top of page

Mitchel R. Johnston

Family and Criminal Litigation Attorney

Reshaping the Law One Case at a Time

Attorney Mitchel Johnston has been shaping Illinois jurisprudence since he became an attorney in 2016. During his 8 years of legal practice, Attorney Johnston has seen and done a lot. After he was sworn in to the practice of law, Johnston became a law clerk for Justice Vicki Wright of Illinois' Third District Appellate Court. When Justice Wright retired, Mertes & Mertes Attorney John L. Hauptman was appointed to the Third District Appellate Court. When Justice Hauptman retired, Johnston came to work for Mertes & Mertes. Attorney Johnston is admitted to the practice of law in the State of Illinois. Johnston is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Whiteside County Bar Association.

"My years as an appellate clerk for highly-regarded appellate justices provided me with invaluable experience on which I now rely as a litigator," Johnston said. "As an appellate clerk, my job was to scrutinize trial transcripts, day in and day out, and then research every angle of the issues presented," Johnston explained. "I saw examples of great lawyering and terrible lawyering; of great trial records and terrible trial records," Johnston said. "With that lens, I certainly understand the importance of developing a strong trial record, enhanced by thorough legal research," he added.

Johnston now serves as a trial lawyer, concentrating in domestic and criminal law. "Every case is just so important," Johnston said. "Our domestic cases often involve determinations of parenting responsibilities and parenting time," he said. "Those decisions will forever affect the lives of the children involved," he added. "I remind myself of that with every case I handle," Johnston said. "There is really nothing more important," he added.

Johnston is also an experienced criminal defense attorney. "When I was in law school, I interned with the Office of the Whiteside County State's Attorney," he said. "Then, as an appellate clerk, I concentrated my focus on criminal appeals," he explained. "All of that knowledge and experience enhances my work as a criminal defense litigator," Johnson observed,

Mitch can be contacted directly by e-mail at or by telephone at 815-626-1500.


Mitchel R. Johnston
bottom of page