Judith Harrington Johnson
120 South 6th Street, Suite 1515
Minneapolis, MN 55402
Laying a firm foundation of hope for the future; constructing fair
practical solutions with healing impact on the family
Every client needs access to good basic legal advice before considering divorce or separation. I offer an initial consultation for charitable contributions -- up to 2 hours of time -- for clients to use before they take any action on their case. I recommend that they write down their questions, so that there isn't anything they forget to ask, and we use this time in whatever way is most helpful to them and to their families. Every family is unique. Every family deserves a unique solution. My objective is to help my clients gather the best available information and best professional services available to help them meet their needs
Judy is a partner in the law firm of Speeter, Johnson, Hamilton and Wurst in downtown Minneapolis. She strongly believes that everyone facing family law problems (separation, separate parenting and support, paternity, division of assets, divorce) should have good access to basic legal information before they take any action which might have lasting effect on their futures. For over 20 years, Judy has offered initial office consultations free of charge to those who are willing to come in to see her, and bring a donation of groceries to the local food shelf (or, a check to Sharing and Caring Hands, a charity for the homeless in Minneapolis).
I love the collaborative model for handling family law matters, because it invests the financial resources for decision making where they will do the most good providing good professional advice to both partners at every step of the process, Judy states. The parties and the attorneys (as well as therapists or certified financial planners using the model) commit themselves in a binding contract to finding a private solution that is best for everyone. The parties are free to pull out at any time and use a public court process for decision making if they choose, but the lawyers must withdraw from representation at that point. Few people ever do choose to withdraw, because they realize the professional help they are getting is improving their lives. And the cost in most cases is just a fraction of what it would take to bring the same problems to court.
Judy focuses her practice in the areas of family law, alternative dispute resolution (ADR), and elder law. For over 20 years she has worked in the areas of parenting, family financial support (child and spousal), support collection, division of assets, business appraisals, domestic abuse, division of assets, adoption, separation and divorce. In her elder law practice, Judy helps clients and families address basic planning needs for lifestyle and financial changes in cases involving difficult issues of aging and loss of capacity. She also works as a mediator in her practice. Judy has served as mediator in business, employment, real estate, family law, paternity and child support disputes, and has administrated private arbitration proceedings in family law. She has received certification as a neutral from the Minnesota Supreme Court for Civil/Family Law Facilitation (mediation), and Civil Arbitration (including third party neutral opinions and arbitration).
In her profession, Judy has been dedicated to educating the public about better solutions for families facing separation and divorce, and to changing the laws in order to make collaborative solutions more accessible. She contributed drafting work to the Minnesota Parenting Plans Legislation (Cooperative Parenting Statute) enacted in April 2000, and served as legal advisor to the legislative authors of that bill, and lobbyist for the legislation. She was the attorney author of the Minnesota summons legislation enacted in 1999, which requires notice of alternative dispute resolution opportunities to filing parties in civil and family law disputes, as well as serving as legal advisor to the legislative authors of that bill, and lobbyist for the legislation. Judy has served as guest lecturer in the 40-hour Civil Mediation training offered by William Mitchell College of Law, and in the Family Law courses at William Mitchell College of Law. She has also served frequently as an instructor in divorce education for Lutheran Social Services, district court programs, and as an instructor on Planning for a Second Marriage with Catholic Charities/Office for Separated and Divorced.
Judy is a member of Collaborative Practice Minnesota. She is also chairperson
of the task force to the Minnesota Supreme Court Advisory Committee on uniform
rules of collaborative practices.
Judy is a graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, cum laude.