Clifton Smoot
  • Attorney






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Clifton Smoot is an attorney on the Leary Trial Team, which handles complex cases involving injuries and death arising from construction and worksite conditions, defective products, dangerous property conditions, negligent security, and collisions between cars, trucks, pedestrians, and bicyclists. Mr. Smoot has served people of all backgrounds, and cares deeply about helping every client recover from catastrophe. He graduated cum laude from UC Hastings College of the Law, received recognition for his "Outstanding Pro Bono Service," and was awarded the Pfaff Trial Lawyer Scholarship.

Before joining The Veen Firm, Mr. Smoot worked at a prestigious boutique law firm that represented both plaintiffs and defendants in personal injury cases. Working for plaintiffs in that setting, he kindled close relationships with his clients, and honed his ability to tell their stories to insurance companies, judges, and juries. He successfully advocated for clients who sustained brain injuries, amputations, spinal injuries, bone fractures, and other life-changing injuries. While working for defendants, he learned how defense attorneys and insurance companies work "behind the scenes," a valuable perspective he puts to use today when helping his clients at The Veen Firm.

In his free time, Mr. Smoot enjoys hikes with his family, cycling, and tackling home improvement projects. He is also a coach for the UC Hastings Trial Team.

Areas of Practice

  • Personal Injury
  • Wrongful Death

Bar Admissions

  • California, 2015
  • U.S. District Court Northern District of California


  • University of California, Hastings College of the Law, San Francisco, California
    • J.D. - 2015
    • Honors: cum laude
  • Johns Hopkins University
    • B.A. - 2007
    • Honors: cum laude
    • Major: Sociology and Spanish

Published Works

  • “Can Your Client’s Helper Join The Meeting?”, Plaintiff Magazine, August 2021, Advocate Magazine, October 2021
  • “Don’t Let Them Gag You! Products liability: Use “share protective orders” to promote public safety, Plaintiff Magazine, July 2020
  • Turn Up The Heat On Your Record Subpoenas, Plaintiff Magazine, December 2018; Advocate Magazine, April 2019
  • The Defense Physical Exam (Medical Exam) Is Not An Interrogation, Plaintiff Magazine, April 2018
  • I'm Sorry: Legally Speaking, Labor 411, May 2017
  • Defense Apologies At Trial: Sorry but That Ship Has Sailed, Advocate, May 2017
  • Sub Rosa on Your Side: Working With Private Investigators, Plaintiff Magazine, April 2017
  • Defense Apologies At Trial: Too Little, Too Late, Plaintiff Magazine, January 2017


  • “Client Intake in Uncertain Times,” Ethics CLE presentation, February 2021
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Tahoe Seminar, “Neutralizing the Defense Physical Examination,” March 2019
  • UC Hastings College of the Law, "How to Memorize Everything for the California Bar Exam," July 2016, January 2017, June 2017
  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association Tahoe Seminar, "Apologies in Litigation," March 2017

Honors and Awards

  • Northern California Rising Stars List, Super Lawyers, 2017-2021
  • The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 under 40, 2018
  • Avvo “Top Attorney” Rating
  • Outstanding New Lawyer of the Year, San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association, 2017
  • Pfaff Trial Lawyer Scholarship, 2015
  • Outstanding Pro Bono Service, 2015
  • Certificate in Child Advocacy, Legal Services for Children, 2015
  • "Best Brief" and "Best Oral Advocate," UC Hastings Moot Court, 2013

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • San Francisco Trial Lawyers Association
  • American Association for Justice
  • Consumer Attorneys of California
  • San Mateo County Trial Lawyers Association

Past Employment Positions

  • Bogaards Davis, LLP, Attorney
  • The Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights, Volunteer Intern
  • Hon. A. James Robertson, II, Judicial Extern
  • Legal Services for Children, Extern
  • Bay Area Legal Aid, Clerk
  • Bay Area Bicycle Law, Clerk
  • Jackson & Hertogs, Paralegal
  • Goeschl Law Corporation, Legal Assistant
  • Immigrant Center for Women & Children, Volunteer Clerk

Pro Bono Activities

  • UC Hastings College of Law, Trial Team Coach
  • Miracle League of San Francisco Peninsula, Board Member


  • Elinor Leary joins distinguished judges and seasoned trial lawyers as invited faculty for BASF’s “Women in Trial Training”
    Read more
  • Eight Veen attorneys selected for inclusion to the list of 2020 Northern California Super Lawyers
    Read more
  • The Veen Firm Congratulates Marian Wright Edelman and honors her commitment to the fight for social justice.
    Read More