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David W. Johnson
Lecturer in Law

Biography 

David Johnson has been teaching Negotiation at SLS annually since 2006, in conjunction with his full-time practice of law in Silicon Valley from 1996 to date.  He has testified before the California Assembly on legislation addressing software liability.  Thereafter he appeared before Congress, as lead counsel for the Business Software Alliance in hearings before the House Subcommittee for Science and Technology.  In 2009, he returned to Washington to consult directly for Vice-President Al Gore, and his Alliance for Climate Protection, regarding the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade energy bill, HR2454.  He currently serves on the California State Bar Executive Committee on Alternative Dispute Resolution, and its subcommittee on Education and Inclusivity. David is a regular speaker at conferences, seminars and panels on various subjects in law, science and technology, as well as negotiation.  

David brings to his teaching a unique blend of breadth and depth in the practice of law. He began his career in the courtroom, with over 20 civil trials, jury and bench, state and federal. He has briefed and argued a dozen state appellate matters, with 6 opinions issued, including one state Supreme Court argument challenging the prima facie constitutionality of a sales tax on commercial speech.  More recently, he was appointed as Special Assistant Attorney General for the State of Washington in order to appear for the State before the Alaska Supreme Court in a case of first impression directly impacting all of Washington’s state-owned hospitals.  In Silicon Valley, he has litigated scores of patent, copyright, trade secret, trade dress, antitrust, and business cases, and worked on corporate transactional and governance matters.  First with Fenwick & West, and thereafter Morgan/Lewis, he represented an array of technology and business clients such as: Apple, Brøderbund, Cisco, Electronic Arts, Go Remote, Homestore.com, Intuit, Juniper, McKesson, Merrill-Lynch, Micron, Rambus, Sankyo Pharma, Sun, Symantec, Tibco, and The Computer History Museum, pro bono.

David’s first General Counsel role was with Internet pioneer, AllAdvantage, blending online advertising, social media and user-data capture & mining.  A CSFB client, valued at $1.6b for IPO, AADV ultimately fell victim to the crash of 2000.  Thereafter, he took the reins as COO and GC of Palo Alto-based innovation accelerator MG Taylor, negotiating to closing their joint-venture-to-acquisition with Vanderbilt University Medical Center to create the nation’s first Healthcare Innovation Center, installed and operating at Vanderbilt’s Center for Better Health. Remaining in Silicon Valley, David moved next into biotech, as Deputy General Counsel for Xenogen (NYSE: XGEN), which coupled innovations in genetic engineering and in vivo biophotonics, invented by Chris Contag, Stanford Professor of Microbiology, to create breakthrough improvements in cancer research. David co-managed Xenogen’s public-public merger with Caliper Life Sciences (NYSE: CALP), a global microfluidics and lab instrumentation developer. Upon closing, he was brought over as Caliper’s Deputy General Counsel.  Several years hence, David took another leadership position as a Principal and General Counsel of former client Triage Consulting Group, a privately-held revenue-cycle consultancy for academic, children’s and other hospitals nationwide.  

For his JSM degree in Law, Science & Technology, David’s interdisciplinary research and writing proposed that both object-modeling technique (OMT) and fuzzy set theories, as proven design schemas in computing, should therefore find applications in law, policy, and decision-making; eliciting from his faculty advisor the observation that he was “one of the most widely-read people I know."  In addition to reading, David is an avid skier and golfer, and a diligent but decidedly average tennis player.