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Ann K. Johnston

Of Counsel, San Francisco

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Ann K. Johnston

Of Counsel, San Francisco

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Since 1989, Ann Johnston has focused her practice on defense of bad faith cases arising out of property and casualty claims under commercial and personal lines policies. She has first chair trial experience, and has lectured on claim handling issues at legal education conferences, as well as at insurance company seminars for claim personnel. She also provides frequent coverage advice to insurers, including taking examinations under oath on first party property issues, and rendering written coverage opinions on a variety of property and liability issues.

Ann also represents small businesses and individuals in various types of business litigation, including cases involving breach of contract, construction defect, employment, invasion of privacy, defamation, and landlord/tenant issues.


Bar Admissions
  • California, 1989
Court Admissions
  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


  • Pepperdine University School of Law – J.D., 1989
  • University of California, Irvine – B.A., English, 1986


  • Selected 13 years running to the Northern California Super Lawyers list
  • Designated one of the “Top Women Attorneys in Northern California” as published in San Francisco Magazine


  • Rogerson Corp. v. Aon Risk Insurance Services West, et al. No. 30-2021-01207839-CU-BC-NJC 2021 (Orange County Superior Court, Jun. 28, 2021) (summary judgment for insurer granted on insured’s claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in matter arising out of windstorm damage to a helicopter)
  • Colleen Stewart v. Property and Casualty Insurance Company of Hartford 2017 U.S. Dist. (E.D. Cal. Nov. 16, 2017) (summary judgment for insurer granted and affirmed on appeal on insured’s claims for breach of contract and breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing in matter arising out of insured’s claim for asbestos contamination to her residence)

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  • Professional Underwriting Group, Inc. v. Hartford Ins. Co., No. CV 15-9714-R, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 186596 (C.D. Cal. March 9, 2016) (insurer’s motion to dismiss granted based on the first-to-file rule)
  • Beda v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 27897 (S.D. Cal.), aff’d by K.B. v. Hartford Cas. Ins. Co., 608 Fed. Appx. 492 (9th Cir. 2015) (insurer’s summary judgment affirmed on appeal; CGL insurer owed no duty to defend or indemnify for an excess judgment in a suit for major injuries the claimant suffered during a pool party at the insureds’ residence, which the insureds claimed was also used for its business operations)
  • Pinnacle Brokers Ins. Solutions LLC v. Sentinel Ins. Co., Ltd., 2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 117299 (N.D. Cal., Sept. 2, 2015) (insurer’s motion to dismiss granted; court found an intellectual property exclusion applied to bar a duty to defend an action that included among its claims violation of trade secrets)
  • Target Media v. Hartford Fin. Servs. Group, Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 2944 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. Apr. 25, 2014) (in duty to defend suit, demurrer in favor of the insurer’s parent and affiliate companies sustained without leave to amend and affirmed on appeal as to the parent company, dismissed on appeal as to the affiliate)
  • Foster v. Schoeb, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 72554 (N.D. Cal., Sept. 28, 2007) (summary judgment granted in insurer’s favor in case involving the insureds’ claim that the insurer allowed their damaged vehicle to be lost or destroyed, resulting in a lack of evidence to support the insureds’ suit against a tire manufacturer and distributor)
  • Cybernet Ventures, Inc. v. Hartford Ins. Co., 168 Fed. Appx. 850 (9th Cir. 2006) (affirming summary judgment finding the insurer’s reservation of rights under Ins. Code § 533 did not create a conflict requiring independent counsel, and that the insured breached the cooperation clause by failing to turn the defense of the underlying action over the insurer selected attorneys)
  • Crab Boat Owners Ass’n v. Hartford Ins. Co., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23615 (N.D. Cal., Nov. 15, 2004) (insurer’s motion to dismiss granted on insured’s claim for breach of contract and bad faith; underlying trespass to chattels suit alleged only intentional acts committed in furtherance of intended consequences, and intentional acts causing unintentional damages are not “accidents” or “occurrences”)
  • Brown v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co., 93 Fed. Appx. 143 (9th Cir. 2004) (affirming dismissal of suit seeking defense against a bankruptcy adversary proceeding for return of estate property based on the absence of covered “bodily injury,” “property damage,” or “damages,” and rejecting insured’s speculation that the underlying action may be amended)
  • Petersen v. Hartford Ins. Co., 2003 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 6037 (Apr. 9, 2003) (summary judgment for insurer on the ground of collateral estoppel; insured college dean sued insurer for refusing to cover property allegedly stolen from his office, but the dean previously lost his suit against the college for conversion of the same property based on insufficient proof of ownership)
  • Environment Land Mgmt. v. Hartford Fire Ins. Co. 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17183 (N. D. Cal. Sept. 11, 2002) (summary judgment granted in insured corporation’s suit for failure to defend cross-claims against a corporate officer in his individual capacity, and a cross-claim against the corporation for declaratory relief rather than “damages”)

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