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
Here's the part of my practice that, at least on paper, doesn't fit my science-based profile. But it's as important to my professional, personal and spiritual life as anything else I do.
I am, and have been throughout my adult life, a committed and devoted Episcopalian, and I have had the honor of serving the Church in a variety of roles. Within my parish, I've done numerous tours of duty as Senior Warden, Warden, Vestry member, youth leader, choir member, and several other positions. At the Diocesan level, I spent several years as a member of the Standing Committee of the Episcopal Church in Minnesota, where among other things I gained a thorough grounding in the canonical underpinnings of the Church -- as evidenced by my copies of the 2012, 2015 and 2018 Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church of the United States, all lovingly dog-eared and highlighted virtually beyond recognition. The number of experienced trial lawyers in the United States having a thorough command of the Episcopal Canons is not large, but I am one of them.
With that background and experience in hand, a substantial portion of my current legal practice is devoted to the representation of both Respondents and Complainants in disciplinary proceedings brought under Title IV of the Canons of the Episcopal Church. My experience encompasses virtually all phases of the Title IV process, including Investigations, Conference Panels, pre-hearing and trial proceedings before Hearing Panels, negotiation of Accords, challenges to Administrative Leave and Pastoral Direction, and similar matters, in Minnesota and elsewhere. I have garnered praise from clients, Church Attorneys, Chancellors and others engaged in these matters for my advocacy, professionalism, and dedication to my clients' interests in these cases.
For many participants in the process, a Title IV matter often brings vast uncertainty, confusion, isolation, and emotional upset. Respondents in particular typically find the process unfathomable without legal help. My experience in Title IV disputes enables me to offer clients an early analysis of the merits of their position, a comprehensive strategy toward the successful resolution of the matter and a realistic analysis of the rewards and risks -- personal, professional, emotional and financial -- that accompany every Title IV case. In some cases, the correct approach is one of conciliation and cooperation; in others, aggressive and zealous advocacy is the proper call. Either way -- and I am more than comfortable with both -- it is an honor to serve the interests of my clients, and the Church as an institution, by helping them navigate the shoals of the Title IV process.
Please feel free to contact me personally for more information regarding my Title IV work and/or references.