Michael James Smith
St. Louis, Missouri
314-720-0220 | 281-435-6445 (C)
Michael helps landowners receive just compensation when their property is taken by the government or other condemning authority in direct or inverse condemnation actions, including Trails Act, highway, rail and pipeline projects. He participates in all aspects of litigation, from case investigation to completion, and represents clients across the country.
Law is a second career for Michael: Before and while attending law school, he worked for seven years in the biotechnology industry, where he focused on agricultural genomics and molecular cancer diagnostics. He now applies his scientific training and analytical acumen to his litigation practice; Michael uses a geographic information system (GIS) to build visual maps that chart historical and current land ownership. This process integrates satellite imagery, street maps, georeferenced spatial data and more. It provides a visual confirmation of clients’ property rights and the extent of government taking, allowing Stewart, Wald & McCulley to efficiently and effectively advocate for compensation. Michael has managed the mapping aspects of dozens of railroad right-of-way cases, tracing some segments back to the late 19th century.
Michael’s legal experience also includes patent prosecution, admiralty and maritime law, and aviation law. He has prosecuted patents for the oil and gas industry, litigated matters involving foreign aircraft operators, and has provided representation to one of the nation’s largest inland tank and barge operators.