Jump to Page

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 long and distinguished career, Mr. Smith has focused on real estate law and provided practical and sophisticated representation to national and local real estate developers, lending institutions, and numerous 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

  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers Charter Fellow; Common Interest Ownership Committee (past Vice Chair)
  • College of Community Association Lawyers Charter Fellow
  • American Bar Foundation Fellow
  • 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 – 2020)
  • 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

Please visit our Award Methodology page for a description of the standard or methodology on which these accolades are based. Attorney Advertising: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.

Uniquely NJ

  • Community Associations Institute, New Jersey Chapter (CAI-NJ); General Counsel Emeritus and Founding President
  • Holmdel Theatre Company at the Duncan Smith Theater, Co-Founder and Board of Trustees
  • Bayshore Community Hospital, Former Trustee and Chair
  • Bayshore Community Hospital Foundation, Former Trustee
View Expanded Bio

More Activities & Experience

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

Presentations & Speaking Engagements

Publications & Alerts

View Abbreviated Bio

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

American College of Real Estate Lawyers

Proud Fellow of the Association of the Federal Bar of New Jersey

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

Wendell A. Smith Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Rated AV Preeminent

Please visit our Award Methodology page for a description of the standard or methodology on which these accolades are based. Attorney Advertising: No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.