New Orleans, LA
Zachary R. Smith is an attorney in the firm’s New Orleans office. He has been with Preis, PLC since June of 2022. Prior to joining the firm, Zachary was a partner at Chehardy Sherman Williams, LLP and HMS, LLC. Zachary also served as special advisor to Senator Patrick McMath and the Louisiana State Senate during the initial stages of Louisiana’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Zachary is a trial lawyer with a diverse practice representing plaintiffs and defendants in various areas of law. His practice focuses on commercial and general litigation, insurance defense, toxic tort defense, premises liability, employment law, Fair Labor Standards Act claims/defense, landlord/tenant disputes, construction law, lease law, short-term rental enforcement actions, property damage claims, and general business advice. He has successfully represented corporations in multi-million-dollar litigation and secured favorable settlements and trial verdicts on behalf of aggrieved parties. The diversity of Mr. Smith’s experience and practice allows him to represent a wide range of clients faced with virtually any legal issue.
Toxic tort defense trial team member representing a large petrochemical company agaisnt claims that asbestos caused the plaintiff’s esophageal cancer . During two separate trial settings, he obtained a mistrial from the First Circuit Court of Appeals on emergency supervisory writs. Drafted and successfully argued a motion to strike plaintiff’s allegations of bystander exposure to asbestos due to plaintiffs’ failure to properly plead facts supporting same in the plaintiffs’original and amended petitions for damages. Jury returned a verdict of $0.
Brought successful nationwide class action for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991. The case required extensive motion practice in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana and was one of the first to examine the effects of the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Bristol Myers Squib on a federal district court’s ability to exercise personal jurisdiction over non-resident putative plaintiffs in the context of a nationwide class action arising under a federal statute. Discovery disputes required the filing and enforcement of letter’s rogatory against a third party-broadcaster located in Toronto, Canada. Appeared in a Canadian tribunal and successfully enforced the Letter’s Rogatory, securing vital corporate depositions and evidence as well as an award of attorney’s fees. Successfully certified a class for settlement purposes. Oversaw the administration of the settlement, including the required notice to class members and distribution of settlement proceeds to over 7,000 class members located across the United States.