J. Craig Smith
J. Craig Smith is an experienced litigator with emphasis on personal injury, product liability, complex litigation and civil rights cases. He has successfully represented plaintiffs in many high profile lawsuits in both federal and state courts across the nation.
Craig specializes in cases involving complex legal questions and the vindication of plaintiffs' rights at both the trial and appellate level. Craig is perhaps best known nationally for appearing on behalf of his cousin in a Georgia case before the United States Supreme Court in 2009. This case, Mohawk Industries, Inc. v. Carpenter, 130 S. Ct. 599, 175 L.Ed. 2d 458 (2009) went into the history books both as Justice Sonia Sotomayor's first written opinion, and also as a substantial victory for civil rights plaintiffs battling large corporate defendants who seek to use the appellate process to delay trial.
Among a number of multimillion dollar settlements and verdicts, other representative matters include an appearance in front of the Connecticut Supreme Court in a case against a trucking company for the wrongful death of a truck mechanic, a substantial verdict against Ford Motor Credit Company involving fraud in South Carolina District Court in 2007, and a $1.7 million verdict against the Town of Darien in Connecticut on behalf of a motorist who was struck by a tree on a town road.
Prior to joining Koskoff, Koskoff & Bieder, Craig worked at law firms in Connecticut and South Carolina where he tried numerous cases to verdict involving issues ranging from personal injury and product liability to antitrust, eminent domain and fraud. He began his career in Charleston, South Carolina where he was first licensed to practice in 1999. Craig hails from Woodstock, Georgia.
Before entering the legal profession, Craig had a successful career in the theater, movies and television, with national appearances on stage and in several motion pictures. His appearances include roles in the movie Queen, the sequel to Roots, with Martin Sheen and Halle Berry; a regional tour of A Streetcar Named Desire; and the television show The Heat of the Night, among others.
Craig is a frequent speaker at legal events and seminars, and has published a number of articles in legal journals and magazines.
Areas of Practice
- Product Liability
- Personal Injury
- Civil Rights
- 100% of Practice Devoted to Litigation
Certified Legal Specialties
- Civil Trial Advocacy, National Board of Trial Advocacy
- South Carolina, 1999
- Connecticut, 2003
- Georgia, 2006
- U.S. District Court District of South Carolina, 1999
- U.S. District Court District of Connecticut, 2004
- U.S. District Court Northern District of Georgia, 2007
- U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit, 2008
- U.S. Supreme Court, 2008
- University of South Carolina School of Law, Columbia, South Carolina
- Honors: Best Oralist (Runner-up), John Marshall National Technology Law Competition, Chicago, IL, University of South Carolina Moot Court Team, 1998
- Honors: Order of the Barristers, University of South Carolina Moot Court Team, 1997-98
- Honors: Captain/Oralist, Wagner Labor Law Competition, New York City, University of South Carolina Labor Law Moot Court Team, 1998
- DePaul University
- Honors: Recipient, Stanley Theater Talent Scholarship, DePaul University, 1992
- Major: Political Science
- Minor: Theater
- Risking Safety for School Spirit, Trial, Connecticut Lawyer, April, 2006
- Risking Safety for School Spirit, Trial, Connecticut Lawyer, November, Volume 18/Number 3, 2007
- Individual Voir Dire in South Carolina, Worth Considering, South Carolina Trial Lawyer Bulletin, Winter, 2007
- Subpoenas in Magistrate Courts: It Is Time to Simplify the Rules, South Carolina Lawyer, November, 2002
Honors and Awards
- Super Lawyers, Rising Stars, 2010 & 2011
- Recipient, Who's Who of America's Law Students, 1998 - 1999
- Recipient, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association Scholarship, 1996 - 1997
- Recipient, South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association Scholarship, 1997 - 1998
- Recipient, Alpha Pi Sigma National Honor Society for Political Science Majors, 1994
- Recipient, National Irene Ryan Award for Outstanding College Actors, 1991
Professional Associations and Memberships
- South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division, Circuit Representative, 2003
- National College of Advocacy, Advocate, 2002