honors + affiliations
2011 Attorney of the Year (The Recorder)
Top 10 Verdict of 2011 (The Daily Journal)
Law360 IP Group of the Year 2011
Listed, National Law Journal's "Defense Hot List"
Recipient, Morgan Lewis Phoenix Award
Member, American Bar Association
Member, California State Bar Association
Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
- U.S. District Courts for Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
- San Francisco
One Market, Spear Street Tower
San Francisco, CA 94105-1596
Benjamin P. Smith is a partner in Morgan Lewis's Litigation Practice. Mr. Smith focuses on prelitigation counseling and trial representation of life sciences and technology companies, with a particular emphasis on complex commercial disputes involving business torts, fraud, breach of contract, and unfair competition claims.
In recognition of Mr. Smith's trial capabilities, he was named one of the Attorneys of the Year for 2011 by The Recorder legal newspaper, and helped Morgan Lewis win Law360 honors for IP Group of the Year for 2011. He most recently co-led a trial team that won the second largest U.S. jury verdict of 2011 according to The Daily Journal. In the three-month jury trial, Mr. Smith and his colleagues successfully prosecuted interference with contract and breach of confidentiality claims, securing a verdict of $577 million for client Asahi Kasei Pharma Corporation.
In another recent jury trial, Mr. Smith obtained a zero-damages defense verdict in the re-trial of a trade secret misappropriation case where liability had previously been found by a Santa Clara County jury.
Among other professional accolades, Mr. Smith's successful defense of a technology client in a corporate opportunity and business tort action was recognized in the National Law Journal's "Defense Hot List" for 2006. His successful prosecution of one of the top 30 international arbitrations of 2009, by amount in controversy, was noted in The American Lawyer magazine.
In addition to his experience with complex commercial disputes, Mr. Smith has a background in patent disputes and products liability litigation. He has successfully resolved hundreds of personal injury and property damage claims.
Over the past several years, Mr. Smith has lectured on business torts and commercial disputes in the United States and in Japan.
Mr. Smith is admitted to practice in California and before the U.S. District Courts for Northern, Eastern, Central, and Southern Districts of California and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.
- Obtained dismissal with prejudice of trade secret misappropriation action filed in Southern District of Florida in 2011 against a gaming client.
- Obtained a zero-damages defense verdict on behalf of a financial services client in the retrial of a trade secret misappropriation case where liability had previously been found by a California state court jury.
- Successfully defeated patent infringement, trade secret, and antitrust claims asserted against a technology client in U.S. District Court in Texas.
- Successfully represented a medical device firm in a licensing and royalty dispute in the Northern District of California.
- Successfully represented a publisher in a false advertising and antitrust suit in the Central District of California.
- Obtained summary judgment in favor of a chemical industry client defending groundwater contamination claims asserted by a public agency in the Northern District of California.
- Successfully prosecuted breach-of-contract claims on behalf of a pharmaceutical firm in an international arbitration ranked, by amount in controversy, as one of the 30 largest of 2009 by The American Lawyer magazine.
- Obtained a dismissal of breach of warranty claims filed by a telecommunications service provider against a technology client in the Eastern District of Michigan.
- Obtained a rare, mid-trial defense verdict for a technology client in a corporate opportunity and business tort action in Minnesota state court, which was later ranked on the National Law Journal's "Defense Hot List."
Products Liability/Toxic Torts
- Represented a pharmaceutical firm in mass tort litigation by locating and preparing expert witnesses on medical issues forming core of defensive case.
- Represented a medical device firms defending failure to warn and products liability claims regarding cardiovascular stents, ophthalmologic lenses, and implantable devices in state courts across the country.
- Served as national counsel for a manufacturer of exterior insulation and finishing systems in "toxic mold" class action litigation, with responsibility for all actions filed nationwide and scientific defense of "toxic mold" claims.
- Harvard Law School, 1998, J.D.
- Stanford University, 1995, A.B.