Craig Woods brings unique expertise and experience to high-stakes litigation matters, both as an advocate and a mediator. While he has tried more than most Big Law litigation partners, he also understands that most clients ultimately prefer more cost-effective means of resolution. He thus works closely with each client to understand and implement specific goals, requirements and appetite for risk, and to craft a winning strategy for resolving each case.

    During his over 35 years with the firm, Craig has tried, mediated or otherwise litigated an unusually wide variety of cases in Ohio and throughout the US. He has significant experience in cases involving business disputes, director and officer liability, professional liability, product liability, environmental issues, intellectual property, real estate, energy and complex personal injury litigation, including multidistrict litigation (MDL). He also has expertise in regulatory enforcement actions, legal ethics matters, mediation and other alternative dispute resolution options.

    Craig is the former head of our litigation team in Columbus and holds or has held a number of leadership positions in various industry and firm practice groups. Craig also belongs to a number of national, state and local bar associations, as well as professional committees. In addition, he has served for more than 15 years as a court-appointed mediator for the US District Court for the Southern District of Ohio and as Ethics and Loss Prevention Counsel to the firm. Craig regularly writes and speaks on topics ranging from professionalism and legal ethics to mediation, trial advocacy and mass tort defense.

    Craig is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. He has been AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell for more than 30 years, named in The Best Lawyers in America since 2006 and listed in the most recent editions of Ohio Super Lawyers and The Legal 500 US. In addition, he was named Columbus Lawyer of the Year in Environmental Litigation by Best Lawyers in 2016.

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    • Led the team that handled all litigation matters, including right-of-way acquisition and construction-related disputes, on a successful Natural Gas Liquids (NGL) pipeline project that crossed Ohio.
    • Served as a core trial team leader and chief settlement counsel in a toxic tort MDL pending in the Southern District of Ohio arising from alleged drinking water contamination.
    • Successfully defended a chemical company against Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) claims arising from alleged contamination of a private sector supplier.
    • Mediated a successful long-term resolution of a simmering dispute between branches of a wealthy and well-known family, all without publicity and before active litigation broke out.
    • Lead trial counsel in a major Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) case involving public transit, which ended in complete and final judgment in favor of client, with no appeal taken.
    • Mediated a settlement in a hotly contested ADA suit involving a public accommodation.
    • Obtained court validation of proposed financing for US$137 million airport expansion project.
    • Won a complete defense verdict for a major automotive component manufacturer in a wrongful death/product liability action tried to a jury in South Carolina, and successfully resolving numerous other automotive product liability cases throughout the US.
    • Obtained the dismissal of a product liability claim against the manufacturer of a fire-resistant fabric used in automobile racing suits.
    • Obtained a declaratory and specific performance judgment confirming a prominent biological science company’s ownership of and rights to an important genetic patent, then successfully defended the judgment before the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
    • Won a US$10.4 million eminent domain award for a private water utility.
    • Successfully defended a large Ohio-based law firm in a multimillion-dollar malpractice/breach of fiduciary duty action.
    • Served on a trial team that won a breach of fiduciary duty case against the directors and officers of a failed savings and loan company, recovering US$21.5 million.
    • Defeated a patent infringement action brought against a biotech company.
    • Successfully prosecuted/defended several Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA)/Voluntary Action Program (VAP) private cost recovery actions and successfully defeated a Clean Water Act (CWA) case against a large US city.

    Education

    • University of Virginia, J.D., 1981
    • Dartmouth College, B.A., magna cum laude, 1978

    Admissions

    • Ohio, 1981

    Courts

    • U.S. Dist. Ct., S. Dist. of Ohio
    • U.S. Ct. of App., Sixth Circuit
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. Dist. Ct., N. Dist. of Ohio

    Languages

    • English
    • Best Lawyers 2020 Columbus Lawyer of the Year for Bet-the-Company Litigation
    • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 2006, an honor based on an exhaustive peer-review process
    • Listed in Ohio Super Lawyers, a distinction honoring the top lawyers in the state

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