R. Pete Smith

R. Pete Smith

President & CEO

Executive Board Member


Best of the Best Attorneys badge - top 10 family law attorneyPete Smith's practice consists primarily of business litigation, commercial transactions, bankruptcy, financial restructuring, and labor and employment law. He is a skilled litigator and adept problem-solver who handles a wide variety of complex business and financial matters.

In addition to understanding the law, Mr. Smith has hands-on experience with how businesses actually work, owning several banks and co-founding Electronic Processing, Inc. (EPI), a computer firm that provided data processing services in every United States Bankruptcy Court in the nation (1964-1983).

Mr. Smith also serves as the firm's Chairman, leads several of the firm's practice groups and is a frequent lecturer and speaker to creditor, banking, and accounting groups and to lawyers.

McDowell Rice Congratulates Our 2022 Super Lawyers and Rising Stars

McDowell Rice Announces its 2022 Executive Board and Officers

Mike Griffin, Jonathan Margolies, and Pete Smith Named to Best Lawyers in America 2023

Pete Smith Chosen as Missouri Lawyers ICON

2021 Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars® Lists

Pete Smith Honored by Missouri Bar as one of “2020 Senior Counselors”

2020 Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars® Lists

Chairman Pete Smith Selected to 2020 Ingram's 250

2020 Executive Board Members, Officers, and Shareholders Announced at Annual Firm Meeting

Pete Smith Recognized by Ingram’s Magazine as a “Kansas City Legend”

The Role of the Accountant in the Divorce Process

2018 Executive Board Members and Shareholders Announced at Annual Meeting

Pete Smith Achieves Senior Fellow Status in Litigation Counsel of America

Pete Smith and Jonathan Margolies – The Best Lawyers in America©

‘We’re a little bit DIFFERENT’ - McDowell Rice brings libertarian ethos to law practice

Pete and LesLee Smith Receive “Justice for the Innocent Award” from The Midwest Innocence Project

MRSB announces 2016 Executive Board members

Pete Smith obtains dismissal of fraud and consumer protection claims in Federal Court for commercial aircraft parts supplier

MRSB announces 2015 Executive Board members

Midwest Innocence Project President Pete Smith welcomes new volunteers

McDowell Rice successfully defends two appeals in dissolution of marriage action

The Midwest Innocence Project elects R. Pete Smith as President and announces relocation to Plaza’s historic Skelly Building

McDowell Rice Smith & Buchanan - Ingrams Best Companies to Work For

Best Law Firm Awards & Recognition

Pete Smith guides business clients through stressful economic times

Distinction selection information

The Missouri Bar “Senior Counselor” Status - Achieved in 2020
Ingram's 250 Most Powerful and Influential Business Leaders: Included on list 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Best Divorce Lawyers in Kansas City, 2020
Selected to Serve as 2017-2018 Campaign Chair of United Way of Wyandotte County
Dean of The Trial Bar
Fellow, American College of Bankruptcy
Senior Fellow, Litigation Counsel of America
Selected as Best of the Bar by The Kansas City Business Journal, 2003, 2007, 2008
Super Lawyers, Business Litigation, 2005 to the present
Easy Lawyer: R. Pete Smith
Best Lawyers in America, 1987 to present
AV® Preeminent™ Rated by Martindale Hubbell
Legal Industry Outlook: Ingram's 2015

American Association for Justice
The Missouri Bar
Kansas Bar Association
Kansas City Metropolitan Bar Association

Pete has been an active supporter of community service over the years. A few of the organizations that Pete has contributed services and/or support to include:

  • Midwest Innocence Project Kansas City (Past President)
  • Kansas City Kansas Area Chamber of Commerce (former Chair, Board of Directors)
  • Kansas City Area Economic Development Council
  • United Way
  • YMCA
  • American Red Cross, Wyandotte County chapter (Member and Board of Directors)


University of Missouri at Kansas City (J.D., 1970, magna cum laude, Order of Bench and Robe, Editor-in-chief, UMKC Law Review)

University of Kansas (B.S., 1967, magna cum laude, Accounting, Beta Gamma Sigma, Business School International Honor Society)

Bar Admissions
Court Admissions
U.S. Supreme Court
U.S. Court of Federal Claims
U.S. Tax Court
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri