International Society of Primerus Law Firms

Birmingham Attorney
Richard E. Smith

Phone: 800.223.6159


Languages: English

Richard Smith is the former managing partner of the firm. His practice focuses primarily on complex and corporate litigation for the financial services industry, hospitals and other corporate entities. He has tried over 150 jury trials to a verdict in over 30 Alabama counties and all three Alabama federal district courts, winning over 90% of those cases.

In recent years he has arbitrated more than 30 cases before the American Arbitration Association (AAA), the National Association of Security Dealers (NASD), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and other arbitration panels. He has been appointed as an arbitrator, mediator, and receiver in several business litigation disputes. Richard has also been retained in numerous insurance cases to testify as an expert witness in bad faith and coverage disputes.

Richard grew up raising horses and cattle on his family’s farm on Sand Mountain. He married his college sweetheart, Angela, and they have two sons, Elliott and Evan. He is a long-time deacon and Sunday school teacher at Brookwood Baptist Church.


  • Samford University, 1981, B.S. (Pi Kappa Phi Social Fraternity, President; Student Disciplinary Council, Chief Justice; Omicron Delta Kappa; Phi Kappa Phi; Dean’s List)
  • Samford University Cumberland School of Law, 1985, J.D. (Cumberland Law Review, Recent Decisions Editor; Dean’s List)


  • Alabama, 1985
  • United States Court of Federal Claims,
  • United States District Court, Northern District of Alabama
  • United States District Court, Middle District of Alabama
  • United States District Court, Southern District of Alabama

Representative Experience:

  • Successfully defended a national department store in a jury trial where customer sued the store over a mistaken shoplifting allegation. After two day trial, the jury returned a verdict in favor of the department store.
  • Successfully defended a national retailer in a lawsuit alleging an employee dropped two boxes of folding tables on a customer in the store. The trial lasted five days and ended with a jury verdict in favor of the national retailer.
  • Served as lead counsel for the owners of a local business sued for an alleged half-million dollar fraudulent transfer. The trial lasted over a week and resulted in a defendants’ jury verdict, which was later affirmed on appeal by the Alabama Supreme Court, and is the leading case interpreting Alabama’s version of the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act.
  • Served as lead counsel in a landlord-tenant dispute where client was sued for over $500,000 in unpaid rent, repair costs and other fees. Following a week-long jury trial, the jury found in favor of our client on the landlord’s claims and awarded the client over $60,000 on the tenant’s counterclaim, plus all of the client’s legal fees.
  • Served as lead counsel in an airplane crash case defending a fixed base operator in a personal injury and property case. The owners of the plane crashed on their first flight following an annual FAA maintenance inspection, and sued the FBO for negligently/wantonly performing the annual inspection. The week-long jury trial ended in a defense verdict.
  • Defended multiple banks, other lenders and brokerage companies in over 30 arbitration decisions before American Arbitration Association, NASD and FINRA arbitration panels in claims ranging from violations of Truth in Lending Act claims, Fair Debt Collections Practices Act claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act claims, fraud, misrepresentation and other business tort claims.
  • Tried several jury cases on behalf of business plaintiffs with two verdicts over a million dollars and an arbitration award over a million dollars.

Professional and Community Involvement:

  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC): Member
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI): Member
  • Alabama Defense Lawyer’s Association (ADLA): Member
  • American Bar Foundation (ABF): Fellow
  • American Bar Association (ABA): Member
  • Alabama State Bar: Member
  • Birmingham Bar Association: Member

Awards and Recognition:

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating from Martindale-Hubbell*
  • Selected as a Fellow of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, induction during the Mid Year Meeting in July 2014
  • Named to the 2012 Top Attorney list in the area of Civil Litigation byBirmingham Magazine
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2011-2014 in the area of Commercial Litigation
  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America ® 2014 in the areas of Banking & Finance Litigation and Construction Litigation
  • Selected for inclusion in Alabama Super Lawyers® since 2008 in areas including  Business Litigation, Health Care and Construction Litigation
  • Faculty member of the Alabama Defense Lawyers Association Bibb Allen Memorial Trial Academy, 2008-2013

Publications and Presentations:

  • John W Johnson II & Richard Smith, Allen’s Alabama Liability Insurance Handbook (2d ed. 2009).

Areas of Practice:

  • Civil Litigation
  • Class Action & Complex Litigation
  • Construction
  • Creditor & Lender Rights
  • Environmental and Toxic Tort
  • Health Care
  • Professional Liability and Medical Malpractice
  • Securities and Financial Services Litigation

Attorney News & Announcements:

Reported Decisions:

  • Thompson Props. 119AA 370 Ltd. v. Birmingham Hide & Tallow Co., 897 So. 2d 248 (Ala. 2004).
  • Blount Recycling LLC v. City of Cullman, 884 So. 2d 850 (Ala. 2003).
  • Mason v. Acceptance Loan Co., 850 So. 2d 289 (Ala. 2002).
  • Baker v. Letica Corp., 785 So. 2d 1142 (Ala. Civ. App. 2000).
  • Shepherd v. Summit Mgmt. Co., 794 So. 2d 1110 (Ala. Civ. App. 2000).
  • Shepherd v. Summit Mgmt. Co., 726 So. 2d 686 (Ala. Civ. App. 1998).
  • Colonial Props., Inc. v. Vogue Cleaners, Inc., 86 F.3d 210 (11th Cir. 1996).
  • Chrysler Capital Corp. v. Lavender, 934 F.2d 290 (11th Cir. 1991).
  • Johnson v. Niagara Mach. & Tool Works, 555 So. 2d 88 (Ala. 1989).
  • Tropicana Prods. Sales, Inc. v. Phillips Brokerage Co., 874 F.2d 1581 (11th Cir. 1989).
  • Collins Co. v. City of Decatur, 533 So. 2d 1127 (Ala. 1988).

Contact This Firm

Christian & Small LLP

Suite 1800, Financial Center
505 North 20th Street
Birmingham, AL 35203
United States

Law Firm Contact: Michael A. Vercher

Tel: 800.223.6159

Fax: 205.328.7234



Member Since: 2003

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