University of Minnesota Law School, J.D., 2010, Magna Cum Laude

University of Michigan, M.A., 2002

Sarah Lawrence College, B.A. 1996

Bar & Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court

    U.S. Bankruptcy Court – District of Minnesota

    U.S. Bankruptcy Court – Central District of Illinois

    U.S. Court of Appeals 8th Circuit


  • Chief Bankruptcy Judge Gregory F. Kishel, District of Minnesota


News & Insights
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Karl Johnson brings comprehensive experience to his bankruptcy practice.

Before joining Briggs and Morgan, Karl was an associate at Helmuth & Johnson, where he represented debtors in bankruptcy cases under chapters 7, 11, and 13 and secured and unsecured creditors in bankruptcy cases under chapters 7, 11, 12, and 13. Before that, Karl represented trustees in bankruptcy cases under chapters 7 and 13.

His clients include individuals facing financial difficulty, small and large businesses, and institutional creditors. Karl also has experience drafting loan documents, litigating creditor-debtor and inter-creditor disputes, and handling collections.

Karl has appeared as attorney of record in thousands of bankruptcy cases and has prevailed on multiple issues of first impression. He has successfully defended two appeals, one before the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota and the other before the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel for the Eighth Circuit. For two years, Karl clerked for the Chief Bankruptcy Judge for the District of Minnesota and for nearly three years was staff counsel to the Standing Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Trustee for the District of Minnesota.

Karl regularly publishes and lectures on bankruptcy issues.

Honors & Awards

  • 2018 Raeder Larson Public Service Award Recipient<
  • Minnesota Rising Star, Minnesota Super Lawyers


  • Represented a client in a bankruptcy adversary proceeding, resulting in state court sanctions being excepted from discharge
  • Defended a bankruptcy adversary proceeding based on allegations of fraud, resulting in dismissal of the complaint
  • Settled a seven-figure fraudulent transfer action for less than 8% of the amount in controversy
  • Negotiated adequate protection that resulted in larger plan payments for a bank client
  • Successfully argued that a nonprofit organization cannot be classified as a small business debtor in a Chapter 11 case and cannot be burdened with the additional procedural requirements that are imposed on a small business debtor

Professional Affiliations

  • Minnesota Asian Pacific Bar Association, Member
  • Volunteer Lawyers Network, Board of Directors
  • Minnesota State Bar Association - Bankruptcy Section, Pro Bono Committee
  • Minnesota State Bar Association Bankruptcy Section, Bankruptcy Bulletin Co-Editor-in-Chief, 2017-Present
  • Circuit Writers Project, Bankruptcy Circuit Update, 2019-Present

Pro Bono

Karl promotes pro bono efforts and supports equal access to legal services. In addition to providing pro bono representation to qualified clients, he serves on the Board of Directors of Volunteer Lawyers Network and on the Pro Bono Committee of the Minnesota State Bar Association’s Bankruptcy Section.