Angela Farag Craddock, a partner at Young Moore, said her knack for seeing the big picture is a significant ingredient in her appellate practice. “I deconstruct arguments that may not have been successful in the past and then reframe them in the context of the bigger picture of the governing law and applicable jurisprudence,” said Craddock. “The big picture matters in appeals because the rulings often impact more than just the parties to the dispute.”
“Being bookish has never let me down. I try to make sure I’m the person who understands every single aspect of the law and its history for the case involved. I dig deep into the weeds and examine all angles before zooming back out and deciding the best way to contextualize our arguments and make our position most compelling in light of the practical consequences, policy implications or other aspects of the ‘broader scheme of things’.”
Within Young Moore, Craddock handles appeals for firm clients including those represented by its sizable trucking industry group. She helps businesses and institutional clients through civil litigation, state administrative litigation, and appeals based on referrals or co-counsel opportunities that originate in a civil court, the Industrial Commission, or other administrative agencies. She is active in the state’s appellate bar and is the current chair of the appellate practice section of the NC Bar Association.
“My appellate practice lends itself to working with other attorneys inside and outside of Young Moore, which is wonderful because I am constantly learning from new people. I really enjoy meeting lawyers from other firms and collaborating with them, whether by partnering at the trial level to position arguments for anticipated appeals or by coming in at the appellate stage.”
Craddock sets the tone for these meetings with a big, sincere smile and an upbeat attitude. “I have found that, for me, bringing levity and positivity makes it easier to work with people. It has certainly helped me diffuse conflicts in the past with opposing counsel.”
Essence of Good Writing
In recent issues of this magazine, former NC Court of Appeals Judges Lucy Inman and Marty Geer said they placed a high value on good legal writing.
“Anything that is easy to write is not pleasant to read. Things that are pleasant to read are not easy to write,” said Craddock. “It requires a lot of distilling to get the issue right down to its essence where it is easiest for the reader to digest (and hopefully adopt) our position.”
Judge Wapner and Prince
Craddock graduated from UNC with a degree in public policy analysis and political science and earned her Juris Doctor from the UNC School of Law with honors.
She grew up watching “The People’s Court” on TV as a kid. “I told everybody in my family that I wanted to be Judge Wapner when I grew up. Nobody in my family was a lawyer, but they said, ‘Well, you’ve got to be a lawyer before you’re a judge,’ so that was always the path. I’m not a TV judge yet, so I guess I’ve just stalled out as a lawyer,” Craddock laughed.
That’s not to say she doesn’t love to perform. She is a magnificent singer. At the last WCBA Bar Awards musical review before COVID, she covered the Guns N’ Roses song “November Rain” as “Eminent Domain” while dressed in full Axl Rose gear (including exact replicas of his actual arm tattoos). “Whether you’re briefing an appeal or performing on stage, every detail counts and adds up to create an impression on your audience.”
Prince was her mother’s favorite, so The Purple One was the “soundtrack of my childhood,” said Craddock. “I use music to manage stress. If you catch me driving and singing at the top of my lungs, I might be getting ready for a rough day, and I’m probably singing a Prince song.”