Johnston, Ann E.
Ms. Johnston's diverse civil litigation practice focuses on complex commercial matters with an emphasis on matters involving telecommunications and environmental issues.
Representing clients such as AT&T Corporation and Charter Communications, Ms. Johnston focuses on merger consent, franchise renewals, and franchise compliance issues, including litigation arising from those matters. Recent litigation matters include the federal bench trial of a Section 1983 claim, Charter Communications, Inc. v. County of Santa Cruz which arose out of the County's denial of consent to a change of control of the franchisee resulting from Paul Allen's purchase of a controlling interest in Charter. The Court ruled in favor of Charter and entered the first judgment establishing substantive limits on the scope of a local franchising authority's ability to withhold approval of cable television franchise transfers. Ms. Johnston also has an active counseling and compliance practice, in which she uses her substantial experience in telecommunications and cable television industry-related matters to negotiate a wide variety of agreements and provide counsel on federal, state and local regulatory issues.
Ms. Johnston represents responsible parties in environmental investigations and litigation. An expert in the defense and management of CERCLA claims, she has served as counsel in complex multi-site, multi-party actions, in which, among other efforts, she has negotiated and drafted agreements with regard to consultants' work product, cost sharing, mediation/arbitration structure, and final settlement. Recent representative environmental matters have included work on matters related to the San Francisco International Airport, the San Francisco Giants ballpark, the Stanford Research Park and Superfund sites in Richmond, California, and Hagerstown, Maryland.
General Commercial and Employment
Ms. Johnston represents clients in a variety of commercial disputes ranging from breach of contract to product liability. She has represented both plaintiffs and defendants in employment cases involving discrimination and wrongful termination, and in securities fraud, real estate, contract, partnership, and insurance coverage cases.
Ms. Johnston is a member of the Litigation and Natural Resources, Energy and Environmental Law sections of the American Bar Association, the California Bar Association, the Environmental Law Section of the Bar Association of San Francisco, California Women Lawyers, and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
Ms. Johnston received her undergraduate degree in History from Miami University in 1982 and earned her law degree from Stanford University Law School in 1985.