Johan is a member of the firm’s Litigation Practice Group. His practice focuses on complex commercial litigation, including insurance coverage matters, business torts, Section 1983 suits, tax disputes, media/defamation claims, shareholder/LLC member disputes, including breach of fiduciary duty claims against directors, officers and LLC managers, and real property litigation.

Representative Matters


  • Represented multiple business clients in matters involving state and local taxes
  • Represented developer client in litigation involving real estate tax assessment and application of tax abatement for rehabilitation of property
  • Represented multiple infrastructure clients in cases involving jurisdiction and proper methodology for tax assessment of various transportation infrastructure facilities
  • Represented government contractor client in litigation involving research exemption for state sales and use tax
  • Represented manufacturing facility clients in litigation and administrative appeals involving whether activities constituted manufacturing and whether clients were subject to BPOL and business tangible personal property taxes
  • Represented various commercial property owners in litigation and administrative appeals to assessors and boards of equalization in disputes involving tax assessments of real estate
  • Represented persons in federal court litigation involving fiduciary liability for trust fund taxes
  • Represented businesses in addressing issues involving federal tax liability and penalty avoidance


  • Represented multiple business clients in reviewing and assessing insurance programs and options
  • Represented multiple credit unions in a number of disputes and federal lawsuits involving fidelity bond recoveries and coverage issues
  • Represented credit unions in several disputes involving embezzlement schemes and recovery of losses via fidelity bond coverage and restitution payments
  • Represented business and insurance clients in numerous federal and state lawsuits involving insurance coverage disputes
  • Represented developer client in insurance coverage litigation involving coverage for claims against developer of damaging storm-water drainage
  • Represented developer client in multiple federal lawsuits involving coverage for claims of damage arising out of defective Chinese drywall
  • Represented clients in disputes involving application and interpretation of pollution exclusions in commercial general liability policies
  • Represented business clients in disputes involving coverage under D&O policies
  • Represented apartment owner client in dispute with insurer over crisis response insurance coverage for high-profile claims of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Represented business clients in litigation involving advertising injury insurance coverage for claims of violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and claims involving tortious interference with contract


  • Multiple appeals and oral arguments before the Supreme Court of Virginia and United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Represented developer client in oral argument before the Fourth Circuit involving insurance coverage and subject matter jurisdiction by federal court over coverage dispute
  • Represented municipal client in oral argument before the Fourth Circuit involving Section 1983 claims
  • Represented city council member in oral argument before the Fourth Circuit involving First Amendment rights of city council member
  • Represented client in oral argument before the Supreme Court of Virginia involving boundary line litigation
  • Represented client in oral argument before the Supreme Court of Virginia involving application of Virginia’s declaratory judgment statute

Civil Litigation

  • Currently one of a team of lawyers representing numerous Virginia localities investigating and litigating cases against pharmaceutical manufacturers, distributors and others connected with the opioid addiction epidemic.  In early 2018, the team filed the first lawsuits in Virginia seeking to recover funds expended by Virginia local governments combatting this public health emergency More than thirty civil trials in state and federal courts involving issues related to business or municipal liability
  • Represented business clients in dozens of federal court lawsuits involving all stages of federal motions practice, including multiple disputes involving removal to federal court and subject matter jurisdiction, motions to dismiss, discovery motions, motions for injunctive relief, summary judgment motions and motions in limine
  • Represented multiple closely-held businesses and owners in disputes involving shareholder and related ownership rights, including state and federal court litigation involving claims of breach of fiduciary duty, excess compensation, tortious interference and business conspiracy
  • Represented clients in federal and state trials involving fraud claims
  • Represented clients in multiple federal trials involving Section 1983 liability
  • Represented media client in trial involving application of Virginia’s FOIA provisions
  • Represented developer clients in trials and administrative proceedings involving zoning disputes
  • Represented land-owner clients in trials involving easements and boundary line determinations
  • Represented clients in state court trial and litigation involving rights of publicity and defamation claims
  • Represented commercial real estate companies in litigation involving ownership interests in single purpose entities
  • Represented commercial real estate owner in litigation with business tenant regarding rights of owner to regulate use of property under terms of commercial lease
  • Represented financial institution in civil fidelity bond recovery litigation and criminal restitution proceedings arising out of $128 million fraud scheme perpetrated by mortgage servicing vendor
  • Represented financial institution in civil litigation and criminal restitution proceedings arising out of $10 million fraud scheme perpetrated by counterparty to loan participation agreements. Representation culminated in federal court awarding client priority to restitution funds over other competing claimants.
  • Represented directors of community Bank in litigation filed by federal regulators and disgruntled shareholders after criminal activities of bank insiders resulted in loss of millions in bank assets

Representative Cases

  • Saint John’s African Methodist Episcopal Church v. GuideOne Specialty Mut. Ins. Co., 902 F. Supp. 2d 783 (E.D. Va. 2012)
  • Dragas Management Corp. v. Hanover Ins. Co., 798 F. Supp. 2d 758 (E.D. Va. 2011)
  • Dragas Management Corp. v. Hanover Ins. Co., 798 F. Supp. 2d 766 (E.D. Va. 2011)
  • Builders Mut. Ins. Co. v. Dragas Mgmt. Corp., No. 11-1722, 2012 U.S. App. LEXIS 24120 (4th Cir. Nov. 20, 2012).
  • Turner v. City Council of the City of Fredericksburg, 534 F.3d 352 (4th Cir. 2008)
  • Sciolino v. City of Newport News, 480 F.3d 642 (4th Cir. 2007)
  • Frank Brunckhorst Co., L.L.C. v. Coastal Atl., Inc., 542 F. Supp. 2d 452 (E.D. Va. 2008)
  • Lockwood Bros., Inc. v. Arnold Speditions GmbH, 453 F. Supp. 2d 928 (E.D. Va. 2006)
  • Card v., D.C. Dep’t of Corrections, No. 2:00cv631 (E.D. Va. Sept. 13, 2005)
  • Schwenk v. Cobra Mfg. Co., 322 F. Supp. 2d 676 (E.D. Va. 2004)
  • Daily Press, Inc. v. Commonwealth, No. 120858, 2013 Va. LEXIS 30 (Feb. 28, 2013)
  • Holland v. First Dominion Land, Inc., No. 072211 (Va. Dec. 12, 2008)(unpublished)

Recognition & Honors

  • Virginia Super Lawyers; Law & Politics, 2013-2019
  • Virginia Rising Stars; Law & Politics, 2007-2012
  • Virginia’s Legal Elite; Virginia Business Magazine, 2005, 2007, 2009-2018
  • Law Clerk to the Honorable B. Waugh Crigler; U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, 2001-2002
  • Managing Board; University of Virginia Law Review, 2000-2001
  • Editorial Board; University of Virginia Law Review, 1999-2000


  • Virginia Bar Association
  • Norfolk-Portsmouth Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • Hampton Roads CIVIC Leadership Institute, Class of 2008-2009
  • Federal Bar Association; Tidewater Chapter, Past President
  • Virginia State Bar; Harry L. Carrico Professionalism Course, Faculty Member
  • The Federal Lawyer; Former Editorial Board Member


  • Virginia State Bar, 2001
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • United States District Courts for the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia
  • United States Court Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • Virginia State Courts


  • Liberty University; B.A., 1994
  • University of Virginia School of Law; J.D., 2001

Press & Publications