Phillip Smith is a principal with The Van Winkle Law Firm, where he practices in the areas of healthcare, construction, professional malpractice defense, products liability, banking, and commercial law. Since joining the firm in 1972, he has supported the business operations of professionals in accounting, architecture, dentistry, engineering, and law. He successfully defended physicians and their practices against multi-million dollar claims of negligence and defended a hospital in a similarly large claim asserting deprivation of due process, freedom of speech, breach of contract, slander and contract interference.
Awards & Honors
- The Best Lawyers in America® 2020, Asheville Area –
- Commercial Litigation
- Construction Law
- Litigation – Construction
- AV Peer-Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
- Best Lawyers in America
- Business North Carolina Legal Elite
- North Carolina Super Lawyers
- Successfully defended local hospital in U.S. District Court in a multi-million dollar claim commenced by a surgeon as a result of his medical privileges being summarily suspended at the recommendation of the hospital’s medical staff. The action asserted claims for deprivation of due process, freedom of speech, breach of contract, slander and contract interference. The case is on appeal to the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals.
- Unwinding of two major medical practices and successful negotiation of terms without litigation or alternative dispute resolution and no interruption of practice business.
- Jury verdict in favor of a surgeon who bypassed the wrong coronary artery alleged to have been the result of negligence causing the plaintiff to sustain a subsequent myocardial infarction.
- Successful defense of multiple physicians and an academic medical center in a $24 million impaired baby case.
- Temple University, Juris Doctor, 1972
- Wake Forest University, Bachelor’s Degree, 1968
- Buncombe County Bar
- American Health Lawyers Association
- Buncombe County Bar Association, Past President
- Defense Research Institute
- Harry C. Martin American Inns of Court
- North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys
- North Carolina Bar Association
- North Carolina State Bar
- Asheville City Schools Foundation
- Asheville Chamber of Commerce Healthcare Roundtable
- Asheville-Buncombe Christian Ministries Board of Directors, Former President
- Central United Methodist Church Board of Trustees, Former Chairperson
- Pisgah Legal Services, Former President
- United Way
- Wake Forest University Alumni Council
- YMCA Board of Directors
Phil has two children with his wife, Pat, who is executive director of the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina.
- Favorite Food: My wife’s paella
- Favorite Artists: Bierstadt, Renoir, Will Henry Stevens
- Favorite Music: At the moment, big bands
- Favorite Author: David McCullough
- Favorite Movie: “The Shawshank Redemption”
- Guilty Pleasures: Chocolate (preferably dark) and good wine