Larry D. Smith

Attorney Profile

Top Rated Products Liability Attorney in Orlando, FL

Southern Trial Counsel | PLC
 | 205 South Eola Drive, Orlando, FL 32801
Phone: 4074226100
Fax: 407-488-1550
Selected To Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2019
Licensed Since: 1984
Practice Areas:
  • Personal Injury - Products: Defense (30%),
  • Personal Injury - General: Defense (60%),
  • Civil Litigation: Defense (10%)
Attorney Profile

As the founding partner of Southern Trial Counsel | PLC, attorney Larry D. Smith has devoted his practice to civil litigation and serves clients in Orlando, Florida, and the surrounding areas. He received his B.S. in Criminal Justice with Great Honor from the University of North Alabama in 1979, and received the Presidential Award for highest grade point average in the department. He was also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society. Following work with the National Park Service and then as a federal law enforcement officer, he attended the University of Alabama School of Law, where he competed with the National Trial Advocacy Team and interned for U.S. District Judge Robert Propst of the Northern District of Alabama. He obtained his Juris Doctor in May, 1984. He was admitted to the Florida Bar in 1984 and the Alabama Bar in 1985.

For more than 30 years, Larry has focused on providing skilled defense of drug, automobile and medical device manufacturers; primary and excess insurance companies; and high-profile banks and businesses. His casework includes defense of his clients in personal injury, products liability, insurance claims and commercial and complex litigation.

Larry is a member of numerous legal organizations, including The International Association of Defense Counsel, Federation of Defense & Corporate Counsel, Litigation Counsel of America and Defense Research Institute. He has served on both The Florida Bar Code & Rules of Evidence Committee and the Rules of Civil Procedure Committee. He has also served on the Florida Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism since 1999, and has served successive terms as the Chair of the Commissions Diversity Subcommittee. He is a Charter member of The Florida Bar's Equal Opportunities Section and served as its Chair 2010-2011.

Well respected in his field, Mr. Smith has also lectured extensively on products liability, civil litigation and professionalism-related issues at the state and national levels, including seminars sponsored by the American Bar Association, the Defense Research Institute, the Regulatory Affairs Professional Society, the Minority Corporate Counsel Association and the Society of Automotive Engineers. He has achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating of AV-Preeminent,* and has been listed in its Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers since 1999. In 2002, he was recognized as Watermark's Central Florida Co-Person of the Year. Florida Trend magazine ranked him among their "Legal Elite" for three consecutive years, beginning in 2010.

*AV-Preeminent and BV-Distinguished are certification marks of Reed Elsevier Properties Inc., used in accordance with the Martindale-Hubbell certification procedures, standards and policies. Martindale-Hubbell is the facilitator of a peer review rating process. Ratings reflect the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and the judiciary. Martindale-Hubbell ratings fall into two categories – legal ability and general ethical standards.

Practice Areas

Personal Injury - Products: Defense (30%)
Personal Injury - General: Defense (60%)
Civil Litigation: Defense (10%)

Personal Injury - Products (30%): Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, Products Liability

Personal Injury - General (60%): Personal Injury - Defense

Civil Litigation (10%)

Focus Areas

Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, Products Liability, Personal Injury - Defense


Selected to Super Lawyers for 12 yearsbottom-image

Super Lawyers: 2008 - 2019

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About Larry Smith

Admitted: 1984, Florida

Professional Webpage:


  • Watermark's Central Florida Co-Person of the Year, 2002
  • Litigation Counsel of America (Trial Lawyer Honorary Society), Fellow
  • The ABA Section of Litigation’s Diversity Leadership Award for “promoting full and equal participation in the legal profession”, 2013
  • The highest award bestowed by The Florida Bar, the G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award "recognizes the unique human qualities that we all strive to attain but very few achieve.  These include an abiding respect and caring for others, coupled with the ongoing demonstration of actual deeds of legal services with no reward beyond that of the deed itself. Larry Dean Smith is one of those rare individuals who possesses those special qualities and, by this award, he is so honored."  , G. Kirk Haas Humanitarian Award, The Florida Bar, 2016
  • Achieved Martindale-Hubbell's highest rating of AV-Preeminent
  • Florida Trend Magazine’s Legal Elite, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • Top Lawyers in Orlando, Orlando Life, 2013
  • The Florida Bar Henry Latimer Diversity Award; The highest honor for work and commitment to diversity and professionalism.  Awarded annually by the joint and unanimous recommendation of the Equal Opportunities Law Section, Florida Association for Women Lawyers and Virgil Hawkins National Bar Association Florida Chapter, 2013
  • This award, presented by the 25,000+ members of the Young Lawyers Division "recognizes the person and/or entity that demonstrates the highest morality and respect for all persons and diversity, as well as efforts and allegiance to creating diversity and promoting a more diverse workplace.", Young Lawyers Division Diversity Award, The Florida Bar, 2016
  • Martindale-Hubbell's Bar Register of Preeminent Lawyers
  • The American Bar Foundation, Fellow
  • Orlando’s Best Lawyers- 2010, 2011, 2012
  • This national award is given to one individual annually who has "demonstrated dedication and commitment to advocating diversity in the legal profession through activity that has a visible, tangible, or measurable impact on the perception of, attitude toward, respect for, and treatment of other persons.” , Sheryl J. Willert Pioneer Diversity Award, Defense Research Institute, 2015

Special Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Litigation Management Professional, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance hosted at Columbia Law School (inaugural class), 2011

Bar/Professional Activity:

  • Florida Bar, 1984
  • Orange County Bar Association, Member, Diversity Committee, Professionalism Committee
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of Florida
  • The Florida Bar Fourth Annual Symposium on Diversity, Co-Chair
  • The Florida Supreme Court Commission On Professionalism Member, 1999 - present; Chair, Diversity Subcommittee - 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006
  • Faculty and Steering Committee, The Florida Bar Solo & Small Firm Convention, Member - 2006, 2007
  • Defense Research Institute (DRI) Member, Diversity Committee; Member, Drug & Medical Device Committee
  • The Florida Bar, Rules of Civil Procedure - 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2015
  • The Florida Bar, Equal Opportunities in the Profession Committee, Member - 1998, 1999, 2000
  • The George C. Young First Central Florida American Inns of Court, Master Level  
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of Florida
  • The Florida Bar Annual Symposium on Diversity Planning Committee Member, Second, Third, and Fourth Years
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • Central Florida Gay And Lesbian Law Association - A Voluntary Association of The Florida Bar Board of Directors; President, 2009
  • International Association of Defense Counsel (IADC) Member; Diversity Committee; Co-Vice Chair, Diverse Member Involvement
  • American Bar Association; Chair Diversity Subcommittee, Section of Litigation, Ethics and Professionalism Committee
  • The Florida Bar, Special Committee on Diversity and Inclusion - 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013
  • Chair, Orange County Bar Association (Florida) Diversity & Inclusion Commitee, 2014
  • Florida Defense Lawyers Association, Member, Diversity Committee
  • U.S. District Court Middle District of Florida
  • Leadership Orlando, Alumnus
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 11th Circuit
  • The Florida Bar Fifth Annual Symposium on Diversity, Panelist
  • The Florida Bar Leadership Academy Committee, Inaugural Member - 2013, 2014, 2015
  • Steering Committee, The Florida Bar Equal Opportunities Law Section, 30th Anniversary "In Re Eimers" Symposium, Member, 2008
  • American Bar Association, Member
  • The Florida Bar, Code & Rules of Evidence Committee - 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
  • The Florida Bar, Equal Opportunities Law Section: Board of Directors At Large 2008, Chair 2010, Charter Member 2000 - Present, 2013

Pro bono/Community Service:

  • Guardian ad litem for Abused and Neglected Children
  • Wills for Victims of Aids, 1999 - Present

Scholarly Lectures/Writings:

  • How Similar Is Substantially Similar? A Defense Perspective, American Bar Association, 2002
  • The Cutting Edge: Case Law Update, Defense Research Institute, 2003
  • The Florida Bar Second Annual Diversity Symposium, 2005
  • The Florida Bar, Voluntary Bar Leadership Conference, 2006
  • Minority Corporate Counsel Association, Pathways to Diversity Conference, 2006
  • Professionalism, The Florida Bar, Solo and Small Firm Section, 2007
  • Professionalism and Diversity: The Outlook for the Invisible Minority, Litigation Counsel Of America, 2007
  • Faculty, Out in Court: 30 Years of Gays and Lesbians in the Legal Profession, The Florida Bar, Equal Opportunities in Law Section, 2008
  • Author, Batson Challenge Does Not Extend to Unidentified Minorities, American Bar Association, Section of Litiigation, Ethics & Professionalism Committee, 2010
  • Speaker, Litigating High Profile Cases During Governmental Agency Investigation: A Multi-Prong Approach, Litigation Counsel of America, 2009
  • Outlook for the Invisible Minority, Litigation Council of America Diversity Summit, Atlanta, 2009
  • Co-Presenter, Does Biomechanics Pass the Daubert (and Frye) Requirements, Emerging Issues In Automotive Product Litigation Annual Conference, American Bar Association, 2008
  • Co-Author, Bridge Over Troubled Waters: Service During Disaster as a Form of Professionalism, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Ethics and Professionalism Committee, 2011
  • Chair and Panelist, Building Strength Through Diversity, National Diversity Forum, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, 2011
  • Panelist, using Technology to Increase Effectiveness, Trial Management, Claims & Litigation Management Alliance, 2011
  • Panelist, Building Bridges Between the Bench, Bar and the Community, Voluntary Bar Leadership Conference, The Florida Bar, 2010
  • Speaker, Case Law Update, CEU Institute for National Insurance & Healthcare Continuing Education , 2009
  • Author, Strategic Use Of Summary Judgment: Cutting The Catastrophic Case Down To Size, Litigation Counsel of America, 2007
  • Presentation about the historical challenges and current status of LGBT attorneys in the profession., Key Speaker, Diversity Summit, Litigation Counsel Of America, 2012
  • Team Building and Leadership Skills, Central Florida Paralegal Association, Orlando, December, 2010
  • Professionalism and Diversity: The Outlook for the Invisible Minority, Diversity Institute Summit, Chicago, 2012
  • Author, Numbers Tell a Story: Recent Litigation in LGBT Issues, American Bar Association Section of Litigation LGBT Litigator Committee, 2011
  • Diversity: Creating The Winning Edge, The Florida Bar Annual Convention, 2008
  • Successful Lawyering in a Diverse Society: Diversity: It's Good Business, Florida Bar, Annual Meeting, 2000
  • Author, Reflections on the 30th Anniversary of In re Eimers, American Bar Association Section of Litigation Ethics and Professionalism Committee, 2010
  • Pre/Post duty to warn by salesman., Coauthor, Danger Ahead: The Changing Face of Failure to Warn Claims, Florida Defense Lawyers Association, 2014
  • Product Liability Concepts, SAE Conference, 1999
  • The Hot Seat: Seat Back Claims Issues and Trends, American Bar Association Emerging Issue in Automotive Product Litigation Conference, 2000
  • Masters in Professionalism Series: Diversity, The Florida Bar, 2001
  • Proof of Defect Without Testimony: Can a Plaintiff Survive Summary Judgment? American Bar Association, 2002

Educational Background:

  • Honors: Presidential Award, Highest Grade Point Average in the Department.
  • Honors: Member, Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society
  • University of North Alabama, Florence, AL, B.S., With Great Honor, 1979
  • Honors: Member, Trial Advocacy Team., 1983
  • The University of Alabama School of Law, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, J.D. , 1984
  • Honors: Vice – Justice, Phi Alpha Delta Legal Society, 1983
  • Major: Criminal Justice

Industry Groups

  • Insurance
  • Medical Device
  • Pharmaceutical Companies
  • Product Manufacturers
  • Theme Parks.
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Office Location for Larry D. Smith

205 South Eola Drive
Orlando, FL 32801

Phone: 4074226100

Fax: 407-488-1550

Larry D. Smith:

Last Updated: 10/3/2019

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