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Attorney Profiles 2018-04-17T21:16:01+00:00

James White

James White graduated from UC Berkeley, and started his legal career in Tacoma at the Department of Assigned Counsel. In 1997, he joined the Associated Counsel of the Accused in King County, where he served as public defender. He was selected to serve as lead counsel for King County’s District Mental Health Court, where he became an impassioned advocate for mentally ill defendants. In 2004, James returned to the South Sound area to work on Tacoma and Pierce County criminal defense and gained valuable experience with immigration and asylum law.

After joining a private criminal defense firm in Seattle to learn the intricacies of DUI law, he and partner Derek Smith founded their own firm, Smith & White, PLLC. James engages in pro bono work and volunteer legal expertise for Centro Latino. He coaches youth sports, enjoys dancing and is a founding member of Broodcomb Games. He spends his days on Vashon with his two sons and their French bulldog, Charlemagne.

Derek Smith

Derek Smith earned his Bachelor’s degree at UC Davis before graduating Cum Laude from Seattle University School of Law. He spent his early career in the Kent City Attorney’s Office, where he eventually achieved the rank of Senior Prosecuting Attorney. After joining the Seattle City Attorney’s Office in 2002, he worked in both the Criminal Division and as a Community Precinct Liaison with the Seattle Police Department Vice and Narcotics Unit.

He is an appointed Judge Pro Tem in the Federal Way, Des Moines, Pacific/Algona, and Kent Municipal Courts. In 2011, he and partner James White founded their own firm, Smith & White, PLLC. A former scuba diving instructor, Derek met his wife during a diving lesson and they now reside in Tacoma, where their children attend public school. He is on the Stewardship Committee of St. Mark’s Lutheran By the Narrows Church, where he also sings in the choir.

By researching the best attorney to fit the needs of you or your loved one, you’re already helping your defense. Choosing a criminal defense attorney that will represent your rights in court is one of the most important decisions of your life, and careful selection is paramount to ensuring the strongest case you can bring.

Derek Smith and James White bring decades of experience and extensive knowledge of Washington state criminal law processing. We have tried cases throughout Washington state, and have deep familiarity with the courts in our region. If you’re looking for a criminal defense attorney near you, we are the experts.

Beyond our experience, we are invested in giving you compassionate counsel and passionate defense. We represent those charged with any number of crimes, including violent offenses, white collar charges, DUI, drug activity and many others. And we strongly believe that your story needs to be listened to.

We serve those in western Washington, Pierce County, King County and the Puget Sound area primarily, but we are eager to hear from you no matter where your location.

While learning about our experience and approach to our clients is important, we do believe that meeting an attorney in person is the best way to establish if a working relationship will benefit you. That’s why we offer a free initial consultation to determine how we can serve you.