Craig D. Cannon
E-Discovery, Litigation, Complex Commercial Litigation, Patent Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation, Big Data, Privacy & Cybersecurity
Financial Services, Technology & Software
Craig is a Partner at Kilpatrick Townsend and Team Leader of the award-winning LitSmart® E-Discovery Team. Craig is a seasoned complex commercial litigator and a specialist in the areas of e-discovery, information governance, data privacy, cross-border data transfer and cyber-security. As Discovery Counsel to several of the world’s largest corporations, Craig combines his extensive litigation and e-discovery experience to help clients develop efficient and defensible legal strategies for discovery. Craig has authored dozens of articles and presented at numerous conferences regarding topics ranging from defensibly controlling e-discovery costs to the complexities of managing discovery in the EU.
Craig previously served as Bank of America’s Global Discovery Counsel, where he was responsible for leading several of the world’s largest and most complex e-discovery, data privacy, cross-border data transfer, information governance and cyber-security projects. He also managed a team of litigation attorneys and paralegals that was responsible for handling material litigation matters. Professionally, Craig has been recognized as a North Carolina “Super Lawyer” in the area of e-discovery by Super Lawyers magazine (2014-2020), as one of North Carolina’s “Legal Elite” by Business North Carolina magazine, as a North Carolina “Impact Law Leader” by Business Leader magazine and as one of the Piedmont Triad’s “40 Leaders Under 40” by the Triad Business Journal.
Craig is actively involved in pro bono, bar and community activities and currently serves as a member of Kilpatrick Townsend’s national Pro Bono Committee. He has also previously served in leadership roles within the American Bar Association (Director of the Disaster Legal Services Program and Member of the Presidentially appointed Hurricane Katrina Task Force), the North Carolina Bar Association (Chair of the Young Lawyers Division and Member of the Board of Governors) and the North Carolina State Bar (Member of the Legal Assistance for Military Personnel and Authorized Practice Committees). In recognition of his dedication to pro bono and community service, Craig has been named as a recipient of the American Bar Association’s national Pro Bono Publico and Star of the Year Awards, the North Carolina Bar Association’s Charles F. Blanchard Award and the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s national Distinguished Service Award.
Publications, Articles & Presentations
"Cybersecurity Preparedness, Cyber Risk Management and Data Privacy Considerations," CLE Presentation to Small Legal Department Client Summit, March 2020 (Primland Resort, VA)
"Kilpatrick Townsend Attorneys Named 2020 North Carolina Super Lawyers," KT Insights, February 2020
“The Calm After the Storm: 45 Years of the ABA YLD’s Disaster Legal Services Program,” Touro Law Review: Vol. 35 : No. 3, Article 7, December 2019
"Discovery Practices Are Big Business," Law Practice Today, November 2019
"Kilpatrick Townsend Named Top Law Firm Innovator at 6th Annual Relativity Innovation Awards," KT LitSmart Blog, October 2019
“The Future of US Pretrial Discovery Involving European Union Data after Salt River,” Pretrial Practice & Discovery, American Bar Association, Summer 2019, Vol. 27 No. 4, August 27, 2019
Cybersecurity for the C-Suite, August 2019 (High Point, NC)
Strategies for Addressing US Litigation that Implicates Sensitive Chinese Data, June 2019 (Shenzhen, China)
“E-Discovery Technology: A Primer on What’s Available and How to Effectively Utilize the Same,” CLE Presentation, May 2019 (Winston-Salem, NC)
“Traps of Technology: Ethical Issues Involving Data Preservation, the User of E-Discovery Technology, the Protection of Trade Secrets, and the Use of Preliminary Injunctions,” CLE Presentation, May 2019 (Winston-Salem, NC)
"How a Venture Launched by a Law Firm in Winston-Salem is Driving Growth, Innovation," Triad Business Journal, April 2019
- Emerging Chinese Data Protection and Cyber-Security Trends, March 2019 (Hong Kong, China)
- Building a Comprehensive Cross-Border E-Discovery Readiness Program, March 2019 (Shenzhen, China)
- Managing Cross-Border Data Litigation Matters in APAC Countries, March 2019 (Singapore)
- "Data, Data Everywhere: Craig Cannon and His Team Attempt to Make E-Discovery More Manageable," KT LitSmart Blog citing SuperLawyers.com, January 2019
- "Kilpatrick Townsend Recognized as "Best Innovation: Law Firm or Corporation" Finalist in Relativity Innovation Awards at Relativity Fest," KT LitSmart Blog, October 2018
- Global Data Protection and Cyber-Security Overview and Compliance, September 2018 (Greensboro, NC)
- Global Data Protection and Cyber-Security Updates and Trends, July 2018 (San Francisco)
- Best Practices for US Litigation Involving EU Data, July 2018 (Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton Firmwide Presentation, Winston-Salem)
- 360 Perspective: Law Firm Business Development, June 2018 (Cary, NC)
- US Data Protection and Cyber-Security Updates and Trends, April 2018 (London, UK)
- Managing Multi-District Litigation in Compliance with GDPR, April 2018 (Aberdeen, Scotland)
- "Kilpatrick Townsend's LitSmart® E-Discovery Team Once Again Named as a Finalist for the Relativity Innovation Award for Best Law Firm Solution," KT LitSmart Blog, October 2017
- "Kilpatrick Townsend Opens LitSmart® E-Discovery Review Center and Launches E-Discovery Website," KT LitSmart Blog, October 2017
- 3 Hot Topics in E-Discovery: (1) Managing Discovery in the EU; (2) Fulfilling Your Ethical Obligations in California and Beyond; and (3) Changes to the FRCP and How They Affect Discovery, October 2016 (Charlotte), May 2016 (Raleigh), March 2016 (Denver, Seattle, Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York)
Managing Discovery in the EU, April 2016 (Atlanta)
Tips for Creating Efficiencies and Ensuring Defensibility in E-Discovery, January 2016 (Dallas)
What You Need to Know About E-Discovery for the Novice, January 2016 (Dallas)
International Privacy Concerns and E-Discovery, December 2015 (Denver)
Ethical Issues in E-Discovery and Changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, July 2015 (Los Angeles, San Diego)
How to Effectively Utilize Project Management Tools in E-Discovery, July 2015 (Washington, DC)
Preparing for the Data Privacy Future, June 2015 (Seattle)
Ethical Issues in E-Discovery, May 2015 (San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Washington, DC)
Managing Litigation in the Digital World, February 2014 (Park City)
- Predictive Coding for Investigations & Regulatory Matters, January 2013 (New York)
- Key Ethical Concerns for Lawyers in E-Discovery, January 2013 (New York)
- The Economics of E-Discovery: Defensibly Controlling Costs, December 2012 (Washington, DC)
- Understanding Automated Review-Utilizing Predictive Coding as Part of Your Comprehensive Discovery Process, January 2012 (New York)
- E-Discovery Judges in Charlotte, January 2012 (Charlotte)
- A GC’s Nightmare: A US E-Discovery Request into Europe, January 2012 (New York)
- “Robust Cloud Computing E-Discovery Platform,” Patent Application Number 20130173499 (Patent Pending), January 2012
- Using Cutting Edge Technology to Reduce Discovery Costs Without Getting into Trouble, December 2011 (Houston)
- IP E-Discovery: How Much Money Did You Waste in Your Last Litigation, November 2011 (Charlotte)
- Predictive Coding, October 2011 (Washington, DC)
- Cross-Border E-Discovery: Exploding Issues and Complexities for Corporations Operating Globally, September 2011 (New York)
Professional & Community Activities
- American Bar Association, Disaster Legal Services Program, Former National Director; Special Committee on Disaster Response and Preparedness, Former Member; Hurricane Katrina Task Force, Former Member; Young Lawyers Division, Former District 9 Representative
- Children’s Museum of Winston-Salem, Board of Directors, Member
- Georgetown Advanced e-Discovery Institute, Member
- Leadership Winston-Salem, Graduate
- North Carolina Bar Association, Board of Governors, Former Member; Young Lawyers Division, Former Chair; Strategic Planning Committee, Former Member; Young Lawyer Initiatives Task Force, Former Member; 4All Committee, Former Member; CLE Committee, Former Member
- North Carolina Board of Law Examiners, Character and Fitness Committee, Member of Interview Panel; Bar Examination Drafting Committee, Member of Drafting Panel
- North Carolina State Bar, Authorized Practice Committee, Former Advisory Member; Legal Assistance for Military Personnel Committee, Former Member
- Old Salem, Inc., Board of Trustees, Former Member
- Sedona Conference, Member (Working Groups 1 and 6)
- Triad Academy, Board of Trustees, Former Member
- Wake Forest University School of Business, Mentor for MBA and MA Students
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Kenan-Flagler Business School, M.B.A. (2011); Beta Gamma Sigma; Order of the Old Well; Frank Porter Graham Honor Society
- Stonier National Graduate School of Banking, University of Pennsylvania, Graduate (2011)
- University of Iowa College of Law, J.D. (2000); Recipient, Recent Alumni Award; Selected to conduct oral argument before a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit; Dean Mason Ladd American Inn of Court; Assisted the Maya people of Belize in human rights matters pending before the Organization of American States; Member of team that drafted comprehensive mental health reform statutes for 99 Iowa counties
- University of Iowa, B.A. (1997); Recipient, Distinguished Alumni Award
- North Carolina
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
- Supreme Court of the United States
National Discovery Counsel for multiple firm clients
Currently serves as outside national discovery counsel for various firm clients (including numerous financial service clients). As national discovery counsel, provides strategic advice and guidance on all aspects of e-discovery, including litigation readiness/preparedness, data privacy, cross-border data transfer, technology assisted review, document review processes and procedures, data collection, data processing, data hosting, data production, vendor selection and evaluation, 26f agreements, 30b6 data and discovery related depositions, SARs, privilege screening, information governance strategies, defensible data deletion and data related books and records sections within M&A and divestiture agreements.
Lead discovery counsel involving global retailer’s IP portfolio
Served as lead discovery counsel for a global retailer in U.S. and international intellectual property litigation matters that covered the retailer’s global intellectual property portfolio. As lead discovery counsel, assisted the retailer in identifying, preserving, collecting, processing and producing voluminous electronically stored data sets (including both unstructured and structured data sets) from jurisdictions throughout the world, including the EU, South America, China and India. Provided advice and guidance to the retailer about applicable cross-border data transfer and data privacy standards. In addition, managed multiple domestic and international vendor engagements and data review projects (including data review projects involving EU PII and the use of advanced analytics and the use of predictive coding). Further, worked with the retailer to handle all paper related discovery. Finally, successfully navigated expedited discovery schedules while obtaining favorable concessions and court rulings that significantly narrowed the scope of permissible discovery.
- Lead discovery counsel in multiple DOJ and SEC investigations
Served or currently serving as lead discovery counsel for various Fortune 500 financial institutions, technology companies, specialty materials companies, and multinational conglomerates in complex DOJ and SEC investigation matters related to price fixing, collusion, theft of trade secrets, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations, internal accounting insufficiencies, and insider trading. As lead discovery counsel, provided comprehensive advice and guidance about applicable discovery standards and investigation response strategies. In addition, assisted in identifying, analyzing, reviewing, and producing voluminous data sets to the SEC and DOJ in compliance with applicable standards. Further, actively assisted with depositions, motion practice and oral argument.
- Lead discovery counsel in complex license and royalty dispute
Served as lead discovery counsel for an apparel manufacturer in arbitration and civil actions seeking to terminate a license, collect past royalties and defend claims for wrongful termination of a license. As lead discovery counsel, assisted the client in identifying, preserving, collecting, processing and producing voluminous electronically stored data sets (including unstructured and structured data sets) both domestically and internationally. In addition, provided comprehensive advice and guidance to the client about case strategy and applicable e-discovery, cross-border data transfer and data privacy standards. Further, managed multiple data review projects (including data review projects involving international PII and the use of advanced analytics).
- Lead discovery counsel in Fair Credit Reporting Act class action lawsuit
Served as lead discovery counsel for a national credit reporting agency in a putative Fair Credit Reporting Act class action lawsuit. As lead discovery counsel, led all data mapping and e-discovery efforts related to the identification, preservation, collection, processing and production of ESI from internal and cloud based data sources. In addition, implemented screening strategies designed to ensure that sensitive financial data sets were appropriately reviewed and produced in compliance with all applicable state and federal privacy standards.
- Lead discovery counsel in global insurance coverage lawsuit
Served as lead discovery counsel for a global chemical manufacturer in U.S. and international insurance coverage disputes related to a chemical plant interruption. As lead discovery counsel, assisted the manufacturer in identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, and producing voluminous electronically stored data sets (including both unstructured and structured data sets) from jurisdictions throughout the world, including the U.S., EU, and China. Provided advice and guidance to the manufacturer about applicable cross-border data transfer and data privacy standards. In addition, conducted all factual discovery in the U.S., EU and China.
- Lead discovery counsel in complex environmental enforcement actions
Currently serving as lead discovery counsel for a state environmental agency and its assigned department of justice team in multiple complex enforcement actions involving the largest domestic electric utility. As lead discovery counsel, assisted the agency in identifying, preserving, collecting, processing and producing voluminous electronically stored data sets (including both unstructured and structured data sets). In addition, conducted factual investigations and assisted the agency in complying with all applicable case management and discovery orders.
- Lead discovery counsel in complex design patent infringement matter
Currently serving as lead discovery counsel for a global action camera manufacturer in a complex design patent infringement matter related to a leading action camera. As lead discovery counsel, assisted the manufacturer in identifying, preserving, collecting, processing and producing voluminous electronically stored data sets (including both unstructured and structured data sets) from jurisdictions throughout the world, including the EU. In addition, provided advice and guidance to the manufacturer about applicable cross-border data transfer and data privacy standards. Further, managed and staffed multiple document review projects.
- Lead discovery counsel in complex director and officer bankruptcy litigation matter
Currently serving as lead discovery counsel for a bankruptcy trustee in a complex multi-million dollar director and officer bankruptcy litigation matter involving a failed bank holding company. As lead discovery counsel, provided comprehensive advice and guidance to the client about applicable discovery standards and case strategy. In addition, assisted the client in identifying, analyzing, reviewing and producing voluminous email data sets (including email contained on backup tapes) and structured data sources. Further, actively assisted the client with discovery related motion practice, discovery related oral arguments and factual investigations. Finally, assisted opposing counsel in utilizing predictive coding technology and e-discovery analytics in order to review millions of documents in a time and cost-efficient manner.
- Lead discovery counsel in labor and employment class action
Served as lead discovery counsel for a national franchisor in a complex wage and hour class action matter. As lead discovery counsel, successfully assisted the franchisor in identifying and implementing an innovative technological solution that allowed for the efficient recovery of unstructured data from disaster recovery backup tapes, thereby saving the franchisor significant expense and allowing them to respond to pending discovery requests in a timely manner. Also led all efforts to identify, preserve, collect, process and produce voluminous unstructured and structured electronically stored data sets. In addition, actively assisted the franchisor with discovery related motions (e.g., motions for cost shifting), oral arguments and depositions.
- Lead discovery counsel in preliminary injunction response involving patent infringement claims
Served as lead discovery counsel for a global leader in the design and manufacture of aerospace equipment and systems in responding to an extremely time-sensitive preliminary injunction. Under a deadline to produce documents in 12 days, assisted the client with the on-site identification and collection of electronic data from more than 25 custodians (both structured and unstructured data sets, including archived email) in three states over a period of four days. Processed more than 1.2 TBs of data, representing close to 2 million documents, and prepared for review. Managed the review of approximately 35,000 documents and successfully produced 100 GBs of data representing 27,000 documents by the court-imposed deadline.
- Lead discovery counsel in cyber breach response
Currently serving as lead discovery counsel for a global financial services company in responding to a data breach. As lead discovery counsel, provided comprehensive advice and guidance to the client regarding strategy for compliance with applicable regulations. Over a period of weeks, organized and trained a team of 60 contract attorneys stationed on-site at the firm’s Review Center in Winston-Salem. Completed the review of approximately 1 TB of data representing more than 500,000 documents, including extensive redactions, in 45 days.
- Lead discovery counsel in contract dispute involving multi-million dollar construction project
Currently serving as lead discovery counsel for a global manufacturer involving the design and development of a bio-fuel construction project. As lead discovery counsel, assisted the client in identifying, preserving, collecting, processing, reviewing and producing voluminous electronically stored data sets (including both unstructured and structured data sets). In addition, conducted factual investigations and assisted the client in complying with all applicable discovery standards.
- Lead discovery counsel in Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Investigation
Served as lead discovery counsel for energy pipeline system in a FERC investigation regarding highly complex tariff issues. As lead discovery counsel, provided comprehensive advice and guidance to the client regarding strategy for compliance with applicable regulations and discovery orders. Successfully processed 550 GBs of data representing more than 2.6 million records. With the use of advanced analytics tools, narrowed data set needing review to 42,000 documents, saving the client over $200,000 in review costs. Completed review of approximately 42,000 records and prepared for production in 25 days.
- Lead discovery counsel in dispute involving backup media
In case for one of the world’s largest staffing agencies involving dozens of subsidiaries, advised client regarding potential difficulties associated with restoring backup tapes and developed strategy to minimize efforts and costs. Rather than restore several thousand daily backups in a fishing expedition, worked with client’s internal IT team to restore only the backup tapes that were most likely to contain relevant evidence based on initial review of a test case scenario, saving the clients several hundred thousand dollars in restoration costs alone. Further, organized, trained and supervised 25+ contract attorneys to complete review of more than 500,000 documents at the Firm’s onsite Review Center by the court-imposed deadline.
- Lead discovery counsel in complex antitrust class action
Served as lead discovery counsel for one of the nation's largest health care insurance providers in antitrust class action lawsuit. Assembled and trained 30+ contract reviewers and, over 2 month period, reviewed more than 250,000 documents, many of which contained sensitive personal information, requiring extensive redactions. Review included approximately 50,000 documents subject to complex privilege issues, requiring redactions and the creation of a detailed privilege log containing more than 9,000 documents.