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Johnny Darnell Griggs

Founding & Managing Shareholder

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Johnny Darnell Griggs

Managing and Founding Shareholder

Johnny Griggs is the Founding and Managing Shareholder at GriggsLittle APC. For his entire career, Johnny has supported and facilitated the success of clients under even the most difficult and high-stakes circumstances. As a lawyer and partner at prominent firms such as Sidley Austin, Greenberg Glusker and Nossaman, Guthner, Knox & Elliott, Johnny has successfully represented Fortune 500 companies, mid-sized businesses and entrepreneurial enterprises in high-stakes, employment-related and complex business litigation matters.

During his career, Johnny has handled all aspects of management-side employment law, including class action defense. Among other things, he advises and counsels employers on a wide range of issues including wage and hour, hiring and firing, workplace discipline, workplace privacy, trade secrets and proprietary information, non-competition and non-solicitation provisions, and human resources management.  Johnny also represents employers in employment-related litigation, including claims alleging race, age, gender, disability and sexual orientation discrimination, sexual harassment, whistleblower retaliation, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, as well as related tort and contract claims.  In addition, he counsels and represents employers in their relations with labor unions, including with respect to union organizing drives, collective bargaining agreements and claims before the National Labor Relations Board.  Moreover, Johnny conducts workplace investigations and training, and consults with employers regarding a number of Human Resources issues.

As an award-winning litigator, Johnny handles all aspects of complex business litigation, including prosecution and defense of real estate and real estate-related claims, defense of toxic tort claims, defense of land subsidence claims, and defense and prosecution of claims related to complex business transactions.

Johnny has been a trusted advisor to a variety of high-profile clients, including a former Chief of Police of the City of Los Angeles, a former Superintendent of Schools for the Los Angeles Unified School District, the Forum (former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings), the President of the Los Angeles Urban League, a prominent civil rights leader in the City of Los Angeles, a world renowned artist, and a number of prominent CEO’s.

Johnny also lends his legal expertise to causes relating to education and urban issues.  His pro bono work and public service has won him numerous accolades, including the African-American Insurance Professionals Association Community Service Award, the Los Angeles City Council Commendation for Public Service, 2003, and the ACLU Foundation of Southern California Pro Bono Civil Rights Award.

As a civil activist, Johnny has restructured, led and counseled a number of significant public benefit corporations, as well as represented clients successfully in significant civil rights litigation.  As a consultant, he has advised numerous entities on issues related to human resources, diversity, strategic planning, governance and corporate culture.

Notable Representations

  • Represented the owners of a group of car washes in Los Angeles with respect to a significant unfair labor practices claim before the National Labor Relations Board, as well as advised and counseled the clients with respect to a related union organizing campaign;Advised and counseled the Forum in Inglewood (previously known as the Great Western Forum – former home of the Los Angeles Lakers and the Los Angeles Kings) respecting a major labor union dispute and other employment matters;
  • Advised and counseled Faithful Central Bible Church of Los Angeles, comprising more than 11,000 members, relating to employment matters;
  • Represented Second Baptist Church of Los Angeles relating to employment matters;
  • Represented the former General Superintendent of the Los Angeles Unified School District in the successful negotiation of his employment contract with the District;
  • Represented the former Chief of Police of the City of Los Angeles relating to novel employment and other issues arising out of his tenure with the Los Angeles Police Department, resulting in a significant severance package for the former Police Chief;
  • Litigated a number of inverse condemnation claims, including defending a number of claims arising out of landslides along the coast of Southern California and prosecution of a claim alleging inverse condemnation and other theories concerning damage to an adjacent golf course caused by the construction of a freeway;
  • Represented the owners of the Forum in Inglewood relating to a dispute with the owners of the Staples Center in Los Angeles;
  • Represented plaintiffs challenging Los Angeles Police Department racial profiling policies, resulting in changes to the Police Department’s practices relating racially-motivated traffic stops;
  • Represented Dallas County and other municipalities in a novel Ponzi scheme lawsuit brought by numerous other municipalities, and prevailed on a dispositive motion on behalf of clients;
  • Represented a world-renowned artist in a dispute regarding a worldwide distribution contract relating to his artwork, and recovered his distribution rights relating to that artwork;
  • Represented a public benefit corporation in a racial discrimination lawsuit against the County of San Bernardino, and garnered a seven-figure settlement prior to the damages phase of the trial;
  • Represented a top executive of a major municipal securities dealer in large NASD arbitration and won a multi-million-dollar award on his behalf; and
  • Represented the owners of a Class I toxic waste site in California in a lawsuit brought by more than 350 residents of an adjoining town.

 Representative Publications

  • Author, “Overcoming the Succession Planning Conundrum,” Law Practice, November/December 2016
  • Circuit City Ruling Shelves Most Arbitration Clauses, Los Angeles Daily Journal (February 28, 2002)
  • Investigate and Remedy, Los Angeles Daily Journal (December 27, 2001)
  • Sexual Harassment, in Law Firms?, California Lawyer (June 2001)
  • Lady Justice Not Blind to Sexual Harassment in Law Firms, Michigan Lawyers Weekly (January 15, 2001)

Representative Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker, Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession, Spring Taxation Conference, County Counsels’ Association of California, 2014
  • Panelist, “A Comprehensive Business Development and Digital Marketing Technology Plan: Leveraging These Tools to Achieve and Maintain Competitive Advantage” ALM LegalTech West Coast Conference, 2014
  • Speaker, “Preparing HR for Deposition and Trial,” National Association of African Americans in Human Resources, 2014
  • Speaker, “Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession,” Spring Taxation Conference, County Counsels’ Association of California, 2014
  • Speaker, Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession, Buchalter Nemer, 2011
  • Speaker, Nuts and Bolts of Employment Law, Part II, Los Angeles County Bar Association, 2011
  • Speaker, Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession: A Quarter Century Retrospective, State Bar of California, 2011
  • Keynote Speaker, Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession, Los Angeles Intellectual Property Law Association, 2009
  • Keynote Speaker, Elimination of Bias in the Legal Profession, Sidley Austin, 2008
  • Keynote Speaker, Urban Education Partnership Academies Graduation, 2006
  • Panel Member, Public Education Network No Child Left Behind Hearings, 2004
  • Panel Member, Recent Amendments to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Black Women Lawyers of Los Angeles Seminar, 2004
  • Keynote Luncheon Speaker, National Conference of the National Black Law Students Association, 2004

Professional Honors & Activities

  • Named One of Los Angeles’ Top Black Attorneys by L.A. Focus Magazine, 2011
  • African-American Insurance Professionals Association Community Service Award, 2006
  • Los Angeles City Council Commendation for Public Service, 2003
  • ACLU Foundation of Southern California Pro Bono Civil Rights Award, 2001
  • One of the Top 25 California Lawyers under the Age of 45, 1993
  • Los Angeles County Commendation for Public Service, 1992
  • Langston Bar Association Loren Miller Lawyer-of-the-Year Award, 1991

Public Service

  • Member, Board of Trustees, American University of Health Sciences
  • Former Chair of the Board, Community Health Councils
  • Former Chair of the Board and Board Restructuring Director, WATTSHealth Foundation
  • Former Chair of the Board and Chief Executive Officer, Urban Education Partnership
  • Former Legal Counsel, Los Angeles Annenberg Metropolitan Project
  • Former Legal Counsel, Los Angeles Educational Partnership
  • Former Legal Counsel, Families In Schools
  • Formal Legal Counsel, Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade
  • Former Legal Counsel, African American Unity Center

Academia

  • Adjunct Professor, Abraham Lincoln University School of Law
  • Adjunct Professor, Irvine University College of Law