"I dedicate my practice to fighting for my clients' personal and financial interests."

Darlene Payne Smith

Shareholder & Mediator
Bachelor of Science: Criminal Justice, University of Houston (Magna Cum Laude)

Doctor of Jurisprudence, University of Houston Law Center
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Darlene Payne Smith is a mediator and a member of  the firm’s Probate Trust and Guardianship Group and the Fiduciary Litigation Group.

Her practice is focused on individuals who have experienced a loss or are facing the issue of a loved one who is becoming incapacitated or suffered a traumatic injury that rendered them incapacitated.   Darlene fights to uphold the wishes of those who have established valid estate plans and she defends fiduciaries wrongfully accused. She seeks justice against fiduciaries who have wronged their beneficiaries. 

As a result, Darlene often appears in courts in Harris, Montgomery, Brazoria, Galveston, Fort Bend, Brazos, San Jacinto, Chambers, Walker and Jefferson Counties as well as in Hildago and Cameron Counties.

Darlene represents fiduciaries and beneficiaries in trial and appellate courts of those counties, and across the State of Texas, in matters relating to probate, guardianship, trust administration and litigation.

Because of her knowledge and skill, Darlene often is sought to help resolve disputes or to improve the knowledge of fellow attorneys. 

Darlene is a frequent speaker and serves as an adjunct professor at South Texas College of Law. She is a co-author of the Texas Jury Charge publication for Probate and Trust and a continuing member of the Pattern Jury Charge Committee. She is also a mediator and arbiter of probate, trust, guardianship, and related matters.

Darlene has been honored many times over the years for her accomplishments including being selected to the 2006-2011 and 2014-2018 Texas Super Lawyers lists (Thomson Reuters).



Practice Areas

United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

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Principal Office : Houston Office - Five Houston Center, 17th Floor - 1401 McKinney, Suite 1700 - Houston, Texas 77010 - Phone: 713.658.2323
The Woodlands Office (by appt only) - 1095 Evergreen Circle, Suite 200 - The Woodlands, Texas 77380 - Phone: 713.752.8686

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