NEW YORK, Dec. 11, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Honorable Robert S. Smith, who will retire as an Associate Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals on December 31, 2014, will join the law firm of Friedman Kaplan Seiler & Adelman LLP in New York City as a partner on January 1, 2015.

Judge Smith has served on the Court of Appeals, New York's highest court, for more than a decade. During this time, he has written scores of opinions and become well known for his judicial scholarship, insight and intellectual rigor even in the most complex of cases.

He will be a fully-active litigation partner at Friedman Kaplan, handling trials and appeals. Judge Smith will head the firm's appellate practice, which includes partners Robert Kaplan and Katherine Pringle and which has represented clients in numerous high-profile appeals in federal appellate courts around the country and in the New York appellate courts, including the recent successful representation of the developer of 7 World Trade Center in two appeals before the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit arising out of the collapse of that building on September 11, 2001.

Prior to his time on the Court of Appeals, Judge Smith practiced law in New York City, and was a partner with Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison for over 25 years. He has argued dozens of appeals before the federal and New York appellate courts, and two appeals before the United States Supreme Court. His trial experience in complex commercial cases is also extensive. Judge Smith said he is looking forward to returning to private practice and practicing with the outstanding partners and associates at Friedman Kaplan.

Judge Smith graduated with great distinction in 1965 from Stanford University and received his law degree, magna cum laude, in 1968 from Columbia Law School, where he was editor-in-chief of the Law Review and later taught from 1980 until 1990. He has also taught at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law since 2006.

Friedman Kaplan was founded in 1986 by seven attorneys who quickly built a reputation for providing exceptional representation, particularly in matters of special complexity and first impression.  Over the last three decades, the firm has grown to include approximately 60 lawyers in New York, NY and Newark, NJ, and continues to focus on complex commercial litigation, corporate and transactional matters, and white-collar representations.

Edward A. Friedman, one of the firm's founding partners, said today that "the firm is thrilled to welcome Judge Smith, to have him as the leader of our appellate practice, and to be able to provide our clients with the skill and judgment of this renowned trial and appellate lawyer."