Governor Bryan Selects Ariel Smith as V.I. Attorney General Nominee; Requests Prompt Confirmation
Governor Albert Bryan has submitted the nomination of Ariel K. Smith for the role of Virgin Islands Attorney General to the 35th Legislature on Monday.
Ariel Smith, the Attorney General Nominee, is presently the Chief of the Civil Division at the Virgin Islands Department of Justice, a position she has maintained since 2016, as reported by the Government House.
In a letter addressed to Senate President Novelle Francis Jr., Governor Bryan requested that the Legislature quickly and positively consider his nomination of Ariel Smith to “avoid any disruptions in the department’s official functions.”
Ms. Smith holds a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers University School of Law in New Jersey.
As the Civil Division Chief in the Department of Justice, Ms. Smith supervises a team of five attorneys and two support staff, managing a caseload of over 40 cases related to the executive branch and the Government of the Virgin Islands’ entities, according to the Government House.
Before her appointment as Civil Division Chief, Attorney General Nominee Smith worked as an Assistant Attorney General in the Civil Division for seven years. During her tenure, she drafted and submitted complaints, prepared and presented dispositive and non-dispositive motions, participated in mediation conferences, and represented the Government of the Virgin Islands in the District Court and Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.
The press release also stated that Ms. Smith previously served as an Assistant Territorial Public Defender for five years, providing criminal defense for misdemeanor and major felony offenses, including domestic violence and white-collar cases. She conducted over 20 jury trials during her time in this role.
Before her public defender position, Attorney General Nominee Smith worked as an Associate Attorney at Smock and Moorhead in private practice, focusing on general civil litigation, insurance defense, bankruptcy, probate, family law, labor, real estate, and commercial transactions.