Michael A. Johnston
Michael is proud of his family’s public service. His great grandfather volunteered, and fought with the Canadian Expeditionary Force during the Great War. His grandfather volunteered and served with the Royal Canadian Army Service Corps in France, Holland and Germany during the Second World War. His father dedicated his career as an agricultural specialist to collaborating with farmers in developing countries. His mother advocated for human rights in various capacities.
In the third grade, Michael learned what direction his public service would take; he read a biography about Abraham Lincoln, and was inspired by what a poor boy from Kentucky accomplished for others, first as a lawyer and then as a politician. Thereafter, Michael aspired to be a lawyer for peoples’ rights.
Michael was a student-athlete at Queen’s University, where he was a bruising fullback, and offensive guard for the Golden Gaels. After obtaining his Bachelor of Arts with Honours in Philosophy in 2006, Michael pursued his dream of becoming a lawyer at the University of Saskatchewan’s College of Law. He graduated with “Great Distinction” in 2009. Michael was fortunate to receive 10 academic awards, including:
- The Gabe Burkhart Memorial Award in Criminal Law
- The Thomas P. Deis-Cronkite Prize in Constitutional Law
- The Donald Maclean Prize in Constitutional Law
- The Douglas Schmeiser Prize in Criminal Procedure
- The Honourable David H. Wright Prize in Sentencing
Michael completed his articles of clerkship with Greenspan Humphrey Levine (as it then was) in Toronto. He was called to the Ontario Bar in 2010.
Michael’s practice is focused on criminal and quasi-criminal litigation. He advocates before Juries, Judges, Appeal Courts, and Administrative Tribunals. Michael has appeared at all levels of court in Ontario, and at the Supreme Court of Canada. He has won numerous acquittals/not guilty verdicts from Juries, and Judges. Michael has assisted clients in achieving their acquittals for a legion of different reasons on a wide range of criminal and quasi-criminal accusations. Michael frequently relies on the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, which has resulted in dozens of firearms being excluded from evidence due to a problematic warrant, breath samples being excluded from impaired driving/over .80 cases due to problematic arrest/detention procedures, statements being excluded due to violations of the right to counsel, etc… Michael passionately defends against all charges, ranging from shoplifting to murder.
Fluent in Spanish and conversant in French, Michael will be dedicated to your cause. He works with everyone’s financial situation to ensure that the defence a person receives does not depend on the depth of their pockets. Michael accepts Legal Aid Ontario certificates and is a member of JusticeNet, a nation-wide program that offers legal services at reduced fees for those experiencing financial difficulties. Michael also supports our troops and is honoured to give a 25% discount to all members of the Armed Forces.
Michael is also a Founder and the President of the Barristers for a Better Bytown, a local charity which aims to give back to members of our community who are in need, including at risk youth, the homeless, and all our other less fortunate brothers and sisters.