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Close Up Radio Spotlights Attorney Tonya Johannsen

  • Broadcast in Legal
Close Up Radio

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Plano, TX – Tonya Johannsen is an attorney with Estes Thorne & Carr with demonstrated success representing contractors, architects and financial institutions in complex transactions, litigation, negotiations, drafting, legal writing, trials and appellate matters related to construction law.

When Johannsen started practicing 35 years ago, there were very few women attorneys in commercial litigation in Texas. She represents financial institutions on complicated cases like fraud, trade practices, consumer issues, construction law. None of those are traditionally female-oriented.”

Prior to becoming a lawyer, Johannsen was a ninth grade English teacher. A natural born storyteller, Tonya sought a career where she could combine her talent for analysis, research and writing with her ability to explain complicated matters simply.

As an attorney and as a teacher, you have to learn your material forward, backwards and inside out, and you can only learn by asking the client a lot of questions. The challenge for Johannsen is to understand not only the technical aspects, but also how to present the information to the jury in a way the jury can understand it and can hold on to when they go back to deliberate.

“Some lawyers can't communicate the facts in a way that the jury can understand. That’s why I’m always relating it back to my ninth grade classroom,” says Johannsen. “I'm a very motivated listener and a very motivated learner, but as I explain. We've got to come up with some examples that will be something that they've seen or heard of before that they can relate to, and the examples have to be true to the facts and true to the technology. Whoever tells the best story wins.”

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