Al Johnson was born in Boardman, Ohio in 1936. He is a graduate of the University of California's Hastings College of the Law and has been a member of the California State Bar since 1966. He resides in the Bay Area with his wife of 35 years. He has five children and 11 grandchildren.
His practice has focused on personal injury with an emphasis on maritime personal injury including wrongful death, fishing boats and limitation of liability proceedings. He has also successfully defended merchant mariners' documents in hearings before the United States Coast Guard.