Craig A. Stokes
CRAIG A. STOKES email@example.com is a founding partner of the firm and represents two primary groups of clients:
- Foreign and U.S. based producers, exporters, receivers and distributors of agricultural products and supplies, and
- Financial institutions within Latin America with legal matters within the United States
Mr. Stokes began his career in the 1980’s representing banks and individuals in connection with the collapse of financial institutions in the Oklahoma and Texas in state, federal and bankruptcy courts. He continues to represent financial institutions and individuals, primarily in Latin America, in various matters, including collections on foreign judgments within the United States, representations of clients in civil forfeiture and money laundering matters in state and federal courts. Some examples include:
- Representation of money transmitter entities with respect alleged non-compliance with federal and state money transmitter legislation and regulations.
- Representation of financial institutions on collection on credit facilities through various means in the United States, including intervention in United States based claims held by foreign debtors of Latin American financial institutions.
- Representation of clients in civil forfeiture proceedings with the object of proving legitimate sources of funds
- Representation of Latin American based debtors in claims brought against them within the United States or with exposure within the United States.
Commencing in the 1990’s Mr. Stokes expanded his practice to agricultural trade. The agricultural clients ship fresh and frozen produce, flowers, food products, seeds, wine, and fresh and frozen fish. In addition, he is counsel for agricultural service clients including sellers of corrugated and other packaging materials and consultants in post-harvest technology. He has prepared and reviewed contracts for trade in these products and services, as well as advised clients on import requirements and trade rules for commerce therein. Mr. Stokes also represents agricultural clients before courts, administrative agencies and arbitration forums in matters related to agricultural trade. He frequently practices before the United States Department of Agriculture’s Perishable Agricultural Commodities Act “PACA” branch. He regularly represents clients in the federal courts in actions to enforce their rights under the statutory trust created under PACA. Mr. Stokes has taught numerous seminars and courses regarding trade rules for agricultural products under the sponsorship of foreign governmental agencies, exporter associations and chambers of commerce.
He was named among the group of arbitrators in the Fruit and Vegetable Dispute Resolution Corporation of North America (“DRC”), the tri-national dispute resolution body formed under Section 707 of the North American Free Trade Agreement (“NAFTA”). The DRC not only is an international dispute resolution forum for the fresh produce industry, but also is a pioneer in establishing international trading rules for the fresh produce trade.
Mr. Stokes is a graduate of Drake University from which he received a B.S.B.A. in accounting in 1978. In 1980, Mr. Stokes received a J.D. degree, with honors, from Drake University Law School. He is a member of the bars of Florida, Texas, California, Arizona, Pennsylvania, New York, Missouri, Oklahoma, Iowa, Minnesota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Idaho, North Carolina, Virginia, New Jersey, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, West Virginia, Alaska, Tennessee, Kentucky, Rhode Island and Washington and is admitted to practice before various federal district and appellate courts, including the United States District Courts of Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Colorado, Vermont and Puerto Rico. Mr. Stokes holds the highest peer review rating assigned by Martindale-Hubbell.
Mr. Stokes is fluent in Spanish and Brazilian Portuguese. Mr. Stokes is a partner in the firm.