J. Craig Williams
Partner, Orange County, California
Employment & Labor
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 is presently the 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.
Affiliations, Activities and Accomplishments
Mr. Williams is admitted to practice law in California, Iowa,
Massachusetts and Washington. 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 is currently 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, 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 and been a member of the Defense Research Institute, Association of Southern California Defense Counsel and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
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,
book, with Kaplan Publishing, and his second hardcover book from
Kaplan, Bad Decisions? 10 Famous Cases That Went Wrong
to be published in 2014. 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
White-Collar Crime, Thompson West, July 2008; “The Liabilities of
Social Networking Sites,” 50 Orange County Lawyer,
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
Williams has participated in numerous appellate court opinions,
including the 2006 O'Grady v. Sup.Ct. (Apple Computer)
Mr. Williams was
featured in the April 2009 Orange County
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 received a Pro
Publico service commendation from the Washington State Bar
for performing over fifty hours of service for the public good in the
Mr. Williams and his wife, Christine, wrote a children's Christmas book, The Sled, for their grandchildren, who are the named characters in the book, which was published by Crimson Cloak Publishing.
He has published How to Get Sued: An Instructional Guide, a hardcover book, with Kaplan Publishing, and his second hardcover book from Kaplan, Bad Decisions? 10 Famous Cases That Went Wrong is anticipated to be published in 2014. He also wrote the Foreword for the reissued hardcover book, The Path of the Law by Oliver Wendell Holmes.
Mr. Williams also enjoys skiing, scuba diving and spending time with his dogs. His 2017 entry of his Grandmother's peanut butter cookie recipe won second place in the National Orange Show open cookie contest. Mr. Williams is an apprentance falconer with Sky Kings Falconry and a hobbyist beekeeper.
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).
NewMark Merrill Cos. (Ca.Ct.App., 4th App.Dist., Div. 2, May
14, 2010), No. E046683 (Unpublished opinion).
Sup.Ct. (Apple Computer) (2006) 139 Cal.App.4th 1423
Crater (1998) 62 Cal.App.4th 150
Cherry Auction, 76
F.3d 259 (9th Cir. 1996)
Martin (1992) 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
Davidson Brick Co. v. County of Riverside (1990) 217
Iowa Parole Board, 414 N.W.2d 122 (Iowa S.Ct.
1987) (while in
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.
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.
Orange County Bar Association Last Dash Seminar, Costa Mesa,
California, January 15, 2011
Entertainment Law,” Women’s Law Association at UCI, Irvine, October 5,
“Legal Insights For
The Business Person,” Bay Area International Chambers of Commerce, San
Francisco, September 9, 2010
and Documents: e-Discovery For Experts,” Forensic Expert Witness
Association (FEWA), Los Angeles, July 15, 2010
Forensic Expert Witness Association (FEWA), Newport Beach, June 15, 2010
of Social Media for Non-Profits,” Irvine Health Foundation, Irvine, May
“The Practical Side
of e-Discovery From In-Court Hearings and Their Consequences,” Banyard
Inns of Court, Costa Mesa, February 24, 2010
& Technology,” OCBA 18th Annual Last Dash & Trade Show,
Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, California, January 16, 2010
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
Career,” Law.com Legal Tech West, Los Angeles, California, June 25, 2009
Seminar Series: Tips From the Experts,” Avvo.com Law Firm Marketing
Seminars, Los Angeles, Irvine, California, June 18, 2009
Forensic Examination on Computers,” Southwest Association of Forensic
Document Examiners Annual Conference, Los Angeles, California, April,
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
the Legal Profession," National Association of Legal Assistants
annual meeting, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, August 8, 2008
Environmental Law," Climate
Conference, CLE International, San Francisco, California, August 4 - 5,
and Law in a Multi-jurisdictional Practice," LegalTech, Los Angeles,
California, June 27, 2008
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.
interview on How to Get Sued, June 2008
Rules of Civil Procedure, E-Discovery and Technology Law," Callahan & Blaine
law firm, South Coast Metro, CA, May 2, 2008
Perils of E-Discovery," Orange County Bar Association,
CA, May 1, 2008
Legal Channels interview on How to Get
Sued, May 2008
– Its Impact on the Media, Courts, and Attorneys," Orange
County Superior Court, Santa Ana, CA, April 25, 2008
E-discovery and Technology on Your Desktop and In the Courtroom,'
Prague, Czech Republic, April 8, 2008
'How Technology Has
Changed the Law and Journalism,' Orange County, California Superior
Court Bench & Bar Seminar, March 28, 2008
Law," University of California, Irvine Pre-Law Society, March 5, 2008
Change Law Conference, CLE International, Los
Angeles, California, February 28-29, 2008
for the Environmental Practitioner," Green
Building Conference, CLE International, San Francisco,
California, February 21-22, 200.
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,
"The Future of
Technology," New York State Bar Association Trusts and
Estates Section annual meeting, Coronado, San Diego, California,
"The Legal and
Business Approach to Law Firm Blogs: Is Your Firm Making
the Most of Blogging Opportunities?" American Lawyer Media Webinar,
"Ethics Issues in
Environmental Law," CLE International, California
Climate Change Law seminar, San Francisco, California, August 2007
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,
Marketing Yourself and Your Practice," Irvine,
California, Orange County Bar Association Solo and Small Firm Section,
"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
& Disaster Recovery," Small Firm Business Forum, West
Hollywood, California, June 2006
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,
"Rule 1-400 and the
Appellate Practitioner: The Ethics of Marketing and
Solicitation," Orange County Bar Association Appellate Section,
"Technology and Its
Effect On The Practice of Law," Orange County
Paralegal Association, January 2006
Orange County Bar Association," Whittier Law School,
"Legal Ethics and
Ethical Overview," Chapman University, Wilkinson
College of Letters and Sciences guest lecturer, September 2005 and
"Legal Tech 2005:
"From Blawgs to Instant Messaging: Proactive Legal
Communication Evolves!" Los Angeles, California, June 2005
Skills," Costa Mesa, California, May 2005
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
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
Area of Environmental Crimes,' Celtic Bar Association,
Adare, Ireland, 2002
& Writing," Chapman University School of Law,
Adjunct Professor, 2002 - 2003
Real Estate Section of OCBA, January 2002
Insurance Coverage Fundamentals," Orange County Bar
Association, Oranjestad, Aruba, November 2000
Estate Lending and Lender Liability," Orange County
Bankers Association, December 2000
Orange County Bar Association Last Dash Seminar, Costa Mesa,
California, January 15, 2011
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").
Path of the Law, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Kaplan Classics of
the Law, New York, 2010
of Universal Wisdom, by Rouzbeh B, January 2010
Dropping A Summons And Complaint Outside A
Door Makes Good Service, Pursuit Magazine, The
Professional Excellence for Investigators, January 13, 2009
Bad Decisions? 10 Famous Cases That Went Wrong, pending publication.
"Insuring Your Company’s Future",
The Scotsman Guide and
scotsmanguide.com, August 2008
How to Get Sued: An Instructional
(hardcover book), Kaplan Publishing, New York City,
New York, June 3, 2008
Liabilities of Social Networking Sites, 50 Orange
Lawyer 6, 2008
Build Your Own Blog",
Law Technology News, December
Please The Court" weblog, since August 2003
"Belly Up to the Bar
at the Shark-Ray Flats", iWaterways.com Netzine, January 2000
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.