Valerie J. Smith

Paralegal

PRACTICE AREAS

Construction Defects | Mediation, Arbitration & Litigation

Valerie J. Smith

Paralegal

PRACTICE AREAS

Construction Defects | Mediation, Arbitration & Litigation

Experienced litigation paralegal. Calm demeanor. Exceptional attention to detail.

Areas of Expertise

  • Extensive experience in all facets of litigation including discovery, depositions, and trial preparation
  • Record management including homeowner, developer, contractor, subcontractor, and expert investigation records and reports
  • Site inspection coordination between association managers, consultants, experts, homeowners, and defense representatives and experts
  • On-site management during defect investigation, testing, and site inspections
Whether on-site assisting with expert defect investigations, during pre-trial preparation, or while working in the courtroom during trial, Valerie’s ability to remain calm under pressure inspires confidence and impresses clients, attorneys, and courtroom personnel alike. During the second courtroom assignment of her career, her expertise and quiet confidence led outside counsel to assume Valerie had courtroom experience in hundreds of trials. She says, “I’ve always been calm in high stress situations. I don’t get flustered easily.”
Her keen attention to detail also allows her to easily manage literally millions of pages of reports, data, and documents that are compiled during a construction defect investigation, the pre-trial preparation, and its resolution. She says, “I really enjoy the project management aspect – gathering and analyzing data, compiling expert reports. I thrive in projects that require attention to detail.”

Experience & Background

  • With HGCT since early 2017
  • More than 20 years as a litigation paralegal
  • Courtroom trial experience in San Joaquin County Superior Court and the United States District Court, Alaska (Anchorage)
  • Defense side construction defect experience prior to joining HGCT
  • Construction law paralegal for most of her career
  • Significant experience in environmental and business law
  • Five years as a clerk with the San Francisco office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation

Professional Affiliations

San Francisco Paralegal Association

Education

St. Mary’s College of California
  • Paralegal Certificate, specialization in Litigation, with Honors

GET TO KNOW VALERIE

Has a lifelong love of nature and finds anywhere with hills, trees, and water to be the perfect vacation spot. Enjoys trail runs and hikes with her husband, teenaged kids, and four dogs. Is an avid reader of nutrition and integrative medicine books.

FUN FACTS:

  • Fan of spicy food
  • Has been “snuggled” by a 20-foot python
  • Ran seven half-marathons in one year

Worked undercover for the FBI during an insurance fraud investigation.

Community Involvement

  • Senior Buddy Program – provided daily wellness calls and activity transportation for house-bound senior citizens (2007 to 2013)
  • Volunteer Art Docent – Brentwood public elementary schools (2008 to 2011)
  • San Francisco Zoo Volunteer – prepared diets, fed, and exercised various animals including ferrets, opossums, skunks, and alligators (1995 to 1997)