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Harry S. Johnson
7 Saint Paul Street
Baltimore, MD 21202-1636
Phone: 410.347.8743
Fax: 410.223.4163

Harry S. Johnson is a Litigation Partner at Whiteford, Taylor and Preston, LLP. His practice focuses on complex litigation, with an emphasis on product liability. For over 10 years he was one of the principal counsels for Baltimore City in Thompson v. HUD, a federal civil rights action concerning public housing. He was named one of America’s Top Black Lawyers by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2003 and was recognized with The Daily Record’s ‘Leadership in Law’ award the same year.

Mr. Johnson has a long history with both the Maryland State Bar Association, where he served as the first African American president, as well as the American Bar Association. He also served as chair of the board of directors of GBMC Healthcare from 2011 to 2014, in addition to being a member of the Baltimore Community Foundation board and the Office of the Public Defender. He is also a graduate of the GBC Leadership Program.

Products Liability, Toxic Exposure & Environmental Litigation

Advised national litigation counsel on defense strategies in complex litigation

Counsel to major manufacturers in cases involving exposure to various elements environmentally and occupationally

Represented various products manufacturers in personal injury litigation, ranging from medical devices to power tools and automotive components

Represented manufacturing group in product litigation involving welding combustibles

Mass Torts and Class Actions

Counsel for major manufacturer in products liability class action involving over 10,000 plaintiffs

Counsel to major manufacturer in over 350 breast implant cases filed in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Northern Virginia

Professional Liability and Medical Malpractice

Chairman of Board of Regional Health Care Organization

Retained as expert witness in professional liability claims against attorneys

Represented physicians and medical providers in medical negligence litigation


Co-counsel in cases that changed punitive damage law in Maryland

Argued cases in Maryland Appellate Courts and the United States District Court for the Fourth Circuit

Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

Advised clients and litigants regarding duties with regard to ESI

Lectured to bar groups concerning ethical implications of ESI

Participated in professional organizations focused on ESI

Lead Paint

Represented property owners in suits concerning personal injury claims

Advised clients on legislative issues related to lead paint and other exposure claims

Prepared and developed expert witnesses on medical and legal issues arising in Lead Paint claims

Other Litigation

Represented testing laboratory in an HIV misdiagnosis case

Represented major university coach in NCAA investigation and hearing

Handled complex litigation on behalf of various insurers and their insureds

Represented Baltimore City Council in 2003 redistricting process

Represented Baltimore City in civil rights lawsuit concerning redevelopment of public housing

Represented plaintiffs in personal injury and wrongful death cases

Advisor to small and start up businesses


Practitioner of the Year: University of Maryland, Black Law Students Association, 2012

AV Peer Review Rated: Martindale-Hubbell

Charlie Dorsey Mentor Award, Bar Association of Baltimore City, 2009

Listed as a "Local Litigation Star" in Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America's Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys, 2009 & 2010

Listed in Maryland Super Lawyers, 2007 - present

Listed in Best Lawyers in America, 2006 - present

Named Best Lawyers' 2014 Maryland "Lawyer of the Year," Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants - Baltimore

Leadership in Law Honoree, The Daily Record, 2003 & 2018

Top Black Lawyers in America, Black Enterprise Magazine, 2003

Freedom's First Award, Monumental City Bar Association, 2000

Distinguished Alumni Award, University of Maryland School of Law Black Law Students Association, 1987

Founder's Award, Monumental City Bar Association, 1987

Listed in Chambers Top Lawyers

Publications & Presentations

Johnson, Harry S. and Stone, Dwight W., "Effective Use of the Video Deposition: the Basics and Some Finer Points", The Practical Litigator, July 1999

Johnson, Harry S. and Stone, Dwight W., "Batson Challenges:  How To Be Better Prepared Than Your Opponent", The Practical Litigator, November, 1996

Johnson, H.S.;  Duvall. G.M., and Halstad, L.S., "Staying The Judgment and Supersedeas Bonds", Appellate Practice For The Maryland Lawyer: State and Federal 1994

Contributor, ALI-ABA's Practice Checklist Manual on Trial Preparation, January 4, 1999

Memberships & Activities

Professional Affiliations:

Member: Maryland State, Baltimore City, Monumental City, District of Columbia, National, and American Bar Associations; and Fourth Circuit Judicial Conference

Related Professional Experience:

Member: ABA Commission on Racial and Ethnic Diversity (2012-)

Member: ABA Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary (2007-2010)

Member: ABA Standing Committee on Education (2004-2008)

Member: ABA House of Delegates

Past President: Maryland State Bar Association (2004-present)

President: Maryland State Bar Association (2003-2004)

President-Elect: Maryland State Bar Association (2002-2003)

Treasurer: Maryland State Bar Assoc. (1999-2002)

Member: Maryland State Bar Foundation Board of Directors (2003-present)

Member: Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, Court of Appeals of Maryland (1986-present)

Member: Attorney Grievance Commission Review Board (1993-1996)

Member: Inquiry Panel, Attorney Grievance Commission (1983-1993)

Member: Eighth Judicial Circuit Character Committee (1984-present)

General Counsel: MD NBA '95

Member: ABA Conference of Minority Partners in Majority Corporate Law Firms (Elected Advisory Board, 1993-1998)

Developed "ATLAS" Mentoring Program, University of Maryland School of Law 

MSBA: Board of Governors,  (1997-1999, 1991-1993, 1987-1989)

Executive Committee (1998-1999, 1991-1993, 1987-1988)

Mentor: Leadership Academy (1997-present)

Membership Committee: Budget and Finance Committee

Special Committee on Continuing Legal Education (1994-1996)

Special Committee on Governance (1993)

Co-Chair: Special Committee on Minorities in the Legal Profession (1990-1991)

Planning Committee (1986- 1990) (Chairman, 1988-89)

Lawyer Dispute Resolution Committee (1989- 1992)

Committee on Governance (1985-1986)

Eighth Circuit Representative, YLS (1982-1985)

YLS Special Committee on Board of Governors Guidelines (1986)

Participant, YLS Special Olympics (1985)

Member: Bar Association of Baltimore City, Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee (1997-2005)

Member: Special Committee on Drug Crisis and Underfunding of the Court System in Baltimore City (1990-1992)

Chairman: Judiciary Committee (1988-1989)

Executive Committee:  Lawyers Committee for an Independent Judiciary (1989-1992)

Public Service

Board of Trustees: Office of the Public Defender (2011-)

Member: U.S. Bankruptcy Court Merit Selection Panel (2004)

Member: Appellate Courts Nominating Commission (2002-2006)

Chairman: Baltimore County, Maryland Human Relations Commission (1998-2003)

Member: Trial Courts Nominating Commission (1995-1999)

Member: U.S. Magistrate Judge Review Panel (1994-1995)

Member: Governor's Commission on the Death Penalty (1993)

Treasurer: Committee to Retain the Sitting Judges (1991-1992)

Civic Activities:

Chair: Board of Directors, GBMC HealthCare (2011 to present)

Member: Board of Directors - University System of Maryland Foundation, Inc. (2014-)

Member: Board of Trustees - Greater Baltimore Medical Center (2002-present); Legislative Chair (2005-2006); Board Secretary (2006-2007); Vice-Chair (2007-2009); Chair Elect (2010-)

Member:  Board of Trustees - Center Stage (2002-2010)

Member: Board of Trustees - Baltimore Community Foundation (2006-present)

Presenter: Litigation Section's Program MSBA Annual Meeting

Faculty: MICPEL Nine Day Trial Advocacy Program (1994, 1995, 1997)

Presenter: Maryland Trial Lawyers Association CLE Seminar (October 1993)

Faculty: Professionalism Course for New Admittees

Participant: "Trial by Jury" Program, Maryland State Fair

Member: Board of Trustees  Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust, (1993-2008)

Member: Board of Directors, BDC Development Corporation (1991-1997)

Member: Economic Development Council, Greater Baltimore Committee (1990-1994)

Member: Executive Board, Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America (1990-1995) (Chairman, Districts Fundraising Campaign 1991-1992)

Member: Board of Directors, The Chapman Funds (1989-1994)

Member: Board of Directors, Afro American Newspapers (1989-1998)

Member: Board of Trustees, Baltimore City Community College Foundation (former member, President and Chairman of the Board, Community College of Baltimore Foundation, 1989-1993) 


  • University of Maryland School of Law (J.D. 1979)
  • University of Maryland (B.A. 1976)