Christopher J. Smith was born and raised in Akron, Ohio, and graduated from Archbishop Hoban High School. He attended John Carroll University in Cleveland, Ohio, graduating with honors in the top 20 percent of his class with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and a minor in communications. Mr. Smith also played football at John Carroll, helping his team clinch the 2003 NCAA Division III East Regional Championship and gain a berth in the NCAA Division III Final Four.
Mr. Smith then attended St. Thomas University School of Law in Miami, Florida, graduating cum laude in the top 15 percent of his class while winning awards as the top student in family law and criminal procedure. While in law school, Mr. Smith was a tutor for students in torts law and was a member of the moot court team, winning the best overall competitor award in the law school moot court competition. During his time at St. Thomas, Mr. Smith also became certified to practice law in front of the Third District Court of Appeal of Florida and practiced personal injury law with a Miami-based plaintiff’s law firm.
Mr. Smith passed the Florida Bar exam in 2007 and has been practicing with Goldstein, Buckley, Cechman, Rice and Purtz, P.A. ever since. Mr. Smith, a trial attorney for personal injury cases, became a partner with the firm in 2011. He is an Eagle member of the Florida Justice Association, an organization dedicated to strengthening and upholding Florida’s civil justice system. In 2016, he was inducted into the Florida Chapter of the American Board of Trial Advocates (FLABOTA) as a member in their Southwest Florida Chapter. FLABOTA is an invitation-only group that has stringent requirements trial attorneys must meet in order to qualify. Mr. Smith is admitted to practice in front of all state courts in Florida as well as the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida. Mr. Smith is rated “AV” Preeminent®, which is the highest ranking under the Martindale-Hubbell ® Peer Review Rating™ system. He is the firm’s team leader for the American Heart Association “Heart Walk,” which raises money to fund heart disease research.
Mr. Smith is married to Andrea Pleimling Smith, another partner and trial attorney with the firm. Chris and Andrea live in Fort Myers and enjoy outdoor activities and spending time with their family in Southwest Florida, as well as their dogs Boo and Bruiser, both of which are rescues from animal shelters.