C.J. Johnson

C.J. Johnson graduated with a bachelor's degree in history with an emphasis in China from the University of Colorado (Boulder, 1995) and later attended the University of Montana School of Law. Upon graduation in 1999, C.J. clerked for U.S. Magistrate Judge Richard F. Cebull in Great Falls, then returned to Missoula, where he joined the Kalkstein Law Firm in 2000 and became a partner in 2005. In 2018, C.J. decided to go into practice with his wife, Malin Stearns Johnson.

C.J. spent the first half of his career representing defendants and insurance companies in civil actions, then transitioned to what brought joy and restful sleep: the representation of plaintiffs and claimants who cannot navigate complex claims and litigated matters on their own. He's one of the few attorneys to win jury trials from both sides of the aisle.   

C.J. is a member of the Montana Bar Association, Western Montana Bar Association, and Montana Trial Lawyers’ Association. He is admitted to practice in all Montana state and federal courts, including the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He has handled numerous appeals to the Montana Supreme Court and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. 

Most importantly, C.J. is married to his best friend and law partner, Malin, who is the only attorney to ever leave him speechless. Together they have two beautiful daughters and one exceedingly handsome son. 


  • University of Colorado (Boulder), 1995
  • University of Montana School of Law, 1999  

Activities & Affiliations  

  • Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated attorney 
  • Mountain States Super Lawyer, 2013-2019
  • Fmr. Special Prosecutor, Montana Office of Disciplinary Counsel   
  • Group instructor - Trial Advocacy Class, UM School of Law
  • Guest lecturer, UM School of Law: Legal writing, civil procedure, voir dire, opening statements, and trial experts. 

Bar Admissions   

  • Montana  
  • United States District Court for the District of Montana
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals