Professional Background

Brad’s diverse legal experience ranges from commercial litigation in state and federal courts and private arbitration tribunals to managing regulatory affairs for one of the country’s largest specialty agriculture companies to acquittals in serious felony criminal cases (including work as court-appointed counsel for indigent defendants).

Mr. Johnston joined Simons Hall Johnston PC as a member of the firm in 2019 after heading his own general law practice in Yerington.

Before that, Brad was the Chief Strategy Officer & General Counsel for Peri & Sons Farms, Inc. of Yerington, a leading vegetable grower in the United States. Prior to that, Mr. Johnston was a partner at Holland & Hart LLP in Reno, practicing commercial litigation, and a litigation associate in the New York offices of two prominent international law firms.

Immediately following law school, Brad clerked for the Hon. Melvin Brunetti of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Mr. Johnston graduated first in his class from The Ohio State University College of Law in 1998 and earned his Bachelor of Arts, summa cum laude Phi Beta Kappa, from the University of Alabama in 1994.

Brad has as an AV Preeminent® rating from Martindale-Hubbell® based on confidential reviews by his peers in the legal profession and the judiciary, reflecting the highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards.

In 2014, Mr. Johnston was appointed to the Nevada Board of Wildlife Commissioners by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval, after serving as the Chairman of the Lyon County Citizen Advisory Board for Wildlife Management.  Governor Sandoval re-appointed Brad to the Wildlife Commission in 2017 for a second consecutive three-year term.  Mr. Johnston served as the Commission’s Chairman during his last two years of service to Nevada and its wildlife.

Representative Matters

  • Obtained defense verdict, following jury trial, in favor of a managing member of limited liability company accused of fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty in connection with the buyout of another member’s ownership interest in the company. 
  • Obtained unanimous defense verdicts, following three-week jury trial, in favor of a large dairy located in Smith Valley, Nevada against fourteen, separate plaintiffs that sought money damages based on claims that the dairy amounted to a common law nuisance.
  • Obtained a unanimous defense verdict, following jury trial, in favor of an employer that was sued by a former employee for unpaid sales commissions allegedly due under an employment contract. Additionally, recovered nearly $100,000 in attorneys’ fees for the employer during post-trial proceedings.
  • Obtained a unanimous jury verdict, following trial, in favor of a sub-contractor against the general contractor on a highway project, resulting in a jury award of $700,000.00 to the defendant-counterclaimant subcontractor. Additionally, recovered an award of attorneys’ fees for the sub-contractor during post-trial proceedings.
  • Obtained successful settlement, during jury trial, of claims involving a right of first refusal for the purchase of groundwater rights and related agricultural well. Additionally, obtained award of attorneys’ fees for client in connection with the enforcement of the parties’ settlement.    
  • Obtained judgment and permanent injunction, following bench trial, in favor of homeowner enforcing neighborhood deed restrictions.  Successfully represented the homeowner on appeal from trial court’s final judgment.
  • Obtained an arbitration award in AAA Commercial Arbitration in favor of a specialty insurance company, declaring that the company was not liable to its client for prize coverage and was entitled to implied contractual indemnity and attorneys’ fees.
  • Obtained an arbitration award in favor of the purchaser of commercial real estate based on misrepresentations the seller made to the purchaser in connection with the parties’ transaction for the purchase and sale of a commercial development in Sparks, Nevada.
  • Successfully represented a non-profit organization before the Nevada Tax Commission, overturning the Nevada Department of Taxation’s revocation of the organization’s tax-exempt, charitable status.
  • Secured in two separate contested proceedings before the Nevada Public Utilities Commission the continuation of a special electricity rate for agricultural irrigation.
  • Obtained acquittal, following jury trial, for court-appointed client in felony larceny case.
  • Obtained acquittal on two counts of sexual assault, following jury trial, for court-appointed client.
  • Obtained hung jury and mistrial in sexual assault case for court-appointed client, resulting in the dismissal of all felony charges, including three Category A Felonies, and a no contest plea to one Gross Misdemeanor.
  • Prosecuted to a favorable settlement as lead counsel a product liability lawsuit against the manufacturer and the distributor of irrigation equipment that caused crop losses in Mason Valley, Nevada.
  • Represented plaintiffs defrauded in the collapse of Southwest Exchange, Inc. – an IRS 1031 exchange intermediary – that absconded with approximately $97 million in client funds.  After the collapse of Southwest Exchange in February 2007, more than $90 million was recovered in settlements on behalf of the plaintiffs, including a $23 million settlement with UBS and a $26.7 million settlement with Citigroup Global Markets.  Took lead role in prosecuting claims against Citigroup Global Markets.
  • Obtained dismissal of a First Amendment lawsuit brought by the former general counsel against a public school district, reported at Blanck v. Hager, 360 F. Supp. 2d 1137 (D. Nev. 2005).
  • Represented the Nevada Legislature before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Amodei v. Legislature of the State of Nevada, No. 03-16326 (9th Cir. 2003), which affirmed the District Court’s dismissal, Angle v. Legislature of the State of Nevada, 274 F. Supp. 2d 1152 (D. Nev. 2003), of claims challenging a Nevada Supreme Court decision interpreting the Nevada Constitution.


State of Nevada, 2003 to present
State of New York, 1999 to present

Admitted to practice in the following courts:
United States Supreme Court
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the District of Nevada
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York

Brad Johnston Head Shot