December 06, 2012
Dean Michael A. Simons and the entire St. John’s School of Law
community mourn the passing of Peter James Johnson, Sr., a 1949
graduate of St. John’s School of Law and a 1947 graduate of St.
A founding member of Leahey & Johnson, P.C., Peter Johnson was
one of the nation’s great trial lawyers. He had been included in
The Best Lawyers in America since its original
publication. His achievements have been
chronicled in publications such as The New York Times,
Manhattan Lawyer and the New York Law Journal. Mr.
Johnson was described as the “standard setter” for civil trial
lawyers in New York courts because of his charismatic
presentations, incisive preparation and his strong impact on
He was a frequent lecturer to law schools, including St. John’s
Law. In recognition of his dedication to developing the trial
advocacy skills of young lawyers, in 2008 the Law School named the
Peter Johnson National Civil Rights Trial Competition after him.
The only trial competition of its kind in the country, this annual
event stands as a fitting testament to this “trial lawyer’s trial
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Johnson family.