Martindale-Hubbell 'AV' Rated Attorney
Speaking Engagements and Publications
Grasford W. Smith, a firm shareholder, concentrates his practice on complex commercial litigation, intellectual property litigation, and transactional matters. He has represented a diverse clientele, including Fortune 500 companies, government agencies, athletic leagues, technology companies, and a United States Congressman, in addition to a variety of small and medium-sized businesses. Mr. Smith gained extensive experience at prestigious firms, such as Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in its New York and Washington, D.C. offices, in disputed matters concerning corporate governance, government enforcement actions, non-competition and confidentiality agreements, trade secrets, real estate, construction defects, franchises, products liability, intellectual property, eminent domain, and disciplinary/admission matters before The Florida Bar. Mr. Smith was a summer associate at Goldman Sachs & Co. on Wall Street where he developed recommendations and drafted revisions for firm-wide policies and procedures and a judicial intern on the Bronx Supreme Court where he assisted in drafting published opinions on commercial and criminal cases.
Mr. Smith was named in the 2019 edition of Best Lawyers in America for Commercial Litigation, an honor that recognizes the top 4 percent of practicing attorneys in the nation. Mr. Smith also holds an AV Preeminent Rating from Martindale-Hubbell since 2013, awarded to only those lawyers with the highest ethical standards and legal ability. Mr. Smith's additional recognitions include: "40 Under 40 Rising Star" NYU Law Alumni of Color Association, 2018; "Top Up and Comer" South Florida Legal Guide, 2018; “Rising Stars” by the Daily Business Review, 2015; “Who’s Who in America” by Marquis, 2015; “Top 100 Lawyers” by the National Black Lawyers, 2015; “South Florida’s Most Powerful Black Professionals in Business” by Legacy Magazine, 2013; “Nation’s Best Advocates” on the “40 Lawyers Under 40” list by the National Bar Association, 2011; “Rising Star” by the Law and Politics Florida Super Lawyers Magazine for "Excellence in Practice," 2011-16; “South Florida’s 40 under 40 Leaders of Today and Tomorrow” by Legacy Magazine, 2011; Member of the Year by the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association, 2011; and a “Rising Star in Law” by ICABA Media, 2009. Mr. Smith has also been recognized for his community involvement as a Director and Legal Counsel of the Anquan Boldin Foundation in 2018, Nominee for the TrustBridge (Hospice) Blue Dove Awards in 2014, and as a Champion for Philanthropy by the Caribbean American Democratic Club of Palm Beach in 2014.
Mr. Smith is a Board Member of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, President-Elect of the Virgil Hawkins Florida Chapter National Bar Association, Vice-Chair of the Minority Partners in Majority Law Firms Division of the National Bar Association, Member of the Palm Beach County School District's Sales Tax Oversight Committee, General Counsel of the Urban League of Palm Beach County, Inaugural Emerging Leaders Member of the Economic Council of Palm Beach County, Board Member of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Board Member of the Black Chamber of Commerce of Palm Beach County, Member of the 15th Circuit Grievance Committee 15E, and Board Member of the Anquan Boldin Foundation. Mr. Smith previously served as Parliamentarian of the National Bar Association, President of the F. Malcolm Cunningham Sr. Bar Association in Palm Beach County, Chairperson of the Transaction Law Committee of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, Former First-Vice President of the Law Alumni of Color Association at NYU School of Law, Member of The Florida Bar President’s Commission on Review of the Florida Bar’s Discipline System, and Member of the Florida Bar Civil Procedure Rules Committee. Mr. Smith is a graduate of the inaugural Florida Bar Leadership Academy and is actively involved in the community and a frequent speaker at community and professional events. He is a member of the Sigma Pi Phi (Boule) Fraternity and a life member of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity for which he serves as the national Associate General Counsel.
Mr. Smith earned his Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law where he was the Founding Executive Editor of the Journal of Law & Business, Dean’s Scholar for academic merit, Vanderbilt Medal recipient for outstanding contributions to the School of Law, and a recipient of the New York University President’s Service Award for Leadership. He was also a Constitutional Law Teaching Assistant for the renowned Professor Derrick Bell, Teaching Assistant for Lawyering, and member of the Juvenile Rights/Criminal Defense Clinic. A graduate of Florida State University's College of Business, Mr. Smith earned his B.S., summa cum laude, (with a perfect GPA in his major, Management Information Systems) and was inducted into Phi Kappa Phi, the nation’s oldest and most selective collegiate honor society for all academic disciplines. Mr. Smith served as President of the Management Information Systems Association and was also inducted into the Seminole Torchbearers for outstanding student leaders. Mr. Smith has also earned a Business Strategy Certificate from Cornell University's Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management, a Certificate in Intellectual Property Law and Policy from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and is an Alumnus of the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government's Executive Education program for Emerging Leaders.
- Representation of a New York state development corporation in connection with the exercise of its eminent domain power to help clear the way for a $4 billion redevelopment project in Brooklyn, New York.
- Representation of a congressman in an election challenge which resulted in the congressman's election to the U.S. House of Representatives.
- Representation of a major online travel agency in a breach of contract dispute with a gift card vendor resulting in a favorable settlement.
- Representation of a marine lighting company in obtaining an injunction at trial court for violation of a non-compete agreement which was then successfully defended on appeal.
- Representation of an equestrian facility's owner in settling a construction defect case of a horse rink at mediation.
- Representation of a defense contractor shareholder in a dispute with another shareholder regarding the purchase of shares, resulting in a multi-million dollar buyout for the client.
- Representation of a marine industry retailer and manufacturer in settling a trademark dispute.
- Represented a major university in establishing a 501(c)(3) for a foundation.
- Representation of a major league baseball team in a breach of contract dispute against a national hotel chain resulting in a favorable settlement.
- Represented a 501(c)(3) in the purchase of all the assets of a for profit corporation.
- Representation of a city manager in an employment contract dispute with a city resulting in a favorable settlement.
- Representation of a South Florida hotel in numerous third-party contract disputes resulting in favorable settlements.
- Representation of South Florida hotel in defense of an Americans with Disabilities Act claim resulting in a dismissal.
- Representation of a commercial building owners in eviction of commercial tenants.
- Representation of a charter school in a dispute against a donor resulting in favorable settlement.
- Representation of attorneys in multiple bar grievance matters resulting in no probable cause findings.