Justin helps people and companies resolve difficult issues in the air, soil and water. He has helped defend toxic tort lawsuits around the country alleging personal injuries, cancer clusters and property devaluation. Justin has also helped companies obtain permits, challenge regulations, and negotiate and conduct investigation and response actions. On a secondment, Justin viewed litigation and compliance through the client’s eyes when he worked for three months in a Fortune 100 company’s environmental, health and safety legal group.

Giving back to the community is important to Justin. He serves as a licensed guardian ad litem and represents children in difficult situations. Justin also serves on KC BizPAC, a group of businesses that work to improve Kansas City.  In 2012, Kansas City’s business magazine, Ingram’s, selected Justin as one of the area’s "20 in Their Twenties."

Toxic tort

  • Served on teams that litigated property damage and personal injury mass torts and class actions related to harm allegedly caused by arsenic, benzene, coal ash, glyphosate, hexavalent chromium, lead, petroleum products, and trichloroethylene in air, soil and water.  
  • Deposed plaintiffs, produced company employees for deposition and drafted briefs for state and federal courts.  
  • Managed discovery teams performing paper and electronic discovery review and production and worked with co-counsel and opposing counsel to resolve discovery issues.


  • Served on teams that negotiated or litigated matters under federal or state law in the Passaic River, the Fox River, and sites in California, Illinois, Kansas, Missouri and New York.
  • Prepared and submitted responses to information requests made by EPA under Section 104(e) of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act and by state agencies under comparable state law. 
  • Involved in judicial and administrative actions relating to climate change and sustainability at the federal and state level.
  • Presented to businesses on emerging environmental issues.


  • Worked with public entities to obtain and appeal permits under the Missouri Clean Water Law.  
  • Worked with a chemical manufacturer to resolve an inquiry by EPA under the Emergency Planning and Right-to-Know Act Toxic Release Inventory Program.
  • Experience with the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act, and select agents under 42 C.F.R. Part 73.
  • Published in an American Bar Association journal on nutrient issues.

Constitutional.  Helped prepare federal court briefing and congressional testimony on issues arising under the Constitution of the United States, including the Separation of Powers Clause, First Amendment, Fifth Amendment and Tenth Amendment.

Secondment.  Worked in-house for three months in the environmental, health and safety legal group of a Fortune 100 company, assisting with litigation and regulatory issues.


  • Member of Shook’s Knowledge Management Task Force.
  • Recognized by The National Journal for implementing a novel social media strategy to engage college students politically in 2006.
  • Assisted with preparing guidance on filing hyperlink briefs in federal court for the U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas.
  • Before law school, worked for a demographer to gather and analyze census data to predict population changes.

Publications and Presentations

Justin Smith, co-author, Kansas, chapter of ABA 50-State Survey on Toxic Exposure Claims (2016).

Justin D. Smith, co-author, Trial Masters Program: View from the Bench, Spring 2015, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel conference paper.

Justin D. Smith, presenter, New Knowledge Management Tools, January 2015, Shook, Hardy & Bacon.

Justin D. Smith, presenter, A Discussion of Emerging Agricultural Legal Issues, January 2015, Kansas City Agricultural Business Council.

Justin D. Smith, contributing author, Alternative Fee Arrangements, Summer 2014, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel conference paper.

Justin D. Smith, contributing author, Legal Project Management: The Attorney as Conductor, Summer 2014, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel conference paper.

Justin D. Smith, co-author, Effective Communication at Trial: Social Media and Juries, Spring 2014, American Bar Association conference paper.

Justin D. Smith, presenter, Early Action Alerts: Finding New Business, April 2014, Shook, Hardy & Bacon.

Justin D. Smith, presenter, Lessons Learned from a Secondment, March 2014, Shook, Hardy & Bacon.

Justin D. Smith, co-author, Bad Moon Rising: The Importance of Initial Responses to Crises, Summer 2013, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel conference paper.

Justin D. Smith, co-author, Nutrients in the Heartland: Regulatory and Legal Issues Surrounding the Mighty Mississippi, Natural Resources & Environment (American Bar Association), Spring 2013, at 12.

Justin D. Smith, guest speaker, “How to Succeed in College and Prepare for Professional School,” UMKC Honors College, August 2011.

Justin D. Smith, contributing author, Responding to a Mass Environmental Disaster, Fall 2010, Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel conference paper.

Justin D. Smith, co-author, Investigating the Justice System Response in Missouri to Child Homicides Related to Hostile Environments, 66 Journal of the Missouri Bar 262 (2010).

Justin D. Smith, co-author, Hiring and Firing in the Facebook Age, The Practical Lawyer, Oct. 2010, at 19.

Justin D. Smith, author, Hostile Takeover: The State of Missouri, the St. Louis School District, and the Struggle for Quality Education in the Inner-City, 74 Missouri Law Review 1143 (2009).