Johnson Led Winnebago Defense in Classic Suit

May 11, 2009 by · Leave a Comment 

Arthur Johnson, a prominent Iowa lawyer who represented Winnebago Industries Inc. in a classic 1972 lawsuit, has died. He was 88.

Johnson’s defense of Forest City, Iowa-based Winnebago, was the highlight of his legal career, he once said. In the $156 million lawsuit, a Californian had alleged that Winnebago had used his original design, according to The Messenger, Fort Dodge, Iowa.

The 1972 trial stretched over almost eight months.

“We won on all but one count and settled that out of court,” according to Johnson.

“He was quite a man,” said Neven Mulholland, an attorney with Johnson’s firm, Johnson, Kramer, Good, Mulholland, Cochrane and Driscoll. “He did it all. He was a terrific high school and collegiate athlete, a war hero and an absolutely outstanding attorney.”

Johnson practiced law in Fort Dodge for 50 years, retiring in 1998.

Mulholland said Johnson had undergone successful aortic valve replacement surgery at the Mayo Clinic a few years ago, but had experienced some health complications since then.

“He was really an icon in the Fort Dodge community,” said Mulholland. “He was recognized by his peers as being one of the finest trial attorneys in the state of Iowa.”

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