Maxwell D. Smith



Max is an attorney in Ward, Hocker & Thornton’s Lexington office. He received his J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law in 2015. While at Samford, Max was a member of both the National Moot Court Team and National Trial Team. He was awarded the William J. Peeler Award for Advanced Trial Advocacy and was named the Scholar of Merit for both Sports Law and Mediator Practice. He also served in Samford’s legal research and writing program as an Abraham Caruthers Teaching Fellow.

Prior to WHT, he gained significant experience as a legal intern for Magistrate Judge T. Michael Putnam of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama.

Awards and Honors

“Kentucky Rising Star” by Super Lawyers®, 2019-2021
Scholar of Merit: Sports Law, Cumberland School of Law, Fall 2014
Scholar of Merit: Mediator Practice, Cumberland School of Law, Spring 2015


Kentucky Bar Association
Fayette County Bar Association
Indiana State Bar Association
Claims and Litigation Management Alliance

Admitted to Practice

Kentucky, 2016
Indiana, 2016
U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana, 2016
U.S. District Court, Western District of Kentucky, 2016
U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Kentucky, 2016

Professional Leadership

KBA Young Lawyer Civil Litigation Liaison


Juris Doctorate, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University, 2015
Bachelor of Arts, Political Science, Georgetown College, 2012


Leadership Lexington Class of 2021
Easter Seals Cardinal Hill Junior Board
Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Bluegrass: Fiscal Services Committee
Immanuel Baptist Church: Member
Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels


Nicholasville, Kentucky

Representative Cases

Bradley v. Louisville Mega Cavern, LLC, 2021: Defense verdict in a wrongful death jury trial in which the estate alleged that negligence on the part of the premises owner caused the decedent’s death. The estate sought $60,000,000 in compensatory and punitive damages.