Philip C. Johnston: Florida Criminal Defense Attorney
Philip C. Johnston grew up in both New York City and Florida, but has resided continuously in South Florida for the past twenty years. After graduating from Columbia University School of Law in New York City in 2000, he spent two years clerking for a federal judge in Miami in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida. He then worked for the prestigious international law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in Manhattan in their white-collar criminal defense practice group. He is licensed to practice law in both Florida and New York.
Mr. Johnston started his own practice in West Palm Beach, Florida in 2018 and within the past few years has had criminal cases dismissed against doctors, lawyers, and hedge-fund managers. He prevailed upon the State to dismiss three felony charges wrongly filed against a commercial real estate attorney, including burglary of a dwelling, domestic battery by strangulation and child abuse. He also succeeded in getting a sales tax fraud case dismissed against a Fort Lauderdale businessman and won a case against the Department of Revenue charging an alleged father with failing to pay child support.
Mr. Johnston successfully negotiated the resolution of a felony prosecution in St. Lucie County, charging an 18-year-old college student with 25 counts of possession of child pornography. The student, who had no prior record, faced 125 years in Florida State Prison for viewing photos of teenagers on his phone while he himself was a minor. After 18 months of negotiation, the settlement permitted the young man to avoid jail time, a felony conviction, sex offender registration, and his criminal record will eventually be eligible to be sealed. He further persuaded the university to allow him to remain enrolled in college.
Mr. Johnston played a high-profile role as an attorney in the controversy surrounding whether former President Donald Trump was entitled to live at Mar-a-Lago under the terms of a 1993 Use Agreement signed with the Town of Palm Beach.
He recently succeeded in getting felony charges dropped in Broward and Palm Beach against a man accused of stealing cooking oil from fast food restaurants, which is re-sold to make biodiesel. He also got charges dropped against a man accused of impersonating a police officer in Hillsborough County.
What Sets Criminal Defense Attorney Johnston Apart from all the Others?
- We tend to think of our clients first and foremost as people. We do not judge them. An increasingly large number of clients should never have been charged in the first place. Others may have made a mistake but are facing unreasonable consequences. “Protecting the children of God who have fallen short of perfection from the wrath of those who think they have attained it.” This saying summarizes my view of this profession.
- Our clients often say that we treat them like family. We take their cases personally and fight them the way we would for a relative or anyone we care about.
Interesting Media Links Featuring Criminal Defense Attorney Johnston
- See Attorney Johnston mentioned in a Forbes article: Palm Beach Considering Whether To Let Trump Live At Mar-A-Lago—But Might Not Decide Until April
- “Attorneys Reginald Stambaugh and Philip Johnston—who represent Trump’s neighbors and the organization Preserve Palm Beach…”
- See Attorney Johnston mentioned in a New York Times article: Can Trump Live in Mar-a-Lago? Palm Beach Leans Yes
- See Attorney Johnston mentioned in a Newsweek article: Trump Will Move to Another Florida Home if Booted From Mar-a-Lago, Lawyer John Marion Says
- “Philip Johnston, an attorney representing a group of concerned residents called Preserve Palm Beach… ”
- See Attorney Johnston mentioned in a SPIEGEL.de article:Donald Trump in Mar-a-Lago: Anwohner laufen Sturm gegen das neue MAGA-Hauptquartier
- See Attorney Johnston in two different broadcast news reports:
What does Attorney Johnston do when not working as a Criminal Defense Attorney?
- When not working as an attorney, Mr. Johnston enjoys competing in tennis tournaments and training his son to box. “I learned the sport at a young age and boxed for the University of Michigan Boxing Team against regional schools.”
- He also enjoys binge-watching Netflix.
Education and Experience
- B.A. from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, A.B., 1990.
- M.A. from the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, 1994.
- J.D. from Columbia University, School of Law, 2000.
- Law clerk to U.S. District Court, SDFL, Hon. Joan A. Lenard 2000-2002.
- Admitted to the New York Bar, 2003.
- Admitted to the Florida Bar, 2012.