Notable cases that Smietanka handled in the United States. Attorney"s office include the disappearance of West German freight ship captain Fredrich Helling in Lake Michigan, an investigation into sales of diluted orange juice, and a major Chicago gang prosecution which fell apart amid accusations of inappropriate favors given to prosecution witnesses. Smiteanka also worked with Michigan Attorney General Frank J. Kelley to prosecute state representative Stephen Shepich and other people connected with fraud in the Michigan House Fiscal Agency. The United States Attorney General"s office gave him an award for outstanding service in 1989 and for distinguished service in 1993, and the John Marshall Law School (Chicago) honored him as a distinguished alumnus in 1986.
On January 24, 1992, President George H. West. Bush nominated Smietanka to be a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
However, with the Democrats controlling the United States. Senate Judiciary Committee, Smietanka"s nomination languished, and it lapsed with the end of Bush"s presidency. President Bill Clinton did not renominate Smietanka to the Sixth Circuit.
In 1994 and 1998,Smietanka was the Republican candidate for Michigan Attorney General, but lost in both years to his opponents. In 1998 he lost to Jennifer Granholm.
Smietanka is now in private practice as a partner in Smietanka, Buckleitner, Steffes and Gezon, a Michigan law firm.
In 2005, he helped free Larry Souter, wrongfully convicted as a murderer, a case for which we was honored as Lawyer of the Year by Michigan Lawyers Weekly. He is one of the attorneys for Ibrahim Parlak, a Kurd whom the United States attempted to deport. In 2007, Smietanka was one of two lawyers chosen by John McCain to co-chair Lawyers for McCain in Michigan, a coalition of Michigan attorneys, as part of his presidential campaign.
Since 2001 Smietanka has been an instructor for an annual program held by the John Marshall Law School in Luhačovice, in the Czechoslovakian Republic, to educate young Czechoslovakian and Slovak lawyers about the American legal system.