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The Papers of Judge Edward S. Smith

Identifier: MSS-01-3

Scope and Contents

These papers document Smith’s service on the U.S. Court of Claims, his appointment to the court, court administration, articles and speeches, and the federal court re-organization of the late 1970s that concluded with the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1979, and the creation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

The collection reflects the administrative process that took place "to restructure a portion of the intermediate appellate tier." Judge Smith was appointed Judge of the Court of Claims in 1979. There were too many appeals and very few judges, so it was necessaryy to allow the reorganization. In 1978-1979, Daniel J. Meador, Assistant Attorney General, sent a proposal for restructuring the court system. This set of papers, called the Meador Report, began the process that concluded with the Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1979 and launched the necessary legislation to establish the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. There are proposals, commentaries, discussions, hearings, statements, and memoranda between judges. This collection can be an excellent source of information on how the courts work internally.


  • Creation: 1964-1997


Language of Materials


Biographical / Historical

Edward S. Smith was born in Birmingham, Alabama, 27 March 1919. He studied at the University of Virginia, from where he received his B.A. in 1941 and LL.B /J.D. in 1947. He also studied mechanical engineering at the Alabama Polytechnic Institute (now Auburn University) from 1936-1938. In September of 1941, he entered active duty as an Apprentice Seaman. He participated in the initial amphibious attacks in North Africa, Sicily, Normandy, Southern France, and Okinawa. In 1944, he was Gunnery Officer of the USS Susan B. Anthony (AP-72) that was sunk off Normandy the 7 of June. Later he was First Lieutenant and Damage Control Officer, Executive Officer of USS Arcturus (AKA-1). He was released from the military in February 1946 as a Lieutenant. He was active for 15 years in the Postwar Naval Reserve, in units concerned with industrial mobilization and armed services procurement contracts. He was member of the Naval Reserve Material Companies 5-2 and 5-3, 5th Naval District. He retired July 1, 1968.

From 1947 to 1961 he was an associate and partner with the firm of Blair, Korner, Doyle, Worth, and Crampton (this firm changed names). From 1961, he worked in the Tax Division of the U. S. Department of Justice, as Chief of the Trial Section. There, he reorganized and administered several sections of the Tax Division and supervised civil refund litigation in all U. S. District Courts and the U. S. Courts of Claims. In 1962 and 1963, he served as deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights. From 1963 to 1977, he was partner in the law firm of Piper & Marbury Attorneys, in the city of Baltimore, where he was the head of the Tax and Estates Department. In 1978, he was appointed to the U. S. Courts of Claims as an associate judge. From 1982-1989, he was judge of the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In 1989, he became a senior circuit judge and moved to Alabama, where he continued to work until his death.

Judge Smith was member of the ABA; the Bar Association of the city of Baltimore; the Baltimore Association of Tax Counsel; the National Tax Association; the Tax Institute of America; the Federal Bar Association; the District of Columbia Bar (1948, Tax Division); the Virginia State Bar (1947); the Bar Association of the District of Columbia (member of the Committee on U. S. Courts of Claims); and a permanent member of the Judicial Conference of the Fourth Circuit. He was also a member of the Democratic Party. He taught as adjunct faculty at the University of Samford Law School and at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa.

Judge Edward S. Smith died March 22, 2001 in Birmingham, Alabama.


3.75 Cubic Feet (9 archival boxes)


The papers are arranged in the following groups:

Service on U.S. Court of Claims: correspondence, letters of recommendation, memoranda between judges and personal notes regarding court of claims appointments, and court administration rules, dating from primarily from 1977-1982. Boxes 1-2.

Creation of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal District: Meador Report materials, dating from 1978-1991. Boxes 2-5.

Federal Circuit Administration: materials related to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, various surveys, reports, and rules regarding procedures, dating from 1976-1997. Boxes 6-8.

Personal: resume, published articles, letters, speeches, class notes, and working materials, dating from 1964-1985. Box 9.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

This collection was donated to the Law Library by Judge Smith’s children, Edward and Innes, in August, 2001.

A Guide to The Papers of Judge Edward S. Smith,1964-1997 MSS 01-3
Smith, Judge Edward S., Papers, 1964-1997MSS 01-3
Processed by Cecilia Brown in 2001.
© 2009 By the Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia. All rights reserved.
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Language of description note
Description is inEnglish

Repository Details

Part of the Arthur J. Morris Law Library Special Collections Repository

Arthur J. Morris Law Library
580 Massie Road
University of Virginia
Charlottesville Virginia 22903 United States