Sarah Johnston is a partner in the Los Angeles office of Barnes & Thornburg, where she is a member of the firm's Litigation Department. Sarah practices in the areas of commercial litigation and products liability, with an emphasis on the defense of pharmaceutical and medical device cases; unfair competition, false advertising, and Lanham Act claims; and consumer class actions.
Sarah has extensive trial experience, having served as second-chair trial attorney or lead associate in more than a dozen jury trials on behalf of major corporate defendants in both state and federal courts. Likewise, Sarah has significant pre-trial experience, including preparation and defense of corporate and 30(b)(6) witnesses for deposition and trial testimony; taking and defending fact and expert witness depositions; and preparing and arguing all pre-trial and trial motions.
A sampling of her recent experience includes:
- Since 2014, Sarah has served as California coordinating counsel for a major pharmaceutical manufacturer in a mass tort in which plaintiffs alleged neurological side effects from the use of a prescription antibiotic.
- Since 2013, Sarah has defended a dietary supplement manufacturer in a series of consumer class action lawsuits, successfully obtaining early dismissal of three out of four putative class actions against the manufacturer.
- In 2015, Sarah appeared before the U.S. Court of Appeals for Ninth Circuit on behalf of major pharmaceutical manufacturer, successfully arguing to uphold the dismissal of a plaintiff's claim of violations of California's Unfair Completion Law.
- In 2012, Sarah was part of the trial team that obtained a defense verdict on behalf of a Fortune 500 company in a wrongful death action pending in Los Angeles County Superior Court. The verdict was named one of the Daily Journal's Top Defense Verdicts of 2012 in the state of California.
In the community, Sarah serves on the board of directors of the Los Angeles Center for Law and Justice. She is also an associate member of Lawyers for Civil Justice and serves on the organization's Third Party Litigation Funding Committee.
Sarah earned her J.D. from Boston University School of Law and her B.A. from Indiana University in Bloomington.
Sarah is admitted to practice in the state of California; before the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Northern, and Eastern Districts of California; and before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.