Kathleen J. Smith is an experienced business and real estate litigator. Kathi advises clients on and handles all types of civil litigation, focusing on LLC and business disputes, real estate, 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, easement dispute, multiple settlements on eve of trial relating to employment discrimination, wage and hour, 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 trust and probate dispute mediations, commercial dispute mediations, and LLC breakups and member disputes.

Professional Background

Following graduation from Georgetown 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 handling litigation for a large New York law firm. 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 Courts 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, Bachelor of Arts

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
  • Gridley Water Group – 2018 to present. Member of steering committee for private water well in Ojai Groundwater Basin Management Association
  • Ojai Unified School District Board of Trustees, elected 1998 through 2014
  • Women Lawyers of Ventura County, 2015 President
  • Ventura County School Boards Association, Member of the Executive Board 2008 through 2014
  • Ventura County Committee on School District Organization- 2016 to present. Vice Chair 2018
  • Jerome H. Berenson Inn of Court – 2010- 2020
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
  • Certified Mediator by Southern California Mediation Institute –1993