After graduating from the University of Nebraska Law School in 1980, Dan Johnson worked for the Supreme Court of South Dakota before entering private practice in Omaha. He is a partner in the law firm of Latenser and Johnson with David Latenser and together they have over 60 years of experience. David specializes in domestic law with an emphasis on divorce, wills and powers of attorney and Dan’s focus is on commercial and retail collections and real estate.
What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced professionally? – It is always a challenge to keep current on recent technological advances in business and research.
Tell us a little about your family. – My wife, Donell, and I have five children together, plus four dogs. All of the children are either college graduates or enrolled in college. Everyone in the family has a “strong personality” so life is always interesting on the home front.
What do you see as one of the biggest turning points in your life? – I was the first to attend college in my family after graduating from Omaha North High School and my parents dropped me off at the University of South Dakota with a suitcase and $90. I had no idea what direction I would take from there. I was fortunate enough to meet some really quality people who challenged me to do my best, which eventually led to my career in law.
What is your favorite thing to do on a day off? – I enjoy riding my motorcycle (weather permitting), and love to fish for anything that bites.
What is the most unique or interesting thing about you that most people probably don’t know? – I have authored two books, taught real estate law, and have coached over 80 different youth teams in four different sports.
What are you the most proud of? – Surviving my kids’ teenage years! We had five teenagers living in our house at the same time. Teaching them to survive in the world was a huge challenge. They all have matured to be fine individuals, so that is definitely something I am proud of.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received? – The key to life is not what you do, but how you react or handle what life throws at you.
If you could choose any other profession to be successful in, what would it be? – I would have loved to be a veterinarian.
If you could have a super power, what would it be? – Time travel.
What are your plans after retirement? – I am currently active in a couple of dog rescue organizations and would enjoy expanding my role in dog rescue efforts.
What is your greatest talent that you don’t utilize in your daily work life? – I can still play a pretty mean game of basketball.
Which talent would you most like to have? – I would like to be a better golfer.
What is your favorite book or the last good book you read? – My favorite book is Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.
What is your favorite movie? – I have three; Little Miss Sunshine because it is a great example of “dysfunctional” family strength, Rocky – great courage to overcome obstacles; Planes, Trains, and Automobiles –funny and teaches empathy.
What is your favorite TV show? – Deadliest Catch
What is your favorite local restaurant? – Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse (dinner) or Taco John’s(lunch).
If you could have dinner with one famous person from the past or present, who would it be? – John Lennon