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J. Craig Williams


Partner, Orange County, California

Practice Areas

  • Business Litigation
  • Environmental
  • Intellectual Property
  • Real Estate
  • Employment & Labor
  • Insurance
  • White-collar crime
  • E-discovery

Current Scope of Practice

J. Craig Williams, the founding partner of WLC | The Williams Law Corporation's Orange County, California office, focuses his practice in the areas of complex business litigation with emphasis on environmental, intellectual property, real estate, technology law and their respective insurance coverage and related tort issues. Mr. Williams also handles white-collar criminal matters for environmental contamination, and has a select personal injury practice. He is a Top-rated Criminal Defense Lawyer - White Collar Crime, as chosen by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell. He holds Martindale-Hubbell's highest possible AV rating, in both legal ability and ethical standards, and is listed in the Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers, has been named a SuperLawyer every year since 2007 and rated 10 of 10 by Avvo.com. For 2013, SuperLawyers named Mr. Williams as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County, California. Mr. Williams is both a Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate and Board Certified Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate, certified by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, an American Bar Association and California State Bar approved agency. Mr. Williams is admitted to practice law in California, Washington, Iowa and Massachusetts.

He one of the founders and a former president of the Orange County California Celtic Bar Association.

Mr. Williams’ experience includes practice at nationally recognized law firms and has appeared as lead litigation counsel in numerous states and federal districts.

Since 2005, Mr. Williams has co-hosted and hosted the award-winning podcast, Lawyer2Lawyer, which examines current legal news, constitutional issues of the day and has featured several series, including a series on federal and state environmental laws.

Affiliations, Activities and Accomplishments

Mr. Williams is admitted to practice law in California (active), Iowa (inactive), Massachusetts (active) and Washington (inactive). He is admitted to practice in all California state courts, the United States District courts - Northern, Central, Eastern and Southern Districts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth, Ninth and Federal Circuits, the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and The Armed Forces, the United States Court of Federal Claims, the United States Tax Court, and the United States Court of International Trade. In addition, he is admitted to the United States Supreme Court, sponsored by W. Ward Reynoldson, Chief Justice of the Iowa Supreme Court.

Mr. Williams was a member of Law Technology News editorial board, Internet Bar Association, Bighorn Institute board of directors, Authors Guild, Legal Writing Institute, Defense Research Institute, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel, Association of Business Trial Lawyers.  He is presently a member of the California Bar Association, Iowa Bar Association, Washington Bar Association, Massachusetts Bar Association, Orange County (California) Bar Association.

Mr. Williams has served on the Avvo.com Advisory Board and the Orange County (California) Bar Association Board of Directors.

An accomplished speaker, Mr. Williams has lectured as an adjunct professor at the University of Iowa College of Law on Trial Advocacy, Stanford Law School on Environmental Insurance Coverage, Chapman University School of Law on Legal Writing and Research, the University of California, Irvine on Toxics Law, and the UCI Extension Environmental Management Program on The Regulatory Framework for Hazardous and Toxic Materials.

He has published How to Get Sued: An Instructional Guide, a hardcover book, with Kaplan Publishing, and his second book from Crimson Cloak Publishing, The Sled, was published as a Christmas story for his grandchildren.  His third book, Bad Decisions? 10 Famous Cases That Went Wrong is anticipated to be published in 2024, also by Crimson Cloak Publishing. He also wrote the Foreword for the reissued hardcover book, The Path of the Law by Oliver Wendell Holmes. He was a contributing reporter on environmental litigation of the “ABA Real Estate Quarterly Report,” and is the author of many articles, including “Defense of Environmental Criminal Cases By the Numbers of Science and the Law,” Vol. 22, Issue 10, Andrews Litigation Reporter, White-Collar Crime, Thompson West, July 2008; “The Liabilities of Social Networking Sites,” 50 Orange County Lawyer, June, 2008; Co-Author of “The Practical Implications of the Aerojet Decision, California Environmental Law and Remediation Reporter,” April 1998; and, “Son of the California Environmental Quality Act: A Look at Public Resources Code 21081.6,” 33 Orange County Lawyer 36 (1991). Mr. Williams has participated in numerous appellate court opinions, including the 2006 O'Grady v. Sup.Ct. (Apple Computer) 139 Cal..App.4th 1423.

Mr. Williams was featured in the April 2009 Orange County Lawyer Magazine in their “Who’s Who in the OCBA” article. Additionally, he was honored in OCMetro Magazine’s “O.C.’s Top Lawyers” in the area of litigation.  Selections were chosen based on Avvo ratings of which he has a perfect “10” and peer reviews. He also has regularly received Pro Bono Publico service commendations from the Washington State Bar Association for performing over fifty hours of service for the public good in the past year.

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Listed in Latino Who's Who, June 2014

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Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate and Board Certified Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate, by the National Board of Trial Advocacy, an American Bar Association and California State Bar Approved Agency

Seriously Outstanding
only 5% selected each year
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Named as one of the Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County
by SuperLawyers.

Appellate Court Opinions

Mr. Williams has participated in the following appellate court cases:

  • Vive, TFP, Ltd. and Cantera Creek, TFP, Ltd. v. Lents and Dunlap (Ca. Ct. App., 4th App. Dist., Div. 2, filed August 30, 2019), No. E071280 (unpublished opinion).
  • Mendez-Carmona v. Saxon Mortgage Services, Inc. (Ca.Ct.App., 4th App.Dist., Div. 3, filed February 18, 2011), No. G043420 (Unpublished opinion).
  • Harper v. NewMark Merrill Cos. (Ca.Ct.App., 4th App.Dist., Div. 2, May 14, 2010), No. E046683 (Unpublished opinion).


Mr. Williams has presented numerous seminars over the years. The following are some of his presentations since 2000.

  • “Update on Legal Technology,"Orange County Newport Beach and Celtic Bar Associations, Porto, Portugal, October 2018."

  • “Protecting your Law Office against Malware, Ransomware, Viruses and other Technical Difficulties,” Orange County Celtic Bar Association, Reykjavik, Iceland, October 3, 2017.

  • “First Amendment, Free Speech and Communication Controls,” Los Alamitos Chamber of Commerce, Los Alamitos, California, July 11, 2014.

  • “Can Tech Save Fuel Small Firms?”, LegalTech West Coast 2014, Los Angeles, California, June 24, 2014.

  • “Mediation of E-Discovery Disputes,” Judicate West, Santa Ana, California, February 10, 2014.

  • “The IT has hit the Fan: Send Lawyers, Guns and Money,” 28th Annual ISSA SoCal Security Symposium, Long Beach, California. October 30, 2013.

  • “Interface Between IT and Lawyers,” Information Systems Security Association - Orange County, Irvine, California, May 9, 2013.

  • The Rise of Co-Created StoryWorld Communities," SXSW Conference, Austin Suite, Austin, Texas, Sunday, March 11, 2012, 3:30-4:30 p.m.

  • "E-Discovery,” Orange County Bar Association Last Dash Seminar, Costa Mesa, California, January 15, 2011

  • “Sports & Entertainment Law,” Women’s Law Association at UCI, Irvine, October 5, 2010

  • “Legal Insights For The Business Person,” Bay Area International Chambers of Commerce, San Francisco, September 9, 2010

  • “Drafts, Depositions and Documents: e-Discovery For Experts,” Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), Los Angeles, July 15, 2010

  • “E-Discovery,” Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), Newport Beach, June 15, 2010

  • “Legal Ramifications of Social Media for Non-Profits,” Irvine Health Foundation, Irvine, May 13, 2010

  • “The Practical Side of e-Discovery From In-Court Hearings and Their Consequences,” Banyard Inns of Court, Costa Mesa, February 24, 2010

  • “E-Discovery & Technology,” OCBA 18th Annual Last Dash & Trade Show, Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, California, January 16, 2010

  • “Trial Advocacy,” University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa, January 3-8, 2010

  • “We Didn’t Start The Fire,” James Madison University, Commencement Speech, Harrisonburg, Virginia, December 12, 2009

  • “Greening Your Career,” Law.com Legal Tech West, Los Angeles, California, June 25, 2009

  • “Avvo Marketing Seminar Series: Tips From the Experts,” Avvo.com Law Firm Marketing Seminars, Los Angeles, Irvine, California, June 18, 2009

  • “E-Discovery and Forensic Examination on Computers,” Southwest Association of Forensic Document Examiners Annual Conference, Los Angeles, California, April, 2009

  • “Social Networks: How to Maximize Business Benefits and Limit Liability,” Center for Competitive Management Audio Conference, February, 2009

  • "E-Discovery from A-Z", Orange County Bar Association's 17th Annual Last Dash Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Credit seminar, Saturday, January 17, 2009, 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m., Pacific time, Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, California

  • "Litigating to Win Through Advanced Trial Advocacy" Training Seminar, and three individual presentations on Using Demonstrative Evidence to Enhance Juror Understanding, Comprehensive Cross-examination and Ethical Considerations, for the National Business Institute, Irvine, California, September 24, 2008

  • Footnote, Ebru TV interview on How to Get Sued, September 2008

  • "The Latest and Greatest In Technology for the Legal Profession," National Association of Legal Assistants annual meeting, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, August 8, 2008

  • "Ethics in Environmental Law," Climate Change Conference, CLE International, San Francisco, California, August 4 - 5, 2008

  • "Applying Technology and Law in a Multi-jurisdictional Practice," LegalTech, Los Angeles, California, June 27, 2008

  • "The Paperless Office," Long Beach Legal Secretary's Association, Long Beach, California, June 12, 2008

  • How to Get Sued book signing at Book Expo America, Los Angeles Convention Center, Los Angeles, California, June 1, 2008, starting at 11:30 a.m.

  • KUCI radio interview on How to Get Sued, June 2008

  • "Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, E-Discovery and Technology Law," Callahan & Blaine law firm, South Coast Metro, CA, May 2, 2008

  • "The Perils of E-Discovery," Orange County Bar Association, Orange, CA, May 1, 2008

  • Law.com Legal Channels interview on How to Get Sued, May 2008

  • "Technology – Its Impact on the Media, Courts, and Attorneys," Orange County Superior Court, Santa Ana, CA, April 25, 2008

  • 'How Technology Has Changed the Law and Journalism,' Orange County, California Superior Court Bench & Bar Seminar, March 28, 2008
  • "Sports and Entertainment Law," University of California, Irvine Pre-Law Society, March 5, 2008

  • "Carbon Credits," Climate Change Law Conference, CLE International, Los Angeles, California, February 28-29, 2008

  • "Ethical Considerations for the Environmental Practitioner," Green Building Conference, CLE International, San Francisco, California, February 21-22, 200.

  • "Technology and the Law: Update 2008," Orange County Bar Association Last Dash seminar, January 19, 2008

  • Adjunct Professor, Trial Advocacy, University of Iowa College of Law, Iowa City, Iowa, January 2008

  • "The Future of Technology," New York State Bar Association Trusts and Estates Section annual meeting, Coronado, San Diego, California, October 2007

  • "The Legal and Business Approach to Law Firm Blogs: Is Your Firm Making the Most of Blogging Opportunities?" American Lawyer Media Webinar, September 2007

  • "Ethics Issues in Environmental Law," CLE International, California Climate Change Law seminar, San Francisco, California, August 2007

  • "The Paperless Office," Managing Partners Roundtable, Westwood, Los Angeles, California, March 2007

  • "2007 Real Estate Law Update," Lambda Alpha International, Newport Beach California, January 2007

  • "What's New In Technology For Solos and Small Firms," The Solo and Small Firm Section of the State Bar of California, Costa Mesa, California, December 2006

  • "Rainmaking 101: Marketing Yourself and Your Practice," Irvine, California, Orange County Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Section, November 2006

  • "Fear Factor: Why Lawyers are Afraid of Technology, and How to Get Over It," Monterey, California, Annual Meeting of California State Bar Association, October 2006

  • "Who's Watching and Listening? How to Protect Your Office and Clients From Inadvertent Disclosure of Private Information," Orange County Bar Association, Costa Mesa, California, September 2006

  • "Technology & Disaster Recovery," Small Firm Business Forum, West Hollywood, California, June 2006

  • "Technology and Internet use in the Courtroom and your Practice," Hispanic Bar Association, San Juan, Puerto Rico, May 2006

  • "Use of Legal Technology In The Courtroom," Orange County Celtic Bar Association Scotland Seminar, April 2006

  • "Rule 1-400 and the Appellate Practitioner: The Ethics of Marketing and Solicitation," Orange County Bar Association Appellate Section, February 2006

  • "Technology and Its Effect On The Practice of Law," Orange County Paralegal Association, January 2006

  • "Legal Technology, Orange County Bar Association," Whittier Law School, January 2006

  • "Legal Ethics and Ethical Overview," Chapman University, Wilkinson College of Letters and Sciences guest lecturer, September 2005 and February 2006

  • "Legal Tech 2005: "From Blawgs to Instant Messaging: Proactive Legal Communication Evolves!" Los Angeles, California, June 2005

  • "Legal Writing Skills," Costa Mesa, California, May 2005

  • "Legal Ethics, Elimination of Bias and Substance Abuse," Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, May 2005

  • "New Developments in Courtroom Technology," Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, April 2005

  • "Civil Procedure on Motions for Relief," Celtic Bar Association, Madrid, Spain, September 2004

  • "The Ethical Construct of Professional, Institutional and Service Sectors, Religion and Values," Guest Lecturer Chapman University, Fall Semester 2004 - 2007

  • "New Developments in Criminal Environmental Law," Hispanic Bar Association, Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, May 2004

  • "Emerging Practice Area of Environmental Crimes,' Celtic Bar Association, Adare, Ireland, 2002

  • "Legal Research & Writing," Chapman University School of Law, Adjunct Professor, 2002 - 2003

  • "Commercial Lending, Real Estate Section of OCBA, January 2002

  • "Environmental Insurance Coverage Fundamentals," Orange County Bar Association, Oranjestad, Aruba, November 2000

  • "Commercial Real Estate Lending and Lender Liability," Orange County Bankers Association, December 2000

  • "E-Discovery,” Orange County Bar Association Last Dash Seminar, Costa Mesa, California, January 15, 2011


Mr. Williams’ publications since 2000 include:

  • The Sled, J. Craig Williams and Christine B. Williams, authors, and Amelia Bernstein, illustrator, Crimson Cloak Publishing, July 2017.

  • Lawyer2Lawyer podcast on the Legal Talk Network, J. Craig Williams, August 31, 2005 to present (formerly "Coast to Coast").

  • Foreward, The Path of the Law, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Kaplan Classics of the Law, New York, 2010

  • Editor, Rays of Universal Wisdom, by Rouzbeh B, January 2010

  • Dropping A Summons And Complaint Outside A Door Makes Good ServicePursuit Magazine, The Journal of Professional Excellence for Investigators, January 13, 2009

  • Bad Decisions? 10 Famous Cases That Went Wrong, pending publication.


Mr. Williams attended the United States Coast Guard Academy, New London, Connecticut, from 1975 to 1976. He completed his undergraduate work at James Madison University, Harrisonburg, Virginia where he received his B.S. (1979) with a major in Communications Arts – Radio, TV, Film and Journalism and a minor in Biology as a member of Omicron Delta Kappa. He received his J.D. (1987), from the University of Iowa College of Law, with distinction. While at law school, he served on the Moot Court Board and was a Certified Practicing Student Clerk where he handled a criminal jury trial, argued before the Court of Appeal and briefed a matter before the Iowa Supreme Court.


  • 2020 Top Rated Litigator, American Lawyer Media and Martindale Hubbell

  • Business Litigator of the Year - USA, 2019, Acquisition International

  • Award for Distinction in Environmental Law - 2019, Acquisition International

  • West Coast Top Rated Lawyer, 2019, Martindale Hubbell.

  • Top Rated Litigator, 2019, American Lawyer Media

  • Litigation Law Firm of the Year - California, 2019, Corporate Insider, Business Excellence Awards - Legal

  • Top Rated Lawyer in White Collar Criminal Law, 2018 - current, American Lawyer Media

  • Top Attorneys of North America, 2014 Edition - current.

  • Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America, June 2015 - current. Invitation-only award given to the top 1/2 of one percent of North American lawyers, judges and law professors.

  • Superlawyer, Superlawyers Business Edition, 2015 - current.

  • Top Lawyers in California for Highest in Ethical Standards and Professional Excellence. The Legal Network, 2014 - current.

  • Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County, Orange Coast and Los Angeles magazines, 2013 - current

  • Top Attorneys in Orange County, Orange Coast magazine, February 2013 - current.

  • Top Attorneys in Southern California, Los Angeles magazine, 2012 - current.

  • Superlawyer, Los Angeles Magazine, 2006 - current.

  • Attorneys of Distinction, Orange Coast Magazine, November 2014 - current.

  • O.C.'s Top Attorneys, OC Metro Magazine, September 2014 - current.

  • America's Most Honored Professionals, American Registry, June 2014 - current.

  • Latinio Who's Who, June 2014.

  • Top 50 Lawyers in Orange County, California, Superlawyers 2013 - current.

  • Board Certified Civil Pretrial Practice Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, an American Bar Association and California State Bar Approved Agency, 2010 - current.

  • 10.0 Superb, Top Attorney rating by Avvo, 2007 - current.

  • Board Certified Civil Trial Advocate, National Board of Trial Advocacy, an American Bar Association and California State Bar Approved Agency, 2006 - current.

  • AV Preeminent Attorney, Highest possible rating in both legal ability and ethical standards, Martindale-Hubble, 2004 - current.