D. Todd Smith is a civil appellate lawyer based in Austin, Texas. He launched the predecessor to Smith Haley Nobles in 2006 after practicing for nearly a decade with Fulbright & Jaworski L.L.P. (now Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP). Before joining Fulbright, Todd served a two-year clerkship with Texas Supreme Court Justice Raul A. Gonzalez.
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 in most of the fourteen intermediate Texas appellate courts and has argued multiple cases before the Texas Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.
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. He also testifies as an expert on appellate issues and attorneys’ fees and serves as a mediator in appellate and select trial-court cases.
Todd is president-elect of the 4,000-member Austin Bar Association. Before taking this office, he served as the Association’s secretary and treasurer, completed two terms on its Board of Directors, and chaired the Civil Appellate Law and Solo/Small Firm Sections. He has also served on the State Bar Appellate Section’s governing council and as editor of its flagship publication, The Appellate Advocate.
Todd is a Life Fellow of both the Austin Bar and Texas Bar Foundations and recently completed service on the St. Mary’s Law Alumni Board of Directors. He is a trustee of the Texas Supreme Court Historical Society and sits on the Judicial Committee on Information Technology, which the legislature created to develop standards and guidelines for implementing technology in Texas courts. He was recently appointed to the State Bar’s Standing Committee on Pattern Jury Charges for the Business, Consumer, Insurance, and Employment volume.
Todd is a regular author and speaker on appellate-related topics. He is the creator and publisher of Texas Appellate Law, the first website of its kind to focus on Texas appellate practice, and is certified as a specialist in Civil Appellate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. For several years running, he has been included on Thompson Reuters’ Texas Super Lawyers list, an honor bestowed on no more than five percent of all Texas attorneys. He has also been named as a local litigation star in the last several editions of Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to the Leading Litigation Firms and Attorneys.