Smitha is a Shareholder and co-chair of the Real Estate Section. For nearly twenty years, she has represented businesses and governmental entities in real estate, commercial leasing and acquisition, eminent domain, taxation, and construction.
Notably, she acts as counsel for the Village of Mount Pleasant, Racine County, and Kenosha County in matters related to development. She has also served as counsel for various landowners in eminent domain matters, for a contractor in connection with claims arising out of construction of a Chicago high rise office building, for Brown County on eminent domain and sales and use tax disputes, and for numerous landowners, businesses, and governmental authorities on real estate, zoning, permitting, eminent domain, and property taxation issues. She is also outside counsel for numerous businesses and governmental authorities on commercial leases, sale/acquisition of property, zoning, permitting, and property taxation issues.
Her trial experience includes all aspects of trial in state and federal courts and oral arguments in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.
In addition to her real estate practice, Smitha has experience in trust and estate disputes involving multiple beneficiaries, high net worth assets, wills and trusts and has acted as the court appointed Personal Administrator of a high net worth estate.
Smitha is an Affiliate Member of Owners’ Counsel of America (OCA) and is a regular speaker at their annual national conference. She is licensed to practice in Wisconsin and Illinois and has been consistently named in The Best Lawyers in America© for real estate and real estate litigation.
In addition to her practice, Smitha is the former chair of the firm’s Summer Associate Program and Recruiting Committee. She is also past co-chair of the Real Property Section of the Milwaukee Bar Association.
- Counsel for numerous major counties and municipalities on real estate related matters, including land use, acquisition, permitting, eminent domain, blight, and zoning.
- Defense counsel for a county on the validity of its imposition of a sales and use tax ordinance.
- Successfully obtained judgment in favor of a religious organization client in an eminent domain challenge that was unanimously upheld by the Court of Appeals.
- Litigated and resolved multiple eminent domain and property taxation matters on behalf of landowners and taxpayers.
- Counsel for multiple Wisconsin hospitals and corporations on property tax disputes.
- Represented health care providers and corporations in the resolution of several multi-million dollar construction defect claims prior to trial.
- Counsel for numerous construction companies related to construction contracting and construction disputes.
Representative Presentations and Articles
- "The Lawyer's Ethical Duties in Condemnation; Government and Owner's Counsel Perspective," Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation National Conference, ALI CLE, January 2021
- "Remote Real Estate Transactions in 2020: The New Norm or Temporary Normal," WCREW, December 2020
- "Making Sense of the New Rules After Knick v. Township of Scott: Where Do I Go, What Do I Do?," Eminent Domain and Land Valuation Litigation National Conference, ALI CLE, Nashville, January 2020
- "Recent Case Studies in Takings Cases," 16th Annual Condemnation Appraisal Symposium, March 2019
- "What Every County Needs to Know About the Two Condemnation Procedures," Wisconsin Counties Association Magazine, June 2018
- "Studies of Partial Taking Cases," 15th Annual Condemnation Appraisal Symposium, May 2018
- "Attorney Client Privilege: Practical Tips for All Attorneys," Ethics 2017 CLE Seminar, von Briesen & Roper, Dec. 2017
- "Construction Contracting 101," League of Wisconsin Municipalities Conference, October 2017
- "Reasonably Probable Highest & Best Use: Cost to Cure Issues," 13th Annual Condemnation Appraisal Symposium, May 2016