Mr. Smith began the practice of law in 1980 and has devoted his career to the specialty of insurance law. His work includes consultation and litigation related to the duties of insurers to their insureds and bad faith claims. After eight years as a partner in the firm of Thompson Heller, he became a partner in Farmer Murphy Smith & Alliston in 1996 and founded Farmer Smith & Lane, LLP along with Craig Farmer and David Lane in 2007.
Mr. Smith’s insurance practice includes high-profile cases and legal matters with significant exposure for insurance issues in these areas:
• Civil Rights
• Construction Site Injury
• Wrongful Death
• Construction Defect
• Sexual Assault and Harassment
• Major Automobile Injury
• Life Insurance and Disability
• Insurance Fraud Investigation
• Bad Faith
Mr. Smith has conducted litigation in State and Federal Courts throughout California at the trial and appellate level and has served as counsel of record in significant published appellate opinions concerning insurance law issues. He is frequently retained in an advisory capacity concerning insurance coverage and claims handling and has served as a consultant and expert witness in these fields.
General Civil Litigation
Lawyers at Farmer Smith & Lane, LLP have experience from litigating a wide variety of liability, property and contract disputes involving both commercial/business and individual/personal circumstances of the firm’s clients. The firm provides guidance regarding costs of litigation to assist our clients in planning and decision-making to handle their legal disputes on a budgeted basis. Its principal attorneys have counseled and represented clients in disputes involving construction defect issues, real estate misrepresentation, professional and business commercial contracts, tort claims, bodily injury and property damage involving motor vehicle use, homeowners and renters claims, residential property management and ownership issues including pollution, indoor air quality complaints and landlord-tenant disputes, among others.
Mr. Smith has presented over thirty seminars since 1995 for attorneys and insurance professionals and participated in training for major corporations, on these topics:
• Bad Faith
• Claims Handling
• Fraud Investigation
• Policy Interpretation
• Uninsured Motorist Claims
• Insurance Coverage Analysis
• Insurance Litigation
Mr. Smith has been a featured speaker for California’s Continuing Education of the Bar program and a panelist on the Northern California Association of Defense Counsel. He served on the Continuing Education of the Bar Advisory Panel for Real Estate Law. He has authored periodic reviews of case developments in insurance law since 1984. He is a contributing author of the CEB text "California Property Insurance, Law and Litigation". While attending law school, he was an associate comment editor for the Pacific Law Journal. He is the author of “The California Legislature Steers the Antitrust Cart Right Off the Illinois Brick Road”, generally regarded as incorporating the most obscure pun of any scholarly work on antitrust law.
Mr. Smith is also certified by the California State Department of Insurance as a continuing education provider on the Fair Claims Practices Regulation.
Associations, Training, Background
Mr. Smith has presented over thirty seminars since 1995 for attorneys and insurance professionals and participated in training for major corporations.
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