Bar and Court Admissions
Craig May has appeared in litigation in 28 states, and his clients range from Fortune 500 pharmaceutical and medical device firms to leading ski resorts to independent oil and gas companies. Craig’s practice involves product liability, mass torts, personal injury, employment, and complex commercial disputes.
From building winning trial themes to identifying favorable resolution strategies to defending big decisions on appeal, Craig truly appreciates collaborating with clients to address litigation and business challenges. His clients include renowned ski areas, midsized and large oil and gas companies, and nationwide pharmaceutical and medical device companies. Across this dynamic range of industries, Craig has developed a reputation as being quick to learn his clients' businesses and priorities.
In addition to his extensive trial and arbitration experience, Craig has authored appellate briefs in numerous state and federal courts of appeals as well as the United States Supreme Court.
- Serving as national coordinating and trial counsel to a cochlear implant manufacturer for the defense of product liability lawsuits involving a Class III medical device used to treat hearing loss.
- Secured a ruling from a California appeals court affirming the preemption of claims brought against WTO's client for its abdominal stent medical device.
- McNellis v. Pfizer (3d Cir. 2008) - Won an appeal for Pfizer in a groundbreaking preemption case before the Third Circuit.
- Dusek v. Pfizer - Obtained summary judgment for Pfizer on preemption grounds in a case alleging that a popular antidepressant caused suicide.
- Miller v. Pfizer - Won exclusion of a star expert for the plaintiffs in antidepressant suicide litigation and won summary judgment for Pfizer in federal court in Kansas in a case alleging that the company's antidepressant led to the suicide of a minor.
- Motus v. Pfizer - Obtained summary judgment for Pfizer in a case alleging wrongful death, failure to warn, and other claims involving the company's popular antidepressant, and won on appeal in the Ninth Circuit.
- Successfully resolved, both in and out of court, numerous product liability cases for a major medical device company involving a Class III implantable medical device that was removed from the market and the subject of significant regulatory action by the government.
- Obtained a defense verdict for an auto manufacturer after a month-long jury trial alleging defective automotive airbags.
Oil & Gas
- Won an arbitration ruling for $2.9 million, including punitive damages, for an investment fund misled into overpaying for an oil field services company based on misrepresentations made during the sale and omissions made during settlement negotiations regarding the sale.
- Corvax v. Continental Resources (Colo. Ct. App. 2016) - Won a victory in the Colorado Court of Appeals for Continental Resources in a dispute involving purported rights to a Colorado oil and gas lease.
- Prevailed in a preliminary injunction hearing in a dispute over a valuable lease farmout relating to a successful oil shale well in Wyoming for a large regional energy company.
- Represented a natural gas company in a complex contract dispute involving production from a large gas field in Wyoming; the case was favorably resolved before trial.
- Obtained a favorable jury trial result for a natural gas gathering company in a case involving allegations of breach of a gas purchase contract.
- Won a commercial arbitration that sought a buyout of client's multimillion dollar interest in a nationwide petroleum marketing joint venture.
Ski & Recreation
- Won a defense verdict in a highly public, multi-week jury trial alleging a wrongful death claim against a recreation industry client following the tragic death of a minor.
- Won summary judgment for a leading ski resort operator in a ski lift injury case.
- Won dismissal of a case alleging injury as a result of tubing hill operations at a Colorado ski area.
- Advise recreation clients on industry-specific issues.
- Obtained dismissal for a leading ski resort in a case in which the plaintiff sought extensive pre-suit discovery.
- General Steel v. Armstrong Steel (D. Colo. 2016) - Won a jury verdict for Armstrong Steel against claims of false advertising and defamation in a two-week trial in federal court in Colorado. A competitor of Armstrong sought millions of dollars.
- Assisted a biotech company in an appellate briefing before the Federal Circuit, resulting in reversal of an adverse summary judgment and remand to the state court where our client had filed the complaint.
- Helped obtain dismissal of class action litigation against a national entertainment client in case alleging Colorado Consumer Protection Act violation for language on tickets sold for client's event.
- Obtained reversal in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals of a trial court's refusal to send a contract dispute to arbitration. WTO successfully resolved the case for a telecommunications company client after the Ninth Circuit ruling.
- Successfully defended long distance reseller contract disputes for a major telecommunications company in cases litigated in courts around the country and before the American Arbitration Association.
- Obtained a favorable jury trial result for a manufacturer in a commercial dispute with a dealer alleging significant lost profits.
- Obtained a favorable settlement for a mining equipment manufacturer whose expensive equipment was severely damaged by a commercial lessee.
- EEOC v. CollegeAmerica Denver (D. Colo. 2016) - Won a complete defense verdict for CollegeAmerica (aka The Center for Excellence in Higher Education) in a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. WTO attorneys won dismissal of two claims relating to severance provisions in 2014. A federal jury decided for CollegeAmerica on the final claim of retaliation in 2016.
- EEOC v. CollegeAmerica Denver (D. Colo. 2014) - Obtained dismissal of key claims brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) of alleged violations of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) and involving the EEOC's national campaign to limit employers' language in separation agreements. Two claims brought by the EEOC were dismissed outright for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. A third claim continues to be litigated.
- Handled matters in and out of court involving trade secrets, noncompetes, and other employment issues.
- Submitted an amicus brief for a coalition of religious organizations in Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District. The Colorado Supreme Court adopted the position urged in the brief. The coalition included the Anti-Defamation League, the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, the Central Conference of American Rabbis, Disciples Justice Action Network, Equal Partners in Faith, Hadassah, the Hindu American Foundation, and the Union for Reform Judaism.
- Submitted an amicus brief for the Main Street Business Alliance to the Colorado Court of Appeals in the highly publicized case, Masterpiece Bakery v. Craig, which tested the limits of Colorado's antidiscrimination law. The Court of Appeals backed the position urged in the amicus brief.
Publications & Speaking Engagements
"Recreation Litigation: Colorado," presented for a CDLA webinar (July 16, 2018).
"Ethics, Social Media, and You," presented to the Association for Corporate Counsel, Colorado Chapter (December 4, 2013).
"Current Regulatory and Enforcement Issues and Their Impacts on the Medical Device Industry," Moderator, American Bar Association Drug & Medical Device Seminar (November 16, 2012).
"Hot Topics in Medical Device Litigation" at ABA Seminar on Current Issues in Medical Device Litigation (October 1, 2007).
"Taking Action: Rejecting the Passive Disposal Theory of Prior Owner Liability Under CERCLA," 17 Va. Envtl. L.J. 385 (January 1998).
- 27 WTO Lawyers Recognized in The Best Lawyers in America 2019
- WTO Leads Top 100 in Colorado Super Lawyers
- 26 WTO Lawyers ranked in the 24th Edition of The Best Lawyers in America
- 42 WTO Lawyers Named to the 2017 Colorado Super Lawyers List
- 20 WTO Lawyers ranked in the 23rd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®
- 20 WTO Lawyers ranked in the 22nd Edition of The Best Lawyers in America®
- Best Lawyers® 2015 Ranks 20 WTO Attorneys
- Best Lawyers® Names Two WTO Partners Denver Lawyers of the Year
- Benchmark Litigation 2013 Ranks Seven WTO Partners Among 33 Colorado Litigation Stars
- SJ for WTO Medical Device Manufacturer Client Based on Federal Preemption Law
- Pfizer Presents WTO with Performance Award
Legal Memberships, Activities, and Honors
The Best Lawyers in America
Denver Product Liability Litigation Lawyer of the Year, 2015
Commercial Litigation, 2018-2020
Insurance Litigation, 2016-2020
Personal Injury Litigation, 2013-2020
Product Liability Litigation, 2013-2020
The Legal 500 United States
Litigation: Product Liability and Mass Tort Defense, 2011
Colorado Super Lawyers
Business Litigation, 2010-2020
Top 100, 2013-2018
Colorado Rising Stars
Business Litigation, 2009
Local Litigation Star, Colorado, 2018
Future Star - Colorado, 2013
Martindale-Hubbell AV® Peer Review Rated
American Bar Association
Colorado Bar Association
Denver Bar Association
Defense Research Institute
Colorado Defense Lawyers Association
Association of Ski Defense Attorneys
Board of Directors
International Association of Defense Counsel
Judge William E. Doyle American Inn of Court
Executive Committee Member
Past President, 2014-2015
Community Memberships, Activities, and Honors
National Ski Areas Association, Member
Public Education Business Coalition
Catalyst Advisory Group, Member
Leadership Denver Program
Denver Business Journal's Forty Under 40, 2008
Internet Safety Foundation
Founding Member and Treasurer
University of Tulsa School of Law
Constitutional Law II, Lecturer
Family, golf, skiing, hiking, and politics