Kathleen J. Smith

Phone: (805) 764-6370 ext. 206


Legal Experience

Kathleen J. Smith

Kathleen J. Smith is an experienced civil litigator. Kathi advises clients on and handles all types of civil litigation, including employment matters, business, real property, trademark disputes, class action defense, trust and probate, and homeowners association disputes. Kathi is experienced in all types of dispute resolution, from mediation to arbitration to civil trial.

Kathi’s accomplishments at the trial level include; judgments in favor of breach of contract, multiple settlements on eve of trial relating to landlord/ tenant breach of contract of commercial lease, contract disputes, business dissolution, and partition. Kathi has also won an affirmed arbitration judgment at the appellate level. Kathi’s client was awarded $1,006,000 in a residential landslide non-disclosure dispute, including a punitive damage award from JAMS arbitrator.

Kathi’s successful mediations include multiple FEHA mediations for plaintiffs in age discrimination, sexual harassment, disability discrimination, retaliation disputes; multiple trust and probate dispute mediations; multiple commercial dispute mediations.

Professional Background

Following graduation from law school, Kathi served two years as a judicial law clerk to the Hon. William J. Rea of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, and then spent several years in Los Angeles defending product liability lawsuits and enforcing copyrights and trademarks of international designers and software producers. In 1995, Kathi moved to Ventura County where she continued her practice of civil litigation, dispute resolution and business representation. Kathi joined Schneiders & Associates, LLP in 2013 to handle matters relating to civil litigation, trials, arbitration, mediation, and pre-litigation advice.

State licensed to practice

  • California

Court admissions

  • All California Courts
  • United States Supreme Court
  • The U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals
  • The U.S. District Court for the Central and the Southern Districts of California


Law School attended

  • Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, DC
    Juris Doctor

College attended

  • Holy Cross College, Worcester, Massachusetts
    Philosophy, Bachelors of Art

Journal involvement

  • Editor-in-chief, American Criminal Law Review
  • September 2015 “Settlement Snafus: Surviving Section 664.6”
  • December 2014 “Judicial Profile: Commissioner Johnson Brings Patience To Family Law Court”
  • April 2013 “Profile: Leroy Smith’s Claim To Fame


Community Involvement

  • Ventura County Bar Association, Member of the Executive Board 2016 through 2018
  • Ojai Unified School District Board of Trustees, elected 1998 through 2014
  • Ventura County Committee on School District Organization- 2016 to present. Vice Chair 2018
  • Women Lawyers of Ventura County, 2015 President
  • Jerome H. Berenson Inn of Court
  • Ventura School Boards Association, Member of the Executive Board 2008 through 2014

Presentations and lectures

  • “Qualities of a Good Board Member”, Ventura County School Boards Association Candidate Academy – 2014
  • “Conflicts of Interest and Financial Disclosure for Public Officials”, Ventura County School Boards Association Candidate Academy – 2012
  • “Collecting Judgments”, Women Lawyers of Ventura County – 2011

Membership in bar and other legal associations

  • California State Bar
  • Ventura County Bar Association, 2015-2017
  • Ventura County Trial Lawyers Association
  • Women Lawyers of Ventura County
  • Jerome H. Berenson Inn of Court—member since 2011


  • Certified Mediator by Southern California Mediation Institute –1993
  • Lawyer.com

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