Appointed by Governor James in 1997 becoming the first Republican to ever hold a circuit or district judgeship in Mobile County. Elected in 1998, 2000 and 2006.
Native and lifelong resident of Mobile. Attended both public and private schools in Mobile, graduating from University Military School in 1977. Received B.A. in history from the University of Alabama in 1981. Received J.D. in 1984 from the University of Alabama School of Law.
Private practice of law from 1984 to 1997 in civil litigation. In the 1996 general election, Johnston served as Co-Chairman and legal counsel for the Alabama Republican Party’s ballot security effort. Johnston served as an Alabama State Election Instructor, 1988-1990.
Johnston served as one of the lead attorneys (along with Supreme Court Justice Glenn Murdock) representing Judge Perry O. Hooper in his successful court battle to gain the chief justice’s position following the absentee ballot dispute in the 1994 election. As a result of this litigation, Judge Hooper was sworn in as the new Chief Justice of Alabama.
Admitted to practice before all the state and federal courts in Alabama as well as the United States Supreme Court.
Appointed by Governor Guy Hunt in 1988 to serve on the Alabama State Tenure Commission; appointed by Governor James in 1995 to the Certificate of Need Review Board of the State Health Planning & Development Agency; appointed by Governor Hunt to the U.S.S. Alabama Battleship Commission which he served from 1992-1999 and as Chairman 1998 to 1999; Chief Justice Perry O. Hooper appointed Johnston as Chairman of the Administrative Office of Courts Forms Committee 1998-2005; in 2001, in response to a statewide revenue shortage in the court system, he was appointed Chairman of the Court Cost Enforcement Committee; served as Chairman of the Mobile County Republican Party from 1986 to 1990 and Vice-Chairman of the Alabama Republican Party from 1995 to 1997.
Presently a member of the Mobile, Alabama and American Bar Associations, the Alabama Circuit Judges Association, American Judicature Society, The Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy and the American and Mobile Inns of Court.