On Tuesday, February 6, 2024, the Lorain County Bar Association Legal Ethics and Grievance Committee filed a formal complaint before the Board of Professional Conduct of the Supreme Court of Ohio against attorney Stourton Scott Smith for violation of several rules of professional conduct.

The case is entitled “In the Matter of Stourton Scott Smith,” with case number 2024-004.

The complaint centers on an incident reported on December 9, 2022, where Smith, during a court appearance at Elyria Municipal Court, was accused of smelling strongly of alcohol and displaying signs of intoxication. Following an investigation, it was found that on December 8, 2022, Smith’s behavior in the courtroom included dropping files, speaking loudly during a hearing, and using a restricted door in violation of court policies.

Further allegations state that Smith’s actions were not isolated, with reports of him smelling of alcohol periodically from June 2022 to December 2022. A substance use assessment conducted on December 14, 2022, diagnosed Smith with severe Alcohol Use Disorder, recommending treatment and follow-up. However, it is asserted that Smith did not comply with the recommended treatment plan.

The complaint charges Smith with a violation of Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, specifically Rule 8.4(d), stating that he conducted official court business after consuming alcohol, leading to erratic behavior and compromising the expected standards of an attorney practicing law.

The charge states:

“WHEREFORE, pursuant to Gov. Bar R. V, Relator alleges that Respondent Stourton Scott Smith has violated the Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct and the Ohio Rules for the Government of the Bar. As such, Relator respectfully requests that the Board of Professional Conduct proceed accordingly; certify this matter for prosecution; and allow this matter to proceed forthwith.”

According to Avvo, Mr. Smith is a family attorney in Elyria, Ohio. He attended the Valparaiso University School of Law. He obtained his law license in Ohio in 1995.

A copy of the original filing can be found here.