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Media, Publications, and Presentations

In Recent News:

On Friday, August 1, 2014, partner Charles J. Smith achieved his 3rd consecutive civil trial victory in 2014 in the matter of Salume vs. Salume, case no. CIV 506970, tried before the Hon. Gerald J. Buchwald in San Mateo County Superior Court. Mr. Smith defeated the single cause of action for breach of contract by a 10-2 vote of the jury. The case was an inter-family dispute where two wealthy brothers from El Salvador were suing the widow of their deceased brother for $250,000.00.

Our firm’s 3rd consecutive trial victory demonstrates our unique position in the legal market on the San Francisco Peninsula. Unlike the vast majority of law firms that do litigation, our firm regularly takes cases to trial in the courts of the Bay Area and achieves victories for our clients. In modern litigation, the trend is certainly towards arbitration or mediation of disputes. Our demonstrated prowess in the courtroom allows us to achieve excellent results in these alternative dispute resolution modalities since our opponents understand that, unless a matter can be resolved to the satisfaction of our clients, we have the ability and the proven track record of convincing both judges and juries of the correctness of our clients’ position.

In Recent News:

Firm Client Prevails in California Court of Appeal regarding enforceability of employment arbitration agreement.  To find our more information, please click on the following link.

Press Release:

Super Bowl champion, Stanford graduate Doug Baldwin, by a unanimous verdict in 49er country, was found not guilty on April 4, 2014 of assault charges arising from a shoving match in a pick-up basketball game at the Stanford University gymnasium. The Seattle Seahawks wide receiver, represented by Redwood City attorney Chuck Smith of Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau, refused to compromise on his principles by pleading to something he did not do, going to trial in Palo Alto, California, in the heart of 49er country. “He is such a quality, upstanding individual, who is a great role model” according to Attorney Smith. “This incident resulted from a spirited pick-up basketball game in which another player was the aggressor and Doug handled himself with great restraint. He should have never been charged,” according to Smith, who regularly represents professional athletes.

Attorney Smith, a well-known criminal and civil trial attorney, says that going to trial, especially for a high profile individual, is always a risk. “But”, he said, “We were able to show that the alleged victim was just not telling the truth.” “I want the 49ers to crush the Seattle Seahawks but I will always be a fan of Doug’s” according to Smith.

Recent Publications:

Partner Tyler Paetkau & Associate Jay Withee contribute to the California State Bar Labor & Employment Law Section Law Review.  Read this article here: CA State Bar Law Review Labor & Employment Concepcion & Armendariz

If you would like to see a full version of this Special Edition of the Review Newsletter, please contact the California State Bar.

In Recent News:

Attorney Charles J. Smith and his associate, Brandon Douglass, have coached the South San Francisco High School mock trial team to the semi-final round of the San Mateo County Mock Trial Tournament which will take place on February 26, 2013 in Redwood City.  The high school mock trial program is a statewide program sponsored by the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the American Board of Trial Advocate Foundation, and the Daily Journal Corporation. Sixteen local high schools, a number of local Judges, and several members of the Bar participate in this annual program. It is a wonderful educational experience for the young students teaching them the ability to speak on their feet, articulate an argument against an opponent, and learn valuable lessons about our justice system and civic involvement.  Mr. Smith has volunteered in the program since 1980. Mr. Smith has been coaching this year’s team since October 2012 and devotes several hours per week to this endeavor. CONGRATULATIONS TO MR. SMITH, MR. DOUGLASS AND THE ENTIRE SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO HIGH SCHOOL MOCK TRIAL TEAM!!!

In Recent News:

Congratulations to firm partner, Jim Hartnett, on re-appointment to California High-Speed Rail Authority, Board of Directors!

In Recent News:

Partner Charles J. Smith along with associate Neva Tassen achieved a great trial victory on December 20th in a felony domestic violence/mayhem trial in Santa Clara County.  Mr. Smith and Ms. Tassan took on the Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office and all of their resources to defeat a very difficult case based upon the defense of accident.  Despite a significant injury to the complaining witness, Mr. Smith and Ms. Tassan were able to convince a jury that the injury occurred due to the drunken aggressive behavior by the complaining witness and not any criminal conduct on the part of our client.  Thus, Mr. Smith has started 2012 with a huge victory in the Specialized vs. Volagi trial and ended 2012 with another significant victory.  These results exemplify the broad range of trial experience and excellence that is the hallmark of our firm.


Seek Experienced Legal Counsel

If you are facing a civil or criminal legal problem in San Mateo or anywhere in the San Francisco Bay Area, it is important that you seek trusted advice from knowledgeable and experienced trial lawyers. Contact Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau today.