Joel A. Smith - Kahn, Smith & Collins, P.A.

Joel A. Smith

Listed in Best Lawyers since 1989
Phone: 410-244-1010

Joel Smith has served as legal counsel and advisor to elected officers and representatives of labor and civic organizations on the local, national and state levels. He has represented workers in occupations as diverse as national professional sports, television, movies, theater arts, building trades, fire and emergency medical services, public schools, community college and undergraduate instruction, retail sales, manufacturing, public transit and heavy industry. Mr. Smith helped organize the World Umpires Association, the collective bargaining agent for Major League Baseball's umpires, for which he served as labor counsel for seven years.

Mr. Smith is a graduate of Colgate University and the University of Maryland School of Law. He received the Joseph Bernstein Prize for legal writing from the University of Maryland in 1976. He was admitted to practice in the State of Maryland in 1976, and also has been admitted to practice before the United States Courts of Appeal for the Third, Fourth, Fifth, Tenth and District of Columbia Circuits. He has appeared in numerous appellate arguments before those and other courts.

In 2007, Mr. Smith was elected a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, which recognizes an attorney's sustained contribution, high integrity and professionalism. Mr. Smith also has been recognized as having particular expertise in the public education laws of Maryland, and public sector labor law. He has appeared as a guest speaker before the National Academy of Arbitrators, Maryland's Education Law Institute, George Meany Center for Labor Studies, and before the hearing examiners of the Maryland Department of Employment and Economic Development. Mr. Smith has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America since 1990, in Baltimore Magazine in his area of specialization, and, repeatedly, in Super Lawyers-Maryland. He is currently a member of the Maryland State Bar Association's Administrative Law Section Council.

University of Maryland School of LawJ.D. 1976
College of Labor and Employment LawyersMaryland State Bar Association's Administrative Law Section Council

Case History

Atkinson v. Anne Arundel County, Md, 428 Md. 723 (2012) — Principal union counsel in action in which Maryland Court of Appeals held that collective bargaining and interest arbitration are appropriate "Charter" material, and that a county charter may provide for binding interest arbitration, the result of which must be applied in the annual budget and appropriation cycle of a local government. 
The National League of Professional Baseball Clubs & etc., 330 NLRB No. 112 (N.L.R.B.), 330 NLRB 670, 170 L.R.R.M. (BNA) 1194, 2000 WL 228486 (2000) — Principal union counsel in decertification campaign concerning Major League Baseball Umpires, and help to form and administer the World Umpires Association, through 2007.
Anderson v. Department of Public Safety & Correctional Services, 330 Md. 187 (1993) — Principal counsel in this and other appellate cases prosecuted to define the scope of judicial review in administrative proceedings conducted under Maryland's Administrative Proceedure Act.
Board of Education of Garrett County v. Lendo, 295 Md. 55 (1982) — Principal counsel in action decided by Maryland Court of Appeals defining scope of jurisdiction and appeallate authority of the Maryland State Board of Education over public school disputes.

Client Comments

"Joel Smith was the original labor attorney for the World Umpires Association, the union for Major League Baseball umpires. I worked with Joel long-distance on a daily basis as a board member and officer of the union. My day typically started with a phone call from Joel outlining the pressing issues to be addressed by the union. He was professional, responsive, knowledgeable, and passionate about doing a great job for us as his client. As our primary contact to Kahn, Smith, and Collins, Joel Smith helped us through a variety of issues mentioned above, ranging from national media guidance to NLRB hearings, all in a very public environment in our capacity as Major League Baseball umpires. In addition to being highly competent, Joel was an excellent listener who became quite versed in our unique occupation. More than anything, what impressed me about Joel Smith was his dedication to being honest and his conducting himself with our new union with integrity. Joel was a fine example of expertise not being compromised for integrity. I would highly recommend Joel Smith as a labor attorney."

-Jeff Nelson
World Umpires Association

"I worked with Joel Smith through a decertification and new certification of a union; also, negotiating a new CBA. His preparedness and attention to detail was one of the key reasons for our success. Joel has the highest ethical standards and his knowledge and application of union Labor Law is unparalleled. "

-Joe Brinkman
Vice President
World Umpires Association

Office Location

201 North Charles Street, Suite 1000
Baltimore, MD 21201
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2016 Lawyer of the Year in Sports Law of the Baltimore Metro Area2014 Lawyer of the Year in Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television of the Baltimore Metro Area2013 Lawyer of the Year in Sports Law of the Baltimore Metro Area
Joel A. Smith has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2016!Joel A. Smith has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2014!Joel A. Smith has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2013!

Practice Areas

Entertainment Law - Motion Pictures and Television
Entertainment Law - Music
Labor Law - Union
Litigation - Labor and Employment
Sports Law (Labor Organizations)

Other Information

Gender: Male