David Smith is a partner in the Washington, D.C., office of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP.  He has practiced law for over 30 years. During that time he has represented parties, including those working in the securities industry, in commercial litigation matters, including in major class actions around the country. He also has expertise in representing Tribes and individual Indians in matters involving trust mismanagement, treaty rights and protection of sacred sites. He serves as Class Counsel in the representation of approximately 500,000 Native Americans in Cobell v. Jewell, a class action against the United States arising out of the mismanagement of the individual Indian Trust. This resulted in a $3.4 billion settlement, the largest class action settlement against the federal government. He served as lead counsel in the case of Alabama v. PCI Gaming Authority, 801 F.3d 1278 (11th Cir. 2015), which successfully defended the Poarch Band of Creek Indians from efforts by the state to subject its tribal lands to state authority, and in July 2015, successfully obtained an order enjoining a tax assessor from assessing tribal lands. Poarch Band of Creek Indians v. Hildreth, 2015 WL 4469479 (S.D. Ala. July 22, 2015). He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America® for Commercial Litigation for many years and is AV® rated by Martindale-Hubbell.*

Mr. Smith is also committed to providing pro bono services to those in need. He has represented parents in international child abduction cases, regularly provides services to the Children’s Law Centers in Washington, D.C., and North Carolina by serving as guardian ad litem for children involved in the court system, and represents indigent parties in civil litigation, often at the request of the federal district court. He received the award for "North Carolina Lawyer of the Year" from The Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina for pro bono legal services provided to the community for the years 2001-2004. He also received the Kilpatrick Townsend Managing Partner’s Award for Pro Bono Legal Services for 2004 and 2015.

Mr. Smith has been recognized as a 2015 and 2016 Washington, D.C. “Super Lawyer” in the area of Securities Litigation by Super Lawyers magazine.

*CV, BV, and AV are registered certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedure's standards and policies.

Professional & Community Activities

North Carolina Bar Association, Litigation Section, Member

Maryland Bar Association, Litigation Section, Member

Federal Bar Association, Capitol Hill Chapter, Section on Federal Indian Law, Member

American Bar Association, Section on Litigation Professional Responsibility, Member

Notre Dame Law School, Visiting Professor of the Practice (2013-Present)

Wake Forest University, Adjunct Professor of Law (2007-Present)

Washington and Lee University School of Law, Adjunct Professor of Law (2009-2010)

American Inns of Court, Barrister (1992-1995)

Legal Aid Society of Northwest North Carolina, Inc., Board of Directors (2005-2007)

Children's Law Center, Board of Directors (2006-2010)


  • Wake Forest University School of Law, J.D. (1984)
    cum laude
  • Wake Forest University, B.A. (1981)
    cum laude

Bar Admissions

  • District of Columbia (2011)
  • Maryland (2011)
  • Maine (inactive) (1986)
  • North Carolina (1984)


  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
  • Eastern Band of the Cherokee Tribal Court

Who We Are

Suite 900, 607 14th Street, NW
Washington, DC, 20005-2018
t +1 202.508.5865
f +1 202.585.0052
1001 West Fourth Street
Winston-Salem, NC, 27101-2400
t +1 336.607.7392
f +1 336.734.2611

David C. Smith

Experience Highlights

Represented computer graphics design company against assertion of antitrust violations
Successfully represented a computer graphics design company against a national mainframe computer supplier asserting antitrust violations. more
Lands and assets class action suit for Native Americans
Served as co-counsel for plaintiff class of 500,000 Native Americans against the Department of Interior and Treasury Department arising out of the more
Construction litigation for one of the largest Southeastern general building contractors
Successfully defended one of the oldest and largest general building contractors in the Southeast, in an action brought by a manufacturing company more
Represented investors in embezzlement case
Successfully represented investors in an action against an investment advisor arising out of the embezzlement of funds from annuity accounts more