Robert J. Johnston

Robert J. Johnston

ROBERT J. JOHNSTON is a member of the firm’s commercial group. His practice concentrates on business and corporate law, liquor licensing, and New Mexico tax law, including corporate income tax, sales and use (gross receipts) tax, property tax, and public finance.  Robert has represented businesses before the New Mexico Administrative Hearings Office in tax protest proceedings, and he has successfully defended companies in litigated matters ranging in subject matter from land-use disputes to oil-field injury and wrongful death.

During law school, Robert represented individuals in tax and employment matters as a student lawyer in the UNM Business and Tax Clinic.  Robert also served as a representative on the UNM Student Bar Association, as a Lieutenant Governor for the American Bar Association’s Law Student Division, and as a volunteer with the UNM Mexican American Law Student Association.

While a student at Eastern New Mexico University, Robert served as a representative of the student body on the university’s Student Senate, Student Fees Committee, and as the student liaison to the faculty’s governing body, the Faculty Senate. As a freshman, Robert founded the university’s first Gay-Straight Alliance and served as a member of several service-oriented university organizations throughout his time as an undergraduate.


  • New Mexico, 2016
  • Arizona, 2017
  • United States District Court for the District of New Mexico, 2016


  • University of New Mexico Law School, 2016, J.D., Law
  • Eastern New Mexico University, 2013, B.S., Political Science, History, magna cum laude


  • Dean's Award for Significant Contribution to the Law School Community, University of New Mexico School of Law, May 2016
  • University of New Mexico School of Law Merit Award Scholarship
  • University of New Mexico School of Law Dean’s List
  • Phi Kappa Phi National Academic Honor Society
  • Eastern New Mexico University Dean’s List
  • Eastern New Mexico University Class of 2013 Outstanding Student in Political Science
  • Chicago-Kent College of Law Pre-Law Undergraduate Scholar, 2012

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Attorney Coach, Albuquerque High School Mock Trial Team
  • Young Professionals of Albuquerque
  • New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association
  • New Mexico State Bar Young Lawyers Division - Law Student Mentorship Program
  • American Bar Association
  • New Mexico Medical Review Commission, Lawyer Panelist

Representative Experience

  • Represented various taxpayers in protests related to the High Wage Jobs Tax Credit before the Administrative Hearings Office.
  • Assisted in the representation of multinational oil and gas exploration company in gross receipts tax protest before the Administrative Hearings Office.
  • Represented an educational institution before the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights in response to Title IX complaint.
  • Assisted in the representation of an educational institution’s management in negotiating a collective bargaining agreement.
  • Represented multistate franchisee in franchise dispute with multinational franchisor.
  • Represented an association of commercial land owners in a land use dispute regarding restrictive covenants as applied to a purchaser’s proposed use of commercial property.
  • Represented various businesses in a variety of employment and contract disputes, including allegations of retaliatory discharge, invasion of privacy, and wage theft.
  • Second-chaired the defense of oil exploration and production company in a wrongful death jury trial in which the plaintiffs sought $120 million in compensatory damages, in addition to punitive damages. Obtained a defense verdict based on proximate causation.