Mary-Lee Kimber Smith
Mary-Lee Kimber Smith is a Managing Attorney at Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), having joined DRA in 2005 as a Disability Rights Advocates/Westrec Marinas Fellow. Mary-Lee's practice has been focused on complex class actions that have advanced the civil rights of persons with disabilities. She is an advocate for persons with all types of disabilities, and has litigated precedent-setting class action cases involving discrimination in all facets of life, from transportation to public services.
Mary-Lee has twice been named an Attorney of the Year by California Lawyer Magazine. In 2011 California Lawyer named her an attorney of the year in the area of disability law for her work in 2010 on a state-wide class action lawsuit against the California Department of Transportation (“Caltrans”) addressing access along Caltrans sidewalks. The case resulted in a landmark settlement requiring Caltrans to spend $1.1 billion over the next 30 years to provide access to its sidewalks throughout the state. In 2013 Mary-Lee received a second California Lawyer award in the area of disability law for her work on a class action lawsuit addressing the needs of people with disabilities in emergency planning for the City and County of Los Angeles, home to over 800,000 persons with disabilities. The case resulted in a precedent-setting decision, the first of its kind in the nation, holding that the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act apply to emergency planning by public entities.
Mary-Lee received her law degree from University of California Berkeley (Boalt Hall) in 2005, her M.A. from Stanford University in Political Science in 2001 and her B.A. from The University of Chicago, also in Political Science, in 1998. Mary-Lee is admitted to practice in all California Courts, the U.S. District Court of California (Northern and Central Districts) and the U.S. Court of Appeals (Ninth Circuit).