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
- Korean (Conversational)
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
- 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
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.
- August 8, 2019
- Case Law UpdateMinnesota Bankruptcy Institute, October 4, 2018
- Business Bankruptcy RoundtableMinnesota Bankruptcy Institute, October 24, 2017
- New Law & Significant Issues in Bankruptcy: Asset SalesMinnesota CLE, July 26, 2017
- Effectively Utilizing Chapter 12 Bankruptcy as a Tool in Agricultural WorkoutsIndependent Community Bankers of Minnesota Webinar, March 8, 2017
- What Can You Do With Property Nobody Wants? Vest: Opportunities for Debtors and Pitfalls for Secured CreditorsMinnesota State Bar Association Bankruptcy Section, February 21, 2017
- Alert: Eighth Circuit Allows Chapter 11 Debtors to Sell Securities to Creditors at Steep Discounts in Exchange for New Commitments and Plan SupportAugust 15, 2019
- NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF CHAPTER THIRTEEN TRUSTEES QUARTERLY, Vol. 8, No. 3, at 21.
- 2018REPRESENTING THE ONGOING BUSINESS DESKBOOK (Willeke ed., 2nd ed., 2017 and 2018 update)
- 2018BANKRUPTCY PRACTICE IN MINNESOTA DESKBOOK (Larison, Running and Stewart eds., 1st ed., 2016 update; 2nd ed., 2018)