Gerry Spence Method
David Smith

David Smith

Criminal Defense Trial Lawyer

"I learned that there’s courage in truly caring for the client, strength in community, power in honesty and truth. No other experience in my life taught me so much in so little time."

David D. Smith grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma. He attended the University of Oklahoma (BA Letters 1979) and the University of Oklahoma College of Law (Juris Doctorate 1982) in Norman Oklahoma, where he was an editor of the Oklahoma Law Review. He was licensed to practice in the State of Oklahoma in 1982. He attended and studied at the Ranch in Wyoming, in 2004. He is also on the faculty of the National Judicial College. He is a member of the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (OCDLA); the Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association (Charter Member); and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.

David’s focus on criminal law was born of necessity. When he was starting out, the economy was quite awful, and he told the judges he would take all of the court-appointed cases they gave him. As time passed, David realized the real importance of the work and how vital it is to our way of life. It led him to become a public defender for 17 years.

Attending Gerry Spence’s Ranch, in 2004, David gained a tremendous amount from this experience, not just the trial skills and the winning methods. He credits this experience for enabling him the opportunity of joining a tribe of like-minded people, who stand up for the overlooked, the marginalized, the oppressed; people helping those who have been badly wronged or are in terrible trouble. David feels his time at the Ranch was a priceless experience, and knows there is nothing else like it, anywhere in the world.

David has presented and spoken on subjects including jury selection; handling high profile cases; evidence; best practices in capital litigation; and the use of advanced techniques in case preparation, for the Oklahoma Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; Oklahoma County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; Tulsa County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association; National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws; and the National Judicial College. He has conducted jury trials throughout Oklahoma and in Washington, Texas and Missouri.

In addition to a private practice in the areas of criminal defense and civil litigation, David served as the Public Defender for Cleveland County from 1997 until July 2014. He received the OCDLA President’s Award for Outstanding Advocacy in 2006; in 2012 he was awarded the John Adams Award as the outstanding public defense lawyer in the State of Oklahoma; and in 2016 he received the Clarence Darrow Award as the states outstanding criminal defense lawyer. In 2018 he appeared in the Netflix documentary, “The Innocent Man.”