Michael F. Smith
McAfee & Taft
Williams Center Tower II
Two W. Second Street, Suite 1100
Tulsa, OK 74103
Tel: (918) 574-3078
Michael F. Smith is a trial and appellate lawyer whose practice is concentrated on defending clients in complex litigation, focusing on manufacturers’ products liability, including automotive, medical device, and pharmaceutical products liability, as well as consumer protection class actions and claims involving breach of contract, professional malpractice, and insurance bad faith. He currently serves as leader of the firm’s Appellate Practice Group.
Michael is admitted to practice in Oklahoma, Illinois, and New York and has represented clients in state and federal trial and appellate courts throughout the United States. He is particularly regarded for his expertise with appellate practice and procedure in the Oklahoma Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit and has had primary briefing responsibilities on a broad range of cases, including those involving products liability, medical products liability, consumer protection class actions, and environmental matters.
As part of his appellate practice, Michael has successfully defended judgments, based on both summary judgments and jury verdicts, in numerous appeals in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including appeals to the U.S. Supreme Court. Many of those appeals involved issues of first impression, and the reported opinions in those cases have established new precedent on a variety of legal issues.
His achievements as a trial and appellate lawyer have earned him inclusion in Benchmark Litigation, The Best Lawyers in America (commercial litigation) and Oklahoma Super Lawyers, as well as the honor of membership in the International Association of Defense Counsel, where he served two years as editor of the Defense Counsel Journal and in leadership for the Appellate Practice Committee. Michael previously chaired the Oklahoma Bar Association’s appellate practice committee and is an active member in the Council Oak/Johnson-Sontag American Inn of Court.
In 2020, he was honored by the Family Law Section of the Oklahoma Bar Association for his work in Schnedler v. Lee, a groundbreaking case before the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
- J.D., with distinction, University of Tulsa, 1991
- Notes and Comments Editor, Tulsa Law Journal; Robert C. Butler, Jr. Award for Excellence in Legal Scholarship and Writing
- B.S., Oklahoma State University, 1987
- Oklahoma, 1991
- Illinois, 1992
- New York, 2002
- U.S. District Court for the Western, Northern and Eastern Districts of Oklahoma
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois
- U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
- U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Eighth and Tenth Circuits
- U.S. Supreme Court
Honors and Awards
- Named a “Local Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation
- Selected by peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America (commercial litigation)
- Listed in Oklahoma Super Lawyers
- Named to Oklahoma Super Lawyers’ list of “Top 50 Lawyers”
- Honored with the 2019 Groundbreaking Family Law Case of the Year Award by the Family Law Section of Oklahoma Bar Association (2020)
Professional Organizations and Memberships
- Tulsa County Bar Association
- Oklahoma Bar Association (Former Chair, Appellate Practice Committee)
- International Association of Defense Counsel
- Defense Research Institute
- Council Oak/Johnson-Sontag American Inns of Court
Our appellate attorneys have that eye for detail, combined with a thorough knowledge of appellate procedures, necessary to identify and prevent appellate errors during trial, to comb a post-trial record in search of reversible errors to raise on appeal, or to defend a successful trial on appeal. Several of our appellate attorneys have served as law clerks to appellate court judges and supreme court justices before entering private practice. With this extensive knowledge, talent and experience, our appellate lawyers work to avoid the traps that exist in practice before the appellate courts by taking a proactive approach to presenting issues during pre-trial and trial, preserving errors during trial and in post-trial motion practice, and navigating intricate appellate rules and procedures.
McAfee & Taft’s appellate practice is not limited to the traditional work in appellate courts. Our appellate lawyers are available to assist clients and other attorneys at all stages of a case. We team with trial counsel, whether from McAfee & Taft or another firm, to provide litigation support by drafting and arguing dispositive motions, motions to limit or exclude expert opinion testimony, motions in limine, directed verdict motions, proposing jury instructions and verdict forms, and post-trial motions. In addition, our appellate lawyers are available to attend trials to assist in identifying and preserving errors for appellate review and are also experienced at seeking and prosecuting interlocutory appeals and seeking mandamus relief.
By rigorously maintaining the highest standards of legal excellence, the Oklahoma-based law firm of McAfee & Taft has grown to become one of the largest and most respected full-service business practice law firms in the region and a recognized leader in providing clients aggressive representation through creative and innovative strategies for meeting their business and legal needs. For more than 60 years, clients have counted on the firm’s multi-disciplinary approach to problem-solving, along with the depth and talent of its dedicated attorneys and support staff, to create comprehensive, customized legal solutions.
McAfee & Taft is Oklahoma’s largest law firm and one of the nation’s top 250 firms as ranked by the National Law Journal. With its deep roster of 180 attorneys, the full-service civil practice firm serves clients locally, nationally and internationally in the areas of appellate practice, aviation, banking and financial institutions, bankruptcy and workouts, business law, business restructuring, corporate and securities, employee benefits and executive compensation, energy, entertainment law, environmental law, healthcare law, intellectual property, labor and employment, litigation, oil and gas, real estate, and tax and family wealth.