Since joining Mayer Brown in 1998, Craig Canetti has been a member of the firm’s Supreme Court & Appellate practice, working on a variety of appellate matters in both state and federal courts of appeals, and the United States Supreme Court. Craig’s appellate practice has encompassed matters involving, among other issues, federal and state class actions, preemption, the First Amendment, ERISA, and accounting malpractice.

Craig is a magna cum laude graduate of Yale University and a cum laude graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center. While at Georgetown, he served as an associate editor of the Journal of Law and Policy in International Business, and received the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for Appellate Advocacy. After law school, Craig clerked for Judge Michael W. Farrell of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals from 1995 to 1996.  Prior to joining the Firm, Craig worked as an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, D.C.

Spoken Languages

  • English


  • Reilly v. Ernst & Young, LLP, 929 A.2d 1193 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2007) (en banc).  The Superior Court of Pennsylvania vacated a judgment entered against our client, Ernst & Young LLP, for nearly $103 million, on claims of alleged accounting malpractice and fraud arising from Ernst & Young’s services to several corporate debtors during bankruptcy proceedings in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania.  The Superior Court remanded the case, but Mayer Brown successfully moved the federal Bankruptcy Court for a permanent injunction against the retrial, on the ground that the state action would, if the plaintiffs prevailed, nullify the judgment entered in the bankruptcy proceeding.  See Ernst & Young, LLP v. Reilly (In re Earned Capital Corp.), 393 B.R. 362 (Bankr. W.D. Pa. 2008), aff’d, Reilly v. Ernst & Young LLP, No. 08-1349, slip op. (W.D. Pa. May 26, 2009), aff’d, Ernst & Young, LLP v. Reilly (In re Earned Capital Corp.), No. 09-2845, summary order (3d Cir. Nov. 17, 2009).
  • Hirt v. The Equitable Retirement Plan For Employees, Managers And Agents, 533 F.3d 102 (2d Cir. 2008), and 285 F. App’x 802 (2d. Cir. 2008).  The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed the district court’s judgment that the “cash balance” pension plan of Mayer Brown’s client, The Equitable Life Assurance Society of America, does not violate the age discrimination prohibition of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, an issue of first impression in the Circuit.  The court of appeals also held that the plaintiffs’ claims that they received insufficient notice of Equitable’s adoption of the cash balance plan were barred by the applicable statute of limitations.
  • Mitchell v. Residential Funding Company, LLC, No. WD70210 (Mo. Ct. App.).  Mayer Brown currently is representing Residential Funding Company, LLC, and Homecomings Financial, LLC, in an appeal from an adverse class-action judgment finding the defendants liable for various violations of Missouri’s Second Mortgage Loan Act (“MSMLA”) and awarding the plaintiff class $99 million in compensatory and punitive damages, prejudgment interest, and attorneys’ fees.  This case presents issues of first impression concerning the interpretation and application of the MSMLA’s provisions governing closing fees, interest, and damages.  It also raises serious constitutional issues regarding the punitive damages award, which accounted for $92 million of the $99 million judgment.      
  • United States v. Stevens, No. 08-769 (U.S.).  Mayer Brown filed an amicus brief on the merits on behalf of the National Coalition Against Censorship and the College Art Association, in which we argued that the Court should affirm the Third Circuit’s judgment that 18 U.S.C. § 48—which makes it a federal felony for anyone to “knowingly create[], sell[], or possess[] a depiction of animal cruelty with the intention of placing that depiction in interstate or foreign commerce for commercial gain”—is an unconstitutional content-based restriction of speech protected by the First Amendment.

Briefs Authored

United States Supreme Court

  • United States v. Stevens, No. 08-769, Amicus Brief (First Amendment)
  • American National Insurance Co. v. Bratcher, No. 04-27, Amicus Brief (Class Action)
  • United States v. United Foods, Inc., No. 00-276, Amicus Brief (First Amendment)
  • Ford v. United States, No. 99-1501, Petition For A Writ Of Certiorari (Civil Forfeiture)
  • California v. Deep Sea Research, Inc., No. 96-1400, Amicus Brief (Eleventh Amendment)

Federal Courts of Appeals

  • Hirt v. The Equitable Retirement Plan For Employees, Managers And Agents, No. 06-4757-cv (L) (2d. Cir.), Briefs on the Merits (ERISA)
  • Colacicco v. Apotex, Inc., No. 06-3107 (3d. Cir.), Amicus Brief (Preemption)
  • Needleman v. Pfizer, Inc., No. 04-11088 (5th Cir.), Amicus Brief (Preemption)

State Courts

  • Reilly v. Ernst & Young, LLP, Nos. 697, 797 & 917 WDA 2004 (Pa. Super. Ct.), Briefs on the Merits (Accounting Malpractice and Fraud; Punitive Damages)
  • Mitchell v. Residential Funding Co., LLC, No. WD70210 (Mo. Ct. App.), Briefs on the Merits (Assignee Liability under State and Federal Law)


Georgetown University Law Center, JD, cum laude

Dean's ListAssociate Editor, Journal of Law and Policy in International Business; Recipient of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers Award for Appellate Advocacy

Yale University, BA, magna cum laude


  • District of Columbia


  • US Supreme Court
  • US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • US Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • US Court of Federal Claims