Charissa A. Johnston - Shareholder, Yakima

Charissa A. Johnston

Shareholder | Yakima

Charissa assists closely held businesses with their corporate and real estate needs. Her practice focuses on the unique needs of agricultural businesses, including water law matters and Farm Labor Contractor Act compliance. She advises clients on business structuring and operations, and negotiates and facilitates the acquisition and sale of business ownership interests and assets. Charissa also structures, negotiates and manages the closing of commercial real estate transactions involving acquisitions, leasing and development.  

In addition to her corporate and real estate work, Charissa is experienced in advising local governments on municipal and special district matters.


  • Washington, 2010
  • Colorado, 2006


  • University of Denver Sturm College of Law, J.D., Senior Editor and Executive Board Member, Denver University Law Review (2006)
  • Albion College, B.A., Political Science, magna cum laude (2003)

Recognition & Honors

  • The Best Lawyers in America, Closely Held Companies and Family Businesses Law (2024)

Publications & Presentations

Professional & Community Activities

  • Director, Lynchpin Foundation
  • Treasurer, Washington Women Lawyers, Yakima Chapter
  • Council Member, Yakima School District Discipline Appeal Council
  • Past President, Yakima County Bar Association

Representative Work

  • Represented second generation family members in stock purchase of long-standing local family business.
  • Successfully negotiated and closed numerous transactions involving the purchase and sale of orchards, vineyards and dairies.   
  • Negotiated and documented the settlement of a closely-held business dispute involving the assignment and/or sale of over 20 parcels of real property and other corporate assets.
  • Restructured numerous agricultural businesses to maximize liability protections and minimize tax liability.
  • Prepared numerous complex agricultural and commercial leases, including options to purchase and rights of first refusal.
  • Assisted in the successful closing a complex asset sales of a local surgery center.  

Background & Interests

Prior to joining Stokes Lawrence, Charissa practiced municipal law with Hoffman Parker Wilson & Carberry, P.C. In her personal time, Charissa enjoys traveling, reading, and spending time with her two children