Ericka S. Smith is an owner/partner of Smith Tortorich LLC. Ericka comes to the firm as a 14 year lawyer and litigator who focuses her practice on civil litigation, insurance defense and criminal defense. Ericka was born in Fort Collins, Colorado and has lived in Colorado and Wyoming for nearly her entire life. She attended undergraduate school at Baylor University in Waco, Texas for one year and then returned to Wyoming in 1994 to complete her undergraduate degree at the University of Wyoming in Laramie. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science in 2004.
While in law school Ericka was successful in several moot court competitions, and was active in the Potter Law Club, the Board of Advocates and the Prosecution Assistance Clinic. While working for the Prosecution Assistance Clinic she served as interim director while the director was on leave and submitted briefs and argued to the Wyoming Supreme Court, see Heinemann v. State, 12 P.3rd 392 (Wyo. 2000); Ramirez v. State, 994 P.2nd 970 (Wyo. 2000). Ericka received the Alfred M. Pence Memorial Scholarship for likelihood of success as a Wyoming trial lawyer. Ericka earned her Juris Doctor from the University of Wyoming in 2000.
After graduation from law school in May, 2000, Ericka served as a law clerk for the 1st Judicial District Court for the Honorable Edward L. Grant and Nicholas G. Kalokathis, and later the Honorable E. James Burke. She then served the State of Wyoming as both an assistant attorney general and assistant district attorney where she successfully prosecuted cases from abuse, neglect and juvenile matters to sexual assault, drug crimes and homicide. While an assistant district attorney Ericka played a key role in the Laramie County Drug Court and was involved in many community resources including the Cheyenne Meth Initiative, SafeHarbor, and the Drug Free Schools Board, as well as being an adjunct professor at Laramie County Community College. Ericka was appointed by Governor Dave Freudenthal to serve on the State Advisory Council on Juvenile Justice and the Wyoming Children and Families Initiative.
Since leaving the district attorney’s office, Ericka had a diverse practice including serving as a vice president of public lands to the Petroleum Association of Wyoming, working on land development issues for a local developer, and representing criminal defendants in both state and federal court. Ericka’s law practice focused on criminal defense, representation of children as a Guardian ad Litem, and pro bono work for low income individuals in need of legal assistance, but she also served Wyoming as a Senior Assistant Public Defender for Platte, Goshen, Niobrara and Converse counties.
During the more than 2 ½ years as a public defender, Ericka successfully defended all of her cases that were tried to a jury. Prior to establishing Smith Tortorich LLC with her partner, Sam J. Tortorich, Ericka was a senior associate at Lathrop & Rutledge, P.C., the family firm of her mother & father, Kent and Corey Rutledge. Ericka worked at Lathrop & Rutledge for 3 years working primarily on litigation matters including defense of medical malpractice, professional licensing matters, criminal defense and more. She is also currently a Magistrate Judge for the Circuit Court in Laramie County.
Ericka has served the community in several capacities including work with Susan G. Komen Foundation, Father Factor, Laramie County Drug Court, Cheyenne Chamber Singers, The Cheyenne Meth Initiative, Black Dog Animal Rescue, Inc. and currently serves on the Board of Directors for Recover Wyoming, and is a member of the Cheyenne Frontier Days Contestants Committee and Cheyenne Chamber Singers. In her free time, Ericka enjoys time with friends and family, singing, spending time outdoors doing summer and winter activities.