Craig Cleland defends employers in litigation—including class and collective actions—and counsels them in risk management and compliance. He is the former Chair and Co-Chair of the Firm’s Class Action Practice Group. He is also an Adjunct Professor of Law at Georgia State University College of Law, where he teaches Complex Litigation.
Craig is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers as well as a Fellow of the Trial Lawyer Honorary Society of the Litigation Counsel of America. He has been recognized as a BTI Client Service All-Star twice—one of a small number of employment lawyers in the U.S. who “combine exceptional legal expertise with practical advice, business savvy and creative, effective solutions.”
In 2014, Craig was selected as Best Lawyers in America 2014 Atlanta Litigation–Labor & Employment “Lawyer of the Year.” He is listed in Best Lawyers in America, Atlanta Super Lawyers (Top 100 Georgia Lawyers), Chambers USA’s Leading Business Lawyers, and Georgia Trend Legal Elite.
In addition to defending employers in litigation, Craig serves as a mediator or as settlement counsel in complex or difficult cases, and he is a graduate of the Harvard Law School Mediation Program. Also, Craig is a contributor to Black’s Law Dictionary, Garner’s Modern American Usage, Lindemann & Grossman’s Employment Discrimination Law, and Kearns’s Fair Labor Standards Act.
During law school, Craig was the Editor-in-Chief of the Law Review and Best Oralist in the McKenzie-McPhail Moot Court Competition. After graduating in 1992, he clerked for U.S. District Court Judge Marvin H. Shoob in Atlanta for two years. He then practiced at Paul Hastings LLP—including one year as Senior Employment Counsel at Georgia-Pacific Corp.—from 1994 to 2002, when he joined Ogletree, where he has practiced since. Before law school, he was a lay chaplain, teacher, and coach at The Lovett School in Atlanta for six years.
Craig has served on several Atlanta nonprofit boards, including as chair. He currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Atlanta Legal Aid Society.