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Gary Wenkle Smith

Practice areas:

Criminal Defense, Personal Injury, Civil Rights

About Me

I have been a nominated member of the National Trial Lawers Top 100 Trial Lawyers for the years 2014 and 2015.  This is an honor given to few, and for which I am most grateful.  

Please visit my website: and read my "Trial Victories" section.  Read all of my website:


for a video to see what former clients say about me, and how I present myself.

Read my endorsements on this page.  Read all of my posts about my work and writings.  Google me and see the many articles about my many victories.

Read everything I have to say, and verify it. 

I have been an attorney for thirty-five years.  I have focussed primarily upon criminal defense during my career.  These past several years I have handled mostly serious felonies, such as murder, and other allegations of violent crimes.  I also accept personal injury cases with the Law Offices of Michael A. Scafiddi.  On occasion, I will represent persons injured through the intentional misconduct of law enforcement persons--civil rights violations.  

I am a very well trained trial lawyer.  I participate in training regulary each year with nationally renowned trial lawyers from all over the United States through Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer's College.  This will be my 15th year training with TLC.

I have tried at least 100 serious felony cases.  Some of my victories on behalf of my clients have received significant media attention.  I am not afraid to take on the government in the combat of the courtroom.  Through my training and extensive experience, I am almost always able to guide the jury in finding in favor of my clients.

I am not a "high volume" caseload lawyer.  I cannot and will not maintain the pace of work required to handle a big caseload.  Therefore, my clients recieve a good deal of my time and attention.  If they are in custody, I meet with them regularly to prepare for trial.  If they are out of custody, we meet regulary at the office, where we can prepare for trial, often using "mock juries" in order to better prepare for trial.


As is posted here on AVVO, and the State Bar website, I have suffered discipline through the State Bar of California, my licensing agency.  The conduct for which I was disciplined was not related to the practice of law.  That conduct was part of my drug and alcohol related problems, resulting in me entering into recovery through Alcoholics Anonymous and The Other Bar, an organization for judges and lawyers in recovery from drugs and alcohol.  I will celebrate 18 years of sobriety in May, 2015, and I am still clean and sober.



Photos and Videos

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Practice Areas

Licensed since 1979

  1. Criminal Defense: 85%
    36 years, 1 thousand cases
  2. Personal Injury: 10%
    7 years, 15 cases
  3. Civil Rights: 5%
    18 years, 20 cases



Fixed (Always), Retainer (Always)

Payment Types:

Cash, Check, Credit Card

Attorney Endorsements

23 total 

  • James Otto Heiting

    I endorse this lawyer. He is a great lawyer and works very hard for his clients..............and he wins a lot.


    James Heiting Personal Injury Attorney
    Relationship: Fellow lawyer in community

  • Jeffrey Scott Bullard

    AVVO doesn't have a rating high enough for this attorney. Gary Smith is simply the best trial attorney and one of the best people I have ever met or ever even heard of for that matter. I have seen this attorney work miracles in the courtroom that cannot be explained. The truth of the matter is that these miracles happen because Gary is the most prepared and honest attorney on the planet. He knows his client and his case inside and out. If I or any member of my family needed a criminal defense trial attorney, there is no one I would ever even consider other than Gary Smith. The aforementioned statement is my professional opinion of Gary Smith. My personal opinion of Gary Smith is even higher. His character is of the highest caliber and his honesty is unmatched. I consider him a close friend and mentor. There are few opinions in this world that matter to me and I can count those people on my fingers. Gary Smith is one of those few people. You will not find a better man.


    Jeffrey Bullard DUI & DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Worked together on matter

Contact Info

Gary Wenkle Smith

432 N Arrowhead Ave
San Bernardino, CA, 92401



Professional Misconduct

This lawyer was disciplined by a state licensing authority.

  1. Discipline with actual suspension
    issued in CA, 1996


    This sanction means the attorney lost his or her license to practice law for a period of time. The attorney typically returns to practicing law when the suspension expires.

Avvo Contributions
Legal Answers
Award NameGrantorDate Granted
Client's Choice AwardAvvo2014
Top 100 Trial LawyersNational Trial Lawyers2014
John Lewis King Memorial ScholarshipNumerous scholarship and grants as a law student1978
Editor-in-Chief, Law ReviewUniversity of La Verne College of Law1978

Work Experience
TitleCompany NameDuration
AttorneyGary Wenkle Smith, Attorney at Law1979 - Present

Association NamePosition NameDuration
National Trial LawyersTop 100 Trial Lawyer's2014 - Present
California Attorneys for Criminal JusticeCACJ2010 - Present
East Valley Second ChanceBoard Member2004 - 2008
National Association of Criminal Defense AttorneysGraduate2001 - Present
Federal Bar Association (California chapter)FBA Inland Empire2000 - Present
Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers CollegeStudent past fourteen years2000 - Present
California Public Defenders AssociationPrivate Counsel Member2000 - Present
Alumni at Trial Lawyer's CollegeGraduate/Ranch Club Member2000 - Present
National Association of Criminal Defense LawyersNACDL2000 - Present
Cedar House Life Change CenterBoard Member; Immediate Past President1999 - Present
The Other BarPast Board Member; current member1999 - Present
Supreme Court of the United States BarAttorney Member1985 - Present
State Bar of CaliforniaAttorney1979 - Present
Legal Aid Society of San BernardinoVolunteer Lawyer1979 - Present
San Bernardino County Bar AssociationAttorney Member1979 - Present

Legal Cases
Case NameOutcome
People v. Dennis FlechtnerNot Guilty all counts
Please visit my website for "Trial Victories"N/A
Triple HomicideNot Guilty all counts.

See all Legal Cases 

Publication NameTitleDate
The WarriorUp for the Count2007
The WarriorThe Big Picture2007
The WarriorA Sound in the Sky2006
The Warrior. Quarterly Journal of Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyer's College9/11 Commission v. 19 Named Muslims: A Trial in Absentia2005
The WarriorJust How Proud Are You Now?2004
The WarriorThis Side of Too Late2003
The WarriorSeriously Out of Balance2003
The WarriorCivil Liberties and Civility2002

School NameMajorDegreeGraduated
National Criminal Defense CollegeTrial WorkN/A2002
Trial Lawyer's CollegeTrial workN/A2000
University of La Verne College of LawN/AlawN/A
California State UnivN/AundergraduateN/A

Speaking Engagements
Conference NameTitleDate
VariousDrug and Alcohol Addiction in the Legal Community2012