Tributes poured in Tuesday as word spread of the passing of prominent Broward County attorney Arthur B. Smith.
Smith was a partner in the law offices of George Castrataro.
“As my friend, Arthur was always there for me,” Castrataro said. “He was always willing to share his opinion and his advice with little regard for popular opinion or political correctness. Art’s sharp wit was always just a sentence away and his humor was amongst his greatest attributes. His loyalty and dedication to his friends was uncompromising.”
Smith and Castrataro became business partners in 2010. Castrataro said Smith taught him many important lessons.
“He modeled behaviors that emphasized our clients as top priority and he never let a case go unresolved even into his last hours,” Castrataro said. “Art was a smart, capable and well-liked lawyer whose dedication was impossible to challenge. Art believed in improving the community and worked to create and support countless non-profit organizations. Art’s clients all share a universal love for his style and approach to practicing law and conducting business.”
Attorney Robin L. Bodiford met Smith in the mid 1990s when the two collaborated on estate planning. Bodiford described Smith as a “rangy guy with the demeanor of a Mr. Smith goes to Washington sort of sweetness.”
“He was kind, gentle and a trusted lawyer to our community,” Bodiford said. “Over the years he proved himself to be a supporter of the gay rights movement, even if he didn’t care to take a front row seat.”
Fort Lauderdale Vice Mayor Dean J. Trantalis said Smith’s generosity allowed the Pride Center at Equality Park to blossom into the facility it is today.
“We worked together in fashioning the grant from the Graves Foundation, an effort which helped bedrock the permanent home of the Center and allow it to open its doors to the many thousands that have found comfort and refuge within it,” Trantalis said. “His presence will be missed.”
A celebration of life will be planned in the coming weeks.