Robert G. Smith Partner
Robert Smith represents manufacturers, health care providers, and other businesses in product liability, medical malpractice, and commercial litigation and has tried cases in all these areas. He is Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. Robert also uses this strong litigation background to represent clients in transactional and business matters, with a focus on risk management.
He finds that the most rewarding part of practicing law is getting to know his clients, their goals and challenges, and ultimately partnering together towards a solution. Solving legal problems is a team effort, and he understands the importance of active communication with his clients and others involved. Efficient, cost effective solutions result when counsel understands the client’s business and personal goals. He wants to help solve your legal problem as efficiently as possible.
Rob enjoys cooking as a way to connect to the earth, travel to be immersed in other cultures, mountain biking to get out into nature, and snow skiing to escape the heat.
- University of Houston Law Center, J.D.
- Louisiana State University, Mathematics, Phi Beta Kappa
- State Bar of Texas
- United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Western District of Texas
- United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois
- United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Distinctions & Certifications
- Board Certified, Personal Injury Trial Law – Texas Board of Legal Specialization
- Fellow of The College of the State Bar of Texas
- Defense verdict on behalf of an insurance company in case alleging bad faith after it revoked a plastic surgeon’s malpractice policy who he was sued for an incident that he failed to include in his application.
- Defense verdict on behalf of pain management physician. Patient asked for $2 million alleging excessive force caused a catheter to break off in a disc in his back.
- Defended manufacturer of an overhead hoist, claimant misused the hoist contrary to company policy, after 10 hours of jury deliberation received a verdict for less than one third of what had been offered to settle the case.
- Obtained summary judgment for physician client in a medical malpractice case claiming damages over $1,000,000. The lawsuit was filed timely but was not properly served for two months and successfully argued that plaintiff counsel did not exercise “due diligence.”
- Defended a group of employees in a lawsuit by their former company alleging misappropriation of trade secrets. Despite some difficult liability facts, the case was settled at mediation shortly after a four day temporary injunction hearing.
- Obtained dismissal of a wrongful death lawsuit alleging an 18-wheeler owned by his client crossed the center line causing a head on collision and death in Mexico. He successfully argued there was no jurisdiction because the accident did not happen in Texas, and his client was not incorporated or based in Texas despite having many business locations in Texas.
- Defense verdict on behalf of internal medicine physician in a wrongful death case alleging failure to diagnose aortic dissection in patient who died four days after admission to the hospital with ongoing chest pain.
- Prevailed in an arbitration representing a physician against a medical center alleging breach of contract and wrongful termination.
- Defense verdict on behalf of physician and nurse practitioner alleged to have failed to timely respond to dehydration and respiratory infection in nursing home resident who was transferred to the hospital, intubated, and died a week after discharge.
- Board of Directors, Wesley Community Center
- Houston Bar Association
- International Association of Defense Counsel – Insurance and Reinsurance Committee; Product Liability Committee; Medical Defense and Health Law Committee (Committee Chair, 2021- present) ; Vice Chair of Programs and Projects, 2019-2021; Vice Chair of Publications, 2017-2019; Vice Chair of Webinars, 2015-2017); Cyber Security, Data Privacy and Technology Committee
- Defense Research Institute – Medical Liability and Health Care Law Committee (2009 Seminar, Program Chair), Product Liability Committee, Professional Liability Committee, Diversity Committee, Drug & Medical Device Committee
- Fifth Circuit Editor, DRI’s Daubert Online newsletter (2006-2014)
Publications & Speeches
- Telehealth or Teletrouble?: Liability Challenges in Remote Healthcare, IADC 2023 Professional Liability Roundtable, May 18, 2023
- Science Doesn’t Sell Itself; It Needs a Story, IADC 2023 Midyear Meeting, February 21, 2023
- Science Needs a Story, International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter, November 2022
- Bias Against Science, Medmarc’s 34th Annual Medical Device Seminar, June 9, 2022
- Defending Healthcare Providers in a Post-COVID World, IADC 2022 Professional Liability Roundtable, May 12, 2022
- Science Doesn’t Sell Itself; It Needs a Story, ALFA International 2022 International Client Seminar, March 5, 2022
- Clarification Regarding Defendant’s Right to Contest Plaintiff’s Affidavits Concerning Cost and Necessity of Medical Expenses, International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter, July 2021
- Are Your Machines Healthy? Cybersecurity Risk in Medical Devices, IADC webinar, October 7, 2020
- Remote Control: How to Best Prepare for and Maximize Effectiveness in Remote Depositions and Court Proceedings, ALFA International webinar, June 10, 2020
- Viral Impact: Liability Protections and Considerations in a Pandemic, International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter, May 2020
- Corporate Cybersecurity: Best Practices for Companies to Protect Business and Client Data, ALFA International Product Liability & Complex Torts Seminar, September 2019
- Smart Products Require Smarter Manufacturers, 2019 IADC Annual Meeting, July 11, 2019
- The Current State of Cybersecurity in Medical Devices, Medmarc’s 32nd Annual Medical Device Seminar, June 6, 2019
- Caught on Tape: Strategies for Mitigating Damages in the Age of Cell Phones and Granny Cams, IADC Professional Liability Roundtable, May 30, 2019
- Summary of Statutes Applicable to Medical Malpractice Lawsuits in Texas, International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter, March 2019
- GAME ON: A Debate on #MeToo and Its Impact on Business, Social Equality and Due Process of Law, ALFA International 2019 International Client Seminar, February 28, 2019
- Cybersecurity Issues in the Hospitality and Retail Industry, ALFA International webinar, January 8, 2019
- Medical Device Risk and the IoT, Medmarc 31st Annual Medical Device Seminar, June 15, 2018
- Product Hacking, Cyber Security for Products, and the Internet of Things, ALFA International Product Liability & Complex Torts Seminar, October 2017, April 2018
- Physicians in Texas can Establish New Patients using Telemedicine Services under New Statute, International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter, January 2018
- Smart Products: Evolving Liability and Coverage Issues, 2017 IADC Annual Meeting, July 11, 2017
- Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016, International Association of Defense Counsel Intellectual Property Committee Newsletter, November 2016
- Cyber Security Risks, Responsibilities, and Remedies, CEO Network Partners, November 15, 2016
- Product Malfunction Theory: When “Smart” Products Act Dumb, ALFA International Product Liability Seminar, May 19, 2016
- Electronic Communications Containing Protected Health Information, International Association of Defense Counsel Medical Defense and Health Law Committee Newsletter, March 2015
- 2013 ALFA International Health Care Compendium - Texas section
- “Innocent Seller” statutes: A manufacturer’s benefit or burden?, Westlaw Journal Medical Devices, Vol. 20, Issue 7, June 4, 2013
- You Might Need a Lawyer When, CEO Network Partners, April 24, 2013
- Sands Through the Hourglass or the Next Big Tort?, International Association of Defense Counsel Product Liability Committee Newsletter, May 2012
- Social Media: The New Tool for Trucking Defense and the Plaintiff’s Bar, National Tank Truck Carriers’ Tank Truck Safety & Security Council, Fall Regional Meeting, October 13, 2011
- Creeping Regulation – The Growing Impact of the Federal Government on Product Liability Litigation, ALFA International Product Liability Seminar, September 23, 2011
- 2011 ALFA International Product Liability Compendium - Texas section
- Biting the Hand That Feeds, CEO Network Partners, October 14, 2009
- Medical Error-Disclosure and Apology Programs: The “how, when and where” of instituting them in your practice, Health Network Providers Mutual Insurance Company, RRG, December 9, 2008
- Common Product Liability Claim Mistakes…and How to Avoid Them (Foreign Manufacturer Liability), ALFA International Product Liability Seminar, November 13, 2008
- Insurance claims and disabled employees – Rights and risks, CEO Network Partners, October 5, 2008
- Risk Management, Health Network Providers Mutual Insurance Company, RRG, May 6, 2008
- Toxic Shock: How to Survive a Toxic Tort Case Without Getting Dirty, Chubb Environmental Section, September 13, 2007
- The Nuts and Bolts of Liens and Structured Settlements, DRI Medical Liability and Health Care Law Seminar, Atlanta, Georgia, March 7, 2007
- 2006 ALFA International Product Liability Compendium - Texas section
- Risk Management Issues, Health Network Providers Mutual Insurance Company, RRG, 2006
- Risk Management Issues, Texas Osteopathic Medical Association’s annual conference, 2003