Christopher J. Smart
My three decades of legal experience began in August 1985 when I touched down at La Guardia in New York City to attend Columbia Law School, never having set foot east of the Mississippi River and being, in so many ways, a fool. With a lot of hard work and no doubt some luck, I got my law degree from Columbia in 1988, graduating with honors and the law school's top writing prize. I started my legal practice in Southern California, clerking for a federal judge from 1988-1989 and working as an associate with a large, national, Los Angeles-based law firm, Sheppard Mullin, from 1989-1992. I moved to Washington D.C. in 1992, joining another large, national law firm, Arent Fox, where I practiced, primarily in the area of real estate, until, in 1999, I married and moved with my wife to Montpelier to leave the rat race and raise children.
In Montpelier, I've had the great pleasure of working for many years with the reputable lawyers of Cheney Brock & Saudek (later Cheney Saudek & Grayck). After that firm disbanded in 2014, I formed Merriman Smart PLC with my partner, Charlie Merriman, with whom I worked until forming this firm in July 2020, Charlie wanting to slow down and me having tread left on the tires.
I'm a member of the Vermont Bar Association and the State Bar of Vermont and am licensed to practice before all levels of Vermont state courts. I've previously been barred in California, Virginia and the District of Columbia. Not that it matters much, now that I'm in Vermont, but, previously, I've been admitted to practice before the highest courts in each of those states and also before the United States Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, the United States District Courts for the District of Arizona, the Central, Eastern and Southern Districts of California, and the District of Maryland, and the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. Rounding out, I've published a legal article and conducted professional seminars on bankruptcy, foreclosures and title insurance.
In my non-professional life, I continue to be married to my wife, Julie, who has taught with distinction for over two decades in our local public schools. We've had the great pleasure of raising two children, both now teens, in Montpelier. When I'm not busy with them, I garden, slowly renovate my old 1898 home, solve genealogical puzzles and bang on a piano.