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Backets Bio

Adam W. Smith

(703) 934-1112


Adam W. Smith is a principal with McCandlish Lillard.  After graduating from the Ohio State University with honors in 1986, and receiving his J.D. degree from Ohio Northern University with high distinction in 1989, Mr. Smith was admitted to practice before the District of Columbia Court of Appeals.  In 1990, he entered private practice in Washington, D.C. representing physicians, hospitals, attorneys, manufacturers, construction contractors, trucking companies, and other clients in the defense of products liability, medical malpractice, legal malpractice, motor vehicle, premises liability, and general tort liability claims.  In 1991, Mr. Smith was admitted to practice in Virginia.  In addition, he is admitted to the Bars of the Supreme Court of Ohio, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and District of Columbia Circuit, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. District Courts of the District of Columbia and the Eastern District of Virginia.

Mr. Smith maintains an active civil litigation and trial practice in the District of Columbia and Virginia, presently concentrated on tort, wrongful death, and bodily injury litigation; and the defense of medical and dental malpractice claims.  He has written and argued several appellate briefs to the Virginia Supreme Court and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, and been the principal attorney on a number of reported state and federal decisions.


  • J.D., with high distinction, Ohio Northern University, 1989
  • B.A., with honors, The Ohio State University, 1986


  • Virginia
  • District of Columbia
  • Ohio
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia

Affiliations & Activities

Professional memberships include the D.C. Defense Lawyers’ Association (Past President, 2012-2013; currently on Board of Directors),  D.C. Bar Association, Virginia Bar Association, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, Virginia Trial Lawyers Association, the Fairfax Bar Association, Litigation Counsel of America, and the Defense Research Institute.

Adam lives in Fairfax, Virginia with his wife and three children. He is the President of the Fair Lakes Rotary Club, and is a member of Business Network International, the Willis Society, and the Knights of Columbus.  Personal interests include aviation and military history.

Publications & Presentations

Adam has lectured on uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage law in Virginia, ethical considerations in the handling of medical negligence claims, and has given Grand Rounds presentations for physicians and hospitals on legal topics.  He is the co-author of “Evaluating Life Care Plans from a Legal Defense Perspective,” in Susan Riddick-Grisham, Pediatric Life Care Planning and Case Management (CRC Press 2004), and “Liability and Damage Issues in Injury Cases Involving Minors,” in the Journal of Civil Litigation, 25:25 (Spring 2013).

Adam serves as the Editor of the D.C. Defense Lawyers Association Caselaw Newsletter, which is issued biannually to members, and summarizes all important civil opinions and orders of the D.C. Superior Court, the D.C. Court of Appeals, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and the United States Court of Appeals for the Distrct of Columbia Circuit.  More information about the DCDLA is available here.

Adam has presented Continuing Legal Education programs on the following topics:

Handling Medical Negligence Claims: Give Ethics Proper Consideration National Business Institute 01-22-08
Evidence: Strategies for Finding, Preserving & Using Evidence to Support Your Case: Ethical Considerations National Business Institute 09-17-08
Virginia Trial Evidence – Ethical Considerations D.C. Defense Lawyers’ Association 10-10-08
Legal Ethics: Solutions to the Most Common Challenges: Identifying & Avoiding Conflicts of Interest National Business Institute 10-20-10
Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Insurance Virginia CLE 08-09-11
Applying the Rules of Evidence: What Every Attorney Needs to Know: Hearsay Objections & Exceptions National Business Institute 09-22-11
Liability & Damage Issues In Injury Cases Involving Minor Plaintiffs D.C. Defense Lawyers’ Association 10-06-12
Dealing with Medicare Set-Asides & Liens in Settlement: Case Examples: Investigation Tips, Resolution Strategies, Common Mistakes & Legal Pointers National Business Institute 07-18-13
Taxation of Costs in the District of Columbia D.C. Defense Lawyers’ Association 10-11-13

Liability & Damages Issues in Injury Cases Involving Minor Plaintiffs (Adam W. Smith & Gary W. Brown, Spring, 2013)

  • Presented Lawyer of the Year Award by the D.C. Defense Lawyers Association on June 19, 2015.