Presiding Justice Walter Lloyd Smith was born in Elmira, Chemung County, on April 18, 1856, and was the son of Supreme Court Justice H. Boardman Smith. He was educated in the Elmira public schools and graduated from Princeton University in 1877. He then studied law in his father's law office and was admitted to practice in 1879. Upon his father's resignation from the bench in 1888, Presiding Justice Smith was appointed by Gov. Hill to fill the vacancy. At that time, he was the youngest lawyer ever to have been appointed to that office. In 1899, he was designated an associate justice in the Fourth Department, where he served until his designation as an associate justice of the Third Department in 1901. He was appointed the Third Department's second Presiding Justice in 1907 and served as such until 1915. He was then designated an associate justice of the First Department by Gov. Whitman and he served on that court until his retirement to enter private practice in 1925. He died in Bermuda on April 18, 1928. His judicial service spanned 37 years.