Axinn partner Craig Reiser has been recognized by The National Law Journal as a 2023 Litigation Trailblazer. One of just 60 attorneys chosen for this national honor, Craig was selected in part for his defense of chess grandmaster Magnus Carlsen in a high-profile defamation and antitrust case brought by another grandmaster that made international headlines.
Craig has an established record of success litigating similarly high-stakes cases—often involving novel points of law and legal strategies, massive damage claims, and reputational stakes of the highest order. The plaintiff in the Carlsen litigation sued over alleged cheating accusations that Carlsen and others made, even though the plaintiff had admitted to cheating in the past. Craig’s successful motion to dismiss the case, which became the subject of international media attention, characterized the plaintiff’s complaint as being “a series of grievances in search of a legal theory.” As Craig described in a Q&A with The National Law Journal, “[c]alling the court’s attention to the motivations underlying a lawsuit is often an effective strategy.”
The Carlsen litigation is consistent with other complex and closely watched cases Craig has handled. He recently secured an appellate victory for an Am Law 100 firm in a malpractice suit stemming from a multimillion-dollar jury verdict against rapper 50 Cent, and has defended multiple major law firms against malpractice and breach-of-duty claims over the course of his career.
Among other high-profile matters Craig is currently leading, Craig is defending a global pharmaceuticals company in two multidistrict litigations that have also received significant media attention: one involving an alleged conspiracy to inflate generic drug prices, and one involving claims arising from the opioid crisis.
The National Law Journal’s Litigation Trailblazers award honors individuals for their innovative legal strategies and impressive litigation results. Earlier this year, Craig was honored as a Rising Star by the New York Law Journal and was named to Benchmark Litigation’s 40 & Under List. He was also recently recognized as a “Future Star” by Benchmark Litigation.