John Lewis Smith III, 71, a lawyer who was a partner in the Washington office of the BakerHostetler law firm, died Jan. 28 of congestive heart failure at Bradford Oaks Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Clinton.

He had a series of strokes in past years, his wife, Marjorie Smith, said.

Mr. Smith, a resident of Washington, had a legal specialty in health care and represented a number of doctors and hospitals. He was legal counsel to the D.C. Medical Society, the old Columbia Hospital for Women and the National Capital Reciprocal Insurance Co., which he helped form. He also represented many Washington area businesses, including restaurants and auto dealers.

Mr. Smith served on the boards of Washington Hospital Center and MedStar National Rehabilitation Hospital and was a past president of the D.C. chapter of Easter Seals. He was also a trustee of the Greater Washington Board of Trade’s political action committee.

John Lewis Smith III, who was known as Lewis, was born in Washington. His father was a former chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Mr. Smith was a graduate of the private Lawrenceville School in New Jersey and was a 1963 graduate of Princeton University. He received his law degree from Georgetown University in 1967 and was a clerk to E. Barrett Prettyman, a federal judge.

Mr. Smith joined the law firm of Frost and Towers, which later merged with BakerHostetler. He was managing partner of the firm’s Washington office from 1987 to 1993, and he retired in 1998.

Mr. Smith played golf and was a member of Burning Tree Club in Bethesda, the Metropolitan Club, the Chevy Chase Club and the Barristers, a social organization for lawyers.

A son, John Lewis Smith IV, died in 1993.

Survivors include his wife of 41 years, Marjorie Reilly “Missy” Smith of Washington; four children, Marjorie Marr of Raleigh, N.C., Angelique Jacobs of Bethesda, Madeline Scoular of Naples, Fla., and Reilly L. Smith of Silver Spring; a brother, Cotter Smith of New York; three sisters, Madeline Lynn of Vero Beach, Fla., Janet Garabrant of Ann Arbor, Mich., and Barbara Fennell of Chevy Chase; and 13 grandchildren.

— Matt Schudel