Photo of D. Brooks Smith

D. Brooks Smith

  • The Honorable Judge D. Brooks Smith ’69 was confirmed by the United States Senate to a seat on the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit on July 31, 2002.  

    Judge Smith received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Franklin and Marshall College in 1973, and he took his Juris Doctor from the Dickinson School of Law in 1976.

    He began his legal career in Altoona, Pennsylvania, as an associate with the firm of Jubilirer, Carothers, Krier, Halpern & Smith, where he later became managing partner.  From 1983 to 1984, he served as Blair County District Attorney.  In December 1984, Governor Richard Thornbaugh appointed Judge Smith to the Court of Common Pleas of Blair County.  Judge Smith was then elected to that position in 1985, and in 1987 he became Administrative Judge of the Court.

    In October 1988, President Ronald Reagan nominated Judge Smith to the United States District Court to the Western District of Pennsylvania.  At the time he took office, Judge Smith was one of the youngest judges on the federal bench.  In February 2001, he became Chief Judge of the Western District of Pennsylvania.

    Judge Smith is a member of the American Law Institute, the Federal Judges Association, and the American Judicature Society.  He served on the Criminal Rules Advisory Committee of the United States Judicial Conference from 1993 to 1999.  Currently, Judge Smith is assisting in efforts to enhance the rule of law in the judicial systems of Central and Eastern Europe.  Towards that end, he has traveled to Russia with the American Bar Association’s Central and Eastern European Legal Initiative.  He has also traveled to Bulgaria with the Judicial Development Project of the United States Agency for International Development.

    In addition to his judicial activities, Judge Smith has served the Blair County area in a variety of community organizations, including the Salvation Army, the Blair County Legal Services Corporations, and Family and Children’s Service of Blair County.

    Judge Smith and his wife Karen reside in Altoona, PA.