Colleen Smith, an experienced trial lawyer and Local Chair of the San Diego Litigation & Trial Department, represents emerging and Fortune 500 companies and their officers and directors in high-stakes complex litigation.
Ms. Smith has secured major trial victories for clients facing enterprise-threatening liability, including in the first securities class action to go to trial in over a decade. In that matter, the jury reached a unanimous verdict in the client’s favor on the majority of claims, awarding miniscule damages.
Ms. Smith regularly defends companies and their executives against private plaintiffs claiming disclosure fraud, often achieving early dismissals on motion practice.
Ms. Smith also represents executives and boards of directors facing SEC subpoenas and investigations, as well as board committees in connection with internal investigations. Representing a technology company CEO in one such matter pursued by the SEC, Ms. Smith helped secure a unanimous defense verdict following a three-week jury trial — a Daily Journal Top Defense Verdict of 2014.
Before becoming a lawyer, Ms. Smith served as a US Naval Surface Warfare Officer on the guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73), and was one of the first women to serve in a combatant role. After law school, she served as a law clerk for Judge David R. Thompson of the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and Judge James H. Michael of the US District Court for the Western District of Virginia.
In 2019, Ms. Smith was named one of San Diego’s Most Influential Women by the San Diego Daily Transcript.
In 2017, Ms. Smith was named as a California Lawyer of the Year by the Daily Journal for her pro bono work representing US military veterans.