As a toxicologist who has served as a consulting and testifying expert in scores of toxic tort and environmental contamination cases, I have worked with more than 100 attorneys. Scott Smith is among the very best of them. He is technically astute – able to grasp sophisticated scientific, medical, and environmental concepts and details, even as he successfully simplifies and explains these to judges and juries alike. He is outstanding in his abilities to both prepare his own technical experts, and to depose and cross-examine opposing sides’ experts. Scott’s depth and breadth of knowledge in science and medicine are remarkable. And, he is a genuinely wonderful person.
Laura C. Green, Ph.D., D.A.B.T.
President & Senior Toxicologist
Green Toxicology LLC
Scott and I worked together representing a former lead pigment manufacturer in a series of cases including public nuisance claims brought by state and local governments, as well as numerous bodily injury claims. The potential exposure in the aggregate was potentially in excess of $100 billion – true “bet the company” litigation. Scott took on the role of developing, coordinating and presenting the scientific evidence and expert witnesses to the juries. I have been involved in numerous exposure cases, environmental cases and similar matters where the scientific and technical evidence is nothing short of mind-numbing to juries and lawyers alike and was presented by, in effect, dumping the evidence in the jury’s lap. Scott takes exactly the opposite approach and puts the information in a simple, understandable format that helps the jury understand the evidence. Most attorneys believe they can or should be able to handle the scientific evidence without assistance; however, in reality, that is best left to attorneys who enjoy the scientific evidence and understand how juries receive and process that information. Scott is one of those few attorneys who does this efficiently and successfully.
Mark L. Carlton
I have worked with Scott for 30 years and have spent more time in trial with Scott than I care to remember. Although I would never admit it to Scott, he is one of the finest lawyers in the country. He has a scientist and engineer's eye for understanding the complexities of a difficult case and the lawyer's ability to synthesize those complexities in a manner that the court and jury can understand and appreciate. He has an outstanding ability to untangle difficult scientific and engineering issues and then turn those issues into clear and persuasive motions and appellate briefs. This same ability enables Scott to work closely with expert witnesses to develop forceful and compelling expert testimony. In short – setting aside something of a warped sense of humor – Scott is simply the best.
Michael T. Nilan
Nilan Johnson Lewis PA
As a jury consultant, I have worked with a wide range of lawyers with varying skill levels. When evaluating the persuasiveness of a good litigator, strong storytelling communication skills, understanding your audience (be it judge or jury) and being relatable are three of the main factors I look for. Fortunately for Scott, I have witnessed him accomplishing all three of these key qualities. He has a keen ability to take complex scientific concepts and translate them into a persuasive jury-friendly story both verbally via his storytelling and visually via his graphics development. Scott is a great science storyteller and will be an asset to your team to consult on your complex cases.
Merrie Jo Pitera, Ph.D.
Overland Park, KS
ABOUT SMITH LEGAL PLLC
So why in the world would someone with 37 years’ experience as a civil trial lawyer, litigating complex cases across the country, start up a freelance practice offering other lawyers sophisticated, high-quality litigation assistance on a project basis? Here are a few reasons why.
First, I’m a science junkie. Since my undergrad days in chemical engineering, I’ve loved learning complex issues of science, medicine and technology – everything from complicated neuropharmacology, cardiology, orthopedics and other health sciences to contaminant hydrogeology and air modeling, automated control and supervisory systems, carcinogen risk assessment, high-voltage electrical protection systems, and many others. I enjoy finding and working with leading experts in their fields. And I’m especially keen on translating complicated science into verbal and visual constructs that help laypersons (not to mention other lawyers) “get it.”
Second, I’m an avid litigation strategist and courtroom advocate. Having handled complicated mass tort, product liability, environmental, commercial and trade secret cases across the country, I’m adept at developing winning case concepts and themes, often with the help of empirical jury research, and at crafting effective litigation strategies to maximize the odds of a successful outcome. Along the way, I’ve won praise from attorneys, judges and clients as a savvy trial lawyer, a thorough researcher and a persuasive writer and oral advocate. And being fiercely competitive has never been one of my shortcomings.
Third, as the business of litigation continues to evolve, I firmly believe that project-based litigation expertise is increasingly essential to lawyers and clients alike. As an independent contractor, I’m able to deliver big-firm, senior partner-level excellence in the areas identified above – when it’s needed – at a much lower cost. And when my skills aren’t needed, I’m not on counsel’s or the client’s payroll.
Hence, Smith Legal PLLC. I get to focus on things I’m passionate about – understanding and presenting complex science, developing winning case themes and litigation strategies, and offering high-caliber, persuasive oral and written advocacy – on a value-added basis without the high cost that usually accompanies expertise and experience like mine. To me, that’s a winning proposition, and I’m eager for the opportunity to prove it.