Press Release

Commercial Litigator Richard W. Smith Joins Wiley Rein

October 9, 2012

Wiley Rein announced today that Richard W. Smith has joined the firm as a partner in its Litigation Practice.  His widely diverse practice focuses on trial and appellate litigation, First Amendment defamation, campaign finance and election law, trademark infringement and dram shop litigation.

“We are delighted to welcome Richard to our firm,” said Chairman Richard E. Wiley.  “His impressive experience and solid reputation will deepen our current bench of first-rate litigators.  He will be a great asset to our clients across many different industries.”

Mr. Smith comes to Wiley Rein from the Washington, DC office of McDermott Will & Emery, where he was a capital partner.  His high-profile litigation matters have included participation in the Florida recount in the aftermath of the 2000 presidential election, the constitutional challenge to the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002 and the criminal trial of a Florida man accused of committing first-degree felony murder. Mr. Smith also has represented professional sports leagues in intellectual property and personal injury litigation; major pharmaceutical and biotechnology corporations in products liability litigation; and various clients in securities and antitrust litigation.

In addition, Mr. Smith has been a leader in pro bono efforts, including filing an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Jessica Gonzales in Castle Rock v. Gonzales, the first domestic violence case ever heard by the Court, and the capital murder representation of Kevin Green, a Virginia man who’s trial on the issue of mental retardation was the first of its kind following the Supreme Court’s landmark 2002 decision prohibiting the execution of mentally retarded individuals.

Mr. Smith clerked for Judge Joseph R. Goodwin on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of West Virginia, after which he began his career by joining the litigation department of a Washington, DC law firm.  He received his J.D., summa cum laude, from Washington and Lee University School of Law, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif and was the Development Editor of the Washington and Lee Law Review.  He received his undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University.

Mr. Smith joins a talented group of litigators at Wiley Rein.  For almost three decades, the firm has been effectively advocating its clients’ interests in federal and state courts across the country.  Its bench strength is considerable—more than half of the firm’s 275+ attorneys are seasoned litigators, including seven former clerks to the Supreme Court of the United States; more than 50 former clerks to courts of appeals, district and other courts; several former United States prosecutors; and a number of former general counsels of federal agencies and senior government officials.

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Patricia O'Connell
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