The firm today known as SmithBush was founded in 1911 by Fern M. Wood in what was a rural lumber-harvesting settlement called Leesville, Louisiana. Organized at that time to represent laborers against the burgeoning timber industry in the area, its primary focus today remains protecting the interests of workers, their families, and ordinary people from all walks of life. The firm's growth and longevity, however, have allowed it to expand its representation to interests of those beyond the confines of its rural origins.
The members of SmithBush share the belief that our work is fundamentally the pursuit of social justice. We represent regular people who need help. That has been our mission since our founding in 1911, and though our growth and success has broadened the range of matters over which we are asked to help out, our focus has remained the same: achieving justice for workers, families, consumers, patients, and small business owners. By doing so in our current practice, we play a part in promoting safer products and better working conditions; in helping to foster and maintain fair competition; in redressing violations of civil rights of people who cannot otherwise protect themselves; and in protecting our environment for ourselves and those who come after us.
The firm has a highly diversified federal and state trial practice, ranging from complex personal injury litigation to federal securities act claims to death-penalty defense. A substantial portion of the firm's litigation and appellate work originates as referrals from other attorneys. The firm is active in local civic and political interests, and from its members have come numerous judges, city attorneys, police jurors, a state senator, Delegate to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention, and a United States Congressman.
SmithBush has an academic orientation and devotes itself to significant community-development activities and pro bono projects. All of its members perform indigent defense services and accept non-paying civil clients through the CENLA Pro Bono Project, well in excess of the Louisiana and American Bar Associations' aspirational Pro Bono recommendations. This affinity for public service makes the members of the firm particularly sensitive to the needs of its client-base and allows the firm a well-rounded perspective of the legal requirements of the community-at-large.
The clients of SmithBush come from every corridor of life. They are people, most of whom never thought they would need a lawyer, that have been seriously hurt by defective products, industrial accidents, vehicle collisions, financial fraud, unsafe designs, or unfair practices. In some cases, they have been accused of the most serious and life-changing of criminal offenses. SmithBush has represented people in need from judges to business, professional, and sports leaders across the country, from construction laborers to teachers, to working mothers, to the children left behind by the sudden loss of their parents.