Early on, I learned three important lessons that have guided my career: First, 'The difference between mediocrity and excellence is attention to detail.' Second, 'Don’t identify a problem without attempting to find a solution.' Finally, 'If all objections must first be overcome, nothing will ever be accomplished.'

Mr. Smith focuses his practice on community association law, planned real estate development and land use.  He has practiced real estate law for over fifty years, and is widely recognized as one of New Jersey’s preeminent authorities on the legal issues impacting condominiums and common interest communities. 

Throughout his career, Mr. Smith has focused on preventative law and provided practical and sophisticated representation to developers, lending institutions, and hundreds of condominium, cooperative and other common interest communities, including conversions, golf and tennis communities, retirement communities, congregate care facilities and dockominiums.  His comprehensive experience in land use issues and planned real estate development includes large mixed-use projects and high rise buildings as well as active adult, golf course and resort communities. He assists clients in navigating the complexities associated with distressed common interest communities, and adeptly provides counsel on issues arising during the transition from developer to unit owner control.

Mr. Smith frequently serves as an expert witness in community association litigation, both as a court appointee and at the request of private litigants, and has also served as a custodial receiver for conversion projects.

Honors & Awards

  • Charter Member, American College of Real Estate Lawyers; former Vice Chair, Common Interest Ownership Committee
  • Fellow, College of Community Association Lawyers
  • Fellow, American Bar Foundation
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© (a trademark of Woodward/White, Inc.) in the Real Estate Law and Land Use & Zoning Law practice areas (1983 – present)
  • Selected by Best Lawyers® (a trademark of Woodward/White, Inc.) as Woodbridge "Lawyer of the Year" in Real Estate Law (2014); as Woodbridge "Lawyer of the Year" in Land Use & Zoning Law (2013); as Newark "Lawyer of the Year" in Real Estate Law (2011)
  • Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review Rated AV® Preeminent (a trademark of Internet Brands, Inc.) (2001 – present)
  • Recipient of the prestigious Byron Hanke Award from the national Community Associations Institute for his outstanding contributions to community associations
  • Recipient of the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award from the Community Associations Institute, New Jersey Chapter (2011)
  • Recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus and Heritage Awards from Johns Hopkins University

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found HERE. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Uniquely NJ

  • General Counsel Emeritus and Founding President, Community Associations Institute, New Jersey Chapter (CAI-NJ)
  • Co-Founder and Board of Trustees; Holmdel Theatre Company at the Duncan Smith Theater
  • Board of Trustees, Bayshore Community Hospital Foundation
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More Activities & Experience

  • Trustee Emeritus, Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine
  • Former Vice Chair, American Bar Association, Committee on Common Interest Community Associations
  • Former Trustee, Community Associations Institute
  • Past President, Community Associations Institute Research Foundation
  • Former Vice President and General Counsel, Levitt and Sons, Incorporated and Boise Cascade Building Company; was involved in sophisticated real estate transactions and development throughout the continental United States and in Puerto Rico

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

Publications & Alerts

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Departments

Education

University of Michigan, J.D., 1959

Johns Hopkins University, B.A., 1954

Bar Admissions

  • New Jersey, 1960
  • New York, 1966
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey, 1960
  • U.S. Supreme Court, 1966

Wendell A. Smith Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent Wendell A. Smith Listed in Best Lawyers Wendell A. Smith Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2014 Wendell A. Smith Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2013 Wendell A. Smith Best Lawyers Lawyer of the Year 2011

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found HERE. No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.