Donna V. Smith
Donna Smith is a highly effective mediator and arbitrator who has enjoyed a 35 year-long career in the field of labor, employment, and business law.
As an attorney, Donna represented both employers and employees at highly acclaimed law firms. Her vast experience on both sides of the table uniquely impacts the dialogue between parties who are navigating solutions to resolve their disputes. As a mediator, her clients praise her demeanor, patience, and commitment to roll up her sleeves to keep working through even the most unusual challenges.
Donna has litigated a broad range of employment disputes, mediated hundreds of cases, and counseled employees and employers through the intricacies of complex business negotiations, restrictive covenants, trade secrets, business litigation, contracts, and torts. She has extensive single party and collective/class action litigation and dispute resolution experience (FLSA, COBRA, Title VII, ADEA).
Donna is certified by the Florida Supreme Court as a Circuit Civil Court Mediator. She is also a Certified Mediator, United States District Court, Middle District Florida. Donna is an active member of the Labor and Employment and ADR sections of the Florida Bar. She is also admitted to the Georgia Bar.
She is working with the Alternative Dispute Resolution section of the Florida Bar to update mediation practices unique to labor and employment mediations. When she is not serving as a mediator, Donna conducts neutral workplace investigations involving sensitive issues of discrimination, harassment, and trade secret violations.
- Tulane University Law School, Juris Doctor cum laude
- St. John’s College, B.A. in philosophy and mathematics, with highest institutional honors
- Member, The Florida Bar, 2003 – Present (Labor and Employment Sections)
- Member, The Georgia Bar, 1999 – Present (Labor and Employment Sections)
- Member, The Louisiana Bar, 1989 (Inactive)
- Member, New York Bar, 1988 (Retired)
- Member, Connecticut Bar, 1987 (Retired)
- Member, Hillsborough County Bar Association
- Member, Hillsborough Association for Women Lawyers
- Member, National Association of Employment Lawyers
Admitted to Practice
- United States District Court, Northern District Florida
- United States District Court, Southern District Florida
- United States District Court, Middle District Florida
- United States District Court, Northern District Georgia
- 11th Circuit Court of Appeals • Certified Circuit Court Mediator, Florida
- Certified Mediator, United States District Court, Middle District Florida
Honors & Awards
- Named, Best Lawyers in America, 2006 – Present
- Named, SuperLawyer, 2011 – Present
- Named, National Trial Lawyer Top 100
- Named, America’s Most Honored Lawyers
- Top Rated Lawyer, AVVO.com
- Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent Rating