Memory Hold The Door
Barney Olevette Smith, Jr. (1952–1996)
Barney Smith loved being a lawyer. In Barney’s eyes, all other professions were second grade. Each day he relished the new opportunities to talk with lawyers, battle with lawyers, to match his wits with lawyers, and to socialize with lawyers. If God had consulted Barney at the time of the Creation, I am sure Barney would have insisted that Adam be a lawyer!
Like many successful people, Barney was short in physical stature. As a young man, he was an avid athlete in many sports. He used his endurance, agility, skill and cunning to make up for a lack of height. Barney brought these same attributes to the Courtroom. When Barney took on a cause he devoted his entire existence to its success. Endless hours of preparation and a sharp intellect helped to ensure a favorable result. Barney was a true believer. Once he was convinced the cause was right, he was the kind of lawyer you wanted in your corner.
Barney died at the young age of 44 years, but although his career was short, his successes were many. He was past President of the South Carolina Trial Lawyers Association and a recipient of the Founder’s Award. He was a leader in products' liability cases involving women’s health issues. He successfully represented scores of ladies in cases against the makers of the Dalkon Shield contraceptive device in the late 1970s and early 80s. He was the first lawyer in the nation to successfully try a case to a jury against tampon manufacturers for injury and death arising from toxic shock syndrome. He was State Liaison counsel for thousands of women against the manufacturers of defective silicone breast implants. In addition, he litigated many automotive products claims involving rollovers and defective design.
Born in Mobile, Alabama, Barney is survived by his widow, Rita Smith, and his children Tres’ Smith and Berkeley Smith, as well as his father, Barney Olevette Smith, Sr., and his mother, Delores Long Smith.