Joel Smith is a nationally recognized first-chair trial lawyer with more than 40 years of experience dedicated to defending high exposure product liability and mass tort litigation. As lead trial counsel, he has tried to verdict over 20 high-exposure product liability trials across the country. In recent years, he has been a lead counsel in two of the biggest product liability crises to hit the automotive industry, including Toyota's unintended acceleration litigation and Honda's handling of the massive recall of Takata air bags.
Named a Product Liability MVP in 2015 by Law360, Joel has represented manufacturers of automobiles, tires, forklifts and other equipment, as well as pharmaceuticals and consumer products. Joel's experience defending automotive manufacturers in catastrophic injury and wrongful death claims nationwide includes roof crush, air bags, restraints, rollover, crashworthiness, unintended acceleration, and tire defects, among others.
In pharmaceutical litigation, his experience includes lead trial counsel for a major pharmaceutical company in each of the birth defect litigation (MDL) and testosterone replacement therapy litigation. He was given a first-chair role in the defense of PPA litigation and played a leading role in two MDL Daubert hearings. Joel was also selected as trial counsel in hormone therapy cases and cases involving infant cough/cold products.
Joel’s work in these mass torts has taken him beyond the courtroom to interactions with the Department of Justice, Regulations, State Attorney Generals and Congressional committees.
Clients and peers reviewing Joel for Chambers in 2021 stated that Joel Smith is a sought-after trial lawyer who acts as national counsel on several mass torts for major automotive companies. "He is just fantastic on his feet in the courtroom, extremely knowledgeable and knows how to take technical issues and explain them in comprehensive ways" and "a good strategist with a lot of trial experience."