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Ted A. Smith

Of Counsel, San Francisco

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Ted A. Smith

Of Counsel, San Francisco

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Ted Smith is a seasoned insurance coverage attorney who has advised clients and litigated complex claims under first and third party coverages involving all types of commercial and personal lines insurance. Ted defends insurance companies in bad faith cases, advises insurers on coverage and claims handling issues, and litigates policy rescission and insurer contribution issues.

He advises and represents clients on claims and litigation in California, Washington, and throughout the western United States, and helps insurers craft creative approaches to high risk and high exposure situations. Ted also has extensive experience representing clients in other complex disputes, including contractual, business tort, environmental, insurance broker, and legal malpractice matters.

For over 30 years, Ted has served as litigation counsel in both state and federal courts, and has also developed a reputation as an effective and practical negotiator. Clients also engage Ted as lead and amicus counsel on appeals and in writ proceedings.


Bar Admissions
  • California, 1992
  • Washington, 1999
Court Admissions
  • California
  • Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court, Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of California


  • University of Kansas School of Law – J.D., 1991
  • Kansas State University – B.S., 1989


  • Legal Aid of Sonoma County (past President)
  • Richard M. Sangster American Inns of Court (past member)


  • Represents insurance carriers in connection with large and complex personal and advertising injury liability, professional, liability, directors and officers liability, homeowners liability, construction liability, employment liability, commercial automobile liability, independent counsel, and other third party insurance and breach of implied covenant claims and suits.
  • Employed to offer new perspectives to manage potential excess liability issues and post-verdict strategies when underlying liability cases have gone awry.
  • Advises and represents insurers in connection with co-insurance and primary-excess insurance issues before, during, and after underlying litigation and appeals.

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  • Extensive experience with property insurance claims and litigation including fire, flood, earth movement, environmental, aviation, crop, and other first party insurance matters.
  • In addition to admitted insurers, has been engaged to represent and advise risk management entities and London Market syndicates.
  • Frequently obtains summary judgment in insurance coverage suits. Examples include cases involving intellectual property exclusions, workers’ compensation premiums, replacement cost benefit claims, financial services exclusions, misrepresentations, rescission, and fraud and concealment.
  • Crafted the strategy and briefs affirming an insurer’s right to settle an underlying suit and seek reimbursement from the insured for non-covered claims.
  • Demurrer sustained without leave to amend and later affirmed on appeal as to parent holding company of liability insurance carrier.
  • Defense judgment in client’s favor following jury trial of settle-and-sue legal malpractice claim. Judgment upheld on appeal.
  • Judgment in client’s favor following AAA arbitration of complex securities and partnership agreements in connection with hedge fund management.


Besides building effective cases, Ted also builds community. He volunteers with numerous community youth sports organizations including Little League and youth basketball, and serves as announcer for local and regional swim meets. As an Eagle Scout, Ted remains active in scouting as an adult volunteer. He is also an instituted acolyte and has assisted as a youth group trip leader.

Ted has always had a passion for the outdoors. He is a marathon runner, backpacker, alpine skier, disc golfer, and kayaker.

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