William Crawford Appleby IV is an attorney in the Los Angeles office of Wisner Baum. He focuses on complex law and motion matters, in-depth legal research and writing, and case strategy. Utilizing these skills, Crawford helps maximize case value by digging deep into both United States and foreign law to obtain the best outcome for Wisner Baum’s clients. He contributes to cases at both the trial and appellate level by, among other things, drafting briefs, compiling and analyzing legislative history, tracking new or developing areas of law, exploring issues of first impression, evaluating analytical data, and monitoring the latest developments in legal technology. He concentrates his practice on transportation accidents, whistleblower cases, and qui tam claims.
Before joining Wisner Baum, Crawford served for more than two years as a Law Clerk at the Los Angeles Superior Court. There, he acquired a broad range of experience in all aspects of civil litigation while drafting proposed tentative rulings and performing legal research and writing for many superior court judges. Crawford also served as a federal Judicial Extern for the Honorable R. Gary Klausner in the Central District of California during his first summer of law school.
Crawford honed his advocacy skills during law school when he was accepted into the Hobbs District Attorney Clinic where he conducted twenty felony preliminary hearings for the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office. He also represented professional licensing boards in administrative hearings as an extern for the California Department of Justice under former Attorney General Kamala D. Harris.
In addition, Crawford served as a Senior Technical Editor for the Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review. While on law review, he published a comment on United States Supreme Court case Rehberg v. Paulk, which is cited in Witkin Summary of California Law and Federal Grand Jury: A Guide to Law and Practice.
In 2019, Crawford launched legal tech company rulings.law, a free, searchable database of California state court tentative rulings. This access-to-justice focused resource allows litigants to obtain valuable insights into the judge deciding their case by seeing how that judge has ruled in the past, what cases the judge cites, and why that judge rules the way he/she does. State court judges constantly issue tentative rulings in their cases, but they are not compiled in any freely accessible archive. Crawford solved this problem by creating rulings.law. Its purpose is to level the playing field between litigants who can afford to pay to see their trial judge’s prior rulings, and those who cannot.
In his free time, Crawford enjoys spending time with his wife Lauren and their son William, running, skiing, golf, and tennis. He ran the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon to raise money for Make-A-Wish Foundation®.
- Loyola Law School, Los Angeles (Juris Doctor, 2013)
- Completion of Mediation Training, Center for Conflict Resolution, The Loyola Law School, 2012
- Boston University, Boston (Bachelor of Science, 2006)
- California, 2013
- U.S. Dist. Court, Central District of California, 2013
- US District Court, Northern District of Illinois, 2019
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 2019
- Vermont, 2022
Awards and Honors
- American Association for Justice: Leader’s Forum - Champion
- State Bar of California
- Consumer Attorneys Association of Los Angeles
- Scribes - The American Society of Legal Writers
Presentations / Speeches
- Preemption Issues in Aviation Cases, AAJ - American Association for Justice, Aviation Law Section CLE Program, Seattle, WA, July 2022
- “How to Use Prior Tentative Rulings to Save Time and Win More Motions” (plus free search tool for CA tentative rulings on rulings.law), Los Angeles Incubator Consortium (LAIC-Loyola Law School, Southwestern Law School, UCLA School of Law), Webinar, August 2021
- Inside Tips About Drafting Legal Memoranda (plus free search tool for CA tentative rulings on rulings.law), Los Angeles Incubator Consortium (LAIC-Loyola Law School, Southwestern Law School, UCLA School of Law), Webinar – “Write for Judicial Eyes Without Reinventing the Wheel!”, November 2020
- Passenger vs. Passenger Bus Assaults, Advocate Magazine, Journal of Consumer Attorneys Association of Southern California, April 2023
- If a Tree Falls in the Woods, Is There Sovereign Immunity?, Daily Journal, September 27, 2021
- Diamond in the Rough: Reevaluating Delaware as a Potential Forum in Multi-Defendant Tort Cases, American Association for Justice Business Torts section, 2020
- Recent Developments in Personal Jurisdiction for Aviation Cases, ABA TIPS Aviation and Space Law Newsletter: Winter 2020
- Preservation, Discovery, Subpoenas and Metadata: Court Rules, Case Law and Recent Developments, “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email and Smartphone Evidence: The Ultimate Guide”, National Business Institute seminar, January 2020
- Laying a Foundation: Real-World Scripts/Examples, “Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email and Smartphone Evidence: The Ultimate Guide”, National Business Institute seminar, January 2020
- Pro-Plaintiff Decisions PostDaimler & Bristol-Myers, “Traversing the Minefield: Overcoming Procedural Obstacles in Aviation Cases”, ABA TIPS Aviation Litigation, October, 2019
- Stick Versus Puncture: Etihad Ends Causal Link Requirement between Mental and Bodily Injury in Montreal Convention Cases, American Association for Justice, Aviation Law: Summer 2018
- Using Agency Agreements to Pin Down Foreign Airlines in American Courts, American Association for Justice, Aviation Law: Winter 2018
- Liability of Airlines in Intentional Downing of Aircraft, American Association for Justice 2017 Annual Convention, July, 2017
- Understanding the ‘Sudden Illness’ Defense in California Courts, Daily Journal, December 6, 2016
- Pro-Plaintiff Decisions Post-Daimler, “Tips From Cockpit to Courtroom”, ABA TIPS Aviation and Space Law Committee meeting, November, 2016
- The Marital Privilege – Attorneys need to know the subtleties of marital privilege, a vital evidentiary rule. – California Lawyer, MCLE Evidence, August 26, 2016
- Current Issues of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles and Drones, American Association for Justice 2016 Annual AAJ-PAPERS 44, July, 2016
- Rehberg and the Unintended Consequences of Immunity Uniformity, 46 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 703 (2013)
- Selke v. Germanwings GmbH, 261 F. Supp. 3d 645 (E.D. Va. 2017) (Virginia court had personal jurisdiction over a German airline, involving Germanwings Flight 9525 from Barcelona, Spain to Düsseldorf, Germany, whose pilot committed suicide by crashing the plane into the French Alps and killing all 150 on board, because the airline sold its tickets to passengers that resided in Virginia through its authorized agent, United Airlines)
Notable Media Appearances