A tenacious practitioner with more than 15 years of experience, Craig represents individuals, businesses and government clients in complex litigation matters, both before administrative agencies and in state and federal courts.
Craig principally focuses his practice on litigation involving state and municipal government, public authorities and other quasi-governmental entities. In this practice area, Craig has experience in prosecuting disciplinary hearings against public employees, representing political candidates in election law disputes, counseling governmental clients concerning legislative redistricting and reapportionment matters, challenging and defending the constitutionality of state statutes and municipal ordinances, litigating matters arising from land use decisions, and obtaining review of the regulations and adjudicatory decisions of state and municipal agencies in special proceedings pursuant to Article 78 of the New York Civil Practice Law and Rules. In view of his extensive expertise in this area, Craig has been recognized by The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Litigation – Municipal and Upstate New York Super Lawyers in the field of State, Local and Municipal Law.
Craig also devotes a portion of his practice to representing business entities in commercial and intellectual property disputes, and co-chairs Phillips Lytle’s Appellate Practice Team. Having briefed and argued appeals before the New York Court of Appeals and all four departments of the Appellate Division of the New York State Supreme Court, clients have turned to Craig to serve as special appellate counsel on litigated matters to make the most compelling and persuasive written and oral presentations of their contentions on appeal.
Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2013-2023
Listed in The Best Lawyers in America®
40 Under 40, Buffalo Business First, 2021
Bar Association of Erie County Liberty Bell Award, 2017
American Bar Association On the Rise – Top 40 Young Lawyers Award, 2016
Town of Amherst Conservative Party, Chairman’s Award, 2015
Am-Pol Eagle, 2014 Citizen of the Year, Legal Field
Jefferson B. Fordham Award for Advocacy, American Bar Association’s State and Local Government Law Section, 2013
Columbia Law School, Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar
Lawrence S. Greenbaum Prize for Best Oralist in the Harlan Fiske Stone Moot Court Competition at Columbia Law School, Winner
Jerome Michael Jury Trial Competition at Columbia Law School, Finalist
Induction into Phi Beta Kappa
Induction into Pi Sigma Alpha (national political science honor society)
Ellsworth Prize for Best Senior Essay in the Social Sciences in Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University, Winner
All-American Witness, 2003 American Mock Trial Association National Tournament
2000 New York State Forensic League Champion in Extemporaneous Speaking
National Conference for Community and Justice (NCCJ), Brother/Sisterhood Youth Award
Youth Leadership Erie County, Graduate
Honoree of the New York State Bar Association 2011 Empire State Counsel® Program for Pro Bono Work
Awards & Certifications
Education & Admissions
Columbia University School of Law, J.D., 2006
Yale University, B.A., magna cum laude, 2003
Admitted to Practice
U.S. District Court, Eastern, Northern, Southern and Western Districts of New York
U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
Defended legislative redistricting maps in response to allegations of invalidity under the New York Constitution and the New York Municipal Home Rule Law.
Sought and obtained a declaratory judgment invalidating a local law that purported to limit permissible architectural characteristics for new development.
Defended a CPLR Article 78 proceeding that challenged land use approvals required for construction of a multimillion-dollar manufacturing facility.
Successfully challenged assessments imposed by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board upon small businesses in violation of the New York Workers’ Compensation Law and the State Administrative Procedure Act.
Successfully challenged an order issued by the New York Public Service Commission absent compliance with required procedural safeguards.
Defended constitutional challenges to New York State requirements with respect to campaign finance disclosure and ballot access for political parties.
Challenged and secured the invalidation of a candidate’s ballot access petition signatures procured as the consequence of fraud.
Defended the validity of certificates authorizing individuals to run for public office as a political party’s endorsed candidates.
Represented the Catholic Health System against the New York State Department of Health in challenging certain hospital closure recommendations of the New York State Commission on Healthcare Facilities in the 21st Century.
Contested the enforceability of subpoenas issued by a local government to a public authority created by the New York State Legislature.
Challenged the constitutionality of taxes imposed by New York upon an out-of-state not-for-profit corporation.
Counseled individuals and private businesses concerning compliance with New York’s ethical rules regulating interactions with public officials.
Prosecuted and defended claims for breach of contract and negligence by and against state and local public officials and government agencies.
Advised former members of defaulted group self-insurance trusts (GSITs) concerning their obligations in response to defaulted GSITs’ takeover and administration by the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.
Advised a workers’ compensation insurer concerning its statutory and regulatory responsibilities for insuring customers in New York.
Defended litigation that sought disclosure of trade secrets and other sensitive business information in response to a request made pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law.
Successfully prosecuted disciplinary charges brought by a municipality against several public employees.
Prosecuted litigation that enforced the New York Public Officers Law to secure the removal of an elected town board member on account of his criminal conviction arising from domestic violence.
Matter of Nichols v. Hochul, 77 Misc. 3d 245 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. County 2022), aff’d, 2023 WL 362975 (1st Dep’t 2023)
Matter of Our City Action Buffalo, Inc. v. Common Council of City of Buffalo, 2022 WL 17840747 (Sup. Ct. Erie County 2022)
Ficel Transport, Inc. v. State, 209 A.D.3d 1153 (3d Dep’t 2022)
Matter of Harkenrider v. Hochul, 207 A.D.3d 1255 (4th Dep’t 2022)
Matter of Miranda Holdings, Inc. v. Town of Orchard Park, 206 A.D.3d 1662 (4th Dep’t 2022)
Matter of Nichols v. Hochul, 206 A.D.3d 463 (1st Dep’t 2022)
Matter of Harkenrider v. Hochul, 38 N.Y.3d 494 (2022)
Matter of McHugh, 2020 WL 3478223 (Sur. Ct. Erie County June 24, 2020)
N.Y. State Workers’ Comp. Bd. v. Episcopal Church Home & Affiliates, Inc., 64 Misc. 3d 176 (Sup. Ct. Albany County 2019)
Matter of Town of Cheektowaga v. Rogowski, 61 Misc. 3d 587 (Sup. Ct. Erie County 2018)
Gustke v. Nickerson, 159 A.D.3d 1573 (4th Dep’t 2018)
Accredited Aides Plus, Inc. v. Program Risk Mgmt., Inc., 147 A.D.3d 122 (3d Dep’t 2017)
State of New York Workers’ Comp. Bd. v. Wang, 147 A.D.3d 104 (3d Dep’t 2017)
The Gerry Homes v. Town of Ellicott, 145 A.D.3d 1652 (4th Dep’t 2016)
Speaker, “The New York Lobbying Act and Regulations of the Joint Commission on Public Ethics,” Bar Association of Erie County Young Lawyers Committee, May 2022
Presenter, “Reopening Safely: Regulations, Guidelines and Strategies,” COVID-19 Comeback Series, Phillips Lytle Webinar, May 2020
Panelist, “New Legislation and the Impact on IDAs,” New York State Economic Development Council (NYSEDC) IDA Academy, November 2019
Panelist, “New Legislation and Its Impact on IDAs,” IDA Academy, New York State Economic Development Council, September 2019
Presenter, “New Comprehensive Lobbying and Source of Funding Disclosure Regulations Promulgated by the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE),” “From JCOPE to #MeToo: Helping Municipalities Stay Ahead of Today’s Changing Environment,” Phillips Lytle Seminar, August 2018
Speaker, Keynote Presentation, 41st Annual Civics and Law Related Education Conference, New York State Bar Association, October 2017
Activities & Professional Associations
Amherst Town Democratic Committee, Executive Committee Member, Election Inspector Coordinator
Legal Aid Bureau of Buffalo, Inc., First Vice-President, Board of Directors
Local Rules Committee for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, Member
St. Gregory the Great Church, Finance Council
New York State Democratic Committee, Member, 2010-2018
Executive Committee, Member, 2014-2018
Deborah Bruch Bucki for Amherst Town Board, Campaign Manager
Columbia Business Law Review, Survey Editor, 2005 – 2006, Staff Member, 2004-2005
Columbia Law School Trial Team, President, 2004 – 2005
Columbia Law School Chapter of the American Constitution Society (ACS), Secretary, 2004-2005
Harlem Legal Outreach Mock Trial Coach
Yale University Department of Political Science Student Advisory Committee, Member
Yale Debate Association, Member
Yale Student Academic Competitions, Member
Yale Mock Trial Association, Executive Board Member
Buffalo Office of United States Senator Charles E. Schumer, Intern
St. Gregory the Great School Board, Secretary and Finance Council
Scripps National Spelling Bee, Former Press Desk Official
Kosciuszko Foundation, Western New York Chapter
American Bar Association
Section of State & Local Government Law
American Bar Foundation, Fellow
American Law Institute
Bar Association of Erie County
Professional Ethics Committee, Chair
Deputy Treasurer, 2018-2019
High School Mock Trial, Former Chair
New York Bar Foundation, Fellow
New York State Bar Association, Member, House of Delegates
Municipal Law Section
Trial Lawyers Section
Committee on Law, Youth and Citizenship, Member and Former Chair