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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.
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