"I don't think you can ever really anticipate the wide variety of issues that you see in county court," she said. "It really is something new and different every single day. I don't think you can foresee the things that come up before you."
The range of cases covers criminal and civil nonjury trials and motions, traffic cases including fatalities and serious injuries, animal and marine infractions, and small claims. At least one had the potential for far-reaching impact.
In 2009, Johnson handled the "sagging pants" case. That was a challenge to a Riviera Beach ordinance making it illegal to wear pants low enough to show skin or underwear.
"It was a wildly fascinating case involving constitutional law issues," she said. "We went through fashion through the ages. ... It really revolved around the 14th Amendment and whether or not there is a liberty of choice in matters of dress and personal appearance."
The ordinance was approved by more than 70 percent of the city's voters, but Johnson found it unconstitutional.
As the lone judge at the North County facility, Johnson said she often has "400 or 500 cases set on Wednesday morning."
Handling the load requires extremely effective case management skills, she said.
"We know that people have jobs to go to," she said. "We try to run things efficiently and be on time as much as possible because we have a very busy division. We try to stagger them. We try to move them as quickly as possible. These aren't people in chains when you go back to jail people. These are people going on to work."