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


  • Texas Board of Legal Specialization, Board Certified in Civil Appellate Law
  • Thomson Reuters Super Lawyers®
    • Texas Super Lawyer, Appellate, 2013-2020
  • Life Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation
  • Life Fellow, Austin Bar Foundation

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 written advocacy when combined with thoughtful and credible oral advocacy.
  • Between his clerkship and starting his own practice, 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. He also served as outside general counsel and the lead litigation attorney for an administration facility managing a national polybutylene plumbing class action settlement.
  • ​Todd has a long history of volunteer service to the bar. He sits on the State Bar Board of Directors, is chair of the Austin Bar Foundation, and is immediate 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 Law Blog.
  • 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.
  • Moderator, “Handling Cases in District Court Under the Second Amended Emergency Order,” Austin Bar Association, May 27, 2020.
  • ​Moderator, “Travis County Civil Courts During the COVID-19 Crisis,” Austin Bar Association, April 14, 2020.
  • More...