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Democrats Oust the Dannimal:

The Ohio Democratic Party officially withdrew its 2006 endorsement of Marc Dann for Attorney General. (The official resolution is reproduced here.) Though largely symbolic, this move strips Dann of the privileges of an elected official within the party, and officially changes his status from that of a Democratic officeholder, to an "Independent elected as a Democrat." The Ohio AFL-CIO, a key Democratic constituency, has also called for Dann to resign.

Meanwhile, new revelations about Dann and his cronies keep coming, and the state legislature is poised to authorize an Inspector General investigation of the AG's office as it prepares for impeachment proceedings.

Dann stubbornly holds onto his position, seeking personal and professional vindication. He claims he can still serve the Ohio people effectively, but there are doubts he was ever particularly good at his job -- either as AG or in private practice.

When Dann was elected as Ohio's top lawyer in 2006, he had practiced at a small Youngstown law office handling divorces, business filings and routine criminal cases. His record included a reprimand from the Ohio Supreme Court for mishandling a divorce case and the lowest rating in a respected law directory.

Dann's "C" rating on the Martindale-Hubbard peer rating system, which only grants ratings of A, B and C, is troubling for a lawyer of Dann's experience, said John T. Brown, a Mansfield lawyer who previously served on the Ohio Supreme Court's commission on grievances and discipline. Dann, 46, was licensed to practice law in 1987.

"All I know is he has a very low rating for being a lawyer in practice that many years," Brown said. Most successful lawyers move up to an "A" or "B" rating after five or 10 years in practice, he said.

John (mail):
For those not familiar with Martindale Hubbell ratings, they are based on surveys of other lawyers in the community, so a mediocre rating is significant.
5.11.2008 10:20am
Cornellian (mail):
On the other hand, a C in Martindale Hubbell is like getting one star in the Michelin Guide - it doesn't mean you're a lousy restaurant. I wouldn't be all that concerned about a C rating, particularly since the skill set of an AG isn't the skill set of a lawyer in private practice.

By all means do something about all the other stuff he has going on, but a C rating in MH is a non-issue to me.
5.11.2008 12:35pm
Dave N (mail):
I certainly don't want to be seen as leaping to Dann's defense, but I must at least address the Martindale-Hubbell methodology. While I agree that a CV rating is less than an an AV or a BV, it is hardly a sign of mediocrity. Martindale-Hubbell sets the criteria on its website:

The V indicates "adherence to professional standards of conduct and ethics, reliability, diligence and other criteria relevant to the discharge of professional responsibilities."

The A, B, and C ratings go to professional ability.
C = Good to High Ability
B = High to Very High Ability
A = Very High to Preeminent Ability

Many attorneys are not rated at all by Martindale-Hubbell. If the attorney's ethics are considered questionable, then the legal abilities are not considered. An ethical but mediocre (since I would define mediocre as less than "good") lawyer will not be rated either.

Even though I blog anonymously, I acknowledge my own Martindale-Hubbell rating is BV.
5.11.2008 12:43pm
CDU (mail) (www):
The A, B, and C ratings go to professional ability.
C = Good to High Ability
B = High to Very High Ability
A = Very High to Preeminent Ability


What is this, Lake Wobegon? "Where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the attorneys are above average."
5.11.2008 12:56pm
Dave N (mail):
Except, CDU, that not all attorneys are listed in Martindale-Hubbell. If all were, then you would have a point.
5.11.2008 1:03pm
Hoosier:
He is a Democratic politician from Mahoning County. He should already be in prison. (By definition.)
5.11.2008 2:05pm
Smokey:
Character in an AG is much more important than ability, since the AG can easily abuse his enormous power.
5.11.2008 2:06pm
PersonFromPorlock:
Couldn't they just make him a judge? ;^)
5.11.2008 2:35pm
Gaius Marius:
Martindale Hubbell is useless and a joke.
5.11.2008 2:41pm
Glenn W. Bowen (mail):

He is a Democratic politician from Mahoning County. He should already be in prison. (By definition.)


when I lived there, it was the "garage-door-opener-activated-explosives" Capitol of the United States.
5.11.2008 6:35pm
NickM (mail) (www):
So does that action strip him of his superdelegate status for the DNC?

BTW, California elected an attorney general in 1998 who had never practiced law - he was a state legislator who went to night law school while in office.

Nick
5.11.2008 8:16pm
Dave N (mail):
NickM is correct about Bill Lockyer (who is now the state treasurer). Of course, California's current attorney general is Jerry Brown (yes, THAT Jerry Brown).

For habeas corpus junkies, Lockyer has his immortality as the named petitioner in Lockyer v. Andrade, which is a rather important case in that area of law.
5.11.2008 9:45pm
treebeard (mail):
I think what Dann really needs is a lesson from sexual harassment panda.
5.11.2008 10:00pm
guest3987:
Too little, too late from the Ohio Democratic Party. They were more than happy to support him in 2006, notwithstanding his disciplinary record with the Supreme Court. They chose him by a margin of 4-to-1 over a qualified (and ethical) primary opponent. The party leadership had nothing to say about his reprimand back then. When Dann left his Senate seat vacant, the Democratic caucus appointed his hand-picked successor to fill the slot, even though she was a key figure from the Traficant trial and she did not even live in the district.

This is at least Dann's sixth or seventh major scandal, and the party was complicit every step of the way.
5.12.2008 11:16am
Adam J:
I think there's plenty to criticize about Dann without trying to speculate on what a C rating on Martindale might mean.
5.12.2008 11:27am
Houston Lawyer:
I find it interesting that he can be kicked out of the Democratic party. He ran and was elected as a Democrat and hasn't resigned. Who is anyone other than the voters in the Democratic primary to determine which party he is in?
5.12.2008 11:55am
gab:
Is David Vitter still a Republican?
5.12.2008 1:01pm