Jeffrey D. Smith Partner
Product Liability Experience
Jeffrey Smith represents clients nationally in the defense of products and warranty liability, admiralty claims and complex litigation matters. His clients include many national and international product manufacturers, with a significant emphasis on the marine industry.
Jeff's work with clients includes manufacturers risk prevention programs involving the integration of design, manufacturing and documentation processes. Those programs are focused on finding ways to promote a manufacturer's place in the market by getting the next generation of products to the market ahead of the competition, while ensuring that the story behind the company and its products is documented and ready to be told.
Jeff also represents corporate and medical practice clients on health care and risk management issues.
Jeff is a member of the Defense Research Institute, the American Boat and Yacht Council and the National Marine Manufacturers Association's Business and Industry Risk Management Council. He has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America® for several years, in the areas of Litigation/Trial Services as well as Product Liability & Warranty Defense. He has an AV Pre-eminent Rating – the highest possible rating - by Martindale-Hubbell, the leading directory of attorneys in U.S. law firms. His writings include Writing Corporate History – Documents and Their Impact, and the Michigan law section of the Defense Research Institute's Punitive Damages – a State-by-State Compendium.
Away from work, much of Jeff's time is spent on water skis or at the helm of his boat. Before going to law school, Jeff worked as a Marine Patrol Sheriff's Deputy. Jeff has been a nationally ranked three-event water ski competitor for more than 25 years, and was a member of the U.S. Veteran Water Ski Team in 1999 and 2001. He serves both nationally and internationally as a water ski official, including appointment as Chief Judge at several world championships and international water ski competitions. He was inducted into the Michigan Water Ski Association Hall of Fame in 2010.
Recognition & Rankings
- Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® since 2010
- Defense Research Institute
- American Boat and Yacht Council
National Marine Manufacturers Association
Business and Industry Risk Management Council
- State Bar of Michigan
- State Bar of Florida
- State Bar of Indiana
- Michigan Supreme Court
- Indiana Supreme Court
- Florida Supreme Court
- United States Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th Circuits
- United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana
- United States District Court for the District of Vermont
- United States District Courts for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Florida
- United States Supreme Court
The John Marshall Law School
J.D., with high distinction, 1980
Michigan State University
East Lansing, Michigan
B.S., Physiology, 1976
Lansing Community College
A.A. Business/Law Enforcement, 1976
Publications & Presentations
- 2013: Telling Your Product's Story - Is it Time for a Document Review?
- 2013: Writing Corporate History - Product Communications and Documents
- 2012: Engineering and the Law - Products and their Stories
- 2012. Social Media for Medical Practices
- 2009: Defense Research Institute, Punitive Damages: A State-By-State Compendium (Michigan)
- 2003: Writing Corporate History - Documents and Their Impact