Please Note: The Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson ONLY take cases in California.
Carin Johnson, Esq. Photo

Carin L. Johnson, Esq.

  • Profile
  • Credentials
  • Associations
  • Practice Areas
  • Speaking Engagements

Carin’s 30+ years of practice is primarily focused on juvenile dependency. As a parent, she is very dedicated and compassionate about representing parents’ rights in juvenile court. When the system accuses a parent of abuse, it is an extremely serious accusation. Let Carin put her considerable experience to work for you.

Carin L. Johnson is a passionate defender of parents’ rights and has practiced dependency and juvenile law for over 30 years. She received her Bachelor of Arts Degree at Chico State University and is a graduate of Golden Gate University, School of Law, 1993.

In September 2010, Carin presented oral argument in the California First District Court of Appeal, involving a case where the dependency court denied her client reunification services and sought to terminate her parental rights. Carin fought hard for the mother and won a rare REVERSAL, of the lower court’s ruling. This changed California law.

Again, Carin argued a wrongfully accused parent in a multiple broken bone case and got a unanimous reversal in the California Court of Appeals, Fourth District. The case was ordered to be sent back to try again – and another unanimous reversal resulted in the eventual return of the child to the parents' care. Carin Johnson fought with the court in both trials, wrote both appeals, obtained reversals in both appeals, (the first one was reversed by the appellate court to “prevent a substantial injustice”) and eventually, the child was REUNIFIED with her parents and returned home when the CPS/CFS representative advocated for termination of parental rights all along.

Another one of Carin’s cases made national headlines in 2003 with the infamous “spitball case” where an overzealous DA prosecuted an eighth-grader for shooting spitballs in the hallway at school. Carin was featured on Greta Van Sustren, “On the Record” and the Bill O’Reilly show, “The O’Reilly Factor” and on the BBC.

Carin is a member of the Contra Costa County Bar Association and has taught classes on juvenile dependency law. She has also presented with a panel of attorneys multiple times regarding Juvenile Law, Criminal Law issues on sex abuse cases, and presented in numerous conferences in many areas of the law. Carin smiling at her desk

Carin L. Johnson has experience presenting direct and cross experts and cross-examination, in court, on shaken baby syndrome allegations now abusive head trauma, forensic pathologist experts, severe physical abuse allegations, broken bones, psychologists, SART nurses, doctors, and child abuse experts, sex abuse experts, as well as broken bone experts, emergency room and abusive head trauma experts, and child interviewing process in the area of suggestibility and the tainting of children and it effects during interviews as well as forensic interviews.

Our juvenile dependency lawyers in Walnut Creek will work hard to protect your rights and will seek to keep your family together. Contact Carin L. Johnson today!


Trial Experience/Litigation Experience:

  • Abusive Head Trauma Trial, Napa County 2024, all counts dismissed
  • Physical Abuse allegations Trial, Contra Costa County, all counts dismissed for client, 2024
  • Sex Abuse Allegation Trial, All Counts dismissed. 2022-2023.
  • Broken bone infant case, client found not responsible (did not know and should not have known of injuries), Napa County 300(e)—2022 (5-month trial) Multiple experts testified.
  • 300(e) Trial, Contra Costa County, dependency dismissed, child returned, child never became a dependent of the court once trial ended. “e” count amended to an “a” count and the court indicated the “result would have been different if the burden of proof wasn’t so low”. Multiple experts testified.
  • Abusive Head Trauma Alameda County 2021, child returned right before trial.
  • Abusive head trauma/fracture Napa, 2020 dismissed day before trial was set to begin. Multiple motions filed..
  • Abusive Head Trauma Matter, Alameda County, child returned before trial, matter settles. 2020/2019.
  • Physical Abuse count dismissed after hearing/trial. 2021, Napa.
  • Child Strangulation case, Contra Costa County, child not detained after argument at detention hearing, case dismissed pre-jurisdictional hearing. 2019.
  • Spiral fracture child abuse allegation, Napa, child retuned after detention hearing and case dismissed pre-jurisdiction hearing. 2019.
  • High Conflict Custody Trial, False allegations of physical abuse, Contra Costa County: court finds no abuse occurred.
  • High Conflict Custody Trial on Sexual abuse, (other party dismissed allegation in the middle of trial) 2015-2016.
  • High Conflict Custody Trial, False allegations of sexual abuse, sexual abuse found NOT true. Santa Clara County 2021.
  • 2020 Death count dismissed in W&I dependency matter. Contra Costa County
  • 25-life Homicide Trial/Child Death, 2013 San Joaquin County, JURY TRIAL/Not guilty all counts.
  • 25-life Homicide Trial/Child Death, 2013 San Joaquin County, client faces life in prison, Felony (non-murder) plea offered on first day of trial. Client released.
  • Infant Bone Disease case, San Diego Trial, Dependency 2013, 2014, two appellate filings and both unanimous reversals. Child goes home.
  • Multiple sex abuse allegations trial, Martinez, CA 2011-2012 (6 witnesses, several motions)
  • W&I 300(b)(d)(c) trial Alameda County, 11 months, several briefs, 10 witnesses, 2011-2012, Alameda County Shaken baby matter, 2012.
  • Alameda County Superior Court, Complex Medical, Petition Dismissed, 2009.
  • Merced County Superior Court, Petition Dismissed at Jurisdiction 2006 Sex Abuse 300(d) case, The Honorable Judge Dougherty Approximately 7 witnesses called.
  • Contra Costa County Superior Court, Shaken Baby Petition Dismissed at Jurisdiction 2006, Brief Submitted and Argued on Causation, 300(a).
  • Contra Costa County Shaken Baby Case, 2008, Shaken baby allegations found not true.
  • Santa Clara Superior Court, Sex Abuse 300(d) Trial to Contest in 2005, 20+ witnesses called, Jurisdiction Taken, Matter appealed, Denied on Appeal with 17 Page unpublished opinion, split decision.
  • Contested OVER 200 Juvenile Cases since beginning practice in 1993. Handled HUNDREDS OF JUVENILE CASES uncontested and dozens+ went to trial.
  • Jury and Court Trials/Criminal Defense: Est. 100+
  • Unpublished Juvenile Decision reversed on Appeal based on my NO Reasonable Services argument at trial, 1998.
  • 2013 Reversal in the Fourth District Court of Appeal, Broken Bone 300(e) case UNPUBLISHED, court ruled reversal to prevent a “substantial injustice”.
  • Expert Cross Examination Experience and work within the following fields: Medical Doctors, Laboratory Experts, Children Therapists, Lie Detector Examiners, Child Sex Abuse Experts, Shaken Baby Experts, SART Examination Nurses, Forensic Pathology Experts, Forensic Neuropathology Experts, Infectious Disease Experts, Police Experts, Burn Expert Cross-Examination, Forensic Interview Techniques Studies, Pediatric Neurologists (neuro-surgeons), Pediatric Neuro-Radiologists, Forensic Psychologists, Pediatric Orthopedic, Child Abuse Experts and work with amny other experts as well as cross-examination of experts in many of the fields above.
  • I have mentored several new lawyers and law students.
  • I have sat Pro-Tem in Juvenile Court on several occasions.
  • I am currently writing a book on Dependency in California to help families.

Formal Education

  • Chico State University, Chico, B.S. 1989
  • Golden Gate University of Law, San Francisco Juris Doctorate 1992
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association Member
  • National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers Member
  • Former Consultant for Trauma Center providing services for adults in need.
  • California Appellate Defense Counsel
  • California Public Defenders Association

Most Recent Continuing Education (not all listed):

  • Three-day ABUSIVE HEAD TRAUMA seminar, March 2024, Milawukee, WI
  • Neurodevelopmental Trauma: When the Bough Breaks, 4.5 hours completed
  • Advokids Year 2022 update, 2023.
  • Appellate Attorneys Guidance on Protecting your Record, 2023.
  • New Criminal Laws for 2023 Webinar, January 2023.
  • Quarterly Dependency Law Update, October 2022.
  • Presenting Electronic Evidence: E-Binders and more, Contra Costa Bar Association,
  • January 2022.
  • Philadelphia Shaken Baby Seminar Conference, (Retinal Hemorrhage, Subdural
  • Hematoma, Disease Processes, etc.) Three day. October 2022,
  • Minor’s counsel training 8 hours, Contra Costa County. October 2022
  • C. Johnson; Presenter/Speaker and Developer: Three-part series “300 (e) and me” Training
  • on handling
  • W&I 300 (e) cases for attorneys, 2021.
  • Implicit Bias, Family Law Section of Contra Costa Bar Association, 2021.
  • Reasonable efforts and new laws for CFS 2020 (Retired Judge Edwards).
  • Traumatic Brain Injury and Abusive Head Trauma Webinars: Godoy Forensics 2020.
  • Reading Medical Records Webinar: Godoy Medical Forensics 2020.
  • Advokids year in review Dependency February 2020.
  • Collateral Consequences training 2020, Criminal Division Contra Costa County Bar
  • Association.
  • Histology Training in Canada (three days), 2020.
  • DVRO Hearing and procedure 2020, Family Law section Contra Costa County Bar
  • Association.
  • Preventing Wrongful Convictions (False Confessions and Eyewitness Testimony)-NACDL
  • two-day seminar 2019.
  • The New Rules of Professional Conduct, Contra Costa County Superior Court (Langford,
  • Esq., Judge Marquez, Quashnock Esq.) 2018.
  • Am I Drinking Too Much is a Rhetorical Question Seminar, January 2018.
  • Civility and Professionalism: Gender and Culture Bias in the Legal Profession, January 2018.
  • Civility, Professionalism and Ethics, January 2018.
  • Common Ethics Violations to Avoid, January 2018.
  • Juvenile Dependency and Delinquency Seminar 2018 (two day)
  • Dependency Law Training, 2017 and 2011, 8 hours each (recent update 2019).
  • NCDAC Sex Abuse Seminar, November 2016 Video.
  • SBS/AHT (Shaken Baby/Abuse Head Trauma) Conference, September 2016, Canada
  • National Child Abuse Defense Seminar (two days), Las Vegas 2006, 2008, 2012, 2014, 2019(all
  • Two-day seminars).
  • Evidence and Justice Seminar Three days, Infant Trauma (inclu. Dependency) August 2013.
  • Vegas Child Abuse Seminar, Nevada 2012, Nevada 2014.
  • Cybersleuthing and Ethical Duties, January 2012.
  • A Charging Lien as an Adverse Interest Under Rule 3-300 of the Rules of Professional
  • Conduct, January 2012.
  • Forensic Review of Medical Records, September 2012.
  • Forensic Pathology Seminar, 2012, Kansas City, MO.
  • Juvenile Dependency/Defense Practice Seminar, Monterey, two-day, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008
  • 2012, 2014 (by video).
  • Annual CCCBA Officer Installation Lunch, January 2011.
  • Dependency Law Training, May 2011, 8 hours. Upcoming JAN. 2016.
  • 17th Annual California Appellate Defense Counsel Statewide Conference, 2010.
  • Diversity Training, Nevada, 2010, Nevada 2012.
  • Permanency: A Legal and Psychological Mandate for Children Seminar, 2010.
  • Numerous Luncheons regarding Criminal Law issues from presentation of Evidence, DUI,
  • Laboratory Standards, Use of Psychologists.
  • Case Law, Contra Costa County Bar Association, Oct. 2010.
  • State of the Court Address: Judicial Assignments, Contra Costa County Bar Association
  • October 2009.
  • Contra Costa Laboratory Tour Seminar, 2009.
  • High Justice, 2008.
  • First Annual Management Institute, Berkeley CPDA, 2006.
  • Defending Sex Crimes Seminar, 2004.
  • Winning with Cal Crim Jury Instructions, 2006.
  • Misc. Brown Bag Lunch Seminars Juvenile/Criminal Law, 2003-2012.
  • Juris Doctorate Golden Gate University School of Law - Graduate School San Fransisco, CA 1993
  • Bachelor of Arts Chico State University - Undergraduate School Chico, CA
  • California State Bar Membership
  • Contra Costa County Bar Association Member
  • National Association of Child Defense Counsel
  • Consultant for Trauma Center providing services for adults in need.
  • California Appellate Defense Counsel
  • California Public Defenders Association
Practice Areas
Speaking Engagements

Speaking Engagements at MCLE Spectacular, and Private Engagements, Contra Costa County:

  • Speaker/Creator/Developer of three-part training seminar, W&I 300(e) and Me. 2021
  • Speaker and Creator: Juvenile Dependency, Los Medanos College 2009, 2010, 2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017,2018, 2019
  • Speaker: Upcoming: Cross Over issues in Dependency and Criminal Law
  • Speaker: AFCC Conference, Feb. 2016
  • Speaker Co-Creator of: Gender Bias, 2006
  • Speaker Co-Creator of: Cross Over Issues in Domestic Violence Cases and Juvenile Court, 2005
  • Speaker Co-Creator: How to Handle Sex Abuse Cases, 2004
  • Published Opinion: L.Z. v. Superior Court, 188 Cal. App. 4th 1285 (2010), My appeal disposition trial prior to appeal. I authored all briefs. Unanimous reversal regarding W&l 300(e) allegations.
  • Several Appellate briefs and Writs, filed and argued including multiple Oral Arguments, First, Fourth, Third, and Sixth District Court of Appeals. Dependency cases.

Real Clients, Real Results

Read About How We've Helped Former Clients
  • “Carin Johnson is the most knowledgeable, exceptional attorney anyone can hire. When other attorneys tell you that you have no chance and to give up, Carin will fight for your rights and give it all that she has.”

    - Former Client
  • “Ms. Carin Johnson came to my rescue at a time in my life when I was lost as to how to help my family. As I laid out the problem and my mission Ms, Johnson took me on as her client.”

    - Former Client
  • “I trust no one else to fight for life’s most important gift, my family, and my daughter’s best interest. I am so grateful to Carin as an attorney, and as a friend.”

    - Former Client

Committed to Excellence

Awards & Affiliations
  • Super Lawyers
  • Contra Costa County Bar
  • National Child Abuse Defense & Resource Center
  • Avvo 10.0 Peter
  • California Appellate Defense Counsel
  • State Bar of CA
  • California DUI Lawyers Association
  • NCDD

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The Law Offices of Johnson & Johnson handles cases throughout California including Alameda, Contra Costa, Solano, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara, San Joaquin, and San Francisco Counties.

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