Biography

The Honorable Lisa Margaret Smith is a United States Magistrate Judge for the Southern District of New York.  She sits in the Charles L. Brieant Federal Building and United States Courthouse in White Plains.  She was originally appointed in 1995 and she is currently serving her third term as a Magistrate Judge.  From 2006-2008 she served as Chief Magistrate Judge for the SDNY.

Prior to being appointed to the bench, Judge Smith was an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York (1987-1995).  Before becoming an AUSA she served as a Kings County (NY) Assistant District Attorney from 1980-1985, rising to Supervising Senior ADA in the Appeals Bureau, following service in several other bureaus.  From 1985-1986 Judge Smith was an Assistant Attorney General in the Appeals and Opinions Division of the New York State Department of Law, located in Albany.  She represented the State of New York on appeals in state and federal courts throughout New York, and she co-authored an amicus curiae brief on behalf of the National Association of State Attorneys General filed in the Supreme Court of the United States.  In 1986 Judge Smith re-joined the Kings County District Attorney’s Office as a Supervising Senior ADA.  She remained there until 1987, when she became an AUSA for the Southern District of New York.

Judge Smith earned her BA degree, with honors in political science, from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana in 1977, and her JD degree from Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina in 1980, where she was a member of the Moot Court Board.  She is a member of the Boards of Editors of the Federal Courts Law Review, an on-line and print journal of the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, and of the Federal Bar Council Quarterly.  Judge Smith has served in various positions on the Board of the Westchester Women's Bar Association, and currently serves as a Vice President and member of the Executive Committee.  She is active in the Federal Magistrate Judges Association, the Federal Bar Council, the Federal Bar Association, for which she has served as a Circuit Vice President, and JALBCA.  In 2014 Judge Smith was honored to receive the Judith S. Kaye Access to Justice Award from the Women's Bar Association of the State of New York.  In January of 2018 Judge Smith was also honored to receive the Kay Crawford Murray Award from the New York State Bar Association’s Committee on Women in the Law.

Judge Smith has been an Adjunct Professor at the Elisabeth Haub School of Law at Pace University (formerly Pace Law School) since 2006, where she has taught Evidence and Federal Courts, and co-taught Civil Procedure with Professor Michael B. Mushlin.  Judge Smith frequently lectures at CLE and Bar Association programs, with a particular focus on e-discovery and evidence.  She is a regular participant in events which educate children about the courts, including Take Your Children To Work Day, an annual program of the Westchester Women's Bar Association, as well as visits to the Courthouse by school and scout groups.

Judge Smith published an article, co-authored with Professor Mushlin, entitled "The Professor and the Judge: Introducing First-Year Students to the Law in Context."  The article appears in the Journal of Legal Education, Volume 63, number 3 (February 2014).  Judge Smith also wrote an article entitled "Top Ten Things You Probably Never Knew About Magistrate Judges," published in The Federal Lawyer in May, 2014.  She has also contributed numerous articles to the Federal Bar Council Quarterly.