Kai
Smith

ASSOCIATE

Kai Smith is an experienced civil and appellate litigator; he represents many of the Pacific Northwest’s leading public and private entities and nonprofits.

Kai Smith’s practice focuses on complex commercial disputes, constitutional law, election and political law, and insurance recovery for policyholders.  He has successfully prosecuted or defended against a variety of constitutional, defamation, and commercial actions; has drafted and defended multiple laws and ballot measures, including ones focused on gun violence prevention; and has assisted clients in recovering millions of dollars from insurers.

Kai also provides counsel and strategic advice to help clients navigate important and sensitive issues, particularly in the areas of public records, statutory and regulatory compliance, legislation and public policy, and student data privacy.  He also drafts and interprets contracts in a variety of transactional settings.

Before joining Pacifica, Kai was a litigator at an international law firm based in Washington, D.C., where he represented clients in high-stakes matters, including complex antitrust matters and federal enforcement actions. Notable experience includes successfully representing Expedia in obtaining clearance from the U.S. Department of Justice in Expedia’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Orbitz Worldwide.

Previously, Kai served as a law clerk for the Honorable Sidney R. Thomas of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

Kai is committed to public service and has provided free legal representation throughout his career, including counseling victims of domestic violence and representing a family from El Salvador in asylum proceedings in federal immigration court.  He is also a Board Member of the King County Municipal League Foundation.

Bar Admissions:
  • Washington
  • Montana
  • District of Columbia
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
Education:
  • Seattle University, B.A., magna cum laude, History and Political Science (Student Body President; University Honors Program; Alpha Sigma Nu Honor Society; Naef Scholar)
  • Stanford Law School, J.D. (Stanford Law Review, Senior Editor; Stanford Law & Policy Review, Legislative Notes Editor; Pro Bono Distinction)
Honors:
  • Selected for inclusion in the “Ones to Watch” list in The Best Lawyers in America in the field of Commercial Litigation, 2022
  • Harry S. Truman Scholar
  • Best Oral Advocate – Stanford Criminal Prosecution Clinic
Publications:
  • “Energy Efficiency Standards A Quiet Success,” Inside Energy & Environment (January 27, 2015)
  • “CEQ Releases Draft Guidance on Evaluation of Greenhouse Gas Emissions,” Inside Energy & Environment (January 6, 2015)
  • “Comparing Externalities from Energy Sources,” Inside Energy & Environment (November 20, 2014)
Community Involvement:
  • Pro Bono Committee – Federal Bar Association of the Western District of Washington
  • Board Member – King County Municipal League Foundation
  • King County Bar Association