Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Ashley Madison customers revealed: William W. Smith, of Smith and Alspaugh personal-injury law firm in Birmingham, appears at notorious Web site

William W. Smith and William W. Smith Jr.
A prominent personal-injury lawyer in Alabama appears as a paying customer at the Ashley Madison extramarital-affairs Web site, according to publicly available records.

William W. Smith has been designated a "Super Lawyer" since 2008. He is the chief named partner in Smith and Alspaugh, which has its offices at 4 Office Park Cir, Ste 212, Mountain Brk, AL. Joining Smith in the firm are attorneys Cone Owen and William W. Smith Jr.. It had been a four-man firm, but partner Marcus Clay Alspaugh died in late October.

An online report shows that Smith practices about 60 percent in personal injury. He also works in products liability (30 percent) and medical malpractice (10 percent).

What kind of cases has Smith tried. A fairly recent example comes from a matter styled Frye v. Smith, 67 So. 3d 882 (Ala: Supreme Court, 2011). Here are the facts behind Frye:

On or about June 19, 2006, Rhonda Rainey and minors Roderick Arthur and Ryan Arthur were involved in an automobile accident while they were passengers in a 1998 Chevrolet Blazer sport-utility vehicle being driven by Christopher Rainey, Rhonda's husband and Roderick's and Ryan's stepfather. Roderick and Ryan were injured, and Rainey died as a result of injuries sustained in the accident. On June 17, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a complaint in the Calhoun Circuit Court naming as defendants General Motors Corporation ("GM"), the manufacturer of the Blazer, and Massey Chevrolet-Olds-Geo, Inc., the dealer who sold the Raineys the Blazer. The plaintiffs sought damages for wrongful death as to Rhonda and for personal injuries as to Roderick and Ryan, alleging claims of negligence and breach of warranty, as well as claims under the Alabama Extended Manufacturer's Liability Doctrine ("the AEMLD").

On June 12, 2009, GM filed a notice of bankruptcy in the United States Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, thereby invoking the automatic stay codified at 11 U.S.C. § 362.

On September 22, 2009, the plaintiffs amended their complaint to state claims against the following individuals: John F. Smith, Jr., former chairman of the board of directors of GM; Harry J. Pearce, former vice chairman of the board of directors of GM; and J. Michael Losh, former executive vice president of GM (Smith, Pearce, and Losh are hereinafter referred to as "the individual defendants").

On November 2, 2009, the individual defendants moved to dismiss the claims against them for lack of personal jurisdiction. In support of the motion to dismiss, the individual defendants each submitted an affidavit.

Wesley Frye was personal representative for the Estate of  Rhonda Rainey, deceased. Smith and Alspaugh lost the case on personal jurisdiction grounds. All of the individual defendants claimed they did not maintain residences in Alabama, did not own real or personal property in Alabama, did not pay taxes in Alabama, were not registered to vote in Alabama, and did not regularly travel to Alabama. Therefore, they claimed they were not subject to personal jurisdiction of Alabama courts.

That argument won the day before the business-friendly Alabama Supreme Court. It's unclear if Smith and Alspaugh refiled the case in another jurisdiction. If so, it likely would have been Detroit, Michigan.

Jefferson County property records show that William W. and Jan G. Smith live at 4501 Old Brook Way, Mountain Brook, AL. The property has an appraised value of $899,100, which means its market value probably is well north of $1 million.

We sought comment from William W. Smith, but he has not responded to our queries.


Article with links to 1-40 in Ashley Madison series

(41) David Armistead, director of enterprise sales, TekLinks, Birmingham (10/19/17)

(42) William House, VP and controller, HealthSouth, Birmingham (10/26/17)

(43) Olin B. Barnes III, VP, One Resource Group, Birmingham (11/1/17)

(44) T.J. Bunn Jr., ST Bunn Construction, Tuscaloosa (11/2/17)

(45) Todd Deffenbaugh, VP and controller, Express Oil Change, Birmingham (11/6/17)

(46) Richard D. Crites, lawyer and reserve deputy, Springfield, MO (11/13/17)

(47) Mark C. Trudeau, CEO, Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals, St. Louis, MO (11/15/17)

(48) Peter Blasi, lawyer, Evans Blasi, St. Louis, MO (11/16/17)

(49) Todd Wiesehan, director of resource management, Christian Co., MO (11/22/17)

(50) Spencer Desai, lawyer, Carmody MacDonald, St. Louis, MO (11/27/17)

(51) Johnny Aycock, administrator, University of West Alabama (12/19/17)

(52) Chris McIntyre, district judge, County County, AL (1/3/18)

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