Education

  • University of Chicago, J.D., 2003, Cornerstone Scholar
  • Georgetown University, BSFS, 1996

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Texas
  • New York
  • Western District of Texas
  • Northern District of Texas
  • Southern District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Austin Women’s Fund, Grants Committee, 2021-2022; Steering Committee, 2022-2023
  • Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMAs Austin), Board Member
  • Travis County Women’s Lawyers, Member and Mentor, 2019 to present
  • Austin Bar Association, Litigation Section Board Member, 2020 to present
  • Hispanic National Bar Association Latina Executive Leadership Program, 2021-2022
  • Texas Minority Counsel Program, Steering Committee Member, 2018-2021
  • Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, Barrister, 2016-2019
  • ATX Kids, Board Member, 2017-2020
  • State Bar of Texas Foundation, Fellow

Awards & Recognitions

  • Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, 2022
  • Austin’s Top Attorneys, Civil Litigation, Austin Monthly Magazine, 2020-2021
  • Diversity and Inclusion Champion, Texas Lawyer, 2022

Publications & Presentations

  • Ethical Considerations for Technology Solutions, CLE presentation to Hispanic National Bar Association, 2020 Annual Conference
  • Taking, Defending and Preparing for Depositions, CLE presentation to Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, November 2020
  • Austin Technology Council: Roundtable – Women in Tech Discussion on Maternal/Parental Leave Policies, May 22, 2018
  • SLAPPED! Understanding Texas’s Anti-SLAPP Lawsuits and Their Implications for Business Litigators, CLE presentation to Business, Corporate & Tax Law Section, March 28, 2018
  • Texas Citizens Participation Act: Current and Future Boundaries of “Anti-SLAPP” in Texas, The Advocate, Fall 2018, Volume 84
  • Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information, Presentation to SIIA FISD General Meeting, December 15, 2017

Clerkship

  • Honorable Jon P. McCalla, Western District of Tennessee

María Amelia Calaf

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512.213.6094  /  mac@wittliffcutter.com  /  vCard  / 

María Amelia Calaf focuses her practice on complex commercial litigation, with an emphasis on resolving non-compete, non-solicitation and trade secret litigation. Her extensive experience as a first chair litigator also includes the representation of corporations across a wide range of industries in disputes concerning business torts, intellectual property matters, and constitutional challenges. She also has substantial experience pursuing and defending requests for emergency injunctive relief in state and federal courts.

Over the course of her career, María Amelia has gained considerable experience in every aspect of commercial litigation and representation. From negotiating settlements to challenging the constitutionality of state laws, María Amelia provides her clients with the clear-eyed guidance they need to make tough decisions.

María Amelia also has significant experience litigating matters against the State of Texas. As a former Manager for Complex Litigation for the Attorney General of Texas, she leverages her knowledge of state government to help clients navigate actions against the State of Texas. She is particularly well-versed in pursuing constitutional challenges to state regulation and defending Texas Public Information Act (PIA) requests.

María Amelia is a strong advocate and partner to her clients. Her clients appreciate her ability to come up with creative strategies, resolve their business issues and provide sound advice in times of crisis. And she isn’t afraid to counsel clients on ways to avoid litigation when appropriate.

In addition to her litigation experience, María Amelia is committed to opening doors for women and minorities. Whether serving on the steering committee for the Austin Women’s Foundation, mentoring minority students interested in a legal career, or organizing events to connect Latina lawyers in Central Texas through the Cafecitos group she helped start, María Amelia is an active advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Trade Secret, Non-compete and Non-solicit Litigation

  • Conclusively defeated request for preliminary injunction, at the trial and appellate levels, on misappropriation of trade secret charges against fast-growing newcomer in the used semiconductor trading industry;
  • Resolved breach of non-compete and non-solicit covenants on behalf of mortgage provider that had sought to enforce restrictive covenants after a group of former employees joined a competitor and solicited former clients using mortgage company’s resources;
  • Successfully negotiated settlement for IT-service provider on trade secret theft charges filed by prior employer, enabling client to fairly compete for clients and market share;
  • Prosecuted breach of non-compete covenants and trade secret misappropriation claims against former employee on behalf of life-science company, after employee with proprietary files in his possession joined a direct competitor mere weeks after termination;
  • Favorably settled breach of non-compete, non-solicitation and trade secret theft claims against former employee who upon termination misappropriated files containing proprietary client information before joining a direct competitor.

Business Disputes and Business Torts

  • Secured dismissal with prejudice, upheld on appeal, of all federal claims including RICO, fraud, and racial discrimination claims for largest privately held Ag-Tech company in the United States;
  • Successfully defeated motions to dismiss filed in Texas’s state courts pursuant to the Texas Citizens Participation Act (Texas’s Anti-SLAPP law), including defending dismissals on appeal;
  • Leveraged procedural rules to successfully settle breach of contract and business torts claims filed against publicly traded wind-power company across several jurisdictions;
  • Confidentially resolved multiple cases involving fraud claims, including lawsuits following the sale of a business;
  • Advised multiple clients on how to manage pre-litigation issues relating to disparaging, false online reviews and unlawful online impersonation issues;
  • Represented privately held corporation in eight-figure arbitration involving violations of state securities laws and business torts.

Litigation against the State of Texas and Public Information Requests

  • Guided clients subject to Public Information Requests Act through responses and objection process to ensure proper protection of proprietary and confidential information, while minimizing the risk of court intervention;
  • Confidentially counseled companies seeking to resolve breach of contract disputes against state agencies through all aspects of a dispute, including advising on administrative proceedings, pre-litigation, and litigation;
  • Litigated actions under Texas Public Information Requests Act to protect proprietary information belonging to companies contracting with government agencies.

Constitutional Challenges

  • Currently seeking to vindicate First Amendment rights of library patrons after a county board selectively banned books discussing race and LGBTQ issues from its collection and eliminated access to online books;
  • Challenged the constitutionality of Texas’s voter-take-all law, which awards a presidential candidate all electoral college vote for the state;
  • Defended the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission in constitutional challenge under the commerce and equal protection clauses to Texas regulatory scheme governing the sale of liquor in retail stores;
  • Represented the State of Texas in a First Amendment challenge to credit card regulations in federal district court, prevailing on a motion to dismiss upheld by the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

Education

  • University of Chicago, J.D., 2003, Cornerstone Scholar
  • Georgetown University, BSFS, 1996

Bar & Court Admissions

  • Texas
  • New York
  • Western District of Texas
  • Northern District of Texas
  • Southern District of Texas
  • Eastern District of Texas
  • Southern District of New York
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Professional Activities

  • Austin Women’s Fund, Grants Committee, 2021-2022; Steering Committee, 2022-2023
  • Mother Attorneys Mentoring Association (MAMAs Austin), Board Member
  • Travis County Women’s Lawyers, Member and Mentor, 2019 to present
  • Austin Bar Association, Litigation Section Board Member, 2020 to present
  • Hispanic National Bar Association Latina Executive Leadership Program, 2021-2022
  • Texas Minority Counsel Program, Steering Committee Member, 2018-2021
  • Lloyd Lochridge Inn of Court, Barrister, 2016-2019
  • ATX Kids, Board Member, 2017-2020
  • State Bar of Texas Foundation, Fellow

Awards & Recognitions

  • Super Lawyers, published by Thomson Reuters, 2022
  • Austin’s Top Attorneys, Civil Litigation, Austin Monthly Magazine, 2020-2021
  • Diversity and Inclusion Champion, Texas Lawyer, 2022

Publications & Presentations

  • Ethical Considerations for Technology Solutions, CLE presentation to Hispanic National Bar Association, 2020 Annual Conference
  • Taking, Defending and Preparing for Depositions, CLE presentation to Travis County Women Lawyers’ Association, November 2020
  • Austin Technology Council: Roundtable – Women in Tech Discussion on Maternal/Parental Leave Policies, May 22, 2018
  • SLAPPED! Understanding Texas’s Anti-SLAPP Lawsuits and Their Implications for Business Litigators, CLE presentation to Business, Corporate & Tax Law Section, March 28, 2018
  • Texas Citizens Participation Act: Current and Future Boundaries of “Anti-SLAPP” in Texas, The Advocate, Fall 2018, Volume 84
  • Protecting Trade Secrets and Confidential Information, Presentation to SIIA FISD General Meeting, December 15, 2017

Clerkship

  • Honorable Jon P. McCalla, Western District of Tennessee