Noel Smith is a partner in our Litigation practice. His practice focuses on toxic tort defense (asbestos) and general civil defense litigation. He defends complex business litigation matters, general product liability and personal injury cases through all phases of litigation from pleadings through trial. Noel’s experience includes significant court appearances in Madison County, Illinois, St. Clair County, Illinois and St. Louis, MO, primary client contact for numerous businesses and insurers in these areas of practice, and substantial settlement negotiation work.
He earned his J.D from Southern Illinois University Carbondale with Magna Cum Laude honors. He currently works out of Tressler's St. Louis Metro Area office.
Where are you from?
Mt. Vernon, IL.
What was your first job?
I was a grocery store clerk/cashier in high school. It was what you’d expect: cashier, stocking and bagging, aka smashing people’s bread (just kidding).
Do you have any hidden talents and/or unique hobbies?
Homebrewer of tasty ales and lagers for almost 20 years.
What is on your bucket list?
Go to Paris. I took French for two years in high school and one year in college, but have never been to France. I did spend two weeks in Italy though, so that might have to do.
Why did you decide to become an attorney?
I wanted to talk to juries and tell people stories. I love to tell stories and the courtroom allows you to do that.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
Talking to clients, drafting pleadings or correspondence and going to court.
Why did you choose your areas of practice?
I was always interested in injury law and affect injuries have on individuals and businesses.
What do you like most about Tressler?
Innovative culture. They are willing to reinvent themselves to change with the times.
What are you most proud of, professionally and/or personally?
My family, including two children. Wife, Jamie, and children, Nola and Fisher.
Do you have any memorable court stories?
The Level. I once tried a toxic exposure case for about six weeks in Madison County, Illinois. I was representing a group of about 15 defendants and 3 or so went to trial. One of the clients sent a representative to the trial to observe each day. He carefully studied the attorneys and at the end of the trial, he presented each of us with an object that he felt captured our performance in the trial. He had personally drawn the client’s logo on the objects which made it very unique. My object was a carpenter’s level. According to the representative, in his view, we were behind in the trial until I cross-examined one of plaintiff’s witnesses and “leveled” the trial. From that point forward, he felt as though we had the momentum. He also wrote one of my questions on the side of the level. I still have that level in my office today. We received a defense verdict, and sometimes when I question whether a case can be won, I look at that level and think about how with one witness, we changed the tide. You just have to keep after it and get things back to level sometimes.
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