• J.D., University of Arizona, 2001
• M.A., Arizona State University, (Philosophy), 2000
• B.A., Utah State University (History), 1995
• District of Columbia
• U.S. District Court, District of Arizona
• U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia
• United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
• United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
• United States Supreme Court
• Commercial Litigation
• Appellate Practice
Giddings v. Vision House Productions, 584 F.Supp.2d 1222 (D. Ariz. 2008)
State Farm Ins. Co. v. Premier Manufactured Sys., 217 Ariz. 222, 172 P.3d 410 (Ariz. 2007)
Cook v. Orkin Exterminating Co., 227 Ariz. 331, 258 P.3d 149 (Ariz. App. 2011)
Legal Publications and Presentations
Exception from Discharge in Bankruptcy for Debts Arising Out of Violation of Securities Laws or Common-Law Fraud, Deceit or Manipulation in Connection with Purchase or Sale of Securities Under II U.S.C.A. § 523(a)(19), A.Lir.Fed.2d (forthcoming 2014)
Counterclaim Against Bankruptcy Estate as Waiver of Right to Jury Trial, 63 A.L.R. Fed. 2d 1 (2012)
Flagstaff Affordable Housing v. Design Alliance and the Dogmas of Arizona’s Economic Loss Rule, 47 Ariz. Attorney 28 (Mar. 2011)
Nature v. Nurture: Evolution, Path Dependence and Corporate Governance, 18 Ariz. J. Intl. & Comp. Law 279 (2001)
Panelist and Presenter, “Philosophic v. Economic Approaches to Legal Theory and Practice,” Arizona State University College of Law (Nov. 2008)
American Bankruptcy Institute
Virginia Bar Association, Appellate and Bankruptcy Sections
Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association
Alexandria Bar Association
Why I Should be Your Attorney
US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer once described his job as an appellate attorney to his son: “If you do your homework really well, you can get a job where you do homework for the rest of your life. . . . Basically I read, and I write.” While dubious as homework motivation (it is a rare kid who is inspired to do homework by the prospect of a lifetime of more homework), this is an apt description of appellate work. As partner of Baird Williams and Greer’s DC/Northern Virginia office and head of its appellate department, I do my “homework really well.” I relish the demanding parts of a legal practice: research, analysis, writing. My strength is delving into the facts and legal issues of each case. This commitment to rigor—indeed, a desire to do the heavy intellectual lifting— makes me a forceful advocate. When I file something in court it is well-researched, well-reasoned, creative, and compelling.
But a good attorney also needs a firm grounding in the practical world. Complimenting my
specialized knowledge in appeals and commercial law is an understanding of business reality. I
view advocacy as more than merely appearing in court. An attorney also needs to play the oft-neglected role of counselor. In representing clients, I strive to maintain an open dialogue about
the costs and benefits of litigation. Above all else, my goal is to achieve a successful outcome, be
it litigation or an innovative settlement.
Appellate courts are clogged with cases, and judges have no time to parse through dense, complicated briefs. Therefore, an appellate advocate must (1) get to the point, and (2) demonstrate why you win. I am particularly adept at framing the crucial issues on appeal and writing succinct briefs with logical arguments. An appeal is your last chance to make your case. If you have lost a trial, or even if you won and your opponent has now appealed, I know how to make your final and best arguments. I have over ten years of appellate practice, beginning immediately after law school as a judicial clerk for the Honorable Susan Ehrlich on the Arizona Court of Appeals. Since then, I have argued in various state and federal appellate courts, including the US Supreme Court. Highlights include:
Drafted amicus brief and attended oral argument at US Supreme Court in Arizona v. U.S. on behalf of thousands of employers opposed to SB 1070, Arizona’s controversial immigration law
Briefed and argued appeal in case involving US recognition of international insolvency proceedings to US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Argued complicated bankruptcy appeal involving mortgage-backed securities in US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Prevailed in $50 million appeal in suit for breach of an international development agreement
Drafted briefs and attended oral argument for Arizona Supreme Court case that changed Arizona tort law, applying comparative fault principles to products liability cases
Won a reversal in an abuse of process case against an insurer in the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Won a reversal from the Arizona Court of Appeals of an order domesticating a multi-million dollar foreign judgment.
The skills I have developed as an appellate attorney—exceptional research, clear thinking, forcible writing—also make me a strong advocate in business disputes at the trial level. My litigation practice focuses on three areas: (1) contract disputes, ranging from failed business transactions to real estate deals; (2) unfair competition including interference with contract, trade secrets, and antitrust violations; and (3) fraud, which could be a misrepresentation in a business transaction or complicated accounting and securities frauds. I have both a scholarly and a practical understanding of a variety of commercial issues. I have authored oft-cited business law articles, including scholarly work on corporate governance and an article the damages available in contract cases. I utilize this deep understanding of business law to posture commercial cases for trial. But trial often is unnecessary; I rarely loses dispositive motions. Some examples:
Won summary judgment in a multi-million dollar case involving a failed international cellular phone deal
Successfully defended and brought several foreclosure and deficiency actions involving multi-million dollar properties
Prevailed in numerous suits arising out of non-competition agreements, representing both businesses and individuals
Drafted and argued dozens of motions in the largest securities fraud case in Arizona history
As a corollary to my work in business disputes, I also practice in bankruptcy, primarily focused on creditors’ rights. As with my other practice areas, my bankruptcy practice is informed by my own scholarly work. I recently published an American Law Report annotation on bankruptcy procedure and have a forthcoming annotation on denial of discharge for debt arising from securities fraud. I have particular experience in recognition of international insolvencies under Chapter 15 of the Bankruptcy Code. I recently argued a Chapter 15 case to the United States Third Circuit Court of Appeals. Chapter 15 recognition is a niche practice; many attorneys are not even aware the Bankruptcy Code applies to international insolvencies. Nevertheless, I, and other attorneys at Baird Williams and Greer, have the expertise to help those either seeking or opposing Chapter 15 recognition.
The DC/Northern Virginia (NOVA) Office
After living and practicing law in Arizona for several years, I now make my home in Alexandria, Virginia with my wife and son. I am licensed in both the District of Columbia and Virginia, and I run the firm’s DC metro office, which is located at 600 Cameron St. in historic Old Town Alexandria (almost next door to George Washington’s Alexandria townhouse).
Baird Williams & Greer LLP
Washington D.C. | Northern Virginia Office
600 Cameron St
Alexandria, VA 22314
While my practice is focused on Northern Virginia, BWG’s DC/NOVA office is still closely linked to the Phoenix office. The DC/NOVA offices offers the full panoply of legal services. When you engage the DC/NOVA office you get the benefit of the skill and experience of all BWG’s attorneys.
Craig LaChance attending U.S. Supreme Court oral argument in Arizona v. United States, April 25, 2012. Craig and Daryl Williams filed an amicus curiae brief on behalf of several Arizona business and community associations.
LaChance (r) with Daniel Ortega and Terry Green Sterling.