Steve Smith devotes his practice to advising and representing individuals, businesses, and associations in the broad spectrum of real estate and property matters, as well as corporate issues, and counseling and representing families and individuals in matters of wills, estates, and trusts. Steve has extensive experience working with and assisting a variety of clients, including property owners and entrepreneurs; buyers, sellers and developers of property; corporations and LLCs; condominium and homeowner associations; and big families, young couples, and empty nesters. Steve has presented at seminars and authored numerous articles, including a piece on condominium association boards which appeared in Michigan Real Property Review, the official journal of the State Bar’s Real Property Law Section.
A native of Coloma, Michigan, Steve is still known in Southwest Michigan for having represented the University of Notre Dame on the Jeopardy! College Championship. After graduating magna cum laude from Notre Dame, Steve earned his law degree at Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C, where he served on the editorial staff of the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics. He practiced law in both the public and private sectors for nearly a decade in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, and has been in private practice in Michigan since 2007. A local history buff, Steve has twice been published in Michigan History Magazine.
Honors & Recognitions
Michigan Super Lawyers "Rising Star," 2012, 2013
Washingtonian Magazine, "Washington's Top Lawyers," 2004
Memberships & Affiliations
- State Bar of Michigan, Member
- Agricultural Law Section
- Agricultural Law Section
- Berrien County Bar Association, Member
- Admitted to United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan
- Admitted to Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Tribal Court
- Berrien County Land Bank Authority, Member
- Berrien Artist Guild, Board of Directors, Member
- Honor Credit Union, Board of Directors, Associate Member
- St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club, Past President
- Berrien County Historical Association, Board of Directors, Past Secretary
- Lakeland Health Foundation, Board of Directors, Past Member
- Sarett Nature Center, Board of Directors, Past Member
- Emergency Shelter Services, Board of Directors, Past Member
- Lest We Forget, Past Member
- Southwest Michigan Home Builders Association, Past Member
- Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, Past Member
- Four Flags Area Chamber of Commerce, Past Member
- Southwest Michigan Symphony Orchestra Development Committee, Past Member
- Citadel Dance & Music Center, Past Chairman of Board of Directors
- Represent property owners in disputes with neighboring owners over applicable boundary lines and easements.
- Counsel and represent condominium associations and their boards of directors on condominium management issues.
- Assist entrepreneurs in the formation of for-profit and non-profit enterprises.
- Advise developers and contractors in land use and development projects.
- Represent businesses and municipalities in property tax matters before local boards of review and the Michigan Tax Tribunal.
- Counsel and represent landlords and tenants in commercial and residential lease matters.
- Assists individuals and families with trust and estate planning, and counsel and represent trustees and personal representatives in the administration of trusts and estates.
- Recovering Surplus Proceeds from Property Tax Foreclosure, Foster Swift Finance Real Estate & Bankruptcy Law News, April 13, 2021
- Wright Here in Michigan's Twin Cities, Michigan History Magazine, January 18, 2021
- When it Comes to Land Contracts, One is the Loneliest Number, Foster Swift Agricultural Law News, October 27, 2020
- Giving Debtors a Break During COVID-19: How to be Flexible But Still Protect Your Rights, Foster Swift Finance Real Estate & Bankruptcy Law News, May 28, 2020
- Farm Land Contracts: Get it in Writing, Foster Swift Agricultural Law News, January 8, 2020
- Frequently Asked Real Estate Questions, Foster Swift Finance Real Estate & Bankruptcy Law News, November 15, 2019
News & Events
- What Condo Unit Owners and Buyers Need to Know, Foster Swift 2nd Wednesday Morning Break, August 12, 2020
- Sheriff's Deeds, Michigan Association of Register of Deeds; Annual Summer Conference, September 17, 2019
- Collins and Smith Named to SBM Ag Law Council, Foster Swift Agricultural Law News, October 4, 2019
- Foster Swift Attorney Elected Rotary Club of St. Joseph-Benton Harbor President, June 30, 2016
Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1998
University of Notre Dame, B.A., 1995, magna cum laude
Bar and Court Admissions
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan
Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians Tribal Court