To Lawrence J. Smith, there’s only one way to do things: the right way. Growing up in a small town in Ohio, where everyone knew everyone else, a handshake was a contract. You always did your best, you treated your neighbor the way you wanted to be treated, and you never, ever went back on your word. “We all have a contract with each other to act reasonably,” he explains, “and when that’s broken, you have to make things right.”
Those principles have guided Lawrence his entire life. They took him into the Air Force, where he could spread his wings (so to speak) and serve his country. He completed his military service here at Nellis AFB and decided Las Vegas—still a small town in 1977—would be his home. He graduated summa cum laude from UNLV, receiving his B.A. in criminal justice. He then went to Baylor School of Law to earn his Juris Doctor with an emphasis in civil litigation.
Lawrence came back home armed with the determination, ethics, and skills to ensure justice for injured clients. He went straight into practice with John Bertoldo and has never left. Every moment of his law career has been spent working as a plaintiffs’ attorney in personal injury and product liability cases. Every day, he wades into battle against insurance companies.
Lawrence is a force of nature in the courtroom, and has been trial counsel in multiple cases that resulted in multimillion-dollar verdicts. He is a fighter, a believer in right over wrong, because, to him, a company that refuses to take responsibility for their actions has broken a contract—and that just won’t fly.
When he takes a break, Lawrence enjoys relaxing on beaches, regaling the children at various Elementary School Career Day events, and spending time with his wife, four children, four grandchildren, and two dogs.
Admitted to Practice
- State of Nevada
- U.S. District Court
- Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- Multi-Million Dollar Advocates Forum
- College of Advocacy, Hastings College of the Law
- Nevada Justice Association
Awards & Accolades
- Sally Loehrer Pro Bono Award, 2004