Charles J. Smith is a founding partner of Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau. Mr. Smith has been one of the leading trial lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area since the late 1970s. He began his career with the San Mateo County District Attorney's Office in 1978. In 1980, he was elevated to the Major Crimes Unit, where he tried 15 homicides. He then practiced insurance defense as an associate with Ropers, Majeski, Kohn, Bentley, Wagner and Kane, where he tried and won five civil jury trials in a 14-month period. Mr. Smith began his own practice in 1991.