Compassionate Counsel Passionate Defense

group photo of attorneys and staff
Group photo of staff at Law Offices Of Smith & White PLLC
Derek Michael Smith

Practice Areas

  • Restoring Civil Rights
  • Criminal Defense
  • Personal Injury


Derek brings more than 15 years of criminal law experience to the Tacoma attorney team of Smith and White. His work as a prosecutor, judge, and defense attorney provide him valuable insight into Washington criminal defense law.

Derek tried hundreds of criminal defense cases, including in the state Court of Appeals and Washington State Supreme Court, as a prosecutor with the cities of Seattle and Kent. He's worked on or negotiated more than 15,000 trial experience, Derek has taken more than 150 jury trials to a verdict.

Derek served as the head of the domestic violence unit for the City of Kent and supervised the misdemeanor unit before he left to go to Seattle. In Seattle he served in the DUI and misdemeanor trial unit. There he prosecuted notorious strip club owner and alleged mob boss Frank Colacurcio for sexual assault on a waitress in his strip club and twice convicted him. After serving in the trial unit, Derek became the vice and narcotics liaison for the Seattle City Attorney's Office and received the Seattle Police Department Chief's Award for his role in Operation Sobering Thought. He has also presided over thousands of cases as a judge pro tem in Federal Way, Pacific and Des Moines.

He graduated with honors from Seattle University School of Law in 1996.

Derek volunteers his time to local nonprofits including serving as president of the Tacoma Art Museum Activities Council in 2010 for the Tacoma Art Museum's 75th Anniversary Gala. He is the current vice president of St. Mark's Lutheran by the Narrows church council.

Derek is a life member of the NRA, a former PADI scuba instructor, and an avid reader. He publishes a very tongue in cheek blog about the law here. He lives in Tacoma with his family.


  • Seattle University School of Law, Seattle, Washington
    • J.D. - 1996
    • Honors: With Honors
  • University of California
    • B.A. - 1991

Bar Admissions

  • Washington, 1996
  • North Dakota, 2012

Professional Associations

  • Washington State Bar Association, Member, 1996 to Present
  • Washington State Bar Association, Rules Committee, 2012 to 2013
  • Washington State Bar Association, Character and Fitness Board, 2013 to 2015
  • North Dakota Bar Association, Member, 2012 to Present

Pro-Bono Activities

  • President, Tacoma Art Museum Activities Council, 2010
  • Vice President, St. Mark’s Lutheran by the Narrows Church Council
  • Member, NRA
  • Judicial Candidate, City of Tacoma, 2018
  • Past President, St. Marks