C. Paul Smith is a Maryland attorney and author. In the 42 years since he opened his law practice in 1978, he has represented clients in a broad range of legal matters, including family law, bankruptcies, real estate, civil litigation, business matters, wills and estates, probate matters, and some criminal and juvenile law matters. At this time, however, Paul limits his law practice primarily to probate, wills and estates.
Paul has written and published books and articles about religious, constitutional, and political issues for many years. At this point in time, most of his time is devoted to writing and publishing books and articles on issues of current importance. (See Paul’s Bookstore for a listing and description of these writings.)
Paul was born in Washington, D. C. in 1951. He was raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, where he graduated from Wheaton High School in 1969. He played high school football, basketball, and baseball. He also played trombone in the band. Shortly after starting college at Brigham Young University in 1969, he was called to serve a mission in France (1970-72). After returning, he resumed his education at BYU; he married Terry Linda Thompson in 1973; and he earned a B. A. Degree in English in 1974.
Paul and Terry immediately went to work to have a large family. In 1975, Paul entered the J. Reuben Clark Law School at BYU, where he received a Juris Doctor Degree in 1978. His graduation present was the birth of their fourth son, Daniel. After taking and passing the Maryland Bar, Paul and his father (J. Russel Smith—also a lawyer) opened a law practice in Rockville, Maryland in November of 1978. In 1979, Paul and Terry and their growing family moved to Frederick, Maryland. By 1983, their family had increased to seven children (six boys and one girl). In 1984, Paul and Terry decided to leave the law practice and pursue a business opportunity in Georgia, near Terry’s family, in Dahlonega, Georgia. Paul built a large home for the family in Georgia, which was finished In 1990. Also in 1990, Paul and Terry’s eleventh child was born, Michael. It was also that year that they determined to return to Maryland and to re-open his law practice. Paul opened a Maryland office in 1991, and resumed the law business, with the plan to move back to Maryland. In 1992, after the sale of their home, the family moved back to Frederick, Maryland. Paul rented offices in Rockville, Maryland, and the law practice grew and became profitable. In 1996, Paul and Terry’s twelfth and final child was born, Sophia Christine. In 2010, Paul moved his law office to Frederick, where it continues to be to this day.
At the same time their family was growing and the law practice was going, Paul and Terry devoted a lot of time to service in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. For many years Paul worked with the teenage young men in various congregations, including serving as scoutmaster on five separate occasions in the troops sponsored by the church. Paul’s service in the Boy Scouts of America has spanned over forty years. During this time, all nine of the boys received the Eagle Scout Award. In 2013, Paul received the Silver Beaver Award from the National Capital Area Council of the BSA. From 1994 to 2000, Paul served as bishop of the Frederick Ward. Afterwards, he and Terry have continued to serve in various callings, including Paul’s serving on the stake high council, serving as stake young men’s president, and later as stake missionary preparation teacher. From 2017- 2018, Paul and Terry served a mission for their church in Ft. Worth, Texas. Fellow attorney and their friend, Jeff Holtzinger, handled many legal matters for Paul during the mission hiatus. Now, in 2021, Paul’s probate practice is back on track and continuing to be profitable.
Eight of Paul and Terry’s children have served missions for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (serving in Japan, Argentina, Romania, Utah, Italy, Canada, and Poland). All of Paul and Terry’s children are married, except for their daughter Patricia who died in an automobile accident in 1990. Paul and Terry’s children, and their 36 grandchildren, are scattered across the country (in Florida, Texas, Oklahoma, Illinois, Idaho, Utah, and Maryland).
In the midst of a very busy life, Paul also involved himself in local politics and community service for many years. In 2005 Paul campaigned to be a Frederick City Alderman. He was elected to one of the five positions, and served there for four years. In 2009 he ran for re-election, but narrowly missed securing the fifth slot. He then immediately ran for election as a county commissioner in 2010, and won, receiving the second most votes of the five commissioners. (Because Paul is a Republican, and because there was a slight majority of Republican voters in the county, Paul fared better in county-wide voting than in the city.) Paul then served as Vice President of the Frederick County Board of Commissioners for four years. During these years, Paul was extremely busy, serving on many commissions and attending numerous meetings and events. Paul became especially informed, active, and effective in matters involving roads and transportation, land development, and environmental regulations pertaining to clean water.
In the course of Paul’s education at law school he took a special interest in the Constitution, and he took all the courses offered on it. During the law school years, Paul wrote an article about the 1976 Supreme Court decision in Young v. American Mini Theatres. In that case the Supreme Court ruled that local governments could regulate pornographic speech that was not obscene. This was significant because “obscene” speech is not protected under the First Amendment, and this case established that pornographic, but not “obscene” speech, could be limited with reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions. Paul attended law school shortly after the Supreme Court delivered its controversial ruling in Roe v. Wade. While in law school he wrote a couple of papers related to abortion and fetal rights. In 1977 he combined these writings and published the book, The Fetal Right to Life Argument, which was sold and placed in over a hundred law libraries. Recently (2020), Paul revised and republished that book, which continues to be informative and pertinent.
In 2002, Paul published the book, The State of the Constitution, which is an introduction to the Constitution, written for high school students. At the same time, he began to write and publish regular updates on developments in Constitutional law. Those writings were published as Constitutional Law Updates, two or three updates each year. The frequency was slowed greatly when Paul was an elected official. In 2017, the updates were bound and published in the book, The State of the Constitution—2017. In 2019 Paul wrote and published The Capitalism Argument—and the fatal flaws of socialism. A current project for 2021 is to write the book, The Sound Environmental Policy Argument—and how climate change extremists would ruin America.
The Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
As explained in other parts of this website, it is extremely important to me to share my knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. One of the things I have done toward this is the writing and publication of the book, I Will Send My Messenger—an Introduction to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It took me approximately six years to write the book. I first published it in 1988. Subsequently, I made some minor revisions in the book a couple of times. Most recently, in 2019, I made additional revisions and republished the book. This book shows how the mission of the prophet Joseph Smith fulfilled over a dozen biblical prophecies of a latter-day restoration of all things and the visitation of many divine messengers with accompanying messages from God. Also in 2019, I finished writing and published The Prophet Joseph Smith—Restoration Issues. This book presents a strong defense of the Prophet Joseph Smith in response to several attacks that continue to be made against him. In 2021, I will finish writing a book on the creation, which will provide a concise treatment of many aspects of the creation that have caused some people to question the existence of God.
Another production that I just finished was 56 episodes of a radio program called “Latter-Day Messages,” which are discussions of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. These discussions (including musical numbers) aired as radio programs in 2019, 2020, and 2021 on WFMD (930 AM) in Frederick, Maryland. These programs constitute a variety of interesting and important discussions of the purpose of life and various principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
In 2007 I made the documentary movie, Mormon, which tells about the life and mission of Mormon, including how he revised the thousand-year history of his people (who lived in ancient America), and how his son, Moroni, finished his abridgment project and in the year 421 A.D. buried this ancient record in a hill near Palmyra, New York. (The translation of this record is called The Book of Mormon.) This story is told with music and maps and with extensive quotes from Mormon and Moroni. About the same time that Mormon was made, I made two other videos—”The Restoration” and “Kirtland.”
Rocks, Hills, and Mountains
I have been very interested in rocks, geology, and the beauties of mountains and hills in America. In the early 2000s I made the video, “America the Beautiful,” which shows some of the beautiful scenery in America, including Yellowstone National Park and other parks and places. In 2018 I made the PowerPoint called “America’s Cut-Throughs,” which show some of the marvelous land formations in America that display a variety of types of layers of rock.
I have also written a biography of my dad, The Life of J. Russel Smith (2016) and other writings about some of my ancestors, some of whom played important roles in the early history of America. (E.g., my ancestors include John Howland and Elizabeth Tilley, who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620.) I just finished writing History of the Silver Spring Ward (2021). This book is important because of the account it gives of a large and loving congregation of disciples of Jesus Christ who were members of a congregation in Silver Spring, Maryland (from 1954 – 1979). Some of my other writings are poems and stories, intended for the benefit of my children and grandchildren. Some of these include:
- “Be Glad You’re Not a Rock”
- “The Night After Christmas”
- “The True Story of Santa Claus”
- “The Grizzly Bear Thims Christmas”