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About me

Derek brings more than 15 years of criminal law experience to
the Tacoma
attorney team of Smith and White. His work as a prosecutor, judge, and defense
attorney provide him valuable insight into Washington criminal defense law.

Derek tried hundreds of criminal defense cases, including in
the state Court of Appeals and Washington State Supreme Court, as a prosecutor
with the cities of Seattle and Kent. He’s worked on or negotiated more than
15,000 criminal defense cases ranging from DUI to felony crimes.

Derek served as a vice and narcotics liaison for the Seattle
City Attorney’s Office and received the Seattle Police Department Chief’s Award
for his handling of dozens of civil asset forfeitures. He has also presided
over thousands of cases as a judge pro tem in Federal Way, Pacific and Des Moines.

He graduated with honors from Seattle University School of
Law in 1996.

Derek volunteers his time to local nonprofits including
serving as president of the Tacoma Art Museum Activities Council in 2010 for
the museum’s 75th Anniversary Gala. He is the current vice president of St.
Mark’s Lutheran by the Narrows.

He lives in Tacoma
with his family.


Photos and videos

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Practice areas


  1. Domestic Violence: 30%
    20 years, 2.5 thousand cases
  2. Criminal Defense: 30%
    20 years, 15 thousand cases
  3. DUI & DWI: 25%
    20 years, 2 thousand cases
  4. Violent Crime: 15%
    20 years, 150 cases



Fixed (always), Free consultation (30 minutes)

Payment types:

Cash, Check, Credit card

Attorney endorsements

28 total 

Are you an attorney? Endorse this lawyer

  • Briteney Ann Mercer

    All the attributes that made Derek a strong and effective prosecutor make him a tremendous defense attorney. His experience on both sides gives him a unique perspective that will be a huge advantage to his clients. Derek is a smart, thorough and prepared attorney who is also compassionate advocate for his clients.


    Briteney Mercer DUI and DWI Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

  • Heather Rogers Straub

    Derek Smith is a highly skilled attorney with remarkable expertise in criminal law and DUI cases. I am constantly impressed with his passionate representation and his strong commitment to justice and integrity. I strongly endorse this lawyer.


    Heather Straub Criminal defense Attorney
    Relationship: Opposing Counsel on matter

Contact info

The Law Offices of Smith and White, PLLC

1019 Pacific Avenue
Suite 701
Tacoma, WA, 98402


NDAuthorized to practice law201212/09/2013
We have not found any instances of professional misconduct for this lawyer.
Avvo contributions
Legal answers
Award nameGrantorDate granted
Chief of Police AwardSeattle Police Department2008
Merit AwardSeattle City Attorney's Office2008
Graduated Cum LaudeSeattle University School of Law1996
Licensed to PracticeUS Federal Court Western District of Washington1996
Work experience
TitleCompany nameDuration
PartnerLaw Office of Smith and White, PLLC2011 - Present
Judge Pro TemDes Moines Municipal Court2010 - Present
Judge Pro TemPacific Municipal Court2010 - Present
Judge Pro TemFederal Way Municipal Court2010 - Present
Assistant City AttorneySeattle City Attorney’s Office2002 - 2010
Senior ProsecutorCity Of Kent Prosecutor's Office2000 - 2002
Domestic Violence ProsecutorCity Of Kent Attorney's Office2000 - 2000
ProsecutorCity Of Kent Attorney's Office1996 - 2000
Rule 9 Legal InternCity Of Kent Attorney's Office1995 - 1996
Legal Intern-Institutions ProjectPuget Sound Legal Assistance Fdn1994 - 1995
Association namePosition nameDuration
Hon. Robert J. Bryan American Inn of CourtAssociate Member2013 - Present
Washington State Bar Association, Character and Fitness BoardMember2012 - Present
Tacoma Pierce County Bar Association, CLE CommitteeMember2012 - Present
Washington Defender AssociationMember2012 - Present
Tacoma Pierce County Bar AssociationMember2011 - Present
St. Marks Lutheran by the Narrows Executive CouncilPresident2011 - Present
Washington State Bar Association, Criminal Law SectionMember2010 - Present
Washington State Bar Association, Court Rules and Procedures CommitteeMember2010 - 2012
Tacoma Art Museum Activites CouncilPresident2009 - 2010
Tacoma Art MuseumVice President2008 - 2009
Tacoma Art Museum Activites CouncilChair-Procurement Committee2007 - 2008
Legal cases
Case nameOutcome
State v. J. DoeReckless Driving Deferred Sentence
State v. J. DoeCase dismissed
Tacoma v. J. DoeDismissed
See all legal cases 
School nameMajorDegreeGraduated
Seattle University School of LawLawJD - Juris Doctor1996
University of California - DavisInternational RelationsBA - Bachelor of Arts1991
Speaking engagements
Conference nameTitleDate
Internal CLEFirearms Law2009
West Precinct Advisory CounselVice and Narcotics Effects on the Community2008
South Precinct Advisory CommitteeVice and Drug Effects on Motels2008
East Precinct Advisory CounselDrug Law Offenses and Neighborhood Effects2008
Seattle University School of Law Extern ProgramReal World Criminal Law2007
Seattle University Externship ProgramReal World Criminal Law2006
Seattle University School of Law Externship ProgramReal World Criminal Law2005
Washington State Criminal Justice Institute Officer TrainingReport Writing for Officers2002
Field Sobriety Test Training ProgramReport Writing2001
Spring Conference 2000Ethics in Prosecution2000
Winter Conference 1998Evidnence in Domestic Violence Cases1998