Attorney at Law
Mark A. Johnson was born in Brunswick, Georgia in 1954 and lives in Marietta, Georgia where he attends First United Methodist Church of Marietta.
Attorney Mark Johnson enjoys running, gardening, cooking, and judging barbecue. Mark is a Memphis Barbecue Network (MBN) certified judge and has judged barbecue competitions across the state of Georgia.
2008 – present
Mark A. Johnson, PC. Civil and commercial practice, including litigation and transactions.
2003 – 2008
Corporate Holdings, LLC (“Holdings”), General Counsel, and Williams Realty Advisors, LLC (“Advisors”), Legal Counsel. Atlanta, Georgia. Holdings managed a high-net-worth individual's investments, international transactions and philanthropy, including endowment of the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre. Advisors managed real estate development and acquisition funds with $3 billion in assets. Responsibilities included entity formation and operation, real estate acquisition and development, government approvals, title issues, coordination with outside transactional and litigation counsel, documents drafting, coordination among entities, due diligence and fund investment analysis, investor and lender relations, and maritime and personnel issues.
2001 – 2003
Mark A. Johnson, PC, Marietta, Georgia.
1980 – 2001
Dupree, Johnson, Poole & King, Marietta, Georgia. Transactional and commercial practice, entity formation and operation, commercial litigation, condemnation, licensing and governmental approvals, construction, development, zoning and land use, environmental law, intellectual property, appellate practice, estate planning, wills, trusts, probate, and reproductive law.
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Lawyer for 440 acre mixed use development, from acquisition, planning, zoning, permitting, subdivision, environmental, archeological, financing, through architectural control stages over 7 year period. Public/private elements included loop roads, road bed and right-of-way swaps, parks and school dedication.
Lawyer for co-composting company with first generation technology in successful bid for municipal franchise to process 300 tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) and 150 tons of sewage waste daily into usable compost product. Duties included preparing and submitting Request for Proposal, lobbying public officials and professional staff, negotiating and drafting siting and 20 year operating agreement, interfacing with municipal bond counsel, securing environmental and land use permits, obtaining state and federal permits to market compost product, facilitating delivery of MSW with waste companies and independent haulers, securing process guaranty through Siemens, construction and performance testing of plant, drafting foreign licensing agreements and negotiating with insurance providers on rebuilding of plant following major fire.
Lawyer for art exhibition utilizing icons, tapestries, jewels, manuscripts and central Iconostasis from the Novedevichy Convent from the State Historical Museum, Moscow, Russian Federation. Duties included negotiation and drafting of agreements and protocols with museum, obtaining State Department approval protecting artifacts of international significance (i.e., gold artifacts back Russian Ruble), arranging shipment with Lufthansa, contracting the design and installation of exhibition space, personnel and staffing, promotion, marketing, gift shop and kiosk items.
Represented the parents in the first gestational surrogacy (1991), the first artificial insemination surrogacy (1992), and the first donor surrogacy (1999) in the state of Georgia. Services include drafting and analysis of egg donation, embryo donation, surrogacy, and cryopreservation contracts, as well as representation in required court proceedings throughout Georgia. Cases have addressed multi-state and international issues of location of surrogates, infertile couples, and infertility clinics in sister states. Authored papers published by the American Surrogacy Center, Inc. (TASC) at www.surrogacy.com, including “Observations of Laws of Surrogacy in the U.S.,” “The Legal Status of Surrogacy in Georgia,” and “Recent Court Decisions Concerning the Law of Surrogacy” (1996). Testified before the Georgia Senate on proposed surrogacy legislation and spoken at conferences on third party reproductive legal issues, including The Family Law Institute of the Georgia Bar (1999). Delivered a paper at the annual conference of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine (ASRM) in San Diego in 2000 on Informed Consent and Third Party Reproductive Issues and in Philadelphia in 2004, on Managing Legal Risk in the Assisted Reproductive Technologies Environment. Addressed the annual Georgia Superior Court Judges conclave in St. Simons Island on Assisted Reproductive Technology (A.R.T.) and Surrogacy--A Perspective for the Georgia Jurist (2006).
Reported Cases in Which Johnson Prevailed
Schoenbaum Ltd. Co., L.L.C. v. Lenox Pines, L.L.C., 262 Ga. App. 457, 585 S.E.2d 643 (2003). This case involved the fraudulent misappropriation of the rights to develop a 430-unit Atlanta apartment development by a business associate. The case was two weeks out on a trial calendar with essential parties not in the case when Johnson's firm was retained. Continuance was granted, pretrial order set aside, discovery reopened, 20-count amendment filed and essential parties added. Two Atlanta law firms vigorously defended the case for five years before settling for $5 million.
Hampton Ridge Homeowners Assoc. v. Marett Properties, 460 S.E.2d 790, 265 Ga. 655 (S. Ct. 1995). Developer prevailed over homeowner association claim that filing of subdivision plat constituted implied dedication of subdivision pool/swim amenity package to homeowners association.
East Piedmont 120 Assocs. v. Sheppard, 434 S.E.2d 101, 209 Ga. App. 664 (Ct. App. 1993). Grant of summary judgment was upheld against an assertion that an oral joint venture to develop property had been formulated. The decision hinged on the lack of written authority between the purported principal and agent.
Scott v. Thompson, 415 S.E.2d 508, 202 Ga. App. 746 (Ct. App. 1992); Scott v. Thompson, 388 S.E.2d 371, 193 Ga. App. 487 (Ct. App. 1989). This case, appealed four times, involved fraud as a defense to the enforcement of promissory notes against 10 guarantors of the purchase of a mortgage brokerage company. The fraud claims encompassed fabricated “loans-in-process” assets in the purchased company and legal issues addressed complete releases, releases pro tanto, compositions, suretyship, grants of new trial, evidentiary disputes, contempt and supersedeas.
Marett v. Professional Ins. Careers, Inc., 410 S.E.2d 373, 201 Ga. App. 178 (Ct. App. 1991). Verdict was overturned on a grant of a sales commission on the successful assertion of the corporate veil doctrine, against an improper allowance of an alter ego claim.
Cobb County v. Webb Dev. Corp., 398 S.E.2d 3, 260 Ga. 605 (S. Ct. 1990). Developer compelled county exercise of eminent domain powers for sewer out-fall line to service residential subdivision, where adjacent landowner refused any traversing of his property for sewer out-fall line. American Bar Association Section on Land Use, Condemnation and Zoning noted this was the only case where a private individual compelled a condemning authority to exercise its powers of eminent domain. Secured $500,000 settlement on behalf of developer on 42 USC §1983 damages claim against county.
Whelchel v. Laing Properties, Inc., 378 S.E.2d 478, 190 Ga. App. 182 (Ct. App. 1989). This case created host liability in the state of Georgia for the serving of alcohol to noticeably intoxicated guests who would soon be driving.
Arnau v. Cochran, 361 S.E.2d 173, 257 Ga. 550 (S. Ct. 1987). Grant of summary judgment on the issue of mental capacity of the testator in a will contest was upheld.
Worthy v. Holmes, 287 S.E.2d 9, 249 Ga. 104 (S. Ct. 1982); Holmes v. Worthy, 282 S.E. 2d 919, 159 Ga. App. 262 (Ct. App. 1981). This case overturned Georgia's law (which had been in force since it embraced English common law) in the areas of caveat emptor and merger by deed in the original sale of residential housing by builder/developers.
WMM Properties, Inc. v. Cobb County, 339 S.E.2d 252, 255 Ga. 436 (S. Ct. 1986). Considered the seminal case on vested rights in Georgia, this establishes rights of property owners to claim vested rights of zonings, permits and other governmental approvals, predicated upon detrimental reliance of property owner and range of assurances by governmental entities.
Coplin v. Broadnax, 349 S.E.2d 748, 256 Ga. 291 (1986). This decision helped establish inheritance rights of illegitimates from their fathers, if there is clear and convincing evidence that the child is the natural child of the father and that the father intended for the child to share in his estate.
City of Powder Springs v. WMM Properties, Inc., 325 S.E.2d 155, 253 Ga. 753 (S. Ct. 1985). This case established rights of contiguous property owners to tap into sewer out-fall lines that traversed their property, against claims by the city that its manager was not empowered to make access commitments in exchange for grant of sewage easement.
Chastain v. State, 339 S.E.2d 298, 177 Ga. App. 236 (Ct. App. 1985). Conviction of the Tax Commissioner of Cobb County on theft by conversion, theft by taking and violation of oath of public office was reversed. The state had asserted the illegality of the payment of more than $300,000 by the First National Bank of Cobb County to Defendant for interest on county monies on deposit in the bank. Defendant asserted that such payments were not illegal, due to federal banking law that prohibited the payment of interest on demand deposits of governmental entities.
Cousins v. Cousins, 315 S.E.2d 420, 253 Ga. 30 (S. Ct. 1984). This first impression case established the rights of the ex-wife to additional shares of corporate stock, following a stock split, of shares awarded in a divorce decree that were subject to a restricted transfer period resulting from securities laws.
Bullock v. Bullock, 292 S.E.2d 872, 162 Ga. App. 744 (Ct. App. 1982). Grant of summary judgment was reversed in a claim of an oral promise to convey land.
LL.M. in Taxation - Emory University School of Law, 1987
J.D. - University of Georgia School of Law, 1979
M.B.A. - University of Georgia - Terry College of Business, 1980
Sigma Iota Epsilon Business Honorary
B.A. - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1976
Phi Beta Kappa
Kappa Tau Alpha Journalism Honorary
NCAA Division 1 Soccer
Atlantic Coast Conference Honor Roll, 1974 & 1975
Beta Theta Pi
President, Business Law and Litigation Section, Cobb County Bar Association, 2014–15
Cobb County Bar Association Board of Trustees, 2015–Present
Cobb County Bar Historian, 2017
Cobb Veterans Memorial Foundation, Inc., pro bono attorney, 2015–Present
Bravo Victor Fund, Ltd., 501(c)(3) funding entity for Cobb Veterans Court, pro bono attorney, 2015-16
Marietta Lawyers Club
Leadership Cobb, 1992
Hospital Authority of Cobb County, 1995–2000
Wellstar Regional Health Board, 1995–2001
Cobb County Ordinance Review Committee, 1993–95
Marietta Metro Rotary, 1984–2013; Paul Harris Fellow
Georgia Ducks Unlimited Area Chairman of the Year, 1988
Georgia Bar, 1979–Present
Georgia Younger Lawyers Continuing Legal Education Bridge the Gap Committee, 1983–85