A Reputation For Being Tough, Since 1953

Photo of Derek C. Johnson

Derek C. Johnson

  • Shareholder, 1993

Contact Info:



Attorney Derek Johnson has served as the President of the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association (2006-2007), is honored in Best Lawyers in America (2009 -Present), has chaired the Oregon Government Ethics Commission (1989-93), has served on the Board of Governors for the Oregon State Bar (2011-12), and was appointed by the Oregon Supreme Court Chief Justice to serve on the state's Civil Law Advisory Committee (2007). Derek brings decades of experience and skill as one of the region's most well respected personal injury attorneys.

Licensed to practice in Oregon, Washington, and California, Derek first and foremost cares ab out his clients. He is a well-prepared litigator and a smart negotiator. Clients find him to be protective, empathetic, and strategic in the development of their case. Derek has been a shareholder at Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton since 1994.

Medical negligence cases can be particularly complex, but Derek's view is that success lies in the details of the case. He thoroughly analyzes medical charts, reports, consults with medical experts and conducts in-depth interviews of friends and family. In one notable case, Derek represented a veteran who went to the VA Hospital with severe leg and back pain. Physicians failed to notice a cancerous lesion on the left femur. Over the next several months, the patient returned to the hospital three more times in severe pain. Finally, he was diagnosed with multiple myeloma. Sadly, it was too late; Derek's client passed away during settlement negotiations. Derek petitioned the court successfully to have his client's widow appointed as her deceased husband's personal representative and negotiated a significant settlement on behalf of the man's widow and 2 sons due to a "failure to diagnose" cancer.

Derek has handled many "failure to diagnose" cases at Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton, including failure to diagnose breast cancer, colon cancer, and fatal heart conditions. Recently, one of Derek's cases involved failure to properly treat post-surgical deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism. After an uneventful surgery, the patient developed serious clotting in his calf and an embolism in his lungs. Both the Portland and Roseburg VA Hospitals missed the diagnosis, and the man died. Derek cut through the complexities and put together a strong case for significant damages. The case successfully resolved prior to trial.

Defective product cases often present complex engineering problems. In one case, Derek represented an experienced bow hunter, injured when a carbon fiber Gold Tip arrow exploded upon release. Hundreds of graphite shards pierced the man's hand, cutting muscle tissue and shattering nerves. The arrow was advertised to eliminate splintering, but after extensive discovery, it was determined that none of the arrows sold by the company had the anti-splintering construction represented in advertisements. Derek successfully negotiated a confidential settlement for the injured bow hunter.

In every complex case he handles, Derek works with a team of lawyers and legal assistants. He also has a long list of expert consultants, doctors and nurses, engineers and safety experts who he works with to prepare his clients cases in the most thorough fashion. Having the experience and resources to consult with a wide range of experts sets Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton apart.

Derek is an honors graduate of Williams College (1981). He has a BA in French from the Universite de Poitiers/ University of Oregon in 1982, and a JD from the University of California at Los Angeles School of Law (1985). He also has an advanced law degree (LLM) from the University of Washington School of Law, Marine Affairs, (1987). Derek was born and raised in Eugene, Oregon and has practiced at Johnson Johnson Lucas & Middleton since 1988.

Throughout his decades of practice, Derek has successfully resolved or tried hundreds of cases involving defective products, truck accidents, medical negligence, nursing home abuse, maritime injury, and cases involving wrongful death.

In the last five years, Derek has worked with the Eugene Civic Alliance to build a community sports and recreation facility in Eugene.

Derek is an avid outdoorsman, and enjoys skiing and fly fishing for trout and steelhead throughout the Northwest.

AV is a registered certification mark of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies.

Practice Areas:

  • Personal Injury & Wrongful Death
  • Car Accidents
  • Medical Malpractice


  • University of Washington School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • LL.M. - 1987
    • Major: Marine Affairs
  • University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) School of Law, Los Angeles, California
    • J.D. - 1985
  • Williams College
    • Bachelor's Degree - 1981
    • Honors: With Honors
    • Major: History
  • Universite de Poitiers/University of Oregon
    • B.A. - 1982
    • Major: French

Professional Associations:

  • Oregon Government Ethics Commission, Chair, 1992-1993, 1989 to 1993
  • Oregon State Bar Disciplinary Board, Member, Chair, 2000-2001, 1995 to 2000
  • Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, Board of Governors, Member, 2000 to Present
  • Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, President, 2006 to 2007
  • Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, Legislative Committee, Co-Chair, 2012 to Present
  • Civil Law Advisory Committee, Chief Justice Appointment, 2006 to 2007
  • The Child Center, Board of Directors, 1994 to 2009
  • Willamette Repertory Theatre, Board of Directors, 2000 to 2005
  • Lane Arts Council, Board of Directors, Secretary, 1991-1992, 1990 to 1995
  • Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, Financial Committee, 1988 to 2000
  • Independent Scientific Review Board, 2002 to 2005
  • Lane County Bar Association, Board of Directors, 1995 to 1996
  • Lane County Bar Association, Judicial Administration Committee, Chair, 1996 to 1997
  • American Inns of Court, Member, Treasurer, 2005 to 2012
  • American Association for Justice, Member
  • Trial Lawyers for Public Justice, Member
  • Eugene Metro Futbol Club, Board of Directors/President, 2009 to 2016
  • Oregon Urology Foundation, Board of Directors, 2007 to Present
  • Best Lawyers in America, 2009 to Present

Bar Admissions:

  • California, 1985
  • Washington, 1986
  • Oregon, 1988
  • U.S. District Court District of Oregon
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit


  • Selected for inclusion in the 2011 edition of The Best Lawyers in America in the practice area of Product Liability Litigation
  • Martindale -Hubbell AV Rated
  • SuperLawyer

Published Works:

  • "Toxic Torts", (Co-Author), Oregon State Bar Torts Handbook, 1992
  • "Toxic Torts", (Co-Author), Oregon State Bar Torts Handbook, 1996
  • Handbook on Government Law, Government Ethics Law of Oregon Law Institute, 1990
  • 1 TORTS (Editor), Oregon State Bar CLE, 2000, 2006
  • OTLA Motor Vehicle Deskbook chapter on Motorcycle Claims