By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Lawyer and his father, a retired judge, launch firm together
1129LAWYERS 0002
Brian Smith, a lawyer with The Smith Law Practice, and his father J.D. Smith, a retired Georgia Court of Appeals judge, pose for a photo in downtown Gainesville on Friday. J.D. was formerly the Chief Judge of the Superior Courts of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, which then included Dawson, Hall, Lumpkin and White counties. - photo by Erin O. Smith

Like father, like son.

Former Georgia Court of Appeals Chief Judge J.D. Smith has recently gone into practice with his son, Brian R. Smith. Their law firm, The Smith Law Practice, specializes in handling appeals, professional liability matters, business litigation and catastrophic personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Both grew up in Gainesville. Their office is in Atlanta, but J.D. works out of his home in Hall County, where they are currently seeking clients for their new firm.

A father and son litigation team has its advantages, J.D. said.

“It’s been a lot of fun, and I’ve been impressed over and over again with how good of a lawyer my son is,” J.D. said. “I think we communicate well, and it’s been a real joy.”

Added J.D.: “If your son asks you to work with him, it’s an opportunity you just can’t turn down.”

Brian said he is the “primary contact for most of the people who call the firm. (My dad) is able to rely on me for a lot of the legwork, and I rely on him for guidance, because he’s been around so long.”

Both father and son laugh at this.

“Well, there’s no denying it,” J.D. said.

J.D. retired from the Georgia Court of Appeals in 2011 after serving for more than 18 years. He was appointed by then Gov. Zell Miller in 1993.

Before his appellate work, he was Chief Judge of the Superior Courts of the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, which then included Dawson, Hall, Lumpkin and White counties. He was elected to the Superior Court in 1984 and took office on Jan. 1, 1985.

Brian Smith was recently selected as a Georgia Super Lawyers “Rising Star” for 2016. In more than 10 years of civil practice, he has handled a variety of different legal matters on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants as well as appellants, appellees and lawyers facing disciplinary matters before the State Bar of Georgia and the Georgia Supreme Court.

“We’re just getting started and so far much of the business has been out of the Atlanta area, and we’re hoping to have more business here since it’s home,” J.D. said.

For more information, visit www.smithlawatlanta.com.

Friends to Follow social media