With a dual JD/MBA, entrepreneurial spirit and an array of business experience, Chris Johnsen offers an unrivaled, dual approach to solving the toughest problems facing today’s businesses. His legal expertise spans small to large corporate clients in a variety of industries. In addition, his experience as a business owner in advertising, retail and real estate has uniquely prepared him to bring business-centric judgment and perspective to his clients. The result is a lawyer who speaks strategy in plain language—which is rare enough on its own—with all the finesse and negotiating skills that accompany legal practice expertise. Before starting Johnsen Law, Chris was a partner at international law firm Holland & Knight, where he represented both small and large corporate clients in a wide range of corporate matters. His practice specializes in business law, and he has experience representing clients in various industries, including oil and gas, transportation, healthcare, technology, medical, entertainment, retail, financial services, securities and real estate. Above all, Chris stays focused on his top priority: helping businesses succeed.
JD, Stetson University College of Law, summa cum laude (4th in class of 200+)
MBA, Stetson University School of Business Administration
BBA, Finance and Real Estate, Florida Atlantic University, magna cum laude
HONORS AND AWARDS
Rising Star, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, a Thomson Reuters service, 2014-2019
Managing Editor, Stetson Law Review
State Bar of Texas: Corporate Counsel Section | Court Rules Committee
Leadership Houston: Class XXX | Board of Directors
Leadership Lake Houston: Class V
Center for Houston’s Future: Business/Civic Leadership Forum | LeadershipNEXT
Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce: Board of Directors | Chair of Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals Program
PUBLICATIONS AND PRESENTATIONS
Thinking Outside the Barrel: How the Price of Oil impacts Litigation, Co-Author, Texas Lawyer, January 28, 2015
High Court Weighs Issue of Subsurface Trespass, Co-Author, Texas Lawyer, March 10, 2014
Munoz-Perez v. State, 942 So. 2nd 1025 (Fla. 4th Dist. App 2006), Stetson Law Review 36:3. 931, Spring 2007
FedEx Ground Package System v. Futch, 944 So. 2d 469 (Fla. 3rd Dist. App. 2006), Stetson Law Review 36:3, 957, Spring 2007
Create Your Elevator Pitch, Lake Houston Chamber of Commerce Young Entrepreneurs and Professionals Program Professional Development Event, September 2018
Government Crackdown of Employee Misclassification as Independent Contractors, American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine Conference, April 2013
If you ask Wes Thoman, he’ll tell you that he considers himself a businessman first and a lawyer second. That said, his impressive experience as a seasoned transactional attorney is revered throughout Houston and beyond. He started his first business—a lawn company with nearly 100 yards and commercial properties on its client roster—at just 15 years old.
Then, he combined business know-how with transactional attorney experience to excel at two BigLaw firms before joining a technology company—first as an in-house attorney and then in a business role.
Wes has handled a wide variety of commercial transactions, valued from hundreds of thousands of dollars to several billion dollars. His experience includes acquisitions and divestitures, joint ventures, project work, purchases and sales of goods and services, and various other commercial transactions. And with client history encompassing oil and gas, commercial lending, technology, industrial products and renewable energy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find an industry he hasn’t served.
JD, South Texas College of Law, cum laude
BBA, Finance, The University of Texas at Austin, McCombs School of Business
TAMARA STINER TOOMER
How did a chemical engineer with Fluor Daniel, Inc. end up serving as a briefing attorney to Justice Dale Wainwright with the Supreme Court of Texas? Just ask Tamara Stiner Toomer. A licensed patent attorney with a breadth of skills, her more than 15 years of combined legal and engineering experience brings a one-of-a-kind approach to the legal practice.
Just as varied is her incredibly well-rounded education. She holds both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in chemical engineering, plus an MBA and a JD. She has tried and argued both bench and jury cases to completion and represented clients in binding arbitration.
Having practiced law with large international firms, Fortune 500 companies, small litigation boutiques and everything in between, complex commercial litigation matters are no match for Tamara’s expertise. Areas she’s worked in include oil and gas exploration and production, environmental and toxic tort, securities fraud, misappropriation of trade secrets, contract disputes, product liability and personal injury. Now, she’s ready to tackle any legal matter you or your business may face—head-on.
JD, University of Virginia School of Law
MBA, University of Virginia Darden School of Business
MS, The University of Texas at Austin, Chemical Engineering
BS, University of California Santa Barbara, Chemical Engineering
Rising Star, Texas Super Lawyers magazine, a Thomson Reuters service, 2007
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas
U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia
U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Mike Lodzinski has perfected the art of understanding the motivations and commercial goals of all parties to a transaction. With experience as a serial entrepreneur, start-up investor, and in-house legal counsel for multi-national companies, he utilizes this understanding to achieve the best possible outcomes for his clients. Mike’s expertise spans the entire business lifecycle, from advising start-ups and early stage companies (e.g. formations, financing, private placements, and technology development), to general business and commercial matters (e.g. employment, import/export, and real estate), to business succession (estate) planning.
Mike has extensive management experience covering both North and South America and will use his unique skill set to advise companies from the idea stage through commercialization, all the way to scale-up. As counsel to Johnsen Law, Mike will focus on advising a select handful of start-ups and early stage companies.
JD, Duke University School of Law
BS, Economics and Business, Texas A&M University, magna cum laude
Houston Bar Association
American Bar Association
Association of Corporate Counsel
International Association for Contract & Commercial Management
Melissa Watson’s extensive experience doing complex, multi-state oil and gas title work has heightened her eye for detail. She harnesses this skill, along with additional experience in real estate, oil and gas, and business law, to help businesses and positively impact the lives of their stakeholders.
Prior to joining Johnsen Law, Melissa worked as an oil and gas title attorney in Texas and Colorado rendering drilling, division order, acquisition, and supplemental title opinions on fee, federal, and state lands. Melissa has conducted due diligence during mergers and acquisitions and has worked directly with landmen and brokers to keep projects on schedule. Melissa’s experience also includes working with national oil companies curing title defects. Melissa’s career in oil and gas started as a field landman where she spent countless hours researching title in courthouses across the nation, negotiating leases, acquisitions, and surface use agreements, and conducting pre- and post-acquisition due diligence.
JD, South Texas College of Law
BS, Interpersonal Communications and Criminal Justice, Stephen F. Austin State University, cum laude
Texas Bar Association: Oil, Gas, and Energy Resources Law
Northeast Harris County Bar Association
Ever since her days as a broker and project manager in the oil and gas industry on several major due diligence projects, Caroline has been all business—business acquisition, that is. She’s worked with in-house land teams to integrate newly acquired assets on complex, multi-faceted projects spanning the Texas and Oklahoma markets. Today, she puts that experience to good use at Johnsen Law, where she provides services in the realms of business succession, estate planning, probate, and elder law. She also focuses on the preservation of generational wealth, ensuring that families are protected through thoughtful preparation.
Known throughout the Greater Houston Area and beyond for her expertise, including real estate deals with owners of equity, Caroline has built a formidable presence. Just take a look at her numerous presentations as proof: from speaking about COVID-19 stress to tax foreclosure auctions and everything in between, countless professionals look to her for advice that aligns with current, ongoing issues.
That said, Caroline’s service doesn’t stop with business. She’s an active member of the community—in fact, prior to her career in law, she was a program organizer and director in the nonprofit sector. She taps into her operational experience with nonprofits to help causes spanning religion, education, and more. Through her service, be it with community organizations or business law, Caroline pursues her passion of performing impactful work that will benefit generations to come.
JD, BCL Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Louisiana State University
BA, English Literature
HONORS AND AWARDS
Louisiana Bar Foundation Law Student Pro Bono Award 2008
Chancellor’s Outstanding Pro Bono Service Award, 2008
Paul M. Hebert Law Center, Public Interest Law Society, Pro Bono Chair, 2007-2008
State Bar of Texas: Real Estate, Probate and Trust Law
Fort Bend County Bar Association
St. Francis Episcopal Church
Louisiana School for Math, Science, and the Arts, Development Committee 2020-present
Equal Justice Works Legal Fellow, 2008-2009
Estate Planning Updates: The SECURE Act, Online presentation, August 2020
COVID STRESS: How to Recognize It and Work Through It, Co-Presenter, Traffic Lawyers of Texas Summer Ethics Course, August 2020
Pitfalls of Buying at the Tax Foreclosure Auction, Lunch and Learn hosted by Equity Houston, March 2019
Death In Real Estate, StepStone Realty Conference, May 2019
No Will, No Problem: Who Inherits under Texas Law When There is No Will, StepStone Realty Mastermind Lunch and Learn, September 2018
Legislative Changes Affecting the Bail Bond Industry: The Elephant in the Room, Co-Presenter, Professional Bondsmen of Texas, Annual Conference, October 2017