Available for Mediations, Arbitrations, Discovery and Judicial References
The Honorable Winifred Y. Smith (Ret.) comes to ADR Services, Inc. with 21 years of experience as a Judge of the Alameda County Superior Court and 26 years as Deputy Attorney General in the California Attorney General’s Office. During her tenure on the bench, Judge Smith presided over civil law and motion, civil direct, and complex litigation matters. She was also an integral member of court leadership, having served as a member of the Judicial Council, Supervising Judge of multiple courthouses, Supervising Judge of the court’s Civil Division, and later as Presiding Judge.
Judge Smith has extensive experience in a variety of civil cases, including coordinated cases, class actions, employment, construction defect, and Proposition 65 matters, and has presided over many cases presenting questions of first impression. In her 13 years serving in civil assignments, Judge Smith presided over nearly 100 cases to verdict, including a Product Liability/Complex Litigation case which resulted in the largest civil award in California’s history. She has been affirmed in 95% of her cases on appeal. In addition, Judge Smith served as a Justice Pro Tem for the California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Four.
Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Smith worked as a Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice’s Office of the Attorney General. During her tenure there, her assignments included working in the OAG’s Health, Education, and Welfare Section representing state agencies.
Judge Smith is widely respected for her judicial demeanor and ability to deftly manage complex matters to resolution. She has been honored by many legal organizations for her commitment to judicial excellence, including being twice named Jurist of Distinction by the Women Lawyers of Alameda County and as Trial Judge of the Year by the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) in 2021. She has been invited to speak on numerous panels to offer her legal expertise and is currently a lecturer at Berkeley Law teaching Civil Trial Practice.
Alameda County Superior Court
California Court of Appeal, First Appellate District
Women Lawyers of Alameda County, Jurist of Distinction – 2021
American Board of Trial Advocates, Trial Judge of the Year – 2021
Women Lawyers of Alameda County, Jurist of Distinction – 2014
California Association of Black Lawyers, Judicial Excellence Award – 2013
Alameda County Bar Association, Distinguished Service Award – 2010
Charles Houston Bar Association, Judge of the Year – 2006
J.D., Boston University School of Law – 1974
B.A., Stanford University – 1971
UC Berkeley, School of Law – 2022
CJER Civil Experienced Primary Assignment Orientation – 2021
CJER Complex Case Management and Trial – 2021
Association of Business Trial Lawyers – 2015-Present
Alameda County Bar Association, Volunteer Legal Services – 2008-2014
David P. McCullum Youth Court – 2003-2009