A. Russell Smith is engaged in a trial practice, with emphasis in the areas of criminal defense in the Florida and Federal Courts and complex family litigation. Mr. Smith graduated from the University of South Florida in 1976, and received his Juris Doctor degree from the Spessard Holland Law Center at the University of Florida in 1979. He began his legal career in the Office of the Public Defender for the Fourth Judicial Circuit of Florida, and has now been representing people in complex family law litigation and defending persons accused of crime in the courts of Florida and in the federal courts for more than twenty-eight years.
Mr. Smith recently completed his term as president of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He has been a member of FACDL since 1988 and has been a Director and Officer since 1996. He has twice received the FACDL President's Award, the highest award given to members of the Association, and is one of only two lawyers ever to win this prestigious award twice.
Mr. Smith is also a charter member of the Florida Family Law Inn of Court, where he has received the designation of Master, the highest classification which can be bestowed. He has been a Florida Supreme Court Certified Family Mediator for almost fifteen years, and during that time, he has helped hundreds of couples and their lawyers find creative solutions to their disputes.
Since 1981, Mr. Smith has served on the Board of Renaissance Behavioral Health Systems, a community-based provider of mental health services to the indigent. He is also a volunteer attorney for the Florida Innocence Initiative and The Innocence Project. He is a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville, and recently retired from the Board of Directors of the Jacksonville Youth Soccer Club.
Mr. Smith has lectured and published on topics including Legal Ethics, The Politics of the Death Penalty, Legislation and the Practice of Law, The Relationship between Lawyers and the Media, Law and Technology, Federal Sentencing, and The Effects of the Criminal Justice System on Families and Children. The Florida Bar has approved his Legal Ethics lecture, Ethical Problems Facing the Small Practice for continuing education credit and he has lectured on the politics of the death penalty at the Center for Policy Alternatives in Washington, D.C. He has appeared as a legal commentator on Court TV and The O'Reilly Factor, and was also a regular guest on The PollCats, a politics and public affairs program which aired on public television for more than ten years.