Robert J. Johnston

Robert J. Johnston

ROBERT J. JOHNSTON is a member of the firm’s commercial group. Robert’s practice concentrates on New Mexico tax law, including corporate income tax, gross receipts tax, property tax, and public finance, as well as liquor licensing, and business and corporate law.

In his tax practice, Robert advises taxpayers in all aspects of New Mexico tax law. Robert assists taxpayers in responding to assessments and audits by the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, and he represents taxpayers in refund claims, administrative tax protest proceedings before the New Mexico Administrative Hearings Office, and tax litigation and appeals.

Robert’s liquor licensing practice includes advising clients in purchasing, selling, or otherwise obtaining liquor licenses, and liquor licensing compliance. Robert represents clients before the New Mexico Alcoholic Beverage Control Division (formerly the Alcohol and Gaming Division) of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department for liquor license applications, including inter-local dispenser license transfers, governmental liquor licenses, wholesaler licenses, and others.

In his general business practice, Robert assists clients in forming, purchasing, governing, and selling businesses.


  • 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

Publications & Speeches

  • Corporate Practice of Medicine: A 50 State Survey, Second Edition, New Mexico chapter (American Health Lawyers Association), 2020 (co-authored with David H. Johnson and Jesse D. Hale)


  • Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, Tax Law, 2021
  • Southwest Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2020-present
  • 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

  • State Bar of New Mexico, Tax Law Section - Board of Directors
  • Attorney Coach, Albuquerque High School Mock Trial Team
  • Young Professionals of Albuquerque
  • New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association
  • State Bar of New Mexico, 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.