Pamela L. Johnston is a partner and litigation lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where she is chair of the firm's Government Enforcement, Compliance & White Collar Defense Practice, and a member of the Securities Enforcement & Litigation Practice. Ms. Johnston focuses in the areas of white collar criminal defense, securities enforcement and other governmental enforcement actions, and False Claims Act actions. She represents companies and individuals in parallel civil and criminal proceedings initiated by regulatory and prosecuting agencies for a variety of alleged wrongdoing, including submission of false claims, health care fraud, off-label marketing and other issues in the pharmaceutical industry, insider trading, accounting fraud, other securities fraud, mail and wire fraud, tax fraud, and other business crimes. She conducts internal investigations for companies. In her purely civil litigation cases, she focuses on cases that typically involve complex securities or accounting issues.
According to Chambers USA, Ms. Johnston
is one of the best I've ever come into contact with. She fought for my case, and I felt the outcome was extremely important to her. (Chambers 2014)
According to Chambers USA, the white collar work of Foley's team in California
has been excellent. They have been responsive, thorough, and have provided a strong strategy with a cost-effective approach. They were extremely thorough, had very good connectivity to the claim, and knew how to create clarity around it. (Chambers 2014) [It is a] superb group [with] a strong track record for its skillful handling of a broad spectrum of securities and white-collar criminal litigation. Foley combines large firm resources with small firm personal care.... Pamela Johnston... is regarded as a 'fantastic lawyer' by peers. (Chambers 2013)
Ms. Johnston was included in the 2007-2015 editions of The Best Lawyers in America© for her work in white collar criminal defense; was listed in the 2014, 2013, 2012, 2009, and 2008 Chambers USA: America's Leading Lawyers for Business for her white collar and healthcare work; selected for inclusion in the 2007-2014 Southern California Super Lawyers® lists for her white collar criminal defense work; and was selected by the Daily Journal as one of California's Top Women Litigators for 2006. As a federal prosecutor, Ms. Johnston twice received the prestigious Director's Award from the United States Attorney General for superior performance as an Assistant United States Attorney.
Ms. Johnston's False Claims Act experience involves cases and investigations pertaining to:
• Alleged violations of the Anti-Kickback Statute (AKS) and medical billing issues for pharmaceutical companies, ambulance companies, hospitals, medical device companies, and medical supply companies
• Off-label marketing of pharmaceuticals
Ms. Johnston's securities experience involves criminal cases and SEC cases and investigations pertaining to:
• Insider trading investigations
• Accounting restatements
• Accounting litigation
• Offering investigations
• Broker-dealer regulatory investigations
• Investment advisor investigations
Prior to joining Foley, Ms. Johnston was a federal prosecutor in the United States Attorney's Office in Los Angeles for 14 years, where she worked in both the criminal and civil divisions. During her nine years as a criminal Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA), Ms. Johnston investigated and prosecuted criminal cases involving securities fraud, accounting fraud, bank fraud, mortgage fraud, mail and wire fraud, and other potential violations of the federal fraud statutes. She worked closely with her counterparts at the SEC on the securities cases. During her last four years as a federal prosecutor, Ms. Johnston was a deputy chief of the Criminal Division's Major Frauds Section. During her first five years as a civil AUSA, Ms. Johnston investigated and litigated False Claims Act cases, forfeiture, FIRREA civil penalty and other affirmative civil enforcement actions in federal court. Ms. Johnston successfully tried numerous sophisticated fraud cases to jury verdict and argued frequently before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
Following law school graduation, she served as a law clerk to the late Honorable Irving L. Goldberg, of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and as a law clerk to the Honorable Truman M. Hobbs, then chief judge of the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama.
Ms. Johnston received her undergraduate degree in 1984 from the University of California at Davis. She received her law degree in 1987 from the University of California at Berkeley, Boalt Hall School of Law, where she was elected to Order of the Coif. During her time at Boalt, Ms. Johnston served as the executive editor of the Berkeley Technology Law Journal.
Ms. Johnston is admitted to practice in California.
Selected Publications and Presentations
Ms. Johnston's publications and presentations include:
• Panelist, "Investigation of a False Claims Act Case," ABA's Tenth National Institute on the Civil False Claims Act and Qui TamEnforcement (Washington, D.C.) (June 2014)
• Moderator, "Fraud & Abuse (Enforcement Update)," American Bar Association Health Law Section 15th Annual Conference on Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law (Litchfield Park, AZ) (February 27, 2014).
• Co-Author, "Attacking Insider Trading and Other White Collar Cases Built on Evidence from Government Wiretaps: The Nuts and Bolts," Bloomberg BNA's Criminal Law Reporter (February 13, 2013).
• Co-Author, "Responding to a Government Subpoena or RFI," The Corporate Counselor, Vol. 26, No. 5 (September 2011).
• Co-Author, "Government's False Claims Act Complaint Against Major Financial Institution Alleges False Certifications of Compliance with HUD Underwriting Rules," Financial Fraud Law Report, Vol. 3, No. 8 (September 2011).
• "Foreign Corrupt Practices Act - Recent Developments and Trends with an Emphasis on California," SCCE's West Coast Regional Compliance Conference (San Francisco, CA) (June 24, 2011).
• Co-Author, "The Decline of Collective Knowledge Doctrine," Law360 (May 10, 2011).
• "Responding to Government Requests for Information: Lessons Learned from the Indictment of a Former In-House Counsel," discussion hosted by the Health Care Committee of the Association of Corporate Counsel (January 4, 2011).
• "The False Claims Act: What Recent Developments Mean for Your Clients," panel discussion hosted by the Los Angeles Chapter of the ABA White Collar Crime Subcommittee (November 2010).
• "Health Care Reform and the False Claims Act: Focus on the 2010 Amendments re: 'Reverse False Claims,'" panel discussion hosted by Law Seminars International (June 22, 2010).
• "Federal Monitors: What to Expect and How to Avoid Problems," SCCE's 8th Annual Compliance & Ethics Institute (Las Vegas, NV) (September 15, 2009).?
• "Enforcement Trends in Securities Case (Criminal and SEC)," Los Angeles Chapter of the ABA White Collar Crime Subcommittee (March 2009).
• "Fraud & Malfeasance: State and Federal Enforcement," Annual ACC Meeting (Seattle, WA) (October 2008).
• Co-Author, "Healthcare Compliance Professional's Guide to the False Claims Act" (October 2007).