D. Todd Smith joined Butler Snow after having founded, built, and managed his own successful appellate boutique. Todd has extensive experience representing clients as lead appellate counsel and has briefed and argued multiple cases before the Texas Supreme Court and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. He also works with trial teams in all phases of civil litigation, often taking the lead on strategic analysis and briefing, jury charges, and potentially dispositive motions, all with a focus on preserving error and positioning cases for appellate review.

Biography – View PDF Bio


Bar Admissions

  • Texas, 1996
  • U.S. District Courts
    • Texas: Northern, Southern, Eastern, Western
  • U.S. Court of Appeals
    • 5th Circuit
    • 7th Circuit
    • 10th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Civic Involvement

  • Westlake Hills Presbyterian Church
    • Member, 2008-Present
    • Deacon, 2017-2019
    • Mobile Loaves and Fishes Volunteer
  • Westlake High School Marching Band Volunteer


  • Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law, Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers®
    • Texas Super Lawyer, Appellate, 2013-2020
  • Benchmark Litigation
    • Litigation Star, Appellate Law, 2014-2015
    • Fifth Circuit Litigation Star, 2013
  • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Life Fellow, Austin Bar Foundation
  • Fellow, Texas Bar College

Education & Honors

  • St. Mary’s University School of Law, J.D., cum laude, 1995
    • Editor-in-Chief, St. Mary’s Law Journal
    • Internship, Honorable Emilio M. Garza, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • Phi Delta Phi Honor Fraternity
    • John M. Harlan Society
    • American Jurisprudence Award, Texas Civil Procedure
  • Texas Tech University, M.P.A., 1992
    • Pi Alpha Alpha Honor Society
  • Texas Christian University, B.S., Criminal Justice, 1989
    • Alpha Kappa Delta Honor Society
    • Alpha Phi Sigma Honor Society
    • Senior Scholar in Criminal Justice
    • Austin L. Porterfield Award
    • Dean’s List
  • Clerkship, Honorable Raul Gonzalez, Supreme Court of Texas, 1995-1997


  • Todd spent his first two years after law school clerking at the Texas Supreme Court, where he learned to appreciate the value of persuasive, succinct legal writing when combined with thoughtful and credible oral advocacy.
  • Following his clerkship, Todd was a member of the litigation and appellate groups at a large international firm. While there, he received substantial training from renowned practitioners in both areas and tried several litigation and arbitration matters to conclusion. After achieving certification as a specialist in Civil Appellate Law, Todd launched his own firm, where he practiced for the next fifteen years.
  • Todd has a long history of volunteer service to the bar. He sits on the State Bar Board of Directors, is immediate past-chair of the Austin Bar Foundation and is a past-president of the Austin Bar Association. As Austin Bar president, Todd spearheaded creation of the Lawyer Well-Being Committee, which aims to educate, support, and connect the Austin legal community to achieve more balanced, mindful, and joyful lives and practices.

Papers, Presentations, & Publications

  • Creator, Producer, and Co-Host, Texas Appellate Law Podcast.
  • Creator and Author, Texas Appellate Strategy Blog.
  • Guest, "“Everything After That is Just Production” – Texas Appellate Attorney Todd Smith on Making a Legal Podcast," Small But Mighty: The Niche Lawyer Podcast, September 2, 2021.
  • Presenter, “Attorney’s Fees: Updated Proof Requirements and Legislative Amendments,” TexasBarCLE, Business Disputes Course, September 3, 2021.
  • Quoted, "While Others Struggle, Austin's District Courts Have Mastered Remote Trials," Texas Lawyer, June 21, 2021.
  • Author and Presenter, “Collections During Appeal and Attacking the Negative Net Worth Affidavit,” TexasBarCLE, Collections and Creditors’ Rights Course, May 7, 2021.
  • Panelist, "Lawyer Well-Being Virtual Panel Discussion: Dismantling the Myth of Lawyer Perfectionism," Austin Bar Association, February 26, 2021.
  • Quoted, "Butler Snow Nabs Appellate Boutique Founder in Austin," Law360, February 8, 2021.
  • Presenter, “Eight Common Traps When Seeking Attorney Fees (and How to Avoid Them),” Collin County Solo/Small Firm Section Webinar, January 25, 2021.
  • More...

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