650-685-9300 howielaw@howielaw.com

Practice Areas

Our attorneys are recognized for their success across the civil litigation spectrum and are respected for their ability to develop innovative and effective strategies to manage the varied risks presented in many different civil litigation scenarios.  They have been invited to present their perspectives to various industry groups, trade associations, and other organizations. Please visit our archive library to view our past cases.


Probate Litigation

We represent trustees, beneficiaries, heirs and devisees in significant will contest and trust litigation.

Casualty and Premises Liability
One of Howie & Smith’s largest areas of practice is in the field of general negligence and casualty litigation. In this area, the Firm defends a wide range of personal injury and property damage litigation.
The clients served by Howie & Smith include motor vehicle owners and drivers, property owners generally (residential and commercial), major rental car companies, common carriers and public transportation operators, restaurants and fast food chains, public entities, oil companies and gasoline station operators, schools, stadiums, hospitals and nursing homes.
Public Entity
The firm has represented counties, county fairgrounds, public employees including peace officers, and school districts. Issues have ranged from the application of government immunities to civil rights to significant property damage claims under tort and inverse condemnation theories following floods and landslides. We are well versed in issues of concern to public entities and are very familiar with the Government Code, the Brown Act, the Public Records Act, the Education Code, and the County Employees Retirement Law of 1937 (“the 37 Act”), among others.
Real Property/Tenancy
The firm has extensive experience representing landlords and tenants, including and especially in cities with rent-control laws and municipal administrative tenancy regulations such as in San Francisco and Oakland, in cases involving claims of personal injury and/or breach of contract and warranties.
Elder Care
The firm represents both elder care facilities and elder care professionals and personnel as well as elder persons and their conservators/survivors in this fast-developing area of the law.  Local ordinances and regulations may significantly impact aspects of these cases.
Sports & Recreation Law
Members of the firm have represented the interests of Santa Cruz Boardwalk, Winchester Mystery House, Shoreline Amphitheater, Bill Graham Presents, Gilroy Garlic Festival, NASCAR (including various race tracks), Youth Soccer Association, several County fairgrounds and school districts, as well as sports and recreation product manufacturers, designers, suppliers, and gyms, spas and personal trainers/fitness instructors.
  • Personal Injury
  • Premises Liability
  • Products Liability
  • Safety Protocol/Warning Labels
  • Design change issues
  • Manufacturing and design defects
  • Aviation Law
  • Implied and Express Assumption of the Risk
  • Waiver and Release Agreements
  • Supervision issues
  • Vehicular liability
Homeowners Association Law
The firm has represented Homeowners and Homeowners’ Associations in litigation and in matters relating to the administration of the Association.
Product Liability
The firm has represented product manufacturers, designers, and suppliers in a wide array of litigation involving claims of resultant personal injury. The team approach at Howie & Smith allows us to provide high-quality representation and cost-effective service and maintaining continuity of product knowledge. We study the product so we can effectively advocate for it to judges, juries, and mediators.
  • Safety protocol and warning label claims
  • Design change issues
  • Manufacturing and Design Defect claims
Construction Defect Litigation
  • Developer/contractor liability with emphasis on indemnity and additional insured issues
  • Coverage advice and defense including complicated additional insured and indemnity claims
  • Subcontractor defense
At Howie & Smith we take an aggressive approach to construction defect defense litigation and we get results. We take cases to trial and we obtain defense verdicts. We understand construction and insurance as each of our litigators have independent experience in both industries. We have extensive knowledge and case experience to defend our clients against all types of claims, including construction accident injuries and construction defects.
Other Areas of Practice
Our presence is always felt when we are in the courtroom. We make a difference.
  • Insurance Coverage
  • Intentional Torts
  • Professional Liability
  • Business Contract/Torts including business interruption loss
  • Employment
  • Appellate
  • Real Estate and Real Property
  • Probate Litigation
  • Trust and Estate Planning
  • Trust Administration
  • Family Law-related issues