Meeting Notice - July 8th at 2pm: New Directions for Public Safety and Positive Community Change
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The 9:00AM 07/07/2020 Commissioners Court Meeting has been rescheduled to 11:15AM Friday, 7/10/2020 due to technical difficulties with the internet presentation.
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COVID-19 Main Site   |   Reopenings and Operational Updates   |   Cares Act Funding
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Hon. Craig Smith, Presiding

George L. Allen, Sr. Courts Building – 600 Commerce Street, 7th Floor New Tower, Dallas, TX 75202
Court Phone: (214) 653-7709

Before taking the bench in 2007, Judge Smith spent over 26 years as a civil trial lawyer.  He is “Board Certified’ by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in both Civil Trial Law and Personal Injury Law. He has served on various State Bar Committees and currently serves on the State Bar Court Administration Task Force Committee and the Pattern Jury Charge Committee.

He is an “Advocate” member of the American Board of Trial Advocates.  He served on the ABOTA National Board of Directors (2002 - 2006).  He is a Life Fellow at the Texas Bar Foundation.  He was named as “Texas Super Lawyer” in 2003 - 2007, by Texas Monthly.  He was awarded the ABOTA “Judge of the Year” for 2008 and the Dallas Bar Association “Pro Bono Services Judge of the Year” for 2008.

As a practicing attorney, he was a frequent lecturer at continuing legal education events on various trial topics including Direct Examination, Cross Examination, Evidence and Discovery.  As a Judge, he is a frequent lecturer on a variety of civil trial and procedure matters including Legal Ethics as well as the “Vanishing Jury”.

He is co-author of the book On the Jury Trial and has authored multiple articles on issues important to our civil justice system and is a visiting lecturer to college and law school classes.

Most importantly, he has been married to his wonderful wife for 31 years and they have raised three wonderful children.


  • J.D. Texas Tech University, 1976
  • B.B.A., University of Texas Austin, 1973


  • Board Certified in Civil Trial (1988) and Personal Injury (1983) Texas Board of Legal Specialization
  • “Advocate” member American Board of Trial Advocates
  • “Texas Super Lawyer” Civil Trial/Consumer Law, Texas Monthly 2003 - 2007
  • Licensed to Practice Law Texas, 1977, Florida, 2001
  • Mac Taylor Inn of Courts Member


  • Dallas County Juvenile Board Member, 2012 – Present
  • AIDS Services of Dallas, Board of Directors, 2005 – 2014
  • Supporters Housing, Inc., Board of Trustees, 2005 – 2014
  • El Centro College, Legal Services Board of Directors, 2007 - Present
  • ABOTA - National Board of Directors, 2002 – 2006


  • Presiding Judge – Dallas Civil District Courts 2014-2015
  • President of Texas Association of District Judges, 2011 – 2013
  • ASTAR Fellow since 2012
  • ABOTA (Dallas) Judge of the Year, 2008
  • Pro Bono Judge for 2008, (Hartman Award), Dallas Bar Association 


  • On the Jury Trial UNT Press  October 2017
  • “Finding A Balance Between Confidentiality and Preserving Court Transparency” SMU Law Review Spring 2016
  • “Outsourcing American Civil Justice” Texas Tech Law Review Winter 2012
  • “SEC vs Cuban Shows the Importance of the Jury System” Voir Dire Magazine Spring 2014
  • “Mandatory Arbitration Classes in Consumer and Employment Contracts” Voir Dire Magazine Fall 2012
  •  “Business Fear of Jury is Irrational” Voir Dire Magazine Summer, 2011
  • “Privacy Laws Evolving in New Era of Technology” Houston Chronicle March 25, 2011
  • “Judicious Changes” Dallas Morning News March 15, 2011
  • “The Legacy of Merrill Hartman”  - Dallas Morning News - October 26, 2010
  • “Campaign Contributions: Financing Order in the Court”- Fort Worth Star-Telegram - March 20, 2010                                       
  • “Trashing Supreme Court Not Appropriate” - Houston Chronicle - March 2, 2010
  • “Web Savvy Jurors Create New Problems for Courts” - Houston Chronicle  June 21, 2009
  • “Time to Reinvest in the Jury Trial” - Dallas Morning News - March 19, 2009
  • “Melsheimer & Smith: One Crime but not the other?”- Dallas Morning News - December 5, 2008
  • “The Ring Around White Collar Crimes” - Fort Worth Star-Telegram October 16, 2005
  • “Prescription for Error” - Trial Magazine - October, 1999
  • “Fundamentals of Direct Examination” - Texas Trial Lawyer Forum - December, 1986 


  • Texas Tech School of Law, SMU Law School, University of Texas School of Law, Baylor Law, UNT Law  and El Centro Community College
Guest Lecturer on various subjects including, ADR Professional Ethics, Civil Jury Trials and Community Service
  • State Bar of Texas
Lectured at many Continuing Education Programs on subjects: Discovery, Pretrial and Trial Motion Practices; Legal Ethics, Voir Dire and the “Vanishing Jury"
  • Dallas Bar Association, Garland Bar Association, Irving Bar Association
Lectured at many Continuing Education Programs on subjects: Pro Bono Services, Legal Malpractice, Trial, Electronic Discovery, Legal Ethics
  • Texas Association of Defense Counsel
Presented at many Education Programs for Trial Lawyers
  • Texas Trial Lawyers Association
Presented at many Education Programs for Trial Lawyers
  • American Board of Trial Advocates
Participated in Masters in Trial Programs as attorney and judge
  • NITA Faculty 2010 – 2018