Freeman, Freeman & Smiley LLP

Professional Details

Bruce M. Smiley, Partner

Bruce M. Smiley is a founding partner of the law firm of Freeman Freeman & Smiley, Chair of the firm’s Real Estate Department and a regular member of the firm’s Executive Management Committee. 

For over 35 years, Mr. Smiley has counseled international and national companies as well as local Southern California businesses and families regarding all legal aspects of transactional real estate matters. Mr. Smiley’s practice encompasses both public and private sector transactional real estate law with an emphasis on commercial and industrial leasing, commercial acquisition and sales, construction contracts and disputes, finance, retail shopping center matters, environmental matters, workouts and eminent domain disputes. He has served as an expert witness in real estate litigation matters and he has extensive experience in structuring shopping center transactions, handling environmentally complicated properties, and in the sale and liquidation of multiple parcels of property located throughout the United States. Mr. Smiley is regularly retained by attorneys throughout the United States and large East Coast and Midwestern multi-national corporations and retailers to handle their company's most challenging transactional matters in the Western United States. Additionally, he handles real estate construction, leasing and acquisition issues for a large local Charter School. 

In 2005, Mr. Smiley was invited to become a permanent member of the American College of Real Estate Attorneys (“ACREL”). Since 1997, he has continually served as a member of the Georgetown Law School Advisory Board of Directors and regularly teaches continuing education courses at the law school. 

Mr. Smiley has been awarded an AV Preeminent® Rating by Martindale-Hubbell® Peer Review, the highest rating in legal ability and ethical standards.  He has been recognized for twelve consecutive years on the Southern California Super Lawyers list (2004, 2006-2017), a designation bestowed on only the top 5% of lawyers in this region.  

Professional & Community Involvement

  • Georgetown University Law School | Commercial Leasing Advisory Board Member and Speaker 1997 - present
  • American College of Real Estate Lawyers
  • First Foundation Advisors | Advisory Board
  • American Industrial Real Estate Association | Past Board of Directors
  • International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC)
  • El Caballero Country Club | Past Board of Directors and First Vice President
  • Los Angeles County Bar Association | Real Property Section
  • Scholar's First | Board of Directors
  • Stop Cancer | President and Board of Directors
  • Freeman, Freeman & Smiley Foundation for Philanthropy | Trustee

Representative Clients and Matters

  • Unilever United States, Inc.
  • Weingarten Realty Investors
  • Partnership of Uplift Communities Charter School
  • Regents of the University of California
  • HSBC
  • The Travelers Companies, Inc.
  • Callaway Golf Company

Presentations & Publications

  • Author | Issues Unique to Restaurant Leasing | The Practical Real Estate Lawyer | March 2016
  • Co-Presenter | Issues Unique to Restaurant Leasing | ACREL Mid-Year Meeting | March 2016
  • Panel Chairman | American College of Real Estate Lawyers | Annual Meeting | October 2006
  • Materials Editor | Law Conference Sponsored by American College of Real Estate Lawyers | October 2004
  • "In the Blink of an Eye: 'Pop Up' Leasing in an Evolving Retail Environment" | Georgetown Law's 19th Annual Advanced Commercial Leasing Institute | April 2017
  • "Lying Clients and Inadvertent Disclosure: Addressing Intractable Ethical Dilemmas" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2015
  • "Beyond Bricks and Mortar: New Building Technology and Leasing" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2014
  • "Lessons Sandy Taught Us: Critical Elements in Drafting Insurance and Damage Clauses" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2013
  • "I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore: Leasing Across International Borders" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | March 2012
  • "Insurance for Dummies: Primer on Basic Property & Liability Concepts" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2011
  • "The 600 Ounce Gorilla in Today's Economy: Dealing with the Financially Impaired Landlord" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2010
  • "The Most Bullet Proof Lease and Loan Agreements Aren't -- Bankruptcy: The Lurking Factor" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2009
  • "'Deal or No Deal' -- The Art and Science of Successful Negotiations" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | March 2008
  • "Out the Door: Ins and Outs of Assignments and Sublettings" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | March 2007
  • "That Couldn't Have Been What You Meant; Betwixt the Office Lease Proposal and the Final Lease" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | March 2006
  • "Blueprint for Avoiding Unfit Upfit: Construction Contracts" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | March 2005
  • Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2004
  • "Current Issues of Real Estate Transactions" | University of California | Anderson School of Business | May 2003
  • "Mold Under the Microscope: Emerging Indoor Air Quality Issues" | Georgetown University Law Center | CLE | April 2003
  • "Use, Exclusives and Radius Clauses" | International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) | October 2002
  • "Negotiating Land Use and Environmental Issues in the Lease" | Georgetown University Law Center | March 2001
  • "The Broad Spectrum of Exclusives: How Far Can We Go?" | Georgetown University Law Center | March 2000
  • "Insurance and Indemnity" | Georgetown University Law Center | March 1999
  • "Anatomy of a Lease: Part IV" | International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) | October 1998
  • "Ethics of Lease Negotiations" | Georgetown University Law Center | November 1997
  • "Anatomy of a Lease: Part IV" | International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) | October 1997
  • "Commercial and Industrial Transactions" | Los Angeles Escrow Association | August 1997
  • "How to Maximize Commissions and Expedite Payment - 'Show Me the Money!'" | Grubb & Ellis | April 1997
  • "Current Issues in Shopping Center Leases for Lessors and Tenants" | University of California, Los Angeles Extension | November 1996
  • "Negotiating Fundamental Leasing Issues - Part II" | International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) | October 1995
  • "Operating Expense and Audit Rights" | Georgetown University Law Center | April 1995

Media Coverage