Ward & Smith Law Firm

Ward & Smith Law Firm

Ward & Smith is a trial law firm with a long history of representing clients throughout the Lone Star State.

Firm Overview

Our offices in Longview and Tyler support the firm's emphasis on cases tried in every division of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas and in state courts throughout the East Texas region.

Ward & Smith is well-known among law firms throughout the U.S. based on our work together in high-stakes trials involving intellectual property claims, oil and gas disputes, business litigation matters, breach of contract, and serious personal injuries. Our attorneys have tried more than 350 cases with impressive results. Our team is made up of seasoned, ethical attorneys who provide clients with proven courtroom track records, including AV-rated lawyers, a former federal judge and two attorneys Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law.

Our attorneys offer a broad range of services in cases involving intellectual property, personal injury, contract litigation, and trade secret litigation. Attorneys with the Ward & Smith Law Firm regularly appear before federal courts in the Eastern District of Texas and state courts throughout Texas. Our firm offers:
-Attorneys who are Board Certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization
-Experience in more than 350 courtroom trials
-AV-rated attorneys recognized by LexisNexis/Martindale-Hubbell, the leading guide to the nation's top attorneys/law firms
-Proven courtroom track record
Main Office
Main Office
1127 Judson Road
Suite 220
Longview  TX  75601
  • 9037576400
Personal Injury
For years, the personal injury attorneys at Ward & Smith have helped victims and their families in cases involving serious personal injuries.
Including injuries caused by heavy truck accidents, dangerous and defective products, intoxicated drivers, and other negligence on behalf of others. Our team includes attorneys who Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.We provide clients with extensive legal expertise and a proven background in medical and technical issues, which is why so many individuals and families rely on Ward & Smith to handle their serious personal injury claims. Our goal is to help our clients get the compensation they deserve, while making sure the responsible parties are held accountable every step of the way.

Many personal injury victims settle their claims with insurance companies without calling on an experienced personal injury attorney. These victims often do not realize the full value of their cases or the extent of their injuries. That is why it is so important to find a lawyer who knows the ins and outs of personal injury cases, from hospital and medical procedures to insurance company policies to determining past and future lost wages.

Why should I hire a Board Certified personal injury trial lawyer?

To become Board Certified in Personal Injury Trial Law, an attorney must have:

-Been licensed to practice law for at least five years.
-Devoted a required percentage of practice to personal injury trial law for at least three years.
-Handled a wide variety of personal injury trial law matters to demonstrate experience and involvement.
-Attended personal injury trial law continuing education seminars regularly to keep legal training up to date.
-Been evaluated by fellow lawyers and judges.
-Passed a day-long written examination.

Ward & Smith represents clients in the following types of personal injury cases:
-Brain Injuries
-Burn Injuries
-Car Accidents
-Construction Site Accidents
-Dog/Animal Bites
-DWI Accidents
-Motorcycle Accidents
-Oil Field Accidents
-Spinal Cord Injuries
-Trucking Accidents
-Wrongful Death

T. John "Johnny" Ward

Having served as lead trial attorney in more than 30 jury trials involving a variety of challenging legal issues, Johnny Ward is one of the most distinguished trial lawyers in East Texas. Mr. Ward has successfully tried a wide variety of complex cases to verdict, including numerous patent infringement, breach of contract and fiduciary duty, consumer dispute, personal injury, wrongful death and survival claim, and civil rights cases. In the process, Mr. Ward has secured a string of major courtroom victories against some of the world's most recognizable companies, such as Samsung and Microsoft.

Mr. Ward's court room work has earned him a national reputation in high-stakes litigation, as evidenced by his AV Peer Review Rating by Martindale-Hubble and recognition as a Texas Super Lawyer by Super Lawyers magazine in every year since the existence of the publication. In 2012, at the age of 41, he was inducted into the American College of Trial Lawyers. Mr. Ward is frequently called on by law firms throughout the nation to provide his knowledge and skill in complex cases before East Texas juries.

A member of the American Board of Trial Advocates, a Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, and a sustaining member of the Texas Trial Lawyers Association, Mr. Ward is admitted to practice before the 5th and 6th Circuit United States Courts of Appeals; and the United States District Courts for the Eastern, Northern, and Western Districts. He graduated with distinction from the University of Oklahoma in 1992 and Texas Tech Law School in 1995 (Magna Cum Laude), before clerking for the Hon. Robert M. Parker (Ret.) with the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Practice Areas
-Patent Infringement
-Intellectual Property
-Auto Accidents
-Products Liability
-Insurance Claims
-Business Torts
-Breach of Contract
-Commercial Disputes
-Deceptive Trade Practices
-Federal Tort Claims
-Will Contests
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1995

T. John Ward

Judge Ward served as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas for 12 years from September 24, 1999 until his retirement on October 1, 2011. During his 12-year tenure, Judge Ward presided over cases in the Marshall, Tyler, and Texarkana divisions and had one of the heaviest intellectual property dockets in the country. Judge Ward conducted over 150 jury trials, presided over hundreds of patent cases, including Hatch-Waxman cases, and held in excess of 150 claim construction hearings. Judge Ward also presided over numerous complex commercial cases and nation-wide class action lawsuits. A list of some of Judge Ward's notable opinions appears below.

During his tenure, Judge Ward was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist of the Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Court Management from October 2003 to October 2006 and was then reappointed by Chief Justice Roberts to serve a second term from October 2006 to October 2009. Judge Ward served as a member of the National Patent Jury Instruction Project at the request of Chief Judge Paul R. Michel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. This project was completed in June 2009, and the results may be found at http://www.nationaljuryinstructions.org/. The American Inns of Court, in cooperation with the members of the local bar, chartered the Honorable T. John Ward American Inn of Court for East Texas in 2006. In 2009, the Texas Chapters of American Board of Trial Advocates named Judge Ward Trial Judge of the Year. Judge Ward was selected as one of the Top 25 Most Influential People in IP by a publication of American Lawyer magazine in 2010 and was also presented the award for Outstanding Achievement in Intellectual Property for 2012 by Managing Intellectual Property magazine. In 2004, Baylor University named Judge Ward Baylor Lawyer of the Year.

Judge Ward served on the Board of Governors of the Fifth Circuit Bar Association from 1987 to 1991 and from 1996 to 1999. Judge Ward is also a Life Fellow of the Texas Bar Foundation, a long-time Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers (1986-1999 and Oct. 2011-present), where he also served as a Judicial Fellow during his years on the bench (1999-Oct. 2011), and an Advocate of the American Board of Trial Advocates (1990-present). In 2013, Judge Ward was inducted into the International Academy of Trial Layers.

Prior to his service as a District Judge, Judge Ward was a practicing trial attorney for 31 years, during which time he tried in excess of 250 cases. Judge Ward is now a partner at Ward and Smith Law Firm in Longview, Texas. His litigation practice focuses on patent and other complex commercial cases as well as mediation and arbitration. Judge Ward also conducts mock trials and markman hearings for clients in patent cases.

Judge Ward is a graduate of Texas Tech University, where he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry in 1964. He then went on to obtain his law degree from Baylor University in 1967. Judge Ward is licensed to practice law in Texas and is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, as well as the Eastern, Northern, Southern, and Western Districts of Texas. Judge Ward has completed the Mediation Workshop at Harvard Law School. In April 2013, he served on the faculty of the Patent Litigation Seminar presented by the Federal Judicial Center for U.S. District Judges.

Practice Areas
-Intellectual Property
-Mediation & Arbitration
-Oil & Gas Law
-Complex Commercial Litigation
  • Baylor University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 1967

Bruce A. Smith

Mr. Smith spent the first 20 years of his legal career defending insurance carriers and corporations. In 2006, Johnny Ward decided to expand his existing practice, which was focused primarily on patent litigation. With the addition of Mr. Smith's complex litigation/commercial litigation presence, the Law Offices of T. John Ward, Jr. became Ward & Smith, and the two attorneys expanded the firm's practice and identity.

Mr. Smith represents clients in cases involving auto accidents, business torts, breach of contract, commercial disputes, products liability, insurance claims, deceptive trade practices, will contests, nursing home liability, federal tort claims, and patent infringement and intellectual property disputes.

There are many lawyers who claim to be "trial lawyers," but few of them truly have trial experience. Since 1986, Mr. Smith has tried more than 50 cases to verdict, including many cases while Mr. Smith was working for insurance carriers and corporations. His highly successful work in those cases included many complete defense verdicts for his clients.

In 1992, Mr. Smith earned Board Certification from the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in Personal Injury Trial Law. In order to be Board Certified, attorneys are required to have a minimum of five years of legal experience with a required number of actual trials. Mr. Smith qualified to sit for the Board Certification examination immediately upon completing his 5th year of practice, passing the written examination on his first try. He has been re-certified in 1997, 2002, 2007 and 2012. The distinction of Board Certification in Personal Injury Trial Law is held by fewer than 3% of licensed Texas attorneys.

Mr. Smith has been recognized and selected by his peers to the Texas Super Lawyers list in 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2013, and he maintains an "AV" rating from Lexis Nexis Martindale-Hubbell, the highest ranking offered by the independent guide to the country's top lawyers.

Practice Areas
-Auto Accidents
-Business Torts
-Breach of Contract
-Commercial Disputes
-Products Liability
-Insurance claims
-Deceptive Trade Practices
-Will Contests
-Nursing Home Liability
-Federal Tort Claims
-Patent infringement
-Intellectual Property Disputes
  • Baylor University Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 1986

Brett F. Miller

Brett F. Miller joined Ward & Smith in 2014 after practicing civil litigation in Fort Worth for six years, where he was mentored by two of Fort Worth's most distinguished trial lawyers. Mr. Miller currently handles civil lawsuits in a wide array of practice areas, including family law, oil and gas, commercial disputes, real estate, and personal injuries.

Mr. Miller leads Ward & Smith's family law practice, including representing clients in divorce proceedings involving complex property issues and child custody disputes.

In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Miller was named to the Texas Rising Stars list of the state's top young lawyers, featured in Texas Monthly magazine. A companion to the annual Texas Super Lawyers list, Texas Rising Stars includes no more than 2.5 percent of eligible Texas attorneys.

Mr. Miller was born and raised in Longview, Texas. He earned his business degree, magna cum laude, from Texas Christian University before receiving his law degree, cum laude, from Southern Methodist University's Dedman School of Law.

Practice Areas:
-Family Law
-Commercial Disputes
-Oil and Gas
-Personal Injury
  • Southern Methodist University Dedman School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2008

Welsey Hill

Wesley Hill balances a successful practice in patent, oil & gas, business, and federal criminal defense litigation. With more than 20 trials to his credit, including over a dozen patent cases, Mr. Hill brings broad courtroom experience to every case he handles.

Mr. Hill's trial successes include significant plaintiff's verdicts as well as no-liability findings for defense clients. Most recently, he obtained a defense jury verdict for Ralcorp Holdings and Medallion Foods, defeating claims by Frito-Lay for patent infringement, trademark infringement, and theft of trade secrets. To read more about that case, please click here.

Other recent trial successes include defense jury verdicts for Callaway Golf Company and Target Corporation, as well as a substantial plaintiff's verdict for an oil and gas operator. Having assisted clients with the resolution of hundreds of cases, Mr. Hill understands how to identify clients' priorities and achieve their objectives, whether through litigation, settlement, or trial.

A former briefing attorney to the Honorable T. John Ward, former United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, Mr. Hill is chairman of the Eastern District of Texas Local Rules Committee and is intimately familiar with practice in the district.

He graduated second in his law school class at Texas Tech University (J.D., 2001) and received the Texas Young Lawyers Association State Moot Court Best Advocate Award. A native East Texan, Mr. Hill also is a graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler (B.A., 1998).

Practice Areas
-Patent Litigation
-Oil & Gas Litigation
-Business Disputes
-Federal Criminal Defense
  • Texas Tech University School of Law
    Juris Doctorate , 2001

Claire Abernathy Henry

Claire Abernathy Henry joined Ward & Smith in 2011 after serving as a briefing attorney to the Honorable T. John Ward, former U.S. District Judge for the Eastern District of Texas, and has extensive knowledge of federal court practice in the Eastern District of Texas.

Ms. Henry began her legal career in Dallas, where she represented businesses and local governments in complex commercial cases, including class actions, breach of contract and fiduciary duty cases, and professional malpractice suits. After returning to East Texas in 2007, Ms. Henry continued to hone her litigation skills on a wide range of federal and state court cases. Over the past several years, Ms. Henry's practice primarily has focused on patent litigation, commercial disputes, and employment law.

A native of Longview, Ms. Henry attended high school at Groton School in Groton, Mass., before graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vanderbilt University in 2002. Ms. Henry graduated from Stanford Law School in 2005, where she was a pro bono distinguished graduate and a member of Women of Stanford Law and the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation.

Practice Areas:
-Patent Litigation
-Commercial Disputes
-Employment Law
  • Stanford Law School
    Juris Doctorate , 2005