James A. Smith, Jr.
(206) 292-1770
Fax (206) 292-1790
Practice Area

James A. Smith, Jr.

Mr. Smith is a trial lawyer. He also spends a substantial portion of his practice as a neutral, mediating and arbitrating cases.

He was admitted to the bar in 1973 and is authorized to practice in Washington State and before the U.S. District Court for the Western and Eastern Districts of Washington, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth and Fifth Circuits, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. Supreme Court. He has tried or arbitrated numerous complex cases in a wide variety of substantive contexts. He has appeared in many different state and federal courts and has argued cases at all levels of the Washington State and federal court systems, including arguments before the Washington State Court of Appeals, the Washington Supreme Court, various U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and the U.S. Supreme Court. His practice focuses on complex commercial and tort litigation. He frequently acts as a neutral in providing mediation or arbitration services, as well as representing clients in alternative dispute resolution proceedings.

Mr. Smith is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame (BA., cum laude, 1970) and Cornell University (J.D., 1973), where he was Research Editor of the Cornell Law Review in 1972-1973. He is the author of “The Recovery of Economic Loss in Washington Under Article Two of the Uniform Commercial Code,” Washington Commercial Law Deskbook (1982), “Burning the House to Roast the Pig: Unrelated Individuals and Single Family Zoning’s Blood Relation Criterion,” 58 Cornell Law Review 138 (1973), and a number of other articles relating to trial practice and alternative dispute resolution.

Mr. Smith is a mediator and arbitrator for the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington and is a member of the Panel of Arbitrators, American Arbitration Association (Commercial and Large Complex Case Panels). His other professional affiliations include: the King County Bar Foundation, (Trustee, 2009-); the King County Bar Association (ADR Section); the Washington State Bar Association (Trustee, Trial Practice Section, 1983-86; ADR Section; Special District Counsel Panel, 1997-); the Federal Bar Association for the Western District of Washington (Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Task Force, 1995-96; Editor of the ADR Task Force Report, 1996; Chair and Co–Chair of the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee 1995-2001; Vice President 2000-2001; President 2001-2002); the American Bar Association (Litigation Section and Dispute Resolution Section); the Washington State Trial Lawyers Association; the Association of Trial Lawyers of America; the Sports Lawyers Association; and the ADR Roundtable. He is a Fellow of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a Member of the International Society of Barristers and a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Smith was chosen by the U. S. District Court for the Western District of Washington to serve as a lawyer Representative to the Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference (1995-98) and on the Civil Justice Reform Act Advisory Committee (Member, 1999-2002; Chair, 2003-). He also has served as special disciplinary counsel for the Court.

Mr. Smith’s practice emphasizes complex litigation, including business, commercial, environmental, natural resource, securities, employment, contract, construction and tort claims. He has been actively involved in matters involving professional sports. He has been a frequent instructor, author, and speaker in bar association seminars and presentations, principally in the areas of civil litigation and alternative dispute resolution.

Mr. Smith has been consistently chosen by his peers as a “Superlawyer” in the areas of Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution in the 1999-2015 Washington Law and Politics surveys. He also has been rated as one of the top 100 lawyers in the State of Washington in 2004-2015.


Smith & Hennessey, PLLC
316 Occidental Avenue South
Suite 500
Seattle, WA 98104
(206) 292-1770
Fax (206) 292-1790