Eric K. Johnson, Attorney
Law School: J. Reuben Clark Law School, class of 1996
Years in practice: 17
Areas of specialization: The Rules of Professional Conduct bar us from calling ourselves “specialists” or “experts”. So what is my practice focus? Divorce and family law. That’s all.
Publications: Author of West’s Utah Practice Series, Volume 2, Utah Family Law
What you really want to know:
Are you honest and trustworthy?: Yes, but if you find it hard to trust a divorce lawyer, you are wise. Consequently, we’re happy to give you references from our actual clients. Just give us a call or send us an e-mail and we’ll be happy to oblige.
Do you care about your clients?: Yes, and if you want proof, I will gladly give you a list of references of former clients you can speak with.
Do you know divorce and family law?: Yes, and in my opinion I am one of the most knowledgeable, skilled, feared, resourceful, tenacious, and preeminent divorce attorneys in the State of Utah. But don’t take my word for it. Find out for yourself by meeting with him over lunch or coffee at your convenience. Call 801-466-9277 to schedule ‘Lunch with a Lawyer.'” I wrote the book on Utah divorce and family, literally. Click here to see.
Do you have children?: Yes. Four of them; two boys, two girls.
Are you a dead-eyed sociopath?: No. So why do I nevertheless practice divorce and family law, you may ask? Because I like it. I like it because earning a living helping people who are getting the shaft is both lucrative and personally satisfying. I practice only divorce and family law because I don’t want to client ever to worry that his or her case will play second fiddle to other things.
Are you well-liked by opposing divorce attorneys?: No, not many. Because I look out for the client, not my fellow lawyers. Funny how that works, eh?
Are you board-certified in family law?: Good question, but Utah does not have certification boards, so no attorney is board certified in Utah. I did, however, write the book on Utah Family Law, literally. Click here and I’ll show you.
Do you put the needs of children first?: Not unless I represent the children. I put the interests of my client first. Now before you get upset by that statement, please understand this: I have 4 children of my own. I love them dearly and want what’s best for them. But you don’t hire your lawyer to look out for the interests of others. If you retain me, I work for you. If you want what’s best for your kids, then that is what I want too. If your interests are aligned with those of your children, that’s ideal. If you don’t want what’s best for your kids, I probably don’t want to be your lawyer anyway (unless your kids are truly horrible).
Are your rates affordable?: If by “affordable” you mean “Eric works cheap,” then no. I cannot do this job very well without being paid very well to do it. You can easily find dozens (hundreds actually) of attorneys who charge less than I do. So if paying as little as possible for an attorney is your goal (as opposed to getting the best representation and results for your needs), I can provide you with many, many references. Really, I’ll be happy to provide them (just don’t confuse the references with recommendations). Am I a good value? Absolutely. And we offer some great options to make our services easier to pay. Read on to find out.
How do you bill? Click here for a full explanation.
How many other areas of practice do you dabble in besides divorce and family law?: None.
Are you a good negotiator?: Without question, but once again, if you want references from satisfied clients, they’re yours for the asking.
Are you a problem solver? Do you work well with people? Are you adept at compromise?: If you thought your case could be solved by agreement and compromise, you wouldn’t be here now. But these are good questions. I work with people to get what my clients want (assuming what they want is legal). I am not adept at compromise. Compromise is for people who don’t know what they want and what they can expect. Who wants an attorney who’s a good compromiser? You don’t need a good lawyer to compromise. You don’t even need a bad lawyer to compromise.
Will you do anything if I pay you enough?: No. If my values aren’t aligned with yours, we’re both better off with someone else.
Are you comfortable in court?: More so than almost any other attorney I know.
Are you familiar with the family law commissioners and judges in your jurisdiction?: Yes.
Do you have a good communication style?: The answer to this question is best assessed by meeting or speaking with me in person. Click the link below to schedule an appointment, please.
Are you hard to reach?: ABSOLUTELY NOT! Let me tell you, I know that attorneys have a well-deserved reputation for blowing off their clients. It’s disgusting. Disgusting. You know the type: they never take calls (and instead have their secretaries run interference for them all day telling lies for 8 straight hours a day like, “He’s in a meeting.”) They never return calls, or e-mails, or text messages. That’s not me, but don’t just take my word for it. Here’s my real, direct-dial cell phone number: 801-450-0183. Here is my office phone number (if you can’t reach me on my cell phone): 801-466-9277. Here’s my real, direct-contact e-mail address: email@example.com.
Do you keep clients informed of what’s going on in their cases?: Like no other attorney in Utah. Every single document that we prepare and receive in your case is scanned and e-mailed to you. You are copied on every e-mail with opposing counsel regarding your case. You are sent e-mail reminders of all court and mediation dates. We never refuse to take a call (sometimes we can’t answer because we’re in a meeting or court, but we return your calls, texts, and e-mails within hours).
Are you well-prepared and familiar with the particulars of my case?: Yes. See, I actually like being a divorce and family law attorney. At my office we don’t see working on your case as drudgery to be avoided and/or rushed through as fast as we can.
Are you aggressive?: I hate this question, frankly. To me “aggressive attorney” is synonymous with a boorish jerk, So am I a boorish jerk? No. But does that mean I take crap? No way. The only people who really want an “aggressive” attorney are jerks (or worse) themselves. By all means seek out a tenacious attorney, an attorney who won’t back down in a fight, an attorney who isn’t afraid to stand up for you, an attorney who doesn’t put the good ‘ole boy club ahead of you, but don’t look for an aggressive jerk attorney.
Are you willing to answer questions?: Yes. This is essential in order to have a good attorney-client relationship.
Will you talk down to me?: To be honest, sometimes, a little bit, yes. It’s not intentional and not malicious. It’s hard not to use legal jargon when you’ve been a lawyer for so many years, but I always want to ensure your questions are answered fully and I want to ensure you understand me. This is why I don’t charge extra for clients calling or meeting with me. You didn’t mis-read that last sentence.
Are you just going to treat my case like any other and take a cookie-cutter approach?: It’s my business to cut through the crap, to provide you with relief, to solve your problems, to stop you getting pushed around. I treat your case the way I would treat it if I were the one going through the divorce. That means, among other things, that I want you to get the help you need as quickly and inexpensively as possible. I’m not a legal prostitute; I won’t exploit your spouse or the legal system, but I will do everything in my power to work within the system (and it’s a lousy system) to see that your divorce goals are met.
Brian N. Godfrey, Legal Assistant
Brian has first-hand experience with divorce as a result of going through his own divorce. Brian represented himself “pro se” during some of his divorce and became an advocate and leader of several support groups through his desire to change the divorce experience and Utah family law for the better.
He is a loving father and husband. He has three sons of his own and two stepchildren. He also loves motorcycles and Fieros. Brian does his best to help out any chance he gets.
You can reach Brian at: 801-466-9277 ext. 304