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Ray S. Smith, III
Partner

Mr. Smith is the head of the Litigation Department for Smith & Liss, LLC. Mr. Smith is a business, real estate, and probate litigation attorney with a national practice in areas including real estate law, land use matters, commercial law, probate law, business and employment litigation, election law, and creditor bankruptcy. Mr. Smith represents a variety of clients, including publicly and privately-held business entities, commercial real estate developers and builders, multi-million dollar estates, as well as private individuals.

Mr. Smith has served as special assistant to the attorney general of the State of Georgia. He was appointed by Governor Sonny Perdue to the Governor’s Committee for Sandy Springs, where he served as a commissioner and vice-chair. He was also appointed by Governors Perdue and Deal to the Stone Mountain Memorial Association, where he is currently serving his 4th four year term on its Governing Board, and chairs the Development Committee. Also, Governor Perdue appointed Mr. Smith to the Judicial Nominating Commission, where he served for 3 ½ years. Mr. Smith is frequently appointed, by the Judiciary, as a Special Master, Guardian Ad Litem, and mediator. He is currently Authority Counsel for the Chattahoochee 911 Authority and is also Board Counsel for the City of Brookhaven, Georgia Zoning Board of Appeals. In 2014 Mr. Smith was selected by Mayor Rusty Paul to Chair the City of Sandy Springs Municipal Court and Judicial Selection Committee, and has served for the last 3 years.

Mr. Smith previously served on the Fulton County Board of Elections and Registration. Mr. Smith is also the President of the Atlanta Chapter of the University of North Carolina Educational Foundation, and in the past served 2 ½ terms as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Atlanta Academy. In addition, Mr. Smith was recently appointed to the University of North Carolina Board of Visitors for a 4 year term. Also, he served as a founding Board member of the Sandy Springs Perimeter Chamber of Commerce, and it’s General Counsel.

Mr. Smith has an AV Rating with Martindale-Hubbell’s Bar Register, which is the highest attainable rating as to skill level and integrity. He also is listed in the Martindale-Hubbell Bar Register of Pre-Eminent Lawyers in America. In addition, Mr. Smith was recently selected for Georgia’s Top Rated Lawyers Guide, 2012-2016 Edition. Mr. Smith was recently honored by James Magazine in its list of “2014, 2015 & 2016 James’ Most Influential Attorneys.”

Mr. Smith earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science and speech communications from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and his J.D. from Mercer University School of Law. He is a member of the Atlanta, Sandy Springs and Cobb County Bar Associations, the Federal Bar Association, the State Bar of Georgia, the State Bar of South Carolina, the Atlanta Estate Planning Council, the International Council of Shopping Centers, the Atlanta Commercial Board of Realtors, and the Lawyers Club of Atlanta. He has litigated in 19 states and is admitted to practice before all state and Federal courts in Georgia and South Carolina, the United States Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court.

 

REPRESENTATIVE TRANSACTIONS

• Obtained a six-figure jury verdict against the Georgia Department of Transportation in a condemnation action (2011)
• Obtained a six-figure judgment against one of the largest publicly traded Construction Companies in the world, in an Employment dispute (2012)
• Obtained a half-million dollar judgment for the FDIC, against an investor and an allied company
• Successfully defended a multimillion dollar estate against a will caveat (2010)
• Obtained a 3.3 million dollar judgment against a Texas based development company and it’s guarantors (2010)
• Obtained a multi-million dollar judgment for a British based company’s U.S. affiliate against a former employee who embezzled company funds (2010)
• Obtained a multi-million dollar judgment for a national bank against a development company (2009)
• Obtained a million dollar plus settlement in a construction litigation case (2008)
• Obtained the largest jury verdict ever, at the time, in a commercial litigation case, in the State Court of Baldwin County, Georgia (2006)
• Obtained a six-figure Arbitration verdict against a large Insurance Company
• Obtained a six-figure verdict in an International Commercial Arbitration Case involving fraud (2004)
• Obtained a six-figure verdict against the U.S Department of Homeland Security/FEMA in an employment discrimination case, in Orlando, Florida (2008)
• Successfully obtained rezoning of a 3½ acre Commercial property in Sandy Springs, GA (2014)
• Successfully retained zoning in a Sandy Springs, GA subdivision (2016)
• Successfully assisted in the zoning for the Mercedes North America Headquarters in Sandy Springs, GA (2016)
• Obtained rezoning and variances for a developer of a multi-family project on Roswell Road in Sandy Springs (2007)
• Obtained rezoning and variance for a developer of a high end residential subdivision in Sandy Springs (2007)
• Appointed the attorney for the U.S. Bankruptcy Trustee, in a multi-million dollar pyramid scheme, which resulted in the recovery of millions of dollars for the benefit of the Bankruptcy Estate and Creditors (2003)
• Responsible for the commercial eviction of a large Drug Ring from a large shopping center, on behalf of the client and the U.S. Justice Department
• Reported Appellate decisions:
  1. Dillard Land Invs., LLC v. Fulton County, 295 Ga. 515       (2014)(affirming a five million dollar RSS Special Master       Award to Dillard);
  2. Fagbemi, et al. v. JDN Realty Corporation, 275 Ga. App.       540; 621 S.E.2d 765 (2005)
  3. Douglas v. Knox, 232 Ga. App. 551; 502 S.E.2d 490 (1998)
  4. Goshayeshi v. Mehrabian, 232 Ga. App. 81, 501 S.E.2d 265       (1998)
  5. Tauber, et al. v. Community Centers Two, LLC, 235 Ga. App       705 (1998)
  6. West 80 Investors, et al. v. Chequers Investment       Associates, 214 Ga. App. 673 (1994)
• A number of other trial court victories were affirmed without opinion, by the Appellate Courts of Georgia, including:
  - Buckhead Beverage, Inc., et al v. Community Centers II,      LLC, et al (2002);
  - City of College Park v. Bloom, et al (1989); and
  - City of Alpharetta, et al. v. Ruby Tuesday (1996)

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Contact Information:

rsmith@smithliss.com

Direct Line: 404-760-6006
Direct Fax: 404-760-0225

Practice Areas: