Attorney Douglas H. Johnson is Ms. Zellner's partner in her practice. Mr. Johnson assists Ms. Zellner in selecting civil cases further concentrating in the area of criminal law, defending individuals accused of First Degree Murder and other major felonies. Johnson has represented clients before trial and appellate courts throughout Illinois, the Supreme Court of Illinois and 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.

From 2007-2018 Mr. Johnson was selected as a Leading Lawyer in multiple areas of law. This designation represents the top 5 percent of all lawyers in Illinois. Selection is made on the basis of a statewide survey of all Illinois Lawyers. Douglas has also been named as a Top Lawyer in Illinois, and in 2011 received the Trial Excellence Award.

Mr. Johnson has successfully defended clients in jury trials, bench trials, contested evidentiary hearings and at all levels of appeal, including post-conviction matters. Often his work has resulted in the reversal of convictions and freedom for the firm's clients. A few cases reflective of such success include People v. Michael Cardamone (multiple counts of sexual abuse reversed), People v. David Brokus (murder conviction reversed/released after retrial), People v. John Garvey (arson conviction reversed/charges dismissed), People v. Robert Murphy (murder sentence reduced/release obtained), People v. Tom Cochran (murder conviction reversed), People v. Hardy (contempt of court conviction reversed) and People v. Hector Santiago (not guilty finding after first degree murder trial).

Additional significant cases include The United States v. Ariel Gomez, in which Mr. Johnson argued the defendant’s case before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.  That case is frequently cited in relation to prisoner’s actual innocence claims.  Mr. Johnson argued the significance of post-conviction DNA testing results in the case of People v. Charles Dodds, a case frequently cited throughout the country.  Ms. Zellner and Mr. Johnson also succeeded in suppressing a videotaped confession in the murder prosecution of People v. Diane Thames, the first such suppression after the law requiring videotaping of such statements went into effect in Illinois.       

Douglas graduated from the University of Michigan and received his J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago.  He is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the Chicago Bar Association, DuPage County Bar Association, Federal Trial Bar and the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association

Leading Lawyers Profile

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal
  • Civil Rights
  • Constitutional Law
  • Medical Malpractice

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Central District of Illinois, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1993


  • Loyola University Chicago School of Law, Chicago, Illinois
    • J.D. - 1991
    • Honors: Dean's List
    • Honors: Editor, Business Law Journal
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan
    • B.S.

Honors and Awards

  • Leading Lawyer, 2007 - 2018
  • Trial Excellence Award, 2011 - 2012