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President Judge J. Brian Johnson
Lehigh County Court of Common Pleas

Judge J. Brian Johnson is currently the President Judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Lehigh County, Pennsylvania.  He was elected Judge of that Court in 2003, began his term in January 2004, and has served in the Civil, Family and Orphan's Court Divisions since that time. He has served as Administrative Judge of the Orphans' Court Division from January 2008 to February 2011 and September 2015 to the present and has served as Administrative Judge of the Civil Division from January 2007 to December 2020.  He has served as President Judge from January 2021 to the present.

Judge Johnson serves on the Juvenile Court Judges Commission by appointment of Governor Thomas W. Wolf, upon nomination of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, since July 2016.  He served, by selection of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, as a member of the Supreme Court Juvenile Court Procedural Rules Committee from March 2009 to February 2015 and on the Statewide Children's Roundtable from May 2007 to May 2016.  He chaired the Lehigh County Children’s Roundtable from November 2006 to June 2019 and co-chaired the Pennsylvania Supreme Court’s Leadership Roundtable from March 2007 to September 2016.  He chaired the Guiding Principles Committee of the Pennsylvania Children’s Statewide Roundtable, leading said committee in drafting the Mission Statement and Guiding Principles for the Child Dependency System in Pennsylvania and chaired the CPCMS Users Group Committee.

Judge Johnson has been a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association since 1984, a member of the Bar Association of Lehigh County since 1982 and a member of the Donald E. Wieand Inn of Court since 2000.  Prior to his election to the Court of Common Pleas, Judge Johnson was Special Counsel with the Philadelphia-based national law firm of Duane Morris LLP and was a member of that firm’s litigation department in its Lehigh Valley office.  Prior to that, from 1986 to 1996, he engaged in the private practice of law based in Lehigh County as a sole practitioner and as a partner in the firms of Johnson & Ashcraft and Johnson, Ashcraft & Giordano.  From 1983 to 1986, he was an associate with the firm of Lanshe, Lanshe & Lanshe.  In the course of his career as an attorney, he practiced primarily in the areas of civil and criminal litigation, business and real estate transactions, municipal law, and wills and estates.  He served Lehigh County as an Assistant Public Defender from 1981 to 1983, as Criminal Arraignment Master from 1984 to 1986, as Assistant County Solicitor from 1987 to 1989 and as Criminal Costs and Fines Master from 1990 to 1991. 

Judge Johnson has taught a Master's degree course, Legal And Ethical Issues In Psychology as an adjunct instructor for Chestnut Hill College, School of Graduate Studies, from January 2011 to May 2020. He taught Business Law in the ACCESS program at Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales, now DeSales University, from 1986 to 1987. He has been a speaker at various continuing education programs and civic and educational events. Judge Johnson is a graduate of Villanova University (B.A. English 1977) and Temple University School of Law (J.D. 1981).

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