William B Smith

William B Smith

Partner since 1978
Location:
San Francisco, California
Phone:
415-421-7995
Fax:
415-421-0912
Email:

Bill Smith has represented the catastrophically injured and the families of those wrongfully killed since 1973. For over 40 years, Bill has fought for plaintiffs, the underdogs, against major corporations, public entities and insurance companies. In his career, Bill has served clients all over the State of California, the United States, Canada and Europe.

Bill carefully selects his cases and clients, looking for those matters in which he can make a real difference. He then personally handles all of his cases.

Bill has amassed a stellar reputation among the legal community. He has been included in the national "Best Lawyers in America" for the last 20 years. He was recently named the Best San Francisco Personal Injury Litigator in San Francisco by The Best Lawyers publication. Bill has been selected a Super Lawyer in Northern California by the Super Lawyers publication every year of its existence, often in the Top 100. Lawdragon Magazine named Bill one of the top 500 plaintiff lawyers in the nation.

In addition to the above, Bill is one of a handful of lawyers in California who has been honored by being elected by his peers to be a member of the four primary national trial lawyers associations: The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), The American College of Trial Lawyers, The International Academy of Trial Lawyers, and The International Society of Barristers.

Organizations and Honors:

ABOTA (American Board of Trial Advocates)
-Former Chapter President
-Recipient of the San Francisco Chapter's highest honor: The Don E Bailey Civility Award, 2014
-Current National Board member.
-Chairman of the National ABOTA Civility and Professionalism Committee.
-Creator of current Civility Matters program for the nation.
-Cal-ABOTA President Elect (Cal-ABOTA is made up of all eight California ABOTA chapters).
-Cal-ABOTA Board member.

International Society of Barristers
-Former National Membership Chair.
-Former National Board member.
-Current Foundation Board member.

International Academy of Trial Lawyers
-Current National Board member.
-State Membership Chair: Northern California

American College of Trial Lawyers
-Former Northern California Board member.
-Former Northern California Chair.

Areas of Practice

  • Aviation/Airplane Crash Cases
  • Governmental Tort Liability
  • Insurance Law
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Motor Vehicle Accidents -- Plaintiff
  • Nursing Home
  • Personal Injury -- Plaintiff
  • Products Liability Law
  • Toxic Torts
  • Sports Injuries (e.g.: golf, skiing, biking, dirt biking, boating & team sports)
  • Sexual Molestation and Abuse

Litigation Percentage

  • 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1973
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California, 1973
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1987
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1992

Education

  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • Doctor of Jurisprudence - 1973
    • Honors: Coordinator, National College of Advocacy, 1972
  • Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
    • B.A. cum laude - 1970
    • Honors: Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Eta Sigma
  • University of Nottingham, Nottingham, England - 1969
    • Honors: Junior Year Abroad Program, University Scholar (1968-1969)

Published Works

  • Annual Reviewer, CEB's California Workers Damages Practice (Original Publication to Present)
  • How to Avoid The Downward Spiral of Incivility, prepared for the Northern California ABOTA Civility Program, November 2010.
  • Demonstrating the Invisible Injury: Making an Impact with Video Settlement Documentaries in Traumatic Brain Injury Cases", William B. Smith and Rob and Keiko Feldman, CAOC Forum Magazine, March 2010, presented at the CAOC Beaver Creek Ski Seminar, Beaver Creek, Colorado, Feb.10, 2010
  • Mediation Is Not the Only Way to Successfully Resolve Your Case: How to Recognize and Capitalize on Other Settlement Opportunities, William B. Smith and Doris Cheng, presented at the Advanced Settlement Techniques program for the Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California, March 2010
  • Civility: Setting The Tone For Respect, ABOTA's Voir Dire Magazine, Submitted for publication in 2009
  • The Unlevel Playing Field in Sports Premises Cases: Releases, Waivers & Assumption of Risk, Consumer Attorneys of California, Annual Ski Seminar at Beaver Creek, Colorado, February, 2009
  • The Unlevel Playing Field: Releases, Waivers & Assumption of Risk in Sports Premises Cases, written for the Premises Seminar of the San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, November 2007
  • Advice for Small Firms: The Electronic Trial, Law Technology News, Jan. Vol. 12, No.1, 2005
  • Winning the Close Case & Increasing Your Damages with Technology, The Trial Lawyer - SFTLA, 2004
  • The Electronic Trial, Contra Costa County Bar Association, 2003
  • Issues in a Safety Device Case, California Trial Lawyers Association Forum, April Vol. 2, No. 3, 1981
  • Closing Argument: The Death of a Young Child, SFTLA Seminar, 2001
  • Handling An Auto Case From A to Z, Lorman Education Services Seminar, 2001
  • Deposing the Defense Expert, Including Orthopedists and Neurologists, SFTLA Seminar, 2000
  • Conducting the Binding Arbitration Hearing, CAOC Annual Convention Syllabus, 1999
  • Discovery Designed to Win Your Next Products Liability Case, SFTLA Seminar, 1998
  • How to Win Your Products Case with a Prompt and Through Investigation, CAOC Annual Convention Syllabus, 1998
  • Seeing is Believing: Your Most Persuasive Documentary Evidence May Never Be Admitted Into Evidence, SFTLA Seminar, 1997
  • How to Compel a Deposition in the United Kingdom, CAOC 35th Annual Convention Syllabus, 1996
  • Seven Tips to Successful Mediation: Understanding the Defense Perspective, CAOC 30th Annual Convention Syllabus, 1995
  • Finding and Managing the Winning Expert, CAOC 32nd Annual Convention Syllabus, 1993
  • Coping With Worker's Compensation Issues in Third Party Cases Continuing Education of the Bar, Continuing Education of the Bar, 1984
  • Medical Proof in Personal Injury Litigation, Continuing Education of the Bar, 1983, 1988,1989,1991,1995, November, 1981

Classes/Seminars

  • Faculty: Tort and Trial Practice Section, National Trial Academy (TIPs Program) at the National Judicial College at University of Nevada, Reno. One week intensive trial training for lawyers during March 25-30, 2017
  • Panelist: What They Don't Teach in Law School About How Law Firms Really Work, Bar Association of San Francisco, March 2, 2017
  • Lecture: State of the Art Expert Witness Visuals, Western Trial Lawyers Ski Seminar, Steamboat Springs, Colorado, February 2017
  • Panelist, ABOTA Civility Matters Program, Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, California, August 9, 2016
  • Panelist, ABOTA Civility Matters, Santa Rosa Bar Association, Santa Rosa, California, October 30, 2015
  • Panelist, ABOTA Civlity Matters Program, Chapman University Law School, Orange, California, September 3, 2015
  • Panelist, ABOTA, Civility Matters Program, Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, California, August 13, 2015
  • April 2015, Civility Matters Program, Presenter, Law Firm: Gunderson, Palmer, Nelson, Ashmore LLP, Rapid City, South Dakota, presented at firm retreat at U.S. Grant Hotel, San Diego, California
  • Instructor, Litigation Boot Camp, Bar Association of San Francisco, March 2015
  • Lecturer, Videos: If A Photograph Is Worth a Thousand Words..., Western Trial Lawyers Association, Squaw Valley Ski Seminar, February 28, 2015
  • Lecturer, Videos: If A Photograph Is Worth a Thousands Words . . ., San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Tahoe Ski Seminar, January 30, 2015, Incline Village, Nevada
  • Panelist, ABOTA Civility Matter Program, Chapman University School of Law, September 4, 2014
  • Panelist, ABOTA Civility Matters Program, Whittier Law School, Costa Mesa, August 12, 2014,
  • Lecturer, Taming the Digital Wild West, Western Trial Lawyers Association, Maui Convention, June 11, 2014
  • ABOTA, Civility Matters Presentation, Arizona State Bar, Tucson, Arizona, April 24, 2014
  • New Lawyer Ski Seminar: Lecture: Fall Cases: How to Take The Focus Off the Plaintiff and Win, Consumer Attorneys of California, Incline Village, Nevada, February 1, 2014
  • ABOTA Civility Matters Program, Panelist, Chapman University Law School, Orange, California, January 30, 2014
  • Maui Seminar, Panel: Waivers, Releases and Assumption of Risk in Sporting Injury Cases, Consumer Attorneys of California, December 2, 2013 - December 5, 2013
  • Panelist, ABOTA Civility Matters Program, Pillsbury, Winthop, Shaw and Pittman LLP, San Francisco, California, May 2013
  • ABOTA Civility Matters Program, Panelist, ASCDC Convention, The Biltmore, Los Angeles, California, March 1, 2013
  • ABOTA Civility Matters Program, Panelist, University of California, Irvine School of Law, Irvine, California, April 4, 2013
  • Panelist: The (de) Evolution of the Primary Assumption of Risk Doctrine in California: Nalwa v. Cedar Fair et. al, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Annual Ski Seminar at Incline Village, Nevada., February 1, 2013
  • ABOTA Civility Matters Program: Panelist, FDCC Annual Convention, The Biltmore, Scottsdale, Arizona., March 7, 2012
  • Tahoe Ski Seminar, February 24, 2012: How to Handle Sports Cases: Releases and Primary Assumption of Risk, presentation with Anthony Label, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • ABOTA Civility Matters: Panelist, March 23, 2012, Western States Bar Association Conference, The Mirage, Las Vegas, Nevada.
  • Lecturer, Overcoming Releases and Assumption of Risk: An Updated View, Consumer Attorneys of California, Annual Ski Seminar at Beaver Creek, Colorado, February 8, 2011
  • Panelist and Moderator, Civility Matters put on by ABOTA and JAMS at Murphy, Pearson and Bradley, San Francisco, California, March 23, 2011
  • Lecturer, Strategies for Sports and Recreation Cases, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Roundtable Presentation, March 22, 2011
  • Panelist and Moderator: Advanced Settlement Techniques, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, California, March 2010
  • Presenter: Traumatic Brain Injury: The Invisible Injury, Consumer Attorneys of California, Ski Seminar at Beaver Creek, Colorado, February 2010
  • Civility Matters Panel, Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services, San Francisco, California, January 2010
  • Panelist, ABOTA/JAMS Civility Matters Program, Solano County Bar Association, Fairfield, California, October 28, 2010
  • Panelist and moderator, Use of Graphics and Demonstrative Evidence at Trial, San Francisco Bar Association, Probate Section, San Francisco, California, October 5, 2010
  • Panelist and Moderator, Civility Matters put on by ABOTA and JAMS, at Hanson Bridgett Law Firm, San Francisco, California, December 13, 2010
  • Panelist, Civility Matters - Part 2, Principles of Civility, Integrity and Professionalism, Sonoma County Bar Association, Barristers Club, Santa Rosa, California, October 12, 2010
  • Lecturer, Understanding and Preparing a Frontal Lobe Case for Trial, The California Brain Injury Association Annual Meeting, Silverado Country Club, Napa, California, November 5, 2010
  • Panelist and Moderator, Civility Matters!, 2010 MCLE Spectacular , Contra Costa County Bar Association, November 19, 2010
  • Panelist and Moderator, Civility Matters!, 51st Annual Meeting, Association of Defense Counsel of Northern California and Nevada (ADC), December 10, 2010
  • Panelist and Moderator, Civility Matters, put on by ABOTA and JAMS, at Severson and Werson Law Firm, San Francisco, California, December 15, 2010
  • Lecturer, Proving the Invisible Brain Injury, The Brain Injury Association Annual Meeting, Silverado Country Club, Napa, California, November 20, 2009
  • Lecturer, The Unlevel Playing Field in Sports Premises Cases: Releases, Waivers and Assumption of Risk, Consumer Attorneys of California, Annual Ski Seminar at Beaver Creek Colorado, 2009
  • The Latest Electronic Demonstrative Evidence and How to Present It, University of California, Hastings College of Law, Pretrial Practice Class, September 2009
  • Panelist, Civility Matters: Strike Force Program Panel, Drinker Biddle Law Firm, San Francisco, California, November 18, 2009
  • Speaker and Faculty Member, ABOTA Masters in Demonstrative Evidence Program, San Francisco, California, May 28, 2009
  • Panelist, Ethics: Civility Matters!, (Also simulcast on the web statewide), The State Bar of California, Litigation Section, San Francisco, California, December 5, 2009
  • Lecturer/Moderator, Are Your Jurors Awake? Persuading By Use of 21st Century Trial Technology, American College of Trial Lawyers, September 2008 Annual Meeting, Sheraton Centre, Toronto, Canada, September 27, 2008
  • Lecturer, Courtroom Technology for the 21st Century, American College of Trial Lawyers, 2008 Regional Meeting at the Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay, California, April 5, 2008
  • Lecturer, Civility Matters!, ABOTA, University of California, Hastings College of Law, October 29, 2008
  • Lecturer The Unlevel Playing Field in Sports Premises Cases: Releases, Waivers and Assumption of Risk, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, San Francisco, November 13, 2007
  • The Electronic Trial of a Catastrophically Injured Person (Spinal Cord Injury), Association of Business Trial Lawyers, Palo Alto, California, 2007
  • Cross-examination of the Defendant in a Sexual Discrimination Case, Plaintiffs' Trial Team, American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Program, San Francisco, California, 2007
  • Lecturer, The Electronic Trial in Brain Damage Cases, The Brain Injury Association Annual Meeting, Silverado Country Club, Napa, California, November 16, 2007
  • San Francisco Meeting, Lecturer: The School of Hard Knocks: Lessons Learned During Trial, Association of Defense Counsel (ADC), November 2, 2007
  • Bridgeport Continuing Education, Program: Effective Use of Expert Testimony; Lecturer: "How to Effectively Cross Examine an Expert Witness", San Francisco, Ca., January 20, 2006
  • Lecturer: The Electronic Trial, University of San Francisco Law School, Inns of Court, San Francisco, California, May 2006
  • The Evidence Wheel Seminar, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, Lecturer: Evidentiary Foundations, October 10, 2006
  • The Ultimate Technological Trial, ABOTA, Masters in Trial, 2005
  • Trial Advocacy Training for Public Interest Lawyers at University San Francisco Law School, America College of Trial Lawyers (trainer), 2005
  • Direct Examination of a Neuro-Psychologist, Plaintiffs' Trial Team, American Board of Trial Advocates, Masters in Trial Program, San Francisco, California, 2004
  • How to Use High Tech to Prove Your Case, Winning the Close Case with Technology, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Program, 2004
  • Faculty, Annual Advocacy Skills Workshop, Stanford Law School, 2002 - Present
  • The Best of Closing Arguments Program - Speaker, A Closing Argument for the Death of a Young Child, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2001
  • Lorman Education Services - Speaker, Auto Insurance Law and Accident Litigation, 2001
  • Deposition Program - Speaker, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2000
  • Discovery Program - Speaker, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 1999
  • Taking the Bind Out of Binding Arbitration: Conducting the Arbitration Hearing - Speaker, Consumer Attorneys of California, Annual Convention, 1999
  • How to Win Your Products Case with a Prompt and Thorough Investigation - Speaker, Consumer Atty of California, 33rd Annual Tahoe Convention, 1998
  • Evidence: Be Creative, Be Careful & Always Be in Control - Mediator & Speaker, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 1997
  • War Stories: Lessons Learned the Hard Way, Speaker, Consumer Attorneys of California, 35 Annual Convention, 1996
  • Mock Direct and Cross-Examination of a Warnings Expert, San Francisco Bar Association, 1996
  • Enforcing Depositions in the U.K., Speaker, Consumer Attorneys of California, 31st Annual Convention, 1996
  • Mock Mediation, Speaker, Consumer Attorneys of California, 30th Annual Tahoe Seminar, 1995
  • Avoiding Legal Malpractice, Speaker, Consumer Attorneys of California, 1995
  • Joint and Several Liability, Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1993 - 1994
  • Coping with Liens in Personal Injury Cases, Author, Moderator and Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1993
  • Proposition 51 - Survival Techniques, Panelist, Joint CTLA/SFTLA/ACCTLA MCLE Program, 1993
  • Finding and Managing the Winning Expert, Speaker, California Trial Lawyers Association, 32nd Annual Convention, 1993
  • Arbitration Panelist, State Bar of California, Litigation Section MCLE Program, 1992
  • Anatomy of a Civil Jury Trial, Lecturer, SFTLA, MCLE Program, 1992
  • Handling Medical Malpractice Cases, Lecturer, SFTLA MCLE, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1991
  • Discovery: Depositions, Panelist, SFTLA MCLE, 1991
  • Preparing for Trial - The Last 100 Days, Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1990
  • Worker's Compensation Issues in Third Party Cases, Lecturer, Sonoma County Trial Lawyers Association, 1985 - 1986
  • Assistant Professor of Law, Litigation/Evidence, Litigation Advocacy - Personal Injury, University of California, Hastings College of the Law, 1985 - Present
  • Coping With Worker's Compensation Issues In Third Party Cases, Author, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1984
  • Handling Motor Vehicle Accident Cases, author, moderator, panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1983
  • Assistant Professor of Law, Trial Evidence Course, University of California, Hastings College of Law, 1982 - Present
  • Accident Reconstruction Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1982
  • Medical Proof in Personal Injury Litigation, Author, California Continuing Education of the Bar, 1981
  • Lecturer on Depositions, San Francisco Bar Association, Bridging the Gap Program, 1981
  • Determining Damages in Personal Injury Actions, Panelist
  • Gathering and Proving Medical Evidence in Personal Injury Cases, Author, Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar
  • Anatomy in Personal Injury Actions, Panelist, California Continuing Education of the Bar

Honors and Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America for the last 20 years
  • Best San Francisco Personal Injury Litigator in San Francisco by The Best Lawyers publication
  • Super Lawyer in Northern California by the Super Lawyers publication every year of its existence, often in the Top 100
  • One of the top 500 plaintiffs’ lawyers in the nation, Lawdragon Magazine
  • The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • The American College of Trial Lawyers
  • The International Academy of Trial Lawyers
  • The International Society of Barristers

Past Employment Positions

  • Abramson & Bianco, San Francisco, CA, Trial Attorney (Partner), 1975 - 1982
  • Hoberg, Finger, Brown & Abramson, San Francisco, CA, Trial Attorney, 1973 - 1975

Fraternities/Sororities

  • Sigma Chi
  • Phi Beta Kappa