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Clients trust Mark to provide timely, business-sensitive advice, and to resolve difficult matters—through litigation and otherwise.


Mark Johnson is lead counsel in complex commercial litigation and arbitration matters for sophisticated businesses and individuals.

Mark has successfully tried multiple cases to verdict, before juries, arbitrators, and judges.  He has been named one of the Top 100 Minnesota Super Lawyers and a Minnesota Attorney of the Year.  He represents clients in cases involving enforcement of contractual, fiduciary, and tort duties; trade secrets, trademarks, and other intellectual property; professional liability; construction; cross-border business disputes; and related appeals.

Before becoming an attorney, Mark taught philosophy to undergraduates at Purdue University. He learned to explain complicated material in a clear, concise, and entertaining manner. He brings those skills to bear every time he represents a client in court or before an arbitration panel.


  • J.D., University of Chicago Law School, with honors; Articles Editor, University of Chicago Legal Forum
  • M.A., Purdue University, Philosophy 
  • B.A., Purdue University, with distinction, Philosophy 
  • Visiting Student, Oxford University, Mansfield College 


  • Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Associate 
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit, The Honorable Diana E. Murphy, Law Clerk 


  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Third, Fifth, and Eighth Circuits
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
  • State Bar of Minnesota
  • State Bar of Illinois


  • Federal Bar Association

Mark's Practice Areas

  • Accountant Liability

    Greene Espel has extensive experience in a wide variety of disputes and problems confronting accounting firms, including the representation of Big Four, regional, and local accounting firms in audit, tax, and consulting negligence lawsuits, class action securities litigation, review board proceedings, and various federal and state regulatory and criminal matters. 

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  • Appellate

    “What’s next?” Greene Espel can guide you through the appellate process, providing an objective assessment of the pivotal issues, developing a strategy based on how appellate judges are likely to view a case in light of legal, institutional, and policy considerations, and advocating effectively.

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  • Commercial Litigation

    Our business litigation practice embraces the wide variety of commercial disputes facing private and public companies today. Areas of particular expertise include intellectual property, antitrust, securities, employment, professional liability, and construction disputes.

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  • Class Actions

    Clients regularly turn to Greene Espel when faced with high-stakes, class-action litigation. Greene Espel attorneys have defended dozens of putative class actions in federal and state courts all across the country.

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  • Construction and Design

    Our team has significant experience navigating construction and design disputes. We have handled a wide variety of construction disputes in trials, arbitrations, and mediations, and frequently provide advice about construction contracts, preservation of claims and evidence ahead of repairs, and use of construction documents.

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  • Energy and Environmental

    Handling environmental and energy disputes is a fundamental part of our practice. We defend lawsuits, give compliance counseling, and offer guidance in the face of legal and regulatory quagmires.

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  • Insurance and Reinsurance

    Our attorneys routinely handle a myriad of insurance and reinsurance analyses and disputes, including fraud investigation, coverage and measurement evaluation, and insurance arbitrations and litigation.

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  • Non-Compete Disputes and Litigation

    Employees come and go. When their departures implicate legal obligations, Greene Espel can help. Greene Espel mobilizes immediately when clients must seek, or defend against, expedited injunction motions that may arise when employees move from one job to another.  

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  • Products Liability

    Defending products liability claims has been a cornerstone of Greene Espel’s practice since our founding in 1993. Manufacturers and other businesses turn to us when they face product defect allegations brought by individuals, by large groups of plaintiffs, or as putative class actions.

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  • Trademark Litigation

    From premier brand-owners to niche device manufacturers, clients seek Greene Espel’s counsel in complex disputes involving trademarks.

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  • Trade Secret Litigation

    From burgeoning high-tech companies to established international manufacturers, healthcare giants, and established financial services and insurance institutions, clients regularly turn to Greene Espel to represent them in disputes involving trade secrets.

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  • Securities Litigation

    Institutional investors and public companies alike have turned to Greene Espel in high-stakes securities litigation: fraud cases, multi-million-dollar battles over the terms of securities, class actions, shareholder disputes, RMBS, and more. 

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Mark's Recognition & Awards

  • Thrice Honored as "Attorney of the Year," Minnesota Lawyer (2023, 2022, 2012)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America (2020-2024)
  • Selected to Super Lawyers list, Minnesota Super Lawyers (2015-2023)
    • Named as one of the "Top 100 Super Lawyers," Minnesota Super Lawyers (2018; 2020)

Mark's Community Involvement

  • Advocates for Human Rights, Volunteer Attorney
  • Minneapolis Rowing Club
    • President (2010-2013)
    • Board of Governors (2008-2010)
  • FAA Certificated Private Pilot

Working in conjunction with The Advocates for Human Rights, Mark has successfully represented multiple children from Central America in obtaining asylum and other immigration relief on a pro bono basis, often assisting them in escaping gang and familial violence and other forms of persecution.


March 6, 2024
Client Win: Eighth Circuit Affirms Trial Win for Greene Espel Client Newsert
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January 10, 2024
Cargill and Greene Espel Attorneys Recognized by Minnesota Lawyer as 2023 Attorneys of the Year
Read More


April 11, 2013
Smart Sampling in e-Discovery: Reducing Document Review Costs without Compromising Results, Women in eDiscovery, Panelist


May 19, 2009
Co-Author of "Judge Diana E. Murphy: Memories from the District Court," Minnesota Chapter of the Federal Bar Association: Bar Talk, Vol. II, Issue 4
January 1, 2002
"Legislate First, Ask Questions Later: Post-Enactment Evidence in Minority Set-Aside Litigation," 2002 U. Chi. Legal Forum 303

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