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Profiles of Smith & Associates

James E. Smith

A founding member of the firm, Jim has practiced law since 1981. His career in public service began in the Massachusetts Legislature where he served four terms. Later he served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) Advisory Board. After which Governor Michael Dukakis appointed Jim to the MBTA Board of Directors where he served for eight years. Among Jim’s legislative accomplishments are the state’s open meeting law as well as its public records law. During his tenure at the MBTA Advisory Board, Jim made national news by holding the T to its agreed upon budget and forcing a one day shutdown of the system that led directly to strong management controls at the MBTA. During his tenure on the MBTA Board, the T undertook its largest expansion in the organizations history, the extension of the Orange, Red and Silver Lines as well as significant expansion of commuter rail.

Jim devotes his extensive legal and legislative experience to representing clients that have issues before the US Congress, Massachusetts Legislature and Massachusetts regulatory agencies. He has also represented clients internationally in China and the Czech Republic. His law practice includes zoning and permitting, exemplified by his successful representation of Seaport Landing in Lynn, one of the largest waterfront developments in the Commonwealth. Jim’s expertise is developing consensus between public and private interests, and he has helped clients with mediations, community outreach, public relations, business development and labor relations.

Among the clients Jim currently advises is one of the largest energy producers in New England, an aggregator of energy purchasers, a medical testing laboratory and a mutual fund. Additionally, Jim advises various associations in the energy business, the broadcasting business and the contracting business, as well as Massachusetts’ only federally recognized Indian tribe.

Jim is an active in numerous business groups including the Associated Industries of Massachusetts, the New England Council, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce and serves on a number of boards, including the All Care VNA and the UMass Boston Alumni Association where he is a past president.

Jim received his BA from the University of Massachusetts/Boston, a Master’s degree from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School. He resides in Swampscott, Massachusetts, with his wife, Abbe, and their four children Andrew, Hayley, Tristan and Chloe.

David A. Tibbetts

David A. Tibbetts is of counsel to the law firm of Smith & Ruddock., focusing on economic development and government relations. He joined the firm in February 1999, after serving as Massachusetts Secretary of Economic Affairs and Director of Economic Development under Governors William F. Weld and Argeo Paul Cellucci.

As Secretary of Economic Affairs and Director of Economic Development from 1996 to 1999, Atty. Tibbetts was responsible for seven state agencies: the Massachusetts Office of Business Development; Department of Employment and Training; Division of Energy Resources; Office of International Trade and Investment; Office of Travel and Tourism, Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance, and the Massachusetts Film Office. He was Chair of the Board for the Corporation for Business, Work, and Learning (now the Commonwealth Corporation), and Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Jobs Council. He served on the Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative, and as a member of the Boards for the Massachusetts Development Finance Agency, Massachusetts Technology Development Corporation, and Jobs for Massachusetts, Inc.

Prior to his appointment as Secretary of Economic Affairs, Atty. Tibbetts was Chief of Staff and General Counsel for Secretary of Economic Affairs Gloria C. Larson from 1993 to 1996. From 1991 to 1993, he was General Counsel for the Executive Office of Consumer Affairs and Business Regulation. From 1983 to 1989, he served in the Administration of Governor Michael S. Dukakis as Legislative Counsel and General Counsel to the Executive Office of Energy Resources, and as Acting Secretary of Energy Resources.

In 1999, Atty. Tibbetts conceived and co-founded the Merrimack Valley Economic Development Council, Inc. (, a public-private partnership promoting economic development in the 24-communities of the Merrimack Valley. He serves as the organization’s President.

Atty. Tibbetts serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Massachusetts Alliance for Economic Development. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of the Institution for Savings in Newburyport, one of the oldest mutual savings banks in the nation. He is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and Boston College Law School.

Herbert P. Gleason

In memoriam October 22, 1928 – December 9, 2013.