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Fishman Stewart announces the passing of IP attorney H. Lawrence Smith, who served of counsel to the firm for decades

Media Contact: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications;; 248.260.8466

Troy, Mich.—April 26, 2024—Michael Stewart, co-founder and managing partner of intellectual property specialty law firm Fishman Stewart PLLC, is saddened to announce the passing of attorney H. Lawrence (Larry) Smith, who was of counsel to the firm for several decades. Smith died on April 22.

Smith, who was the cherished stepfather of Fishman Stewart shareholder Michelle Visser, also shared a career-long friendship with Fishman Stewart co-founder and name partner Michael Fishman, who joins colleagues and friends in mourning Smith’s loss. In a tribute to Smith, Fishman described him as a highly respected colleague, mentor, dear friend of more than 30 years, and a generous role model who positively impacted the profession and everyone with whom he interacted.

“I knew Larry Smith for the entirety of my legal career and first met him when I was a new associate working in the intellectual property department of a large law firm. He taught me the fundamentals of IP and how to apply them, and I am reminded daily of Larry’s generosity with his time and knowledge and also his chivalrous manner of serving clients with utmost care and ethics,” Fishman said. “Yet, first and foremost, Larry was a gentleman and a truly caring and principled individual who valued relationships with his family, friends, colleagues and – last but not least – his clients. He represented the best of the legal profession, and I will continue to remember Larry as a dear friend who not only significantly shaped my career but also meaningly influenced other aspects of my life. I am forever grateful to Larry and will miss him dearly.”

Smith’s IP law career spanned from private practice to corporate law and back again. During his career, he also served as an adjunct professor of patent law at Cooley Law School and, as a commissioned officer in the United States Navy, as an assistant professor of naval science at the University of Notre Dame, teaching marine engineering and navigation. Smith earned a B.S. in engineering from the U.S. Naval Academy and a Juris Doctor from John Marshall Law School (now the University of Illinois Chicago School of Law).

About Fishman Stewart PLLC

Fishman Stewart helps turn client creativity into valuable intellectual capital. Since its founding in 1996, the firm has obtained tens of thousands of patents and trademark registrations and represented clients in hundreds of cases in Federal Court. As strategic advisers to CEOs and senior executives, Fishman Stewart attorneys develop IP management strategies for U.S. and foreign-based companies to safeguard their business assets throughout the world. To discover how Fishman Stewart leverages intellectual property to effectively increase enterprise value, visit