fbpx C. Michael Johnson | Insurance Coverage Defense Attorney

C. Michael Johnson

atp5d vr

C. Michael Johnson



C. Michael Johnson is an AV rated trial lawyer. For over 40 years, Mike has developed a national practice involving complex insurance litigation. He has represented clients involving their insurance coverage disputes in over 26 states. He frequently litigates in the state and federal courts and has successfully taken cases before the Second Circuit, Fourth Circuit, Fifth Circuit, Eighth Circuit, Ninth Circuit and Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

Mike graduated from North Carolina State University with two Bachelor of Science degrees and attended Law School at the University of North Carolina. He began his practice in Seattle, Washington and moved to Georgia in the 1984.

He is a past Chair of the Insurance Coverage Section of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel and he has been a Fellow in the American College of Coverage and Extracontractual Counsel from its inception.


First-Party Coverage

Mike has litigated and counseled clients concerning construction, building and inland marine property losses, building/structure/roof collapses, building/structure/foundation earth and soil subsidence cases, a wide variety of fire and explosion cases, and all manner of property loss from flood, earthquake, wind/rain storm and hurricane.  These cases commonly involve complex business interruption and extra expense coverage issues. Policies commonly involved are Commercial Property “All Risk” Primary/Excess Policies, Commercial Inland Marine and Builders Risk Policies, Manuscript Property Coverage Policies, Marine Hull Policies and Fine Arts Policies.

Case Examples:

  • Collapse cases: One of the largest underground building commercial structures in the country located in Virginia; underground transportation tunnel in Los Angles, 120-foot-tall Super-Gantry crane in Louisiana; hail collapse of glass roof of one of the country’s largest hydroponic greenhouse in Nebraska; hotel in Key West.
  • Defective Construction: Damage to commercial construction projects during construction by fire, explosion, and water intrusion through roofs, walls and window systems in Alabama, Georgia, Florida, Nevada and North Carolina.
  • Storm Damage: Catastrophic damage to hotels, shopping centers, marinas and ports by hurricanes and tidal surges in multiple states along the East Coast and Gulf; flood loss to industrial buildings along the Mississippi; timber and agricultural losses in multiple states.
  • Fire/Explosion: To hotels, shopping centers, automobile dealerships, sawmills; power plants, chemical plants and industrial manufacturing facilities in various states.
  • Fine Arts: Theft of Picasso painting from international gallery; Damage to Stradivarius Violin; Damage to rare paintings in Art Gallery in California; Damage to Museum art traveling to Europe.
Liability Coverage

Mike represents primary, excess and umbrella insurers as well as municipality risk pool groups. He provides guidance in drafting manuscript policies, rescinding policies for fraud or misrepresentation, issuing reservation of rights on complex coverage cases, successfully bringing declaratory judgment actions on a vast array of coverage defenses, enforcing other insurance rights, defending bad faith actions against insurers and, where appropriate, prosecuting subrogation. Policies commonly involved include OCIP/CCIP Project Policies, Commercial General Liability Primary, Excess and Umbrella Policies, Occurrence and Claims Made Environmental Insurance Liability Policies, Professional Services E&O Policies, D&O Policies, Warehouse Legal Liability Policies, Motor Truck, Commercial Marine Liability Primary and Bumbershoot Policies, P&I Marine Liability Policies, Marine Terminal Operators Liability Policies and municipality risk pool coverage agreements.

Case Examples:

  • Construction liability: Negligence of contractors, subcontractors, engineers and architects in construction projects (either under insured coverage or OCIP/CCIP programs) in Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New York and Texas; owner and GC liability for multiple homicides by construction workers in Louisiana; defective construction of hospital in Hawaii; defective installation of pipe system under Mississippi river; defective installation of self-monitoring power transmission lines in northeast states; property damage, deaths and bodily injuries from power plant explosion in Connecticut;
  • Environmental: Pollution liability from pipeline releases in Georgia and Alabama; chemical plant explosions in Georgia; liability for asbestos, Chinese drywall, perchloroethylene, battery waste and other hazardous waste in Alabama, Florida and Georgia;
  • Industrial Accidents: Death and serious bodily injury throughout Southeast from industrial operations, manufacturing, smelting plants, excavations, loads falling during hoisting operations, fires and explosions on oil drilling platforms in Gulf.
  • Maritime: Maritime injuries to Longshore workers at ports in Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Texas, Jones Act Seamen and passenger injuries on commercial and private vessels on the high seas, Atlantic, Gulf, state territorial waters of Alabama, Florida, South Carolina; ship damage to bridge to Fripp Island, and ships damaging docks and seawalls in multiple states.
  • Risk Pools: For the state of Georgia School Board Association Risk Pool, provided coverage guidance, drafted and issued reservation of rights, provided recommendations for modification of the terms of the risk pool coverage agreement, litigated against insurers when disputes arose as to the defense and/or indemnity obligations of the risk pool vs. insurers in situations where coverage overlapped for all or part of the same liability risk.
  • Other: Professional liability of engineers in multiple states, train collision in Oregon; liability for libel, slander and trademark infringement; liability for rape, assaults and shootings in hotels, bars, parking lots and apartment buildings in multiple states; liability of directors and officers in private and non-profit enterprises and banks.

Mr. Johnson represents clients in insurance litigation and liability defense involving freight forwarder liability, domestic intrastate and interstate motor truck carrier liability, ocean cargo liability, international air cargo liability and warehouse legal liability under Motor Truck Liability and Cargo Policies, Ocean Carrier and Air Carrier Cargo Policies, Transportation Risk Policies, and Warehouse Legal Liability Policies.

Case Examples: 

  • Collision Injuries:  Death and other serious bodily injury due to automobile and motor carrier accidents in many states.
  • In Transit:  Damage to air, motor truck and ocean cargo during loading, transit and storage for international and domestic shipments involving through bills of lading; damage to main frame computer system in air transit to Amsterdam; loss to electrical turbine during transit in Texas; loss of mining equipment and cargo during ocean transit to South America.
  • Warehousing:  Contamination of goods in refrigerated warehouse storage in multiple states; theft of warehoused goods in multiple states; damage to goods and over and under liability of warehousing entities in multiple states.


  • Georgia
  • North Carolina
  • Supreme Court of Georgia
  • U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Fourth, Fifth, Eighth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuits
  • U.S. Court of Claims
  • U.S. District Court for The Middle and Northern Districts of Georgia
  • Fed Appellate Courts – Sixth Circuit
  • J.D., University of North Carolina School of Law
  • B.S., North Carolina State University


  • American Bar Association
  • American College of Coverage Counsel – Fellow
  • Atlanta Bar Association
  • Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel – past Chair, Insurance Coverage Section
  • State Bar of Georgia


  • The Best Lawyers in America®, 2023
  • AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Georgia Super Lawyers ®, 2005-2022
  • ACCEC Fellow


In the Press

4 Georgia HBS Attorneys Honored in the 2023 Super Lawyers Magazine

GEORGIA – February 9, 2023 – We are excited to congratulate John E. Hall, Jr., Rush S. Smith, Jr., C. Michael Johnson, and James B. Durham as they have been recognized for their outstanding legal service and selected to the 2023 Georgia Super Lawyers list once again. John E. Hall, Jr. John Hall was honored
Read More

Hall Booth Smith Attorneys Honored by The Best Lawyers In America 2023

Hall Booth Smith, P.C. (HBS) is pleased to announce 47 lawyers from the firm were honored in the 2023 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. This award is based on an evaluation process that includes a collection of client and lawyer evaluations and peer reviews from attorneys in the same field. These HBS attorneys
Read More

Hall Booth Attorneys Selected as Super Lawyers in the 2022 Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine

In the 2022 edition of the Georgia Super Lawyers magazine, the law firm of Hall Booth Smith (HBS) will once again be recognized for its outstanding legal work as six of its attorneys are on the list of Super Lawyers: John E. Hall, Jr., C. Michael Johnson, Thomas Mazziotti, Rush S. Smith, Jr. of the
Read More

Six Hall Booth Attorneys Selected as Super Lawyers in the 2021 Georgia Super Lawyers Magazine

In the 2021 edition of the Georgia Super Lawyers magazine, the law firm of Hall Booth Smith (HBS) will once again be recognized for its outstanding legal work as eight of its attorneys are on the list of Super Lawyers: John E. Hall, Jr., C. Michael Johnson, Thomas Mazziotti, Rush S. Smith, Jr. of the
Read More