Adam Smith


Land use issues have been at the core of Adam Smith’s practice for more than 13 years. Clients seek out Adam for his in-depth knowledge of the unique challenges faced by Oregon’s commercial, residential, and institutional developers in obtaining land use approval.

Prior to joining Schwabe, Adam worked in local government as both an Assistant Legal Counsel for Deschutes County in Bend, Oregon, and Deputy County Attorney for La Plata County in Durango, Colorado. While with Deschutes County, Adam managed the county’s land use appeal docket and gained valuable experience bringing numerous cases before the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals, the Oregon Court of Appeals, and Deschutes County Circuit Court. In addition, he has significant experience with ad valorem property tax appeals, code enforcement litigation, and policy issues involving natural resources, water law, Federal Public Lands, oil and gas, and tribal matters.

Before attending law school, Adam was a mechanical engineer and a Captain in the U.S. Air Force.



  • Defended a local legislative text amendment before the Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) and Oregon Court of Appeals, ensuring compliance with the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Person Act.
  • Managed over 70 land use cases before LUBA and the Oregon Court of Appeals.
  • As lead land use attorney for two local governments, provided legal representation and advice to numerous Board of County Commissioners, Planning Commissions, Hearings Officers, and Planning staff regarding quasi-judicial land use matters, legislative text amendments, proposed and adopted statutory changes, policy issues, building code interpretations, and numerous day-to-day land use matters.
  • Represented a local government assessor in ad valorem property tax appeals in Oregon Tax Court’s Magistrate and Regular Divisions.

Memberships & Awards


Oregon State Bar, Executive Committee, Real Estate & Land Use Section (2021-present)

Resources & Ideas

Seminars & Speaking Engagements

Better Findings Through Modern Case Law: 2020 Update; Association of Oregon County Planning Directors

Effectively Representing Parties in Land Use Hearings; Real Estate and Land Use Annual Summer Conference; August, 2019




Oregon State Courts

Oregon Federal Courts

Colorado State Courts

Colorado Federal Courts

Outside The Office