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Donald A W. Smith

Of Counsel

Since he left active duty military service as a JAG officer in 1979 and moved to Rochester, Don has provided legal services as a business lawyer and as a litigator. His professional work has earned the highest ranking (“AV”) from Martindale-Hubbell,* the leading national rating organization for legal ability and ethical conduct.

For start-up businesses, Don forms business entities, such as corporations and LLC's, and prepares agreements among business owners. For existing businesses, Don drafts, analyzes and negotiates a wide variety of agreements, examples of which are as follows:

• Employment and independent contractor agreements
• Non-competition and nondisclosure agreements
• Consulting and sales agreements
• Leases
• Buy-Sell agreements (i.e., asset or stock sales)

Don provides advice on day-to-day issues and works with clients to prevent small issues from becoming significant problems. He also reviews a wide variety of agreements for individuals, such as employment, independent contractor and non-competition agreements.

As a civil litigator, Don represents both businesses and individuals throughout Western New York. He handles business disputes, breach of contract claims and other commercial claims for his business clients. As well, Don represents individuals who have claims for personal injuries or who need a trial lawyer to protect their rights.

Don also represents investors who suffered losses in the stock market because of broker negligence or misconduct. 

Practice Areas

  • Business Law
  • Business General Litigation


  • United States Military Academy (B.S., 1971)
  • George Washington University (J.D., 1976)

Bar Admissions

  • Florida (1977) and New York (1980)
  • United States District Court, Western District of New York (1980) and Northern District of New York (1992); and United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit (1988)

Professional Organizations

  • Monroe County
    • Recipient: 2001 President Award
    • Chair: Fee Arbitration Committee (1994-1997)
    • Public Education Committee (2000-2002)
    • Member: Ethics Committee (1990-1991, 1997-2000 and 2003 to present)
    • Professional Performance Committee (1991-1992)
    • Fee Arbitration Committee (1992-1994)
    • Courts & Judiciary Committees (1997-2000)
    • Board of Directors, Center for Education (2001-2002)
    • Board of Trustees (2002-2004)
  • New York State and Florida Bar Associations
  • American Bar Association