Mike Smith

J. Michael Smith

  • 903.223.5656
  • (903) 223-5652

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Professional Experience

While attending Baylor School of Law, Mike took a leave of absence to serve in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict. After returning and completing law school, he began his career in 1972 as a prosecutor in the office of legendary Dallas County District Attorney, Henry Wade.  Mike later served as the Criminal District Attorney of Upshur County, Texas.  Now, with over 40 years of trial experience, he has been involved in civil litigation throughout Texas as well as Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and California. Mike's practice has focused on litigation in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas in the Texarkana, Marshall, Tyler and Beaumont Divisions, as well as the Western District of Arkansas.  His extensive trial experience in the state and federal courts of east Texas gives Mike a special knowledge of the practices unique to these courts.  

Mike has provided legal counsel to both plaintiffs and defendants in hundreds of cases during his career.  Such cases have included those presenting interesting factual underpinnings and pivotal legal issues such as - wrongful death (Air Canada Air Fire Disaster / 18 wheeler crash / oil field fire / nursing home negligence / confined space exposure to nitrogen / hydrogen sulfide exposure); loss of an eye (Piper Aircraft crash, defective seatbelts); severe electrical burn (defective high voltage switch); loss of dairy cattle (negligent delivery of chicken feed); loss of portion of hand (defective forklift design); brain injury (exposure to toxic solvent / 18 wheeler rear-end collision in construction zone); lung injury (welding rod fumes / asbestos); violation of first amendment rights (termination of teacher because of speech); wrongful termination and slander (accusation of theft); will contest (challenge of a common law marriage); and trust litigation (challenges to legal capacity).  His involvement in the landmark case of Burk Royalty Co. vs Walls, 616 SW2d 911 (Tex. 1981), redefined gross negligence in the state of Texas.  

Due to Mike's leadership, skill and high ethical standards he has been bestowed an AV Preeminent® rating by Martindale-Hubbell®.  This peer review rating is an objective indicator of a lawyer's high ethical standards and professional ability.  The rating is generated from evaluations of lawyers by other members of the bar and the judiciary, and it stands as a testament to the fact Mike's peers rank him at the highest level of professional excellence.  His extensive trial experience has also led to Mike's induction into the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA),  an invitation only organization for trial attorneys.  ABOTA membership is reserved for those who meet the stringent qualifications for membership and possess high personal character and honorable reputation.


Law School:
Baylor University, J.D.

Texas A & M University, B.A.


  • State Bar of Texas
  • Northeast Texas Bar Association
  • Texarkana Bar Association
  • Fifth Circuit Bar Association
  • American Bar Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow


  • Texas, 1972
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern and Western District of Arkansas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • AV Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA)
  • President of the Northeast Texas Bar Association, 1986
  • U.S. Army (1st Lt.)
  • Assistant District Attorney, Dallas County, 1973-1974
  • District Attorney, Upshur County, 1976