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María Amelia Calaf
María Amelia Calaf is an accomplished litigator with first-chair experience trying cases and representing clients before federal and state district and appellate courts throughout the country. She has represented Fortune 100 companies, the State of Texas, and individuals in high-stakes, complex commercial litigation matters and arbitrations, as well as internal investigations and inquiries by the U.S. Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission, FINRA, and various State Attorney General’s offices.
Prior to joining Wittliff | Cutter | Austin, María Amelia was the Manager for Complex Litigation in the General Litigation Division of the Office of the Attorney General of Texas, where she led teams representing the State of Texas in high-profile lawsuits defending challenges to state laws and matters involving statewide institutional reforms. She also has extensive experience in private practice counseling individual and corporate clients in a wide range of industries, including pharmaceutical companies, electronics manufacturers, investment banks, hedge funds, and educational institutions in all aspects of the dispute resolution process, including pre-litigation assessment, mediation, arbitration, trial, and appeal.
María Amelia began her legal career as a law clerk to the Honorable Jon P. McCalla, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee. After that, she practiced commercial litigation and white collar criminal defense in the New York City offices of the national law firms of Boies Schiller Flexner and Goodwin Procter.
Clients often turn to María Amelia for her unique ability to develop a big-picture strategy and convey complex facts in a simple, straightforward fashion.
- Acted as lead trial counsel for the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in federal trial in the Western District of Texas regarding constitutional challenges by major retailers to Texas laws governing the liquor industry.
- Successfully defended the State of Texas in a First Amendment challenge to credit card regulations in federal district court.
- Defended and settled multimillion-dollar claims against the Texas State Comptroller involving challenges to tax assessments from a wide range of businesses involved in the food industry, telecommunications, aeronautics, and real estate.
- Represented individual hedge fund manager in connection with one of the first SEC investigation into high-frequency trading practices.
- Counseled international investment bank in connection with various FINRA inquiries regarding trading practices and compliance requirements.
- Defended global electronics firm against theft of trade secret, breach of contract, and tortious interference claims in New Jersey courts and before an international tribunal.
- Represented international financial institution in arbitration regarding breach of contract claim, resulting in favorable settlement.
- Represented senior executive in civil securities cases and assisted in achieving dismissal of claims in federal court, upheld by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
Admissions and Professional Qualifications
- Texas (2012)
- New York (2005; active)
- U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, and Fifth Circuits
- Western, Eastern, Southern, and Northern Districts of Texas
- Southern District of New York
- University of Chicago Law School (J.D., 2003)
- Georgetown University (B.S.F.S. School of Foreign Service, 1996)