Attorney Scott Elliot Smith


Liberal Trial Attorney Defends ECOT Bashing Judge

By Scott Pullins


Attorney Scott Elliott Smith wants the readers of the Columbus Dispatch to know that Judge Tyack’s recent remarks on ECOT are, in his opinion, just another day in court.  In fact, he says that “The Common Pleas bench is replete with judges and magistrates who routinely denigrate counsel or a party’s position without recourse.”  Attorney Smith wrote his letter to the editor in response to an unprecedented Columbus Dispatch Editorial that demands that Tyack step down from the ECOT case.


However, it seems rather implausible that Judge Tyack’s statements were routine.  How often do Judges compare parties and attorneys to shady, Russian underworld figures exactly?  


At the same time, Judge Tyack’s statements have spread like wildfire in the media.  In fact, the statements have already generated multiple articles in the Columbus Dispatch, the Cleveland Plain Dealer, along with a rarely filed affidavit of disqualification, and a letter from ECOT’s founder.  


So who exactly is Scott Elliot Smith and what are his true motivations in this important public policy issue?  As always, 3rd Rail Politics takes you behind the scenes to expose the real story.


To read his letter to the editor, Attorney Smith wants to come across as an established legal insider, with decades of experience in local courts.  And he is certainly all of those things.  He’s been named as a super lawyer for the last ten years and is a certified member of the National Board of Trial Advocacy.  Those are pretty big deals in the legal world.


But if you drill down below the surface, you will also find that Smith is a wealthy, angry, left wing activist, with opinions out of the political mainstream.  His publicly available Facebook page is a long litany of grievances against conservative Justices, the Trump administration, and the Ohio Supreme Court.


For example, on March 23, 2017 he described newly sworn in Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch as elitist, morally bankrupt, and with de minimus reasoning.  He said that “This man is merely a puppet for big business and insurance interests who adopted his contemptuous smirk as a trademark of their disdain for individual rights.”


And he probably won’t be getting any White House dinner invites anytime soon either.  


On February 18, 2017 he had this to say about President Donald Trump.  “Trump's narcissism and lack of articulate eloquence prohibits him from hiding his prejudice.”


On December 14, 2016 he turned his fury on the Ohio Supreme Court when he said the following:


This is the direct result of Tort Reform from the undue influence of big business, the medical community, and insurance interests who control the legal process based upon greed and selfishness. The Seventh Amendment of the Constitution states the right to a jury trial is inviolate! This means a jury and only a jury may award the amount of recovery for a loss caused by someone legally responsible for the loss. The pro business Ohio Supreme Court conveniently says otherwise. Of course businesses and insurance companies who file suits everyday and clog our court dockets suffer no such monetary limitations. (Anyone wonder why the decision coincidentally didn't come out until AFTER the election wherein two more pro business justices were elected?)

Smith has donated to Lori Tyack, the Franklin County Municipal Clerk of Courts and former wife of Judge Tyack.  He has also donated to a handful of liberal judges, including Judge Tyack’s most recent campaign.  Finally, he has donated to the political action committee for the Ohio Association of Justice, which represents plaintiff trial lawyers.


So the real question we have for Tyack is simple:  Was a liberal trial lawyer and campaign contributor really the best spokesman you could find to defend yourself from the Dispatch's charges of bias and unprofessionalism?