Sarah R. Johnson
Ms. Johnson is an Associate at Holifield Janich Rachal Ferrera, PLLC (HJRF) focusing her practice in the areas of business law, corporate law, transactional law, real estate law, construction law, employment law and litigation, employee benefits law and litigation, estate planning, elder law and estate administration. She represents corporate and small business clients regarding many employment litigation matters, including Title VII claims, the Tennessee Human Rights Act, sexual harassment and wrongful termination claims, federal and state employment discrimination claims, breach of employment contracts and non-compete covenants. Sarah also counsels employers on “best practices” including compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Tennessee Human Rights Act, and the Tennessee Disability Act.
Sarah represents business entities and business owners in a multitude of general to complex commercial transactions. Sarah regularly assists businesses with new entity organization, asset and stock purchases and real estate transactions as well as employment and tax issues. Sarah has a great deal of experience with all types of business structures, including preparation of shareholder agreements, buy-sell agreements, partnership agreements, stock purchase agreements, stock option plans, preparation of meeting minutes for directors and shareholders, and drafting of corporate resolutions. Sarah also counsels board members and business owners on the requirements of corporate governance and the fiduciary duties associated with oversight obligations. Sarah correspondingly works with clients to draft, negotiate, and modify the contracts needed to protect her clients and govern various business relationships including sales, agent, and marketing agreements, franchise and license agreements, commercial leases, trademarks, leases, security agreements, promissory notes, as well as distributor, wholesaler, vendor, and supplier agreements.
Sarah assists clients as either buyer or seller in transactions involving stock purchases or asset acquisitions including the structuring and negotiation of the transactions, performance of due diligence, preparation of other ancillary agreements and documents, and closing the sale. The vast experience of the attorneys of HJRF allows Sarah to provide each client with a diverse team possessing the knowledge such complex deals require, including state and federal corporate law, tax, ERISA, healthcare law, securities law, and labor and employment law.
Sarah represents businesses and individuals in a wide variety of real estate transactions including the purchase, leasing, development, financing, management, construction and disposition of all types of real property. Sarah also represents clients in the negotiation and litigation of real estate issues and transactions including boundary disputes, construction liens, land use, zoning, subdivision, and other land development issues. She also represents residential and commercial landlords and tenants during lease disputes, property developers in creating homeowner associations, as well as homeowners and homeowners’ associations in legal disputes.
Sarah also represents business entities and business owners in disputes and litigation, representing clients during fair value disputes, contract disputes, shareholder/partnership disputes, shareholder derivative actions, breach of fiduciary duty claims, trademark infringement claims, non-compete litigation and confidentiality agreement litigation. Sarah also assists businesses and individuals with a multitude of tax problems including tax planning and tax litigation before and against the Internal Revenue Service, the Tennessee Department of Revenue and has litigated cases in the U.S. Tax Court and other federal courts.
Sarah represents clients from numerous industries including doctors and doctors’ offices, insurance companies, restaurants, vehicle dealerships, construction companies, contractors, subcontractors, real estate developers, commercial and residential landlords, and property rental companies.
Sarah also understands the universal need to protect one’s assets for retirement and future generations. Sarah works collaboratively with her business and individual clients to create a comprehensive estate and retirement plan that addresses tax, family, retirement, disability, and financial needs. Sarah also handles probate matters efficiently to minimize costs, as well as fiduciary disputes and litigation, including will contests, disputes between beneficiaries, breach of fiduciary duty and other contested matters.
Sarah hosts informational seminars on estate planning essentials throughout Knoxville and the surrounding areas. She is a contributing author of the “Fiduciary Responsibility” chapter in BNA’s Employee Benefits Law (3rd Ed. 2012). Sarah is a member of the American Bar Association’s Real Property, Trust and Estate Law Section as well as the Labor and Employment Law Section. She is also a member of the Knoxville Bar Association. Sarah is also admitted to the United States Tax Court.
A.A., Legal Studies – Pellissippi State Community College, 2003
B.A., Legal Studies – University of Tennessee, 2005
J.D. – University of Tennessee, Concentration in Business Transactions, 2011
Licensed to practice in Tennessee
Published Books & Articles
Chapter co-author, Chpt. 38 “Age Discrimination in Employee Benefits” in ERISA Litigation (BNA 5th ed. 2014).