Stephen J. Smith, Sr.

T 614.559.7254
F 614.464.1737
10 West Broad Street
One Columbus Center, Suite 2300
Columbus, Ohio 43215-3484

Steve's practice covers all areas of public law including, but not limited to, government litigation, land acquisition, government contracting, annexation, zoning, economic development and the representation of numerous municipalities and school districts throughout the state of Ohio. Steve also has extensive expertise in all areas of election law to include initiatives and referendums.

Steve has served as the Law Director for the City of Dublin more than 37 years.  He has been a frequent speaker for the Ohio Municipal Attorneys Association, the Ohio Municipal League, and on the national level for the International Municipal Lawyers Association. Most recent topics include public-private partnerships (P3) and economic development.

Steve has served as special counsel for numerous cities, villages and school districts throughout the state of Ohio assisting those entities in the areas of annexation, litigation, charter development, and transitioning village government to city government entities.

His expertise also includes assisting private-sector clients obtaining incentives for locating and expanding businesses both in Ohio and throughout the United States.

Representative Matters

Represented numerous cities and school districts in litigation across the state and in both the trial and appellate areas, as well as appearing in the Ohio State Supreme Court. His position with the firm allows him to exercise his expertise managing major projects in the public sector.

Represented South-Western City School District before the Franklin County Board of Elections and the Ohio Supreme Court and successfully defeated a claim for writ of prohibition or mandamus which would have required the Franklin County Board of Elections to place operating levy repeal issue on ballot after board had invalidated the repeal petitions because they were unauthorized by law. 

Highlights & Recognitions

  • James H. Epps, III Longevity of Service to a Community Award
  • Marvin J. Glink Private Practice Local Government Attorney Award
  • Best Lawyers in America©, Municipal Law, 2007-2012, 2014-2019; Communications Law, 2007-2012, 2014-2019; Litigation - Municipal, 2014-2019; Columbus Municipal Law "Lawyer of the Year", 2015; Columbus Communications Law "Lawyer of the Year", 2016, 2018
  • Ohio Super Lawyers® 2004, 2005
  • AV-Preeminent, Martindale-Hubbell®

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Ohio Municipal Attorney's Association
  • International Municipal Lawyers Association, 6th Circuit, Vice President, 2011-2013, 2002-2006, State Chairman, 2000-2001
  • State of Ohio Republican Party
  • Franklin County Republican Party

Civic & Charitable Organizations

  • The Buckeye Ranch Foundation, President
  • The Buckey Ranch Holding Company, Chairman of the Board
  • National League of Cities, Legal Section
  • Veterans Memorial, Former Board Member
  • Dublin Counseling Center, Advocate
  • Dublin Arts Council, Advocate

Other Contact Info


Kathy Fleming
T 614.559.7221