- Government Relations
- The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law, J.D., 1984
- Heidelberg College, B.A., 1981, magna cum laude
Bar & Court Admissions
- U.S. Supreme Court
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio
- Admitted to practice law only in the states listed above.
Elizabeth is a partner in the Vorys Columbus office with over thirty-five years of varied and broad experience in the courtroom, in complex discovery, and before governmental administrative bodies. Her practice includes business, commercial, contract, occupational disease, environmental and toxic torts, ethics, education, governance, medical marijuana and public law litigation. She has had first chair trial experience in jury and bench trials in state and federal court. Elizabeth has argued in various state appellate courts, the Ohio Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. She has a broad range of experience representing individuals, businesses of all sizes and universities and traditional and charter schools before the courts and regulatory bodies. Her varied experience has allowed her to develop specific insight for the handling of regulatory litigation and is a “go to” lawyer for issues involving state government.
Career highlights include:
- Over 30 years of trial and litigation experience in various types of jury trials and injunction hearings including involving business, contract and commercial disputes, extended litigation in several forums brought by family trust beneficiaries, employment discrimination, asbestos exposure and occupational disease litigation, including national representation of Fortune 200 manufacturing company in connection with its occupational disease claims, working with national expert witnesses from the medical, epidemiological and industrial hygiene fields throughout the country and in various forums
- Appointment as the Chief Counsel to Ohio Attorney General James Petro from 2003 to 2005 and involvement in daily strategy, policy decision making and leadership of 100+ lawyers and 13,000 cases on a variety of matters involving the State of Ohio, its agencies and universities, and pension funds including, issues relating to securities litigation, constitutional issues, unions, taxation, transportation, workers' compensation, the state budget, state and national elections, public records, ethics, open meetings and corporate governance, general tort litigation
- Representation of various businesses in regulatory litigation with the state including successful resolution of “Bet the Company” litigation against the Ohio Department of Medicaid in regard to a Home Healthcare Government Audit, “Bet the Company” litigation involving a medical marijuana cultivator licensee in court and against the Ohio Medical Marijuana Program and successful representation of individuals and government entities before the Ohio Ethics Commission the Ohio Elections Commission, the Department of Public Safety and the Department of Commerce.
- Successful negotiation of settlements for several significant investigatory actions on behalf of national chains brought by the Consumer Protection Section of the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and participation in successful litigation and settlement of international class action involving allegations about offshore working conditions
- Leadership in various aspects of litigation and regulatory actions involving Ohio’s charter schools, including leading the first effort of a nongovernment charter school sponsor to take over the operations of a failing school and to bring it to a successful closure, working with the Ohio Attorney General, the Ohio Department of Education and the Ohio Auditor of State
- Representation as special counsel to the Ohio Attorney General for Ohio’s public universities in regard to various state and federal regulatory issues, including successful negotiations with the United States Department of Justice in regard to accessibility issues
- Representation of the Ohioans Against Marijuana Monopolies PAC (Issue 3) in the 2015 election, including representation before the Ohio Ballot Board, participation in debates before professional organizations and The Columbus Metropolitan Club, spearheading an amicus brief in the Ohio Supreme Court for the PAC to defeat Issue 3, and subsequent representation of provisional licensees in the marijuana industry before the courts
- Representation of and advice to various businesses in regard to issues involved with Ohio’s new Medical Marijuana and Hemp Programs
- Appointed by Ohio’s U.S. Senators to four Bi-Partisan Judicial Advisory Commissions for the Selection of Federal District Judges in Ohio and service in 2017 as chair of the commission
Elizabeth is a member the Federal Bar Association, the Ohio State Bar Association, the Columbus Bar Association, the Ohio Women’s Bar Association, the Women Lawyers of Franklin County, the Defense Research Institute (DRI) and the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA). Elizabeth has been named an Ohio Super Lawyer, as one of The Best Lawyers in America and as a Top Lawyer in Columbus. In addition, she was recently appointed to the Columbus Bar Association’s Professional Ethics Committee.
Elizabeth has been a speaker at the Ohio Attorney General’s Trial Advocacy Program on various aspects of trial presentation, at professional organizations in regard to career development for women, and most recently to healthcare organizations and employers regarding legal issues in regard to the legalization of marijuana.
Elizabeth received her J.D. from The Ohio State University Michael E. Moritz College of Law and her B.A. magna cum laude from Heidelberg College. She completed McGill University’s Intensive Summer French Program in 1979.
Professional and Community Activities
- Women Suffrage Centennial Commission member, appointed 2019 by Ohio Secretary of State
- Columbus Bar Association (CBA) Professional Ethics Committee, appointed 2018-present
- Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio (AICUO), Executive Committee, Trustee Member, 2014-present
- Heidelberg University Board of Trustees, 1999 to present, Trusteeship Committee, Chair, 2004-2006; Secretary, 2006-2015
- Franklin County Republican Central Committee, 1996-present, Judicial Screening Committee, Chair, 2001-2018, Parliamentarian, 2002 to present
- Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools, Advisory Board, 2010-2015; Board of Directors, 2015-2016
- Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys (OACTA), Board of Trustees, 2014 - present; Chair, Annual Meeting, 2014
- C.U.R.E., Development Board, 2005-2008
- Ohio Network of Children’s Advocacy Centers, Board of Directors, 2004-2008
- Federal Bar Association, Vice-President, 2002-2003; President 2003-2004
- Alternative Education Council, Ohio Attorney General designee, 2003-2005
- Judicial Screening Committee for Ohio Supreme Court for the Ohio Republican Party, 2004
- Ohio State Bar Association; Federal Court and Practice Committee, Chair, 1997-1999
- Columbus Metropolitan Housing Authority, Board of Commissioners, 1997-2002
- ARC Industries, President, Vice-President, Secretary and Treasurer during term of service from 1995-2002
- Franklin County Republican Judicial Salute Committees, Vice-Chair, 1993-1994; Chair, 1995
Honors & Awards
- Columbus CEO, Best Lawyers, 2022
- Ohio Super Lawyers, General Litigation, 2013-2022
- The Best Lawyers in America, Personal Injury Litigation - Defendants 2013-2022
- Columbus CEO, Top Lawyers in Columbus, 2010-2015, 2017-2021
- Martindale-Hubbell AV Peer Review Rated
- Recognition for pro bono work as Magistrate for the City of Gahanna, 1993-1995
- Columbus’s Outstanding "40 Under 40," 1997
- Fellow of the Columbus Bar Foundation since 1994
- 6/29/2022Vorys is pleased to announce that 59 of the firm’s attorneys have been recognized among the leading practitioners in the Columbus area in the 2022 edition of Columbus CEO’s Best Lawyers.
- 1/4/2022Vorys is pleased to announce that 42 attorneys from the firm have been named either 2022 Ohio Super Lawyers or Rising Stars.
- 9/17/2021Vorys Partner Elizabeth Smith was recently featured on the High Heels & Politics podcast hosted by Mary Anne Christie.
- 8/19/2021116 Vorys Attorneys Named to 2022 Best Lawyers in America List; 34 Vorys Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers’ “Ones to Watch” ListOne hundred and sixteen lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® 2022 edition. In addition, 34 Vorys attorneys were named to the 2022 Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” list.
- 12/17/2020Vorys is pleased to announce that 31 attorneys from the firm have been named 2021 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/20/2020112 Vorys Attorneys Named to 2021 Best Lawyers in America List; 26 Vorys Attorneys Named to Best Lawyers’ Inaugural “Ones to Watch” ListOne hundred and twelve lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in the Best Lawyers in America® 2021 edition. In addition, 26 Vorys attorneys were named to the inaugural Best Lawyers in America “Ones to Watch” list.
- 12/9/2019Vorys is pleased to announce that 39 attorneys from the firm have been named 2020 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2019One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020.
- 12/5/2018Vorys is pleased to announce that 48 attorneys from the firm have been named 2019 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2018One hundred and thirteen lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2019.
- 12/5/2017Vorys is pleased to announce that 56 attorneys from the firm have been named 2018 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/17/2017One hundred and eight lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2018.
- 6/6/2017Senators Portman and Brown Name Vorys Partners to Bipartisan Commission for Recommendations on Candidates for Judicial VacanciesU.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) announced the members of the bipartisan judiciary advisory commission. Vorys Partner Elizabeth T. Smith was selected as the chair the 28 member commission and Vorys Partners Fred Ransier was selected as a member of the committee.
- 3/28/2017This year, 54 Vorys attorneys were listed in the 2017 Columbus CEO “Top Lawyers” List.
- 12/2/2016Vorys is pleased to announce that 58 attorneys from the firm have been named 2017 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/15/2016One-hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2017.
- 12/2/2015Vorys is pleased to announce that 63 attorneys from the firm have been named 2016 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 12/3/2014Vorys is pleased to announce that 74 attorneys from the firm have been named 2015 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/18/2014One-hundred and ten lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2015.
- 12/4/2013Eighty-one attorneys from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP have been named 2014 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars. 57 Vorys attorneys were named 2014 Ohio Super Lawyer and 24 Vorys attorneys were named 2014 Ohio Rising Stars.
- 8/14/2013One hundred and eleven lawyers from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2014.
- 7/26/2013Elizabeth T. Smith, a partner in the Vorys Columbus office, was quoted in a Coshocton Tribune story about an alert issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health about the sand used during hydraulic fracturing and the health risk it could pose for workers.
- 12/17/2012Seventy-Seven attorneys from Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease have been named 2013 Ohio Super Lawyers and Rising Stars.
- 8/23/2012One hundred and twenty-six lawyers from Vorys were recently selected by their peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® 2013.
- 2/11/2020Vorys Partner Elizabeth Smith was a panelist at Representing the State sponsored by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on February 11, 2020.
- 10/18/20192019: Presentation to the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio and to the Association on Higher Education and Disability in OhioVorys Attorneys Erin French, Elizabeth T. Smith and Mairi Mull spoke at the Ohio Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Conference on October 18, 2019.
- 6/19/2019Dazed and Confused: Regulatory Uncertainty Around Cannabis in Ohio and What You Need to Know to Evaluate Your RiskPartners Jolie Havens and Elizabeth T. Smith and associate Mairi Mull held a webinar on June 19, 2019. Together they discussed the current status of state and federal law in relation to cannabis.
- 2/22/2019Vorys hosted its fourth annual Economic Development Incentives Conference on February 22, 2019.
- 2/6/2019On February 6, Vorys attorneys Elizabeth Smith and Erin French presented at the Association of Independent College and Universities of Ohio (AICUO) workshop, “Cannabis on Campus” at Franklin University.
- 6/5/2018Vorys Partners Jolie Havens, Elizabeth Smith and Lisa Pierce Reisz presented at the Ohio Hospital Association Annual Conference on June 5, 2018. Havens and Smith presented Into the Weeds: Legal and Business Considerations for Hospitals in the Age of Medical Marijuana and Reisz presented Navigating HIPAA’s Right to Access: Compliance Challenges and Pitfalls for 2018.
- 2/15/2017Vorys Partners Elizabeth Smith and Kelly Jennings Yeoman were speakers at the Ohio Concealed Carry Law Workshop hosted by the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Ohio on February 15, 2017.
- 12/7/2016Vorys Partners Rodney Holaday and Elizabeth Smith were speakers at the OAPCS 10th Annual Ohio Charter Schools Conference on December 7, 2016.
- 10/26/2016Vorys Partner Elizabeth Smith was a speaker at the Women in Leadership of West Central Ohio Luncheon on October 26, 2016.
- 9/9/2016Vorys attorneys Dan Balmert, Corrine Carman, Margaret Everett, Scott Jamieson, Andrew Kaplan, Ted Mattis, Buz Minor, Brad Sinnott, Carl Smallwood, Elizabeth Smith, Ken Stump, Jerry Webbs and Rosemary Welsh were speakers at the annual Vorys Workers' Compensation Annual Client Briefing on September 9, 2016.
- 12/8/2015Vorys Partner Elizabeth Smith presented a webinar titled “Marijuana: Is it Coming? Are you Ready?” hosted by the Ohio State Bar Association on December 8, 2015.
- Fall 2015Vorys Partner Elizabeth Smith participated in a debate at the Columbus Metropolitan Club on Issue 3 and the Legalization of Marijuana in Fall 2015.
- 5/16/2013Vorys partner Elizabeth Smith took part in a panel discussing, The Campaign, at the CLE, Ensuring Judicial Excellence: The Path to the Bench on Thursday May 16, 2013.
- 2/22/2013Vorys partner Elizabeth Smith was part of a panel discussion at the Women in the Law Seminar presented by the Ohio Association of Civil Trial Attorneys on Friday, February 22, 2013.
- 10/9/20122012 OAPCS 6th Annual State Conference: “Crisis Management: Tips and tactics for Navigating Tumultuous Times”Vorys attorneys Elizabeth Smith, Jackie Ford, Martha Brewer and Christopher Ingram spoke at the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools 6th Annual Conference on October 9-10.
- 3/16/2021Supreme Court of Ohio Rules State Agency Must Approve or Deny a Marijuana Cultivator’s Application to Expand Cultivation AreaOn March 11, 2021, the Supreme Court of Ohio ordered the Department of Commerce and the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program (collectively the Department) to either approve or deny a Level II medical marijuana cultivator’s application to expand its marijuana-cultivation area. State ex rel. Fire Rock, Ltd. v. Ohio Department of Commerce, Slip Opinion No. 2021-Ohio-673.
- 4/20/2020COVID-19 relief efforts, employment and unemployment factors, and the much-anticipated rebound remain fluid.
- 11/6/2019On October 31, 2019, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published in the Federal Register an interim final rule which – as required by last December’s Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018 (popularly known as the “2018 Farm Bill”)
- 7/31/2019On July 30, 2019, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed a new law legalizing and regulating “hemp,” defined as cannabis and derivatives thereof with no more than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentration on a dry weight basis.
- Spring 2019Through Vorys’ fourth annual Economic Development Incentives Conference – hosted in February – we welcomed more than 270 guests from three countries and seven states.
- 4/3/2019Health Care Alert: FDA Announces Public Hearing to Inform Regulatory Next Steps with Respect to CBD ProductsOn April 3, 2019, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published a notice in the Federal Register (available in full here) announcing a public hearing and related comment period regarding stakeholders’ experience with products containing the cannabis derivative cannabidiol, popularly known as “CBD.”
- 12/21/2018Client Alert: 2018 “Farm Bill” Creates New Opportunities for Patients, Producers of Hemp-Derived CBDOn December 20, 2018, President Trump signed the Agricultural Improvement Act of 2018, popularly known as the “Farm Bill” of 2018, into law.
- 10/9/2018Last year, in Doe v. University of Cincinnati, 872 F.3d 393 (6th Cir. 2017), the Sixth Circuit held that, when credibility is at issue, the Due Process Clause requires a public university to provide an accused student a hearing with an opportunity to conduct cross-examination.
- 6/26/2018On June 25, 2018, the federal Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the first drug derived from the cannabis sativa plant, commonly known as marijuana.
- 5/26/2016Faced with a petition drive to put a minimum wage proposal on the November ballot, Cleveland City Council must now consider an ordinance that would mandate a $15 per hour minimum wage for those employees working within Cleveland’s geographic boundaries.
- 5/16/2016Client Alert: Ohio Supreme Court Rules That Board Communication of Any Kind -- Even Email, Texts, or Tweets -- May Constitute a Meeting, Which Could Violate Ohio Open Meetings ActThe Supreme Court of Ohio recently released its opinion in White v. King,expressly expanding the definition of a “meeting” under Ohio’s Open Meetings Act to include discussions that occur “telephonically, by video conference, or electronically by email, text, or other form of communication.”
- June 2015Jackie Ford and Elizabeth T. Smith, attorneys in the Vorys Columbus and Houston offices and members of the litigation and labor and employment groups, co-authored an article titled “Crisis Management Takes a Team.” It was featured in the June 2015 edition of the AICUO Affiliate Member Newsletter.
- 4/1/2015On March 18, 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced that those engaged in crude petroleum and natural gas extraction, drilling, and related support activities are engaged in “high hazard” activities and will be subject to OSHA’s Severe Violator Enforcement Program. The program has been in effect since 2010, when it replaced the prior Enhanced Enforcement Program. When the program started, OSHA placed its national emphasis on the “high-hazard” industries that involved fall hazards and hazards from amputations; combustible dust, crystalline silica; excavation and/or trenching; lead; and shipbreaking. This announcement is an expansion of the program’s “high hazard” activities. This is important for the oil and gas industry because OSHA concentrates the majority of its resources to inspecting employers from “high-hazard” industries.
- 9/12/2013OSHA’s proposed silica rule, supported by 800 pages of background information and scientific literature, was published in the Federal Register on September 12, 2013. The comment period, which commences with this date of publication will last 90 days (i.e., until December 11, 2013). Hearings will begin on March 4, 2014.
- 7/24/2013Client Alert: NIOSH Studies Worker Exposure to Silica During Hydraulic Fracturing and Issues An AlertThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in collaboration with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), has issued a "Hazard Alert" for the oil and gas industry regarding worker exposure to crystalline silica. The alert merits the attention of all who are involved with hydraulic fracturing operations.