Ericka Johnson has extensive experience responding to bet-the-company global and domestic cybersecurity incidents on behalf of clients across a variety of industries, including healthcare, education, insurance, manufacturing, financial institutions and law firms. She is a trusted advisor, helping clients understand and meet their legal obligations associated with experiencing ransomware attacks, business email compromises, data leakage, data exfiltration, insider attacks and third-party/vendor incidents.
Ericka regularly works with IT forensic firms to help her clients understand the nature and scope of their cybersecurity incident. She frequently interfaces with law enforcement and industry-specific regulators in the US and coordinates filings with, and responses to, inquiries from regulators around the world (i.e., the EU, South Pacific, Africa and Latin America).
Ericka prepares clients to respond to future incidents by conducting tabletop exercises and developing incident response plans. Following a cybersecurity incident, Ericka assisted the firm’s privacy litigation team, which was ranked second in 2022 among all law firms by Global Data Review, defend data privacy, cybersecurity and data breach disputes across the country, including class action and multidistrict litigation.
Ericka also counsels companies, government entities, and nonprofit organizations on the appropriate use of federal grants, particularly those issued under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), and further funded under the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act (CRRSA) and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP). She frequently develops and implements effective compliance policies and strategies, conducts internal investigations, and responds to enforcement actions.
Prior to joining private practice, Ericka served for six years as a judge advocate in the US Marine Corps (USMC), where she specialized in, among other things, complex litigation and cybersecurity operations. She continues to serve as reserve general counsel to commanding officers in the Washington DC area.
While on active duty, Ericka was responsible for all facets of investigating and defending Marines accused of misdemeanor and felony violations of the Uniform Code of Military Justice. She represented clients accused of crimes in Jordan, Guantanamo Bay, Spain, Afghanistan, Japan, the Philippines and North America. Ericka litigated nine jury trials to full acquittals, including five major felony cases, more than 40 administrative hearings, and defended clients in more than 15 sentencing hearings. She conducted hundreds of witness interviews, prepared clients and witnesses for live testimony, pursued discovery and engaged in motions practice to challenge and limit the evidence used against her clients.
While serving in Afghanistan, Ericka authored the US and NATO “Use of Force” compliance policies and designed and implemented regionwide training programs for hundreds of NATO and US service members. As the primary legal advisor to NATO and US combat commands, she advised general officers on the legal ramifications and international/domestic legalities and policies for the planning and execution of more than 980 NATO- and US-led operations, including cybersecurity operations.
While serving at the Pentagon, Ericka helped develop and implement the USMC’s Master of Cyber Law Military Occupation Specialty program, which provides judge advocates with specialized skills in the technical areas of cybersecurity law and cyber operations.
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