Aug. 1, 1967 – April 30, 2016
David B. Smith, of Buffalo, managing partner at the Buffalo law firm Feuerstein & Smith LLP, died unexpectedly Saturday. He was 48.
Born in Cheektowaga, he was a 1985 graduate of Williamsville East High School. He graduated with honors in 1989 from Rochester Institute of Technology, where he served as the first chairman of the College Republicans, president of the Pre-Law Association and a representative to the Federation of Rochester Area College Republicans.
He earned a juris doctor degree in 1993 from the University at Buffalo Law School. While attending law school, he was a law clerk for the Special Investigation and Prosecution Division in the Erie County District Attorney’s Office.
Mr. Smith and Alan R. Feuerstein began working together in 1993 on the appeal of a civil rights suit filed by relatives of a woman who was fatally shot by a Buffalo police officer after she called 911. Their firm, established in 1998 and known for its litigation and trial work, has grown to provide legal services in Washington, D.C., Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Designated in the 4th Judicial Department’s Attorney for the Child panel, Mr. Smith was a law guardian and regularly represented children in Family Court and State Supreme Court. He also served as a court evaluator and an attorney for alleged incapacitated people.
In 2010, he was certified as a Civil Circuit mediator in the Florida Supreme Court and Superior Court of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He was admitted to practice in more than 17 federal and international courts.
He was selected for the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list five times and was ranked among the Western New York Legal Elite in 2014. He was a member of numerous bar associations and other professional groups.
He also was a member of the UB Law School Alumni Association, the National Conference for Community and Justice, the Buffalo Club, the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society, the National Rifle Association, the Smithsonian Institute, the Virgin Island Yacht Club, the Confrerie de la Chaine des Rotisseures and L’Ordre Mondial des Gourmets Degustateurs.
An avid ballroom dancer, he won an international competition in Puerto Rico in 2010.
He and his dance partner, Lihann Jones, were the founders and co-chairs of Suneel’s Celebrity Gala, an annual event modeled on “Dancing With the Stars” which raises funds for locally based Suneel’s Light Foundation in support of research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“He was a presence wherever he went,” his sister, Cheryl Barrett, said. “He was 110 percent all the time.”
Survivors also include his mother, Roberta J.; a brother, Carl M.; and another sister, Tracey Dedee.
A celebration of his life will be held from 3 to 8 p.m. Thursday in Grapevine Banquets, 333 Dick Road, Depew.