Jenny Lee Smith

Comic book superhero movies are among the highest grossing films of all-time.  While some may say this success is a result of the moviegoer’s desire to wear spandex costumes and have the ability to fly around, there is something much more innate in every person that these movies appeal to: a sense of justice.  Every person, to varying degrees, has an inherent sense of right and wrong and the desire to ensure that the cosmic balance never favors the latter.  Nobody wants to see Iron Man get defeated, or have the Death Star destroy the galaxy, or watch Rocky go down in the first round after spending countless hours training.  We all want justice, and none more so than I.  It is this pursuit of fairness that drives my passion for the work we do here at Cobb & Counsel.

From a young age I was destined to serve clients with tireless, unwavering dedication.  My parents still love to remind me that, as a kindergartener, I constantly created my own homework assignments.  Apparently, I didn’t feel that the teachers were challenging me to my utmost potential.  I carried this resolve with me throughout my academic experience, serving in various organizational leadership roles while maintaining a 4.0 GPA at Baylor University.  I continued on to Texas Tech University School of Law with a full-ride scholarship where I served as an articles editor for the Law Review and finished fourth in my class.  I was also blessed with the opportunity to intern for both Judge Sam R. Cummings and now Chief Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn, United States District Judges for the Northern District of Texas during my first summer of law school.  Luckily for me, the professors at law school were more than willing to meet my demand for work, so there was no need to create any more for myself as I had in kindergarten.  

I should mention here that I have been very fortunate throughout my career to be surrounded by like-minded and equally driven individuals, all pursuing justice and equality for their clients at the highest levels.  This was no exception at Carrington, Coleman, Sloman and Blumenthal LLP in Dallas, Texas, where I interned during my second summer of law school and where I ultimately landed my first job. While at Carrington Coleman, I served many corporate clients including a financial institution in a trademark infringement suit, where my work included researching expert witness issues and drafting pre-trial motions.  I also assisted in the representation of oil and gas companies in their coverage dispute with an insurance company, where I researched and drafted summary judgment briefing and an expert challenge in federal court.

Jenny Smith with Manuel Velez and other members of the habeas team

One of the most high-profile achievements I had at Carrington Coleman was not from a corporate client, however, but was instead from a wrongful conviction case of a death-row inmate named Manuel Velez.  As the associate on the case, I coordinated a team of attorneys and paralegals in assembling the appendix and verifying record cites in the 360-page Application for Writ of Habeas Corpus, drafted various portions of the Application, and participated in the evidentiary hearing. I was honored to be a member of this team that received the American Bar Association Death Penalty Representation Project’s 2013 Exceptional Service Award for the work on this case. Ultimately, the client was released on October 8, 2014.  

Although I hold my time with Carrington Coleman and the attorneys there in high regard, when Jackson Walker offered me a position and the ability to return to my hometown of Austin, I could not turn it down.  It was at Jackson Walker that I began working for Bill Cobb (see my earlier comments about the fortune of working with equally driven individuals).  It was in Bill that I saw many of my own qualities reflected—desire for justice, drive to succeed, and a passion for the practice of law unparalleled to most.  When Bill asked if I would leave Jackson Walker to help build Cobb & Counsel, I knew it was an opportunity to build a firm on those same principles.  

litigation consulting 2My practice focuses on complex litigation. I represent sophisticated parties in a range of disputes including appeals, Texas Attorney General investigations, complex contractual disputes, and various other business and commercial litigation. My experience includes all aspects of the pre-trial, trial, and post-trial process, including discovery management, trial strategy, and briefing and arguing various motions, including motions for summary judgment, discovery motions, and other evidentiary motions.  I have also drafted appellate briefs before state appellate courts and the Fifth Circuit.  I have participated in jury selection, and both a bench trial in federal court and evidentiary hearings in state court.

My greatest achievement thus far at Cobb & Counsel has been the opportunity to successfully argue before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on behalf of a client whose First Amendment rights had been violated.  At issue on appeal was whether the district court erred when it disregarded the jury’s $1.4 million award of front pay.  As appellate counsel, I briefed and argued the issues before the Fifth Circuit, which resulted in the Fifth Circuit reversing the district court, and remanding the case back to the district court.  For my work on this case, I was honored to receive Texas Lawyer’s designation as Appellate Lawyer of the Week.  

In my free time, I also serve on the board of the Texas Young Lawyers Association (“TYLA”) and the Access to Justice Commission.  In my time with TYLA, I have assisted with the following projects:  And Justice for All:  Preventing Wrongful Convictions through Education, Pro Se Litigator Flashcard, Distance Lawyering, End Bullying Now, TYLA E-News, National Mock Trial Competition and Moot Court Competition, Strength in Unity, and the TYLA Just Drive Campaign.  I was honored to receive the Keith L. Kruger Leadership Award in 2016 for my commitment to service with TYLA.

I care about my clients.  I’m driven to seek justice on their behalf, whether it be an individual whose First Amendment rights have been violated or a corporation seeking to enforce its non-competes.  If you have a legal problem and want someone who will bring this passion and dedication to your case, give Cobb & Counsel a call.