Profile of Steve Smoot

Since graduating from the University of Texas School of Law in 1977, Mr. Smoot has actively practiced in various areas of civil litigation across the State of Texas, but particularly in Houston and Austin. During much of the 1980's, Mr. Smoot was a trial lawyer for the State Bar of Texas in the prosecution of lawyer disciplinary cases all over the State of Texas, ultimately becoming First Assistant General Counsel and Chief Trial Lawyer for the State Bar of Texas. Since leaving the State Bar in 1989, Mr. Smoot has maintained his own law practice in Austin and then in Houston, devoted to civil litigation with particular emphasis on lawyer professional responsibility - legal malpractice, legal ethics, grievance defense. Mr. Smoot has represented clients in legal malpractice actions brought in other states with local attorneys as co-counsel. Below you will find a more complete list of his accomplishments.

Areas of Practice:

    Legal Malpractice
    Legal Ethics
    Grievance Defense
    Business Litigation

Bar Admissions:

    State of Texas
    United States Supreme Court
    United States Court of Appeals 5th Circuit
    United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
    United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
    United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas


    University of Texas School of Law, Juris Doctor 1977

    Washburn University, Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude 1974

Professional Associations:

    American Bar Association
    State Bar of Texas
    Texas Bar Foundation
    Houston Bar Association
    Fort Bend County Bar Association
    Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers

Notable Professional Responsibility Appellate Decisions

Tilzer v. Davis, Bethune & Jones, LLC, 204 P.3d 617 (Kan. 2009, cert. denied U.S. Sup.Ct.) - Represented former client of Kansas City lawyer in suit for damages and fee forfeiture where the Supreme Court of Kansas held that the lawyer and the drug companies being sued in the underlying litigation entered into an improper aggregate settlement of all of the outstanding claims without having made full disclosure to and securing the informed consent of the claimants.

Lederman v. Prudential Life Insurance Company of America, Inc., 385 N.J.Super. 324, 897 A.2d 373 (N.J.Super. 2006, petition denied) - Represented former clients of New York law firm/former employees of Prudential in suit to set aside settlement of employment discrimination claims negotiated by law firm and Prudential, where a New Jersey appellate court held that the claims were not subject to mandatory arbitration and should not be dismissed without providing clients/employees discovery.

Burrow v. Arce, 997 S.W.3d 229 (Tex. 1999), rev’g in part and aff’d in part, Arce v. Burrow, 956 S.W.2d 239 (Tex.App.- Houston 1997) - Represented 46 former clients of five prominent plaintiffs lawyers, where the Supreme Court of Texas held that former clients could pursue a cause of action for fee forfeiture for breach of fiduciary duty even in the absence of actual harm to the clients.

O’Quinn v. State Bar of Texas, 763 S.W.2d 397 (Tex. 1988) - Represented State Bar in a lawyer disciplinary case, where the Supreme Court of Texas sustained constitutionality of disciplinary rule proscribing case running against attack that the disciplinary rule allegedly violated the First Amendment.