Spencer Freeman Smith has plenty of experience inside a courtroom but not in the role he played on Tuesday — defendant.
The San Ramon lawyer in connection with the fatal hit-and-run on Dougherty Road in Dublin, appeared in court for the first time Tuesday morning.
Wearing a navy suit, Smith stood in front of the judge at the in Pleasanton for about a minute, but didn't say anything except for a few whispered words to his lawyer.
Charges weren't filed and no plea was entered, with the arraignment hearing being pushed back until June 27. Smith is currently out on bail.
"Police are still investigating the case and no charges have been filed yet," Teresa Drenick of the Alameda District Attorney's Office said.
Smith is being represented by Bill Gagen, a long-time Bay Area trial attorney. Gagen's biography page on his firm's website quotes a 2003 San Francisco Chronicle article that says, "If you get in trouble with the law in Contra Costa, who do you call? Those in the know say it’s Bill Gagen."
"I think there are two issues in this case," Gagen told reporters after the hearing.
"First, how did the accident happen? What was someone doing in the middle of a busy intersection at 11:30 at night? Would any driver expect someone to be there?"
"Second, what did my client know and when did he know it?"
Gagen said Smith feels terrible and is devastated about the death of Bo Hu, the man killed in the hit-and-run last Tuesday. Citing attorney-client privilege, Gagen said he could not comment on why Smith didn't stop after the collision or why he didn't alert police immediately.
On Monday, a private funeral for Hu was held at in Dubin.