Andy Johnson is trial lawyer and advisor who enjoys helping his clients find solutions to their complex business problems. Sometimes these problems can only be solved through a jury’s verdict and the review of an appellate court (see Thomas Jefferson Foundation, Inc. v. Jordan, 200 So. 3d 645 (Ala. 2016)). Other times these problems are resolved through dispositive motions making a trial unnecessary (see, e.g., Estate of Jansen, et al v. Valmont Industries, Inc. et al., 655 S.W.3d 406 Mo.App. W.D., Sep. 27, 2022, rehearing denied (Oct. 25, 2022), transfer denied (Dec. 20, 2022); Jansen et al. v. Valmont Highway Dist. Ltd., 4:23-cv-00032-BCW (USDC W.D. of MO., May 25, 2023) (granting motion to dismiss), or through arbitration, mediation, or settlement. Andy believes that each case is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a business or legal problem.

Andy has worked with clients to resolve their specific legal issues in a variety of business areas. A significant portion of his practice has consisted of the defense of claims against companies that invent, design, manufacture and market complex products. This has primarily consisted of the defense of drug and medical device claims and litigation relating to construction materials. His work in the life sciences arena has encompassed the representation of Pfizer, Bayer, and other major pharmaceutical companies and has spanned well over two decades.

In addition to his products liability work, Andy has handled matters through jury trials and appeals in cases involving business and contractual disputes (see, e.g., Signature Holdings Group, Inc., et al. v. Embry, Mo.App. S.D., Case No. SD31525; jury verdict affirmed on appeal).

Notable Matters
  • Serves as national counsel for a publicly traded company involved in personal injury and economic damages claims based on an allegedly defectively designed highway safety technology.
  • Worked on various matters requiring international discovery in Germany, the Netherlands, Algeria, and New Zealand.
  • Participated in AAA arbitration involving multiple construction projects and requiring a two-week arbitration hearing before a three-arbitrator panel.
  • Appointed as co-defense liaison counsel in in In Re Chantix (Varenicline) Products Liability Litigation, MDL 2092.
  • Served as member of regional counsel team representing manufacturer in all litigation matters across multiple jurisdictions.
  • Served on national counsel teams handling various aspects of mass tort and recurring litigation, including teams responsible for company witnesses, experts, and specific case work-up for trial.

Andy has devoted substantial time to pro bono efforts during his career, most importantly in the case of Kenneth Eugene Smith, who was executed by the State of Alabama in January 2024. Mr. Smith was the first person executed by the method of nitrogen hypoxia anywhere in the world. Along with co-counsel, Andy represented Mr. Smith beginning with his post-conviction appeals in 2006 until his execution in 2024. This representation entailed appeals through the state and federal systems, involved a failed execution attempt by lethal injection in 2022, and resulted in multiple decisionsby the Supreme Court of the United States and Eleventh Circuit (see Hamm v. Smith, 598 U.S. ---- (2023); Smith v. Hamm, 144 S.Ct. 414 (Mem) (2024); Smith v. Commissioner, Ala. Dept. Corr., 2022 WL 17069492 (11th Cir. November 17, 2022)). This case also received significant media coverage and international attention, including coverage in The AtlanticThe New York Times, and every major TV news outlet, as well as commentary from the United Nations.