Craig A. Leslie

Practice Group Leader - Litigation

(716) 847-7012
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Mr. Leslie serves as Phillips Lytle’s Litigation Practice Group Leader and concentrates his practice in the areas of tort litigation (including defense of high exposure automobile liability cases), products liability and product safety, commercial litigation (including breach of contract and commercial torts), and real property valuation and tax assessment.

Mr. Leslie has substantial trial and appellate experience. He has appeared and tried cases in both state and federal courts throughout New York, defending manufacturers against products liability and tort claims both in New York and other jurisdictions across the United States. Mr. Leslie also assists in the defense of such claims brought in the Provinces of Ontario and Quebec. Additionally, he continues to try commercial cases throughout New York, including tax certiorari and eminent domain cases.

Additional Areas of Focus

  • Real property tax certiorari litigation
  • Product safety, regulatory compliance, and recalls

Admitted to Practice

  • New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Western District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

Honors and Awards

  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America©
  • Selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers® list, 2014-2019


  • State University of New York at Buffalo Law School, J.D., summa cum laude, 1997
  • State University of New York at Plattsburgh, B.A., 1994

Judicial Clerkships

  • New York State Court of Appeals, Law Clerk to the Judges of the Court, 1997-1999

Professional Associations

  • American Bar Association
    • Litigation Section
    • Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS)
  • Association of Trial Lawyers of America
  • Bar Association of Erie County
  • Defense Research Institute(DRI)
  • New York State Assessors’ Association
  • New York State Bar Association
    • Commercial and Federal Litigation Section
    • Torts, Insurance and Compensation Law Section
  • Women’s Bar Association of the State of New York, WNY Chapter

Representative Cases

  • Ford Motor Credit Company LLC v. Orton-Bruce, 2017 WL 1093906 (S.D.N.Y. 2017)
  • Board of Managers of French Oaks Condominium v. Town of Amherst, 23 N.Y.3d 168 (2014)
  • United Union of Roofers, Waterproofers, and Allied Workers Local No. 210 v. A.W. Farrell & Son, Inc., 547 Fed. Appx. 17 (2d Cir. 2013)
  • Ferland v. GMO Renewable Resources LLC, 105 A.D.3d 1158 (3rd Dep’t 2013)
  • Rein v. Cab East LLC, No. 08 Civ. 2899, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52617 (S.D.N.Y. June 22, 2009)
  • Pryce v. Gilchrist, 2008 N.Y. Slip Op 4142 (1st Dep’t 2008)
  • In re Main Seneca Corp., 100 N.Y.2d 246, 792 N.E.2d 1067, 762 N.Y.S.2d 579 (2003)
  • In re Penepent Corp., 96 N.Y.2d 186, 750 N.E.2d 47, 726 N.Y.S.2d 345 (2001)
  • Cook v. Garrant, 27 A.D.3d 984, 811 N.Y.S.2d 801 (3rd Dep’t 2006)
  • Matter of AES Somerset, LLC v. Town of Somerset, 24 A.D.3d 1263, 808 N.Y.S.2d 849 (4th Dep’t 2005)
  • Saturn Club v. City of Buffalo, 12 A.D.2d 1084, 785 N.Y.2d 618 (4th Dep’t 2004)
  • Williams v. Majewski, 291 A.D.2d 816, 737 N.Y.S.2d 463 (4th Dep’t 2002)
  • DiPalma V. Coleman, 10 Misc. 3d 1059A (Sup. Ct., Niagara County 2005)
  • Bochman v. Town of Cheektowaga, 2 Misc. 3d 966 (Sup. Ct., Erie County 2004)

Present Activities

  • EMW Soccer, Board of Directors
  • EMW Development, Board of Directors

Past Activities

  • New York State Bar Association
    • Committee on Courts of Appellate Jurisdiction
  • Musicians United, Board of Directors
  • MusicalFare Theatre, Board of Directors