chief Judge as a member of the New York State Commission on Statewide Attorney Discipline which made historic recommendations to improve the system. He was the designee of the First and Second Department Appellate Divisions to the New York City Board of Corrections, sat on a panel that certifies the qualifications of judicial hearing officers, and was appointed by Chief Administrative Judge Lippman to the First Judicial District Task Force on Reducing Litigation Costs and Delay. In the wake of the 2000 presidential election, he was appointed by the Governor to chair the New York State Task Force on Election Modernization, which was widely praised for its reform recommendations.
Admitted to practice law in the states of New York and New Jersey and in federal courts in New York, New Jersey, and other jurisdictions, Mr. Johnson has been a member of the City Bar Association, having served on its committee responsible for passing on the qualifications of applicants for the judiciary in New York State and the federal courts. He has published scholarly articles on tort and insurance topics in the New York State Bar Association Journal and the Commercial Damages Reporter.
Mr. Johnson appears regularly as an on-air Legal Analyst for the Fox News Channel, where he serves as a commentator on the law as well as national and international public policy issues. He has lectured at the Practicing Law Institute, Columbia University’s School of Journalism, and Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where he was once a Senior Research Fellow and has participated in international and national conferences on law and urban policy. He also was a member of a panel that helps select White House Fellows.
Mr. Johnson previously served as a Press Officer to the Governor of the State of New York and as Senior Vice President of the New York State Urban Development Corporation, where he worked on the redevelopment of Times Square and the building of the Jacob Javits Convention Center among other projects. As Senior Advisor, pro bono, to the Mayor of the New York City, he helped create and develop municipal policies on criminal justice and economic development.
Mr. Johnson serves as a Regent of Pepperdine University in Malibu, California. He is a Knight of Malta and Knight of St. Gregory and also serves as a Governor of the Jewish Lawyers Guild. He is a Director of the Alfred E. Smith Foundation, the well known Catholic foundation that helps children and hosts the Presidential candidates every four years at its annual dinner. He served as a Director of the New York Downtown Hospital and as a Director of the Convention Center Operating Corporation of New York. He is an Honorary Deputy Chief of the New York Fire Department and a former Director and a past honoree of the Catholic Interracial Council. He has been honored by the Jewish Community Relations Council.
He is a graduate of the Columbia University School of Law and Columbia College.