Steven D. Smelser


Los Angeles

Tel: (213) 362-7777 Ext. 206
Tel: (213) 362-7777 Ext. 206
Fax: (213) 362-7788

Steven D. Smelser is an accomplished civil litigator and trial attorney who skillfully leverages his 26 years of legal expertise to successfully defend the interests of Fortune 500 companies in product liability, complex business litigation, aircraft and automotive litigation, and toxic tort matters. 

Licensed to practice in California and Hawaii, Mr. Smelser has a proven track record in all aspects of business litigation, including mass tort claims filed in both federal and state courts, and represents clients on trademark disputes, unfair competition cases, and breach of contract matters. 

Particularly adept in product liability litigation, Mr. Smelser has defended the design, manufacture, and performance of a wide range of consumer and commercial products, including:

•    Motor Vehicles
•    Heavy Trucks
•    Trailers
•    Tires
•    Aircraft Components

•    Recreational Vehicles
•    Law Enforcement & Military Equipment
•    Construction Equipment
•    Industrial Machinery
•    Power Generators
•    Recreational Equipment

Having handled multiple mass automotive industry recalls, Mr. Smelser has experience defending, negotiating, and settling of hundreds of pending suits and claims that were filed throughout the United States for major manufacturers of automobiles, and automotive parts. 

Known for his keen knowledge of defense strategy, Mr. Smelser has lectured nationwide on topics that include:

•    Jury Selection
•    Automotive Recall Defense and Mediation
•    Trial Techniques for Effective Litigators
•    Defending a Product’s Liability Case from Start to Finish 
•    Apportioning Liability in Jurisdictions with Fault Allocation

As a native of California, Mr. Smelser has deep roots in the legal and professional community, having graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles with undergraduate degrees in Political Science and History before earning his Juris Doctor at Loyola Law School. 

Mr. Smelser resides in Southern California with his wife and children. 

  • Loyola Law School, Juris Doctor (1995)
  • University of California, Los Angeles, Bachelor of Arts (1992)
  • California (1995)
  • Hawaii (1996)
  • Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • USDC - Central District of California
  • USDC - Eastern District of California
  • USDC - Northern District of California
  • USDC - Southern District of California
  • State Bar of California
  • State Bar of Hawaii
  • American Bar Association
  • Defense Research Institute
  • Santa Clarita Bar Association
  • International Association of Defense Counsel
  • Association of Southern California Defense Counsel
  • Southern California Super Lawyers 2012-2018
  • Capps et. al. v. Safariland, LLCRead Details
    Stanley Mosk Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA – March 12, 2018
  • Michel v. Safariland LLC, et al.Read Details
    United States District Court, San Diego, CA – October 31, 2017
  • Currie v. Ford Motor CompanyRead Details
    Pasadena Superior Court, Pasadena, CA – March 22, 2017
  • Garcia v. Ford Motor CompanyRead Details
    Torrance Superior Court, Torrance, CA – September 26, 2013
  • Petitpas v. Ford Motor CompanyRead Details
    Stanley Mosk Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA – August, 2012
  • Morrison v. Ford Motor CompanyRead Details
    Stanley Mosk Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA – May 20, 2011
  • Goebel v. Ford Motor CompanyRead Details
    Stanley Mosk Superior Court, Los Angeles, CA – November 23, 2009
  • Clarendon National Ins. Co. v. Ford Motor CompanyRead Details
    Imperial County Superior Court, El Centro, CA – August 1, 2009