D. Todd Smith is a civil appellate lawyer based in Austin, Texas. He launched what became the Smith Law Group, P.C. in 2006 after nearly a decade with the international law firm of Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. (now Norton Rose Fulbright). Before joining Fulbright, Todd served a two-year clerkship with Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul A. Gonzalez (ret.).
A Fort Worth native, Todd graduated from Texas Christian University and received a master’s degree in public administration from Texas Tech University. He earned his J.D. cum laude from St. Mary’s University School of Law. While in law school, Todd served as editor-in-chief of the St. Mary’s Law Journal and as an intern to Fifth Circuit Judge Emilio M. Garza.
Todd has a statewide practice representing plaintiffs and defendants in all phases of civil appeals and original proceedings. He has handled cases before most of the fourteen intermediate Texas appellate courts, the Texas Supreme Court, and the United States Courts of Appeals for the Fifth, Seventh, and Tenth Circuits. He is also admitted to the United States Supreme Court bar.
A significant part of Todd’s practice takes place in trial courts, where he advises other lawyers and their clients and often serves as additional counsel of record. When engaged to join a trial team, he assists lead counsel with strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.
A committed bar leader, Todd has chaired the Austin Bar Association’s Civil Appellate Law and Solo/Small Firm Sections and was recently elected to a second term on the Austin Bar Board of Directors. He is a former member of the State Bar Appellate Section’s governing council and a past editor of its flagship publication, The Appellate Advocate. Todd is a fellow of both the Austin Bar and Texas Bar Foundations and sits on the St. Mary’s Law Alumni Board of Directors.
Todd is a regular author and speaker on appellate-related topics and teaches at Solo Practice University, an online resource for law students and lawyers looking to start their own firms. He is the creator and publisher of the Texas Appellate Law Blog, the first website of its kind to focus on Texas appellate practice, and was among the first Texas lawyers to use social media as a business development tool.
Todd is certified as a specialist in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. He was named to Thompson Reuters’ 2013 Super Lawyers list, an honor bestowed on no more than five percent of all Texas attorneys. Since 2011, he has been recognized as a Fifth Circuit litigation star in Benchmark Appellate: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys. The same publication lists Smith Law Group as a recommended Fifth Circuit litigation firm.