Broadwater law firm to succeed Childers and Smith dissolution

Broadwater law firm to succeed Childers and Smith dissolution

A longtime Carrollton law firm has dissolved and a new one has been established at the same location.

In a recent letter to clients, Atty. John Childers and Atty. Sean Smith of Childers and Smith LLP at 70 Public Square announced their law firm is dissolving after nearly 40 years of service to their clients and friends.

In the same letter the two attorneys announced Atty. Kelley (Bryan) Broadwater, who has been with the firm the past several years, will remain at the same location and continue her practice as a sole practitioner under the name of Broadwater Law, LLC.

In announcing the firm’s dissolution, Atty. Smith said, “While Kelley is competent in a variety of fields, her primary focus will be probate, trust, estate planning, real estate, domestic relations and general civil practice. In addition, she has recently become a licensed title insurance agent and she looks forward to continuing to assist clients with the sale, purchase and closing of homes, farms and other property.”

He also noted the other employees of Childers and Smith LLP will be the same. They will continue to assist Kelley in providing clients with quality legal services.

The office phone number (330-627-4770) will remain the same and existing files of clients will be maintained and honored by Kelley, Smith pointed out.

Broadwater Biography

Atty. Broadwater is a native of Carroll County, having graduated from Carrollton High School in 2002. She attended Mount Union College where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts degree in writing in 2006 and minors in legal studies, business administration and adolescent to young adult education.

Upon graduation from the University of Akron Law School magna cum laude, Atty. Broadwater was admitted to the practice of law in November 2009 and joined the law firm of Childers and Smith in January 2010.

Kelley is a member of the Ohio State Bar Association and currently serves as vice president of the Carroll Hills, Inc. Board of Directors. She also volunteers her time as a member of the Human Rights Committee at Country View Manor.

Kelley and her husband, Jason, reside in East Township with their two young children, Lucy and Bryan. Kelley has been a lifelong member of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Summitville, where she currently serves as secretary of parish council.

Kelley stated, “It has been an honor and a privilege to practice law alongside John Childers and Sean Smith over the last ten years. Their mentorship over the years has been invaluable and I will be forever grateful for the lessons they have taught me. I look forward to continuing to provide the level of care and assistance our clients have come to expect from our office.”

Childers & Smith History

The law firm of Childers and Smith was officially established in January 1982 by John C. Childers, who originally opened a law practice at 136 W. Main St. in the former Potpourie shop headquarters in 1978, and Atty. Sean R. H. Smith, who was admitted to practice of law in Ohio and opened his office at 70 Public Square, Carrollton, in 1981.

During his professional career, Atty. Childers was admitted to practice and handle cases before the United States Supreme Court in 1987 ­­‑ was elected to the Ohio State Bar Association’s Board of Governors in 2006 - and was inducted as a fellow by the Ohio State Bar Association in 2013.

He also served as an Assistant Carroll County Prosecuting Attorney for over eight years, having first assumed the office in January of 1981.

In announcing the firm’s dissolution and retirement, Atty. Childers said, “Carroll County is a wonderful community. My wife and I moved here in 1978 and raised our children here. We are grateful for the many good friends we have made here over the past forty plus years.”

Atty. Sean R. H. Smith

Atty. Smith, a Carrollton native and 1974 graduate of Carrollton High School and was inducted into the Carrollton Schools Alumni Foundation’s Hall of Fame in 2014. He was admitted to the practice of law in November 1981 upon successfully passing the Ohio Bar exam.

He earned his Bachelor of Arts Degree from The College of Wooster in 1978 and graduated from the University of Akron School of Law with a Juris Doctorate degree in May of 1981.

During his professional career as an attorney, Smith has served as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney since 2005, handling cases in the Juvenile Court.

However, he will be resigning the position since being elected the Carroll County Common Pleas Court Judge, Probate and Juvenile Division in November 2020.

In 2007, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Multi-County Juvenile Attention System and was the recipient of the Carroll County Chamber of Commerce President’s Award in 2006.

He was among the listings of Outstanding Young Men of America for 1982 and was honored with the Distinguished Service Award given by the Carrollton Civic Club in 1986.

For 29 years, Sean tried to outrun high school football players while serving as a high school football referee, patrolling the defensive backfield.

His late parents are Robert C.H. and Louise Smith, longtime and well-known Carrollton residents. Sean has a sister, Erin VanFossen of New Philadelphia, a former director of the Adult Education program at Buckeye Career Center.

Sean and his wife, Janet, have a son, Chad, who lives with his wife, Aimee, and their two children, Brooke and Brody, in Bristolville.

Reflecting upon closing the Childers and Smith law firm, Atty. Smith said, “Becoming a partner with John Childers in 1982 was one of the best things that has ever happened to me. Childers and Smith was built on mutual respect and hard work. The result was nearly 40 years of doing what we both loved and becoming great friends in the process. We have also been blessed to have a great staff, who honestly made my job much easier. Finally, it has been a pleasure and an honor to serve our many clients over these many years.”

“While all good things must come to an end, I can also say that I am looking forward to my new position and meeting the challenges it presents,” he said.

Judge-elect Smith will begin his new duties as the Probate and Juvenile Court Judge of Carroll County Feb. 9, 2021.