Paul M. Smith is a partner in the Firm's Litigation Department. He is a member of the Firm's Policy Committee. He is Chair of the Appellate and Supreme Court Practice and a Co-Chair of the Creative Content, Media and First Amendment, and Election Law and Redistricting Practices. Mr. Smith is AV Peer Review Rated, Martindale-Hubbell's highest peer recognition for ethical standards and legal ability.
Mr. Smith has had an active Supreme Court practice for two decades, including oral arguments in thirteen Supreme Court cases. These arguments have included Crawford v. Marion County Election Board (2008), the Indiana Voter ID case; LULAC v. Perry (2006), and Vieth v. Jubelirer (2003), two congressional redistricting cases; Lawrence v. Texas (2003), involving the constitutionality of the Texas sodomy statute; United States v. American Library Ass'n (2003), involving a First Amendment challenge to the Children's Internet Protection Act and Mathias v. WorldCom (2001), dealing with the Eleventh Amendment immunity of state commissions. His first argument was in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett in 1986. Mr. Smith also worked extensively on several other First Amendment cases in the Supreme Court, involving issues ranging from commercial speech to defamation to "adult" speech on the Internet.
Mr. Smith also represents various clients in trial and appellate cases involving commercial and telecommunications issues, the First Amendment, intellectual property, antitrust, and redistricting and voting rights, among other areas. His recent trial work has included several cases involving congressional redistricting as well as challenges to state video game restrictions under the First Amendment.
Mr. Smith graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Amherst College in 1976 and received a J.D. from Yale Law School in 1979, where he served as Editor-in-Chief of the Yale Law Journal. The following year, Mr. Smith was a law clerk to Judge James L. Oakes of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. From 1980-81, Mr. Smith was a law clerk to Supreme Court Justice Lewis F. Powell, Jr.
Mr. Smith was a member of the Board of Governors of the District of Columbia Bar from 2002-2008. He is a former board member and former Chair of the National Board of Directors of The American Constitution Society, Co-Chair of the Board of Directors of Lambda Legal and a member of the Board of Directors of the Washington Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs.
Since 2003, Chambers USA has named him one of the country's leading lawyers in the areas of Appellate Litigation and Media & Entertainment Law. In 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Chambers USA also named him one of the country's leading lawyers in the area of First Amendment Litigation. Mr. Smith was recognized in the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 Editions of Washington DC Super Lawyers for Appellate Law and as one of the Top 100 Lawyers in DC. In 2010, Mr. Smith was named one of the Top 10 lawyers in Washington, DC by Washington DC Super Lawyers and one of "Washington's Top Lawyers" by Washingtonian magazine. Mr. Smith was also named one of the "Decade's Most Influential Lawyers" by The National Law Journal in 2010. The Firm was also selected as 2010 "Copyright Firm of the Year" by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. In 2010, Mr. Smith was awarded the Thurgood Marshall Award from the American Bar Association Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities.
Mr. Smith is admitted to practice in Maryland, New York and the District of Columbia.
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2010 National Lawyers Convention
November 19, 2010
Religious Liberties Practice Group
April 14, 2010