Results matching “marc dann”

Ohio AG dismisses state's lead paint lawsuit - PointOfLaw Forum

A news release from the office of Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, "CORDRAY DISMISSES LEAD PAINT LAWSUIT":

(COLUMBUS, Ohio) - After careful consideration, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray today voluntarily dismissed the lead paint lawsuit filed by former Attorney General Marc Dann in April 2007. This lawsuit was pending in the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas against ten paint manufacturers and was focused on abatement of lead paint throughout Ohio.

"I understand and strongly agree that exposure to lead paint is a very real problem," said Attorney General Cordray. "But I also know that not every problem can be solved by a lawsuit." After assessing the law, facts, and adverse legal rulings in these types of cases nationally, the Attorney General concluded that those at risk - and Ohio's economy - would be best served by focusing on how public/private partnerships can be enhanced to address any existing problems with lead paint exposure.

Very welcome, although a predictable political move. Given the Rhode Island Supreme Court's dismissal last year of the state's public nuisance suit against paint manufacturers, followed by the city of Columbus' dropping its suit, and other dismissals across the country, Ohio's suit was a sure loser, legally AND politically.

Besides, it was Marc Dann's idea.

UPDATE: Jane Genova at Law and More notes Cordray's decision and brings us up to date on the last of its kind litigation, Santa Clara County, now under review at the California Supreme Court.

Rhode Island Superior Court Judge Michael A. Silverstein ruled Thursday that the state must reimburse three paint manufacturers who were charged for costs of developing a lead-paint mitigation plan -- specifically, the costs of "co-examiners" -- before the state Supreme Court had completed consideration (and ultimate vindication) of their appeal. (The judge's decision is here.)

From the manufacturers' news release:

"The Court got it right," said Charles H. Moellenberg, Jr., an attorney for The Sherwin-Williams Company. "These companies should not bear the costs of litigation that the Supreme Court said should have been dismissed at the outset ten years ago. This case demonstrates that state and local governments solicited by trial lawyers to file public nuisance lawsuits should recognize that these cases are not cost-free."

In July 2008, in a long-awaited ruling, the Rhode Island Supreme Court rejected the Attorney General's public nuisance lawsuit filed nine years earlier against former manufacturers of lead pigment used in residential paint, saying the case should have been dismissed at the beginning. After the jury verdict, the state filed a motion seeking costs of more than $1 million. Following the Supreme Court decision reversing the jury verdict, defendants Sherwin-Williams, NL Industries, Inc., and Millennium Holdings LLC, filed a motion seeking reimbursement of $242,121.21 in costs they paid to court-appointed co-examiners whose work began before the Supreme Court reversal.

In its ruling today, the Superior Court said: "With regard to the actions taken by both parties here, as a matter of law and fairness, the Court finds little merit in the State's suggestion that the Defendants should bear the burden of paying the Co-Examiner expenses." The decision added: "The State made a calculated decision to pursue a claim against the Defendants and voluntarily participate in the judicial system, and thus may not invoke sovereign immunity to shield it from the imposition of costs."

Precisely! The companies have more claims for compensation to come. 

And, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray, any reason to keep Ohio's public nuisance suit going? Distance yourself from Marc Dann!


High on the list of legal-reform elections - PointOfLaw Forum

Alabama -- In the expensive, expensive, very expensive Supreme Court race, Republican Greg Shaw has defeated Democrat Deborah Bell Paseur by about a percentage point. From the AP: "The Shaw campaign claimed victory with a lead of more than 14,000 votes, while Paseur eyed a possible recount." Very much a business versus trial lawyers face-off.

West Virginia -- Incumbent Democratic Attorney General Darrell McGraw appears to have won a slim victory over Charleston attorney and former legislator Dan Greear. McGraw has contributed to West Virginia's terrible, anti-business legal climate -- see this Manhattan Institute "Trial Lawyers, Inc." update -- hiring highly compensated private lawyers to manage the state's lawsuits and then divvying up the proceeds of awards to his political allies. An expensive race featuring negative ads, but in that, hardly the exception. (More.)

Ohio -- Democratic state Treasurer Richard Cordray easily won a three-way contest for Ohio attorney general yesterday, taking 57 percent of the vote over Mike Crites, a former federal prosecutor. Cordray fills the remaining two-years of the term of Democrat Marc Dann, who had resigned in disgrace amid a sex and administrative nightmare scandal. From The Columbus Dispatch: "Cordray said his top priority will be fighting mortgage fraud. He will also work to strengthen enforcement of consumer-protection laws."

Ohio remains the only state left with a public nuisance suit against lead paint manufacturers, one filed by Dann and kept alive by the interim AG. The city of Columbus previously dropped its suit after the Rhode Island Supreme Court ruling in July. Perhaps Cordray's clear-cut victory gives him the political maneuvering room to drop the pointless, expensive and anti-economic-growth litigation. Respectfully suggested line of argument: "I intend to devote my energies to our most pressing problems, where we can do the most good."

UPDATE: We should note that in the case of West Virginia, Democratic Governor Joe Manchin was re-elected with a big margin. Manchin is a pro-growth governor who has been critical of the state's degraded legal climate, so his election offers continued hope for reform.

UPDATE, Texas: From the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, "If plaintiffs lawyers in Houston are a little groggy this morning from too much partying, please forgive them. They've got much to cheer about: Last night, Houston trial courts underwent a massive face lift, as 22 Democratic judges swept into office." Big picture: "Democrats won 22 of the 26 district-court races in Harris County (Houston). In Dallas County, which also used to be a GOP bastion before a partisan shift in 2006, Democrats won all six district-court races."

Trial Lawyers Inc. update -- Ohio - PointOfLaw Forum

The latest state-focused installment in the popular Manhattan Institute series covers the Buckeye State, scene of some intense liability battles in recent years. Among topics aired: the state's sharply divided Supreme Court, and its narrow swing in recent years toward deference to legislated legal reform; the brief, clownish reign of state Attorney General Marc Dann; and the career of the state's best-known tort lawyer, Stanley Chesley of Cincinnati. Earlier state-by-state reports have covered California, Michigan, and Illinois.

More: David Owsiany, Buckeye Blog (Buckeye Institute), Legal NewsLine.

A Sensible Reaction from Columbus, Ohio - PointOfLaw Forum

From the Columbus Dispatch:

"Most everybody pinned their hopes on how Rhode Island moved," said Columbus City Attorney Richard C. Pfeiffer Jr. "I think it's fair to say, with Rhode Island's decision, we'll have to seriously re-evaluate this case and see if it should continue."

The city estimates that cleaning up 150,000 lead- contaminated homes could cost $1.7 billion.

"Obviously, this ruling in Rhode Island does not bode well for our legal strategy," said Dan Williamson, spokesman for Mayor Michael B. Coleman.

Columbus sued paint manufacturers in December 2006, (mis)using public nuisance law in the process. (Search for the docket for case 06 CV 016480 here.) In March, 2008, U.S. District Judge Edmund A. Sargus Jr. dismissed a suit filed by Sherwin-Williams that sought to block the city's litigation. (Columbus Dispatch story), so the city's suit is still alive. But in any case, the water-based writing is on the wall.

The Attorney General's office is not reacting as post-factually as the city attorney's office. The Dispatch quotes Jim Gravelle, an AG spokesman, saying, "This in no way restricts Ohio's right to hold lead paint companies liable for the extreme harm they have caused Ohio citizens under public nuisance or other causes of action."

We note the state's lawsuit was filed in 2007 by the disgraced, since-resigned AG, Marc Dann. His judgment obviously proved lacking in many things; the current, appointive AG could certainly renounce the lawsuit with no political harm, especially since she's not seeking the office in the fall election. And ultimately, it was politics that drove the suit.

P.S. The Cleveland Plain-Dealer editorially called on the state and cities to face reality and give up the suits: "Paint companies should continue helping struggling cities abate this expensive problem, but those are deals to be struck at a negotiating table, not in a courtroom."

Can't they both lose? Ohio tobacco fight - PointOfLaw Forum

It's a far from edifying legal fight even by recent Ohio standards, but hard to keep from watching: Will state lawmakers succeed in grabbing funds originating in the 1998 multi-state tobacco settlement for general-revenue purposes? Or, alternatively, will the now-dissolved Ohio Tobacco Prevention Foundation get away with handing the $190 million over to the nationwide American Legacy Foundation, the better to keep hectoring smokers and vilifying tobacco execs with? A prominent role is played by now-disgraced state AG Marc Dann, so you know to expect the worst [Toledo Blade, Canton Repository]

Lead paint and the AGs: notable by their absence? - PointOfLaw Forum

This spring sixteen state attorneys general filed an amicus brief with the Rhode Island Supreme Court in support of the state's public nuisance suit against former lead paint manufacturers, a dubious cause if there ever were one. The roster of signers includes quite a few AGs whose closeness to trial-lawyer interests has caused us unease in the past, including Drew Edmondson (Oklahoma), Darrell McGraw (West Virginia), Beau Biden (Delaware), Dustin McDaniel (Arkansas), Jack Conway (Kentucky), and since-disgraced Marc Dann (Ohio). Rounding out the sixteen are William Sorrell (Vermont), Steven Rowe (Maine), Gary King (New Mexico), Hardy Myers (Oregon), Robert Cooper (Tennessee), Mark Bennett (Hawaii), Mark Shurtleff (Utah), Catherine Cortez Masto (Nevada), and Alicia Limtiaco (Guam), along with one from whom we certainly would have expected better, Bill McCollum (Florida).

What may actually be most interesting about this list is who's missing. No Andrew Cuomo (New York) or Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut). No Jerry Brown (California) or Lisa Madigan (Illinois) or Martha Coakley (Massachusetts) or Douglas Gansler (Maryland). Maybe there's some part of the story we're missing, and some or all of these AGs are still destined to weigh in on the wrong side. But assuming they won't, let's take this opportunity, for which there not that many occasions on this site, to congratulate the attorneys general of New York, California, etc. for their good sense and good judgment.

In finding a temporary replacement for the disgraced and resigned attorney general, Marc Dann, seems like Gov. Ted Strickland decided to identify the anti-Dann. In his statement, Gov. Strickland described Ohio State law dean Nancy Rogers as "a woman of great integrity, accomplishment, intellect, humility, dignity, experience and maturity."

From the Ohio AP:

Newly appointed Ohio Attorney General Nancy Hardin Rogers is no wimp.

But her style couldn't be more different than that of her predecessor Marc Dann, the firebrand, press-seeking politician who succeeded by his political passions and failed by his personal ones.

By all accounts, Rogers, 59, is even-tempered, soft-spoken and deliberative. She rarely raises her voice. She doesn't swear.

One infers that Marc Dann did swear.

And here's an historical note. Wow.

Rogers and her husband, attorney Douglas Rogers, met at Richard Nixon's first inaugural in 1969 _ she, the daughter of Secretary of Agriculture Clifford Hardin, and he, the son of Secretary of State and former U.S. Attorney General William Rogers. The two were married in 1970, and have three daughters.

Rogers, who identifies herself as a Democrat, will serve about six months. Voters will choose the replacement to fill Dann's remaining term at the November general election.

A Temporary Attorney General in Ohio: Nancy Rogers - PointOfLaw Forum

Gov. Ted Strickland has appointed Nancy Rogers, the dean of Ohio State University's Moritz School of Law, as the temporary attorney general, replacing Marc Dann, who resigned rather than be impeached.

From Rogers' bio:

Professor Rogers became Dean in August 2001, after serving for two years as Vice Provost for Academic Administration for The Ohio State University. She is the Immediate Past President of the Association of American Law Schools.

Professor Rogers received her bachelor's degree with highest distinction from the University of Kansas in 1969 and her law degree from Yale Law School in 1972. After law school, she served as a law clerk for U.S. District Judge Thomas D. Lambros in Cleveland and practiced law in the Glenville-area office of the Cleveland Legal Aid Society.

She was appointed to an endorsed professorship in 1995, and Rogers currently holds the Michael E. Moritz Chair in Alternative Dispute Resolution.

Rogers does not intend to run for the remainder of Dann's term, which voters will determine in November. The parties have until Aug. 20th to select their candidates. The Toledo Blade reports that Republicans are looking at an AG candidate as a way to repair the party's scandal-damaged reputation in the state.

Ohio AG Marc Dann Resigns - PointOfLaw Forum

Guess he was all out of teeth to pull. From AP:

COLUMBUS, Ohio --Ohio's attorney general has resigned amid the scandal of a sexual harassment investigation in his office and his extramarital affair.

Marc Dann has been under pressure of possible impeachment and announced he was stepping down on Wednesday.

The 46-year-old Democrat at first refused to resign, despite demands by Democratic Gov. Ted Strickland and others within his party.

More from Reuters, and WSJ Law Blog.

As of 6:15 p.m., his official website is still up.

With Dann gone, whom will the New York Times now pick as the next Eliot Spitzer? Forbes had a round-up.

P.S. Oh, yes. Jonathan Adler has lots of Dann-related links from his redoubt at Case Western.

P.P.S. The memo to AG office employees.

Plain-Dealer: Ohio AG to Step Down; UPDATE: Or Not - PointOfLaw Forum

You can't fire me, I quit! Well, I will after a couple of weeks of punishment.

Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann is expected to announce his resignation later today, The Plain Dealer has learned. He planned to break the news to his senior staff this afternoon.

The decision came as Dann faced intense pressure from fellow Democrats and Republican critics who said he was not fit to continue as the state's top lawyer.

It also followed action targeting Dann in the Ohio General Assembly today by lawmakers from both parties. House Democrats this morning filed articles of impeachment against Dann, accusing him of misconduct and malfeasance in office. And House Republicans began plans to fast-track a bill that would allow the state Inspector General's office to conduct an independent investigation into Dann's office.

  • Marc Dann's bio.

  • The summary of the internal investigation and disciplinary actions.
  • UPDATE (4:29 p.m.): AG's office says not the case: "At 3:55 p.m., as a group of reporters and camera people stood gathered outside Dann's office on the 17th floor of the Rhodes Office Tower, a receptionist handed out a short statement that read, 'In response to numerous media inquiries today, the office is issuing the following statement: "Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann has not resigned and no further announcements are planned.'"

    And here's an observation from Crain's Cleveland Business, made just about a year ago:

    Marc Dann is off to an aggressive start as Ohio's new attorney general, and The New York Times has taken notice.

    The paper even pays the activist AG what he would view as the ultimate compliment: It compares him with former New York attorney general Eliot Spitzer, the bane of Wall Street, mutual funds and the insurance industry.


    It's the activist side of the AG that has us interested. Dann has certainly taken an activist bent when approaching the foreclosure issue.

    Ohio Dems to AG Dann: Resign or Be Impeached - PointOfLaw Forum

    Events are moving fast in the scandals engulging Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann. From The Toledo Blade, posted this afternoon. "COLUMBUS -- Gov. Ted Strickland and other high-ranking Ohio Democrats Monday joined Republicans in the chorus for Attorney General Marc Dann to immediately resign and threatened to lead the march toward impeachment if he does not."

    A letter demanding resignation was sent Sunday night by Governor Ted Strickland, U.S. Senator Sherrod Brown, Lt. Governor Lee Fisher, Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner, Treasurer Richard Cordray, House Minority Leader Joyce Beatty, Senate Minority Leader Ray Miller and Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern. Text here. It's tough: "Sadly, we no longer have even the most remote hope that you can continue to effectively serve as Attorney General and that is why we are asking for your resignation."

    UPDATE (5:20 p.m.), from AP: "Gov. Ted Strickland told reporters that Democrats will begin drafting an impeachment resolution against Attorney General Marc Dann right away."

    Around the Web, May 5 - PointOfLaw Forum

    • In "Who Owns John Conyers," The Examiner editorializes in support of congressional hearings into the Milberg Weiss as representative of the plaintiff's bar. The news peg is House Republican Leader John Boehner's letter to Conyers asking for the hearings.
    • Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann, a Democrat, is in serious political trouble for cheating on his wife and mismanagement that produced a sexual harassment complaint. Jonathan Adler has been following his travails at the Volokh Conspiracy, noting the numerous editorial calls for Dann's resignation. And, he mentions Husker Du.
    • Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) argues for a federal media shield law in a Washington Post op-ed today, responding to the contra position expressed by Attorney General Mukasey. The debate continues to concentrate almost exclusively on national security and classified information considerations. But what about business, against whom the media shield could be turned into a fierce weapon? We look at business' concerns in a post at

    • From the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog: "Brooklyn-based Eastern District of New York have formed a task force of federal, state and local agencies, involving as many as 15 law-enforcement agents and investigators that will focus on Wall Street firms and mortgage lenders."

    • From the end of last week, a report on the $38 million settlement that's been reached with families of the Minnesota bridge collapse victims. The Legislature's package awards everyone on the bridge up to $400,000, with an additional $12.6 million pool for those suffering the most severe injuries and losses.
    • Entertainment at the House Judiciary Committee this week, a hearing by the Subcommittee on Commercial and Administrative Law, "The Rulemaking Process and the Unitary Executive Theory."
    • The national radio program of the conservative Christian group, Focus on the Family, had a good report this weekend on judicial questionnaires and the efforts in eight states to allow judge candidates to respond to inquiries about their views and associations. More here.

    • And a 10:20 a.m. addition, an op-ed in today's WSJ, "Dartmouth's 'Hostile' Environment": "[An] Ivy League professor [is] threatening to sue her students because, she claims, their 'anti-intellectualism' violated her civil rights. ...Priya Venkatesan taught English at Dartmouth College. She maintains that some of her students were so unreceptive of "French narrative theory" that it amounted to a hostile working environment. She is also readying lawsuits against her superiors, who she says papered over the harassment, as well as a confessional expose, which she promises will 'name names.'" We can start with Derrida.

    Around the web, April 21 - PointOfLaw Forum

    • Harassment and cover-up charges engulf office of Ohio AG Marc Dann [Overlawyered]
    • Cue laugh track: Pamela Gilbert predicts fewer product liability suits if Senate CPSC bill passes [Mark Hofmann/Financial Week]
    • Judges who hire clerks from Yale see their decisions reversed more often -- but which way (if either) does the causation run? [Volokh thread]
    • Campaign against medical errors leads to curtailment of hospital reimbursement for "never events" -- but are patient falls, delirium, hypoglycemia truly avoidable? [Happy Hospitalist, Overlawyered, Mello et al/Commonwealth Fund via MPT]
    • Ford Explorer loss-of-value coupon deal: "As an attorney that does a fair amount of class action work, I think this is a poor settlement." [Perlmutter/Schuelke; KickingTires/, CalLaw "Legal Pad"]
    • Defendants pleading guilty in Milberg Weiss scandal have agreed to cough up $32 million, a long way short of the $251 million prosecutors say was gained by the scheme [NLJ]
    • Obama-Ayers controversy brings press attention for non-repentant-sounding retired terrorist Bernardine Dohrn, whose project at prestigious Northwestern Law reaps mucho foundation grants [Chapman]

    Dann rebuked in foreclosure activism - PointOfLaw Forum

    Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann grabbed headlines when he announced a initiative to throw sand in the legal gears of the foreclosure process. On Monday, however, "Common Pleas Court Magistrate Michael Bachman rejected Dann's argument. He further said Dann was acting against the interests of his clients -- the taxpayers of Ohio -- by moving to dismiss foreclosure cases in which the state has liens against the properties."

    Around the web, January 29 - PointOfLaw Forum

    • California court hears appeal by Santa Clara County of Judge Komar's landmark ruling restricting contingency-fee outside representation in public nuisance suits [UCL Practitioner; earlier]
    • "Subprime feeding frenzy" seen for big law firms [ABA Journal]; Ohio AG Marc Dann files shareholder suit against federally sponsored Freddie Mac [same]
    • First of its kind? Pioneering U.K. class action wins damages for consumers in "football shirt rip-off" case [Times Online]
    • Construction-defect suits still rage in California [L.A. Times]
    • Journalist Quin Hillyer, often heard from on litigation-reform issues, joins Washington Examiner [a commentary]
    • Since 1998 class actions led by Illinois's Stephen Tillery have taken in at least $1.8 billion [MCRecord]

    Cleveland, Baltimore municipal subprime suits - PointOfLaw Forum

    Met with a hail of dead cats from Baltimore Examiner, NAM "Shop Floor", "Dreck" @ TigerHawk, KipEsquire, Amateur Economist, and various commenters at the Plain Dealer. But the Denver Post's Al Lewis finds another lawprof who admires the Cleveland suit, which is more prominently being talked up by lawprof Kathleen Engel, a specialist in this area, as mentioned here and here. By coincidence or not, the law school at which Engel teaches is Cleveland State. And activist Ohio attorney general Marc Dann, a frequent mentionee on this site, praised the Cleveland suit and suggested that he may jump in at some point with an action on behalf of the state.

    Earlier here and here. Related: Salmon @ Portfolio, Elizabeth Warren @ Credit Slips [with some good reader comments].

    Around the web, December 17 - PointOfLaw Forum

    • What did baseball get for the $20 million invested in Mitchell steroids probe? [Kirkendall]
    • "Backdating options -- the scandal within a non-scandal" [same]
    • Political opponents snipe that controversial Ohio AG Marc Dann is a "mistake factory" [AP/Cincinnati Post]
    • Broward County, Fla. judges feel heat from crusading law blog [NLJ]
    • Fairness opinions in M&A? Well, at least they give the lawyers something to do [Epicurean Dealmaker]
    • An overdose of public piety [Krauthammer, WaPo]
    • Who are those people waving signs at the courthouse in Beaumont, Tex., and why are they so mad at asbestos plaintiff's firm Provost Umphrey? [Beaumont Enterprise]

    Around the web, October 10 - PointOfLaw Forum

    • Generic charges of statistical disparities, unconscious bias and too-wide managerial discretion fuel current wave of employment-bias class actions -- and rare is the big employer not vulnerable on one or more of those fronts [Parloff, Fortune]
    • Kentucky officials sue maker of Oxycontin seeking recoupment of money spent on drug abuse programs, policing [AP]
    • One perspective on the tainted-hamburger scare [Szwarc]
    • Underplayed angle in Stoneridge hubbub: law firms themselves are a prime target for suits alleging aiding and abetting [NLJ]
    • Three members of San Antonio family are indicted on charges of submitting fraudulent fen-phen charges [USDoJ]
    • Washington state's unique sovereign un-immunity rules keep generating big suits over crimes committed by ex-cons [Seattle Times (Algona hit/run, $1.8 million settlement), KOMO (murder in Tacoma, family seeks $45 million)]
    • More attention for Ohio AG Marc Dann, scourge of subprime lending and much else [WSJ law blog, Columbus Dispatch via Chamber]

    Ohio AG under fire - PointOfLaw Forum

    Yet another candidate for the job of "next Eliot Spitzer" may have given up some of his early bloom of idealism, or so one concludes from a Columbus Dispatch editorial subjecting state attorney general Marc Dann to some critical scrutiny: "One gambling-linked fundraiser for Dann took place even as the new attorney general was working to settle a state lawsuit against the company hosting the event. ...Considering how much fire and brimstone Dann called down on pay-to-play politics before his election as attorney general, Ohioans might be surprised at how quickly he dealt himself into the game." More: Genova, Right Angle Blog.