Joseph C. Smithdeal was born in St. Mary’s, Maryland while his father was stationed at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station. He is the son of William T. Smithdeal, III and Nancy D. Smithdeal of Fredericksburg, Virginia. He has three brothers, one sister, and somewhere north of twenty-five nieces and nephews.
Joe attended both parochial and public schools while growing up in Fredericksburg, Virginia. He graduated from The Citadel in 1989. While at The Citadel, he worked in the Writing Lab as a tutor, played on the rugby team, was a member of the Honor Court and was a Summerall Guard. He graduated from The USC School of Law in 1992. Upon graduation from law school, he started his legal career in Greenwood with attorneys Judson Ayers and Chad Bettis. Joe practiced law for twenty years at Ayers, Smithdeal & Bettis, PC before being elected to the Family Court Bench in 2013.
His practice consisted of a general practice including family law, civil litigation in both state and federal courts, criminal defense, and workers compensation law. Joe represented the Department of Social Services in abuse and neglect cases on an as-needed basis until 2011 as well.
Joe has served on many charitable and non-profit boards including: HospiceCare of the Piedmont; Healthy Learners; Greenwood Chamber of Commerce; and Greenwood Abbeville Little League. He is a former member of the Board of Governors of the South Carolina Association for Justice, member of the South Carolina Injured Workers Advocates and member of the South Carolina Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He is an avid hunter and reader. He also enjoys gardening.
Judge Smithdeal and his wife Libby have been married for over twenty years and they have five terrific kids. Libby is an attorney in private practice and is a former assistant solicitor.