DALLAS (LAWFUEL) – The Dallas Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA), an organization dedicated to the preservation of America’s civil justice system, has named Judge Craig Smith of the 192nd Civil District Court in Dallas as the 2008 “Judge of the Year.” Judge Smith received the award at the organization’s annual meeting on Nov. 22.
“In his two years on the bench, Judge Smith has exemplified fairness, knowledge and belief in the principles of the right to trial by jury,” says Jim L. Flegle, Dallas ABOTA President-Elect and partner in the firm of Loewinsohn Flegle Deary, L.L.P. “His hard work on behalf of the judicial system and the citizens of Dallas County is exemplary.”
Judge Smith was first elected to the 192nd Court in 2006 after more than 25 years of experience as a trial attorney. During his years in private practice, Judge Smith served in leadership roles with the State Bar of Texas and Dallas Bar Association and published numerous articles on trial techniques and practices. He also achieved a rare dual Board Certification in Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Trial Law from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
“I’m honored to receive this award, particularly given the strong performance and work ethic of so many of my judicial colleagues in Dallas County,” says Judge Smith. “I pledge to continue upholding the principles and practices of our legal system and the rights of every individual within that system.”
Earlier this year, Judge Smith received the Hartman Judicial Pro Bono Service Award from the Dallas Bar Association based on his participation and support for the Dallas Volunteer Attorney Program, which allows volunteer attorneys and their clients to resolve uncontested cases in a “night court” setting. He is a member of the Dallas Bar Association’s Community Service Fund Board and also participates in the New Lawyers Orientation where he emphasizes the importance of pro bono services to new attorneys.
Judge Smith also is active in other community activities, currently serving as a board member for AIDS Services of Dallas in addition to providing support for Habitat for Humanity, North Texas Food Bank, Union Gospel Mission and The Family Place.
Founded in 1958, ABOTA and its members are dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the civil jury trial right provided by the Seventh Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Locally the Dallas chapter has more than 170 members while the national membership consists of more than 6,000 attorneys in 94 chapters in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.