Brenda M. Johnson joined Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy in 1999, bringing several years of commercial litigation experience to our legal team. Brenda is a member of the firm’s appellate department and focuses on aviation litigation, mass torts, class action lawsuits, medical malpractice, personal injury, and wrongful death.

Areas of Practice:

Online Profiles:

Bar Admissions:

  • Ohio, 1993
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio


  • Kent State University, B.G.S., 1988
  • Cleveland State, M.A., 1990
  • Cleveland State University, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law, J.D., 1993, cum laude

Representative Opinions:

  • Wandel v. American Airlines, No. 4:05MD 1702, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43007.
    (E.D. Mo. Sept. 28, 2005).
    Defeated air carrier’s arguments that wrongful death claims arising from a commuter air crash were subject to federal preemption.
  • Auvil v. Ferragon Corp. (8th Dist.), 2005 Ohio 5129.
    Obtained reversal of summary judgment in favor of defendant in product liability case—the Court of Appeals found there was evidence to support plaintiff’s claim that the defendant was a successor in interest to the company that designed the industrial machine that caused the plaintiff’s injury.
  • McMillin v. Davidson Industries, Inc. (5th Dist.), 2005 Ohio 224.
    Successfully defended trial court order enforcing settlement of workplace intentional tort claims.
  • Washington v. Spitzer Management, Inc. (8th Dist.), 2003 Ohio 1735.
    Successfully defended trial court order certifying class action.
  • Vajda v. St. Paul Mercury Ins. Co. (8th Dist.), 2003 Ohio 160.
    Obtained reversal of summary judgment in favor of defendant insurance company on issue of whether plaintiff has been an insured under a policy issued to plaintiff’s employer. The court found that there was evidence showing the plaintiff was an employee (and not an independent contractor) entitled to coverage under the policy.
  • Smith v. Cleveland Clinic, 2011-Ohio-6648, 197 Ohio App. 3d 524, 968 N.E.2d 41 (8th Dist.).
    Successfully defended ruling that doctor’s disclosures to family members regarding mistakes in patient’s treatment were not protected by peer review privilege.

Professional Associations and Memberships:

  • Super Lawyers Inclusion (2019)
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 100 Trial Lawyers
  • AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell

Blogs by Brenda M. Johnson


  • Allstate Ins. Co. v. Campbell: The Ohio Supreme Court Rejects the ‘Substantial Certainty’ Test for Inferred Intent, With a Catch,” Ohio Trial Magazine, Vol. 21, Issue 1, Spring 2011.
  • “Subrogation, Survival, and Wrongful Death Actions: How to Protect Wrongful Death Damage Recoveries from Unwarranted Subrogation Claims,” CATA News, Spring 2011.
  • “Life After Wuerth: What’s Really Changed in the World of Respondeat Superior Liability?” CATA News, Winter 2011.
  • “Substantial Federal Question Jurisdiction: A Survey of the Current Law,” AAJ Aviation Law Section Newsletter, Vol 14, No. 2, Winter 2007.
  • Great-West Life & Annuity Co. v. Knudson: How to Close the Door on Federal ERISA Subrogation Actions,” Ohio Trial Magazine, Vol 13, Issue 1, Spring 2003.

Download Articles:


  • NE Ohio American Constitution Society: Board


  • OAJ: Editorial Board of Trial Magazine (2013-Present)
  • AAJ Publications Committee Trial Magazine (2013-Present)


  • CATA 2015 Litigation Institute – Does the Affordable Care Act Affect or Limit Future Damages? (April 2015)