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Howard Smith

Howard Smith has been a member of Nemecek & Cole since April 2022.

Howard specializes in professional liability litigation at the trial and appellate levels with an emphasis on the legal malpractice defense and other litigation related conduct. Howard’s published decisions include Cedars Sinai v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1, and Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Superior Court (2000) 79 Cal. App.4th 1400, both of which helped abolish the tort of spoliation of evidence in California.


Practice Areas

  • Professional Liability Defense
  • Business Litigation
  • Product Liability Litigation
  • Personal Injury Litigation
  • Debt Collection Litigation


B.A., SUNY Buffalo, Management and Corporate Finance
J.D., Whittier College School of Law, Los Angeles.


State Bar of California
United States District Court - Central District of California, Northern District of California, Eastern District of California and Southern District of California
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

Personal Background

Away from the law, Howard enjoys running and is an avid fan of old movies and Hollywood history. He is also a dedicated comedy writer and stand-up comedian who has produced and performed in his own one-man show, “The Case Against Happiness.”


“Petition the Court With Prayer?” Los Angeles Lawyer, 2020
“To Defend the Impossible: How to Defend Cases Under California’s Proposition 65” Daily Journal, 2020
“Product liability pitfalls for non-Californian lawyers” Daily Journal, 2016

Notable Cases / Published Decisions

  • Acres Bonus, Inc. v. Marston (9th Cir. 2021) 17 F.4th 901
  • Acres v. Marston (2021) 72 Cal.App.5th 417
  • Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Superior Court (2000) 79 Cal. App.4th 1400
  • Mosier v. Southern Cal. Physicians’ Ins. Exchange (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 1022
  • Cedars Sinai v. Superior Court (1998) 18 Cal.4th 1