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Robin Johansen


Robin B. Johansen is a founding partner of Remcho, Johansen & Purcell, LLP.  She was admitted to the California Bar in 1977 and the Bar of the District of Columbia in 1979.  She is a graduate of the University of Illinois (B.A., cum laude 1968) and Stanford Law School (J.D. 1977).

Ms. Johansen was Senior Article Editor, Stanford Law Review, Volume 29, and is the author of “The New Federalism:  Toward a Principled Interpretation of the State Constitution,” 29 Stanford Law Review 297, 1977 and “Searches and Seizures on Church Premises:  Weighing the Privacy Rights of Religious Bodies” in Kelley, Government Intervention in Religious Affairs II.

Ms. Johansen has extensive experience arguing before the California Supreme Court and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.  She is a member of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers, and currently serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Church and State.  She served on the Board of Directors of Coro Northern California, and from 1992 to 1993, she was a member of the State Citizens’ Commission on Ballot Initiatives.  In 1974, Ms. Johansen was a research assistant to the U.S. House of Representatives’ Impeachment Inquiry Staff.

Ms. Johansen has represented numerous local governmental entities on a variety of public policy issues and has worked extensively on matters involving the initiative and referendum process at both the state and local levels, and on matters of redistricting.  She has also represented a broad range of clients, including the California Legislature, the State Superintendent of Public Instruction and the State Controller, in public policy, school finance and constitutional litigation in both state and federal courts.



  • University of Illinois (B.A. 1968)
  • Stanford Law School (J.D. 1977)


  • California
  • District of Columbia (not active)

Representative Cases

  • Lee v. City of Los Angeles, No. CV 12-06618-CBM (C.D. Cal.) (ongoing).
    Successfully defended the City of Los Angeles's 2012 Redistricting Ordinance against a lawsuit challenging the boundaries created for City Council Districts 8, 9, and 10 on the grounds that district boundaries violated the Federal and State Constitutions, and the Los Angeles City Charter.
  • Suever v. Connell, 579 F.3d 1047 (9th Cir. 2009).
    Won reversal of district court’s ruling that would have required the State to pay interest on unclaimed property, while successfully defending district court victory that shields the State from exposure to an award of damages.
  • Friends of Bay Meadows v. City of San Mateo, 157 Cal. App. 4th 1175 (2007).
    Successfully represented a private landowner in dispute over referendum petition.
  • Canatella v. Stovitz, 213 Fed. Appx. 515 (9th Cir. 2006).
    Defended constitutionality of attorney discipline proceedings on behalf of the State Bar of California.
  • Independent Energy Producers Association v. McPherson, 38 Cal. 4th 1020 (2006).
    Defended Proposition 80 in a case that now defines the standard for pre-election review of ballot measures.
  • Senate v. Jones, 21 Cal. 4th 114 (1999).
    Represented California Senate in successfull challenge to the constitutionality of a statewide initiative.