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William E. Smith

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William E. Smith
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Current Court Information:
District of Rhode Island
Title:   Chief Judge
Position:   Seat #3
Appointed by:   George W. Bush
Active:   11/15/2002 - Present
Chief:   2013 - Present
Preceded by:   Ronald Lagueux
Personal History
Born:   1959
Hometown:   Boise, ID
Undergraduate:   Georgetown U., 1982
Law School:   Georgetown U. Law, 1987

William E. Smith is the chief judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island. He joined the court in 2002 after being nominated by President George W. Bush. At the time of his appointment, Smith was a faculty member at Providence College and private practice attorney. Smith became the chief judge of the court on December 1, 2013.[1][2]

Early life and education

Born in Boise, Idaho, Smith graduated from Georgetown University with his bachelor's degree in 1982 and later obtained his Juris Doctor in 1987.[1]

Professional career

  • 2000-2002: Faculty, Providence College
  • 2000-2001: Staff Director for Rhode Island Office of U.S. Senator Lincoln Chafee
  • 1993-1998: Municipal Judge, West Warwick
  • 1987-2002: Attorney, Private Practice, Rhode Island[1]

Judicial career

District of Rhode Island

Smith was nominated to the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island by President George W. Bush on July 18, 2002 to a seat vacated by Ronald Lagueux. Smith was confirmed by the U.S. Senate on November 14, 2002 on a majority voice vote and received commission on November 15, 2002.[1][3][4]

Notable cases

Survivor case (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island (Hatch v. USA, 1:2009-cv-00144)

On July 10, 2009, Judge Smith ruled that the first winner from the TV program "Survivor," Richard Hatch, could not leave home confinement early to star in a 10th anniversary edition of the reality show in Samoa.[5] Hatch was convicted by the District of Rhode Island in 2006 on tax evasion on the $1 million he won on the debut season of the reality show. Hatch served three years in federal prison and served the final 90 days of his sentence on home confinement in Rhode Island.[5]

Microsoft piracy case (2009)

     United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island (Uniloc USA, Inc., et al v. Microsoft Corp., et al, 1:03-cv-00440-S-DLM)

On September 28, 2009, Judge Smith vacated a $388 million dollar verdict levied against software giant Microsoft on charges of patent infringement by an anti-piracy software maker. The judge vacated the verdict finding that the jury did not find a legally sufficient basis in reaching it.[6]

See also

External links


Federal judicial offices
Preceded by:
Ronald Lagueux
District of Rhode Island
Seat #3
Succeeded by:

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