Gina Maisto Smith is a partner with Pepper Hamilton LLP, resident in the Philadelphia office. Ms. Smith is a member of the firm's Education Counseling, Litigation and Investigation Services and White Collar Litigation and Investigations Groups.
Ms. Smith has a national practice focused on the institutional response to all aspects of sexual misconduct matters.
Before joining Pepper, Ms. Smith was a partner with Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia. Before that, she spent nearly two decades in the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office where she investigated numerous cases, handled more than 100 jury trials, and developed unmatched experience in the investigation and prosecution of sex crimes, child abuse and domestic violence. She also trained prosecutors, investigators, and police in handling the most difficult aspects of sex crimes, child abuse and domestic violence investigations.
Ms. Smith is frequently called upon to advise colleges and universities about sexual misconduct policies, changes in the law, and investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct, including sexual violence. She regularly conducts policy audits and assists in the development of policy and in the design and implementation of internal and external operating procedures. She conducts training for multiple university constituencies, including Title IX coordinators, sexual assault response teams, judicial hearing boards, investigators, and members of the campus community.
Ms. Smith also helps clients integrate the requirements of all federal, state, and local regulations (including Title IX and the Department of Education’s Dear Colleague Letter of April 4, 2011, the Clery Act, Campus SaVE, criminal law, HIPAA, and FERPA) with their policies and procedures. She also assists with conducting sexual misconduct investigations.
Ms. Smith’s depth in child abuse investigation and prosecution enables her to assist clients in meeting their child protective services compliance requirements. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia hired her to conduct a review of cases and internal procedures following a grand jury indictment of several priests accused of sexual abuse.
Ms. Smith has been a faculty member of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court Commission on Capital Education since 2005 and serves on the CLE Committee of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. She is a past faculty member of the American Prosecutors Research Institute, the National and Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Centers, and the National District Attorneys Association. And she is a past participant in the National Judicial College’s Capital Improvements Initiative: Curriculum Development and Faculty Workshop.
Ms. Smith is an adjunct professor in trial advocacy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and a past adjunct professor at Temple University James E. Beasley School of Law. She has served as a mentor for second-year law students through the Temple Summer Professional Experience Curriculum, a domestic-violence protocol trainer at the Philadelphia Police Department, and as a guest speaker educating local high school, college and law students about sexual assault, domestic violence, and legal career topics.
Ms. Smith serves on the board of directors of The University of Pennsylvania’s Field Center for Children’s Policy, Practice and Research and The Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University College of Law. She is also a member of the Center City Crime Victims Services Advisory Committee and the Support Center for Child Advocates Development Committee, and is on the board of the Chestnut Hill Youth Sports Club, where she also serves as the commissioner for boys’ soccer and basketball.
Ms. Smith is a member of the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and a past member of the Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association. She is a member of the American and Pennsylvania bar associations, and the Criminal Law Committee of the Federal Bar Association, Philadelphia Chapter.