Gary V. Johnson

Mr. Johnson represents clients in criminal trials, including felonies and misdemeanors, in Illinois state and federal courts. His practice includes bench and jury trials. Mr. Johnson took part in one of the longest criminal trials in Illinois, when he successfully defended Steve Buckley in the first Nicarico prosecution. Mr. Johnson is a frequent speaker at seminars and for professional associations, including the Kane County Bar Association, Cook County Public Defender, People’s Law School, and local schools and organizations. He was previously elected the State’s Attorney of Kane County. Mr. Johnson served for four years prior to reentering private practice. Since his reentry into private practice, Mr. Johnson has successfully represented several clients charged with capital murder, including the retrial and ultimate release of accused cop killer, Manuel Salazar in Joliet. He has been specially appointed by trial courts to assist convicted capital murder defendants in post-conviction petitions. He was recently given special mention by the Illinois State Appellate Defender for obtaining an acquittal for a defendant in a complex capital murder case. Mr. Johnson has extensive experience in complex and high-profile criminal cases. Mr. Johnson is also the author of the award winning book “Luck is a Talent”

Year Joined Firm

  • 1994

Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Trials
  • Bench and Jury Trials
  • Felonies
  • Misdemeanor

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • Illinois, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois, 1978
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Illinois Trial Bar, 1978
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 7th Circuit, 1980


  • Drake University Law School, Des Moines, Iowa
    • J.D. – 1978
    • Honors: Order of the Coif
  • Illinois Weslyian, Illinois
    • B.A. – 1975

Representative Clients

  • Gang Leaders
  • School Officials
  • Lawyers
  • Judges
  • Capital Murder Cases
  • Complex Narcotics Cases


  • Frequent Speaker, Kane County Bar Association
  • Frequent Speaker, Cook County Public Defender
  • Frequent Speaker, People’s Law School

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • ABA
  • ISBA, Criminal Justice Section Council
  • Illinois Attorneys for Criminal Justice, Executive Board
  • Kane County Bar Association, Chair, Criminal Practice Committee, 1987 – 1988
  • DuPage County Bar Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Gary V. Johnson, Sole Practitioner, 1993 – 1994
  • Kane County, State’s Attorney, 1988 – 1992
  • Gary V. Johnson, Sole Practitioner, 1988
  • Clancy & McGuirk
  • Kane County, Assistant State’s Attorney, 1979 – 1982