A different standard for the Party Faithful

Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray is playing favorites, handing a potentially lucrative class action lawsuit over to former Montgomery County Democratic Party Chairman Dennis Lieberman’s law firm.

Lieberman is also the husband of Montgomery County Commissioner, Debbie Lieberman.

Right now, Lieberman is facing $132,565 in federal tax liens.

Which makes me go hmmm?

Right now there is an RFP out to redo the website for Greater Dayton RTA. In the overly complex and crazy way government puts out a request, there is a clause that states:

2.  Personal Property Tax Affidavit, page 67 – In the center of the form, please complete whether the bidder was or was no (sic) charged with delinquent personal property taxes.  This form must be notarized.

So you can’t bid on a sub $90K  RTA project without declaring tax issues, but you can be given a potentially multi-million dollar deal if you are a good Democrat.

What’s even more questionable about this whole thing is,

Columbia University law professor John Coffee, an expert in securities litigation, said the Bank of America case is a candidate to crack the top 10 list of biggest securities cases — all of which have settled for $1 billion or more and generated millions of dollars in legal fees…

Coffee said since the Bank of America case is filed in New York, “there is absolutely no reason that would require an Ohio counsel to be present in this action.”

Cordray countered that it’s “logistically sensible” to have an Ohio-based firm help with discovery, depositions and documents.

“Having an Ohio-based firm be part of the mix makes us feel more comfortable that we have eyes and ears on what’s going on,” Cordray said. “And someone that we may have been involved with, as in this case, for many years is preferable in terms of handling the litigation.”

via Huge windfall possible for local law firm in securities fraud case.

Considering Lieberman’s firm is by no means a heavy hitter in this kind of case, the whole thing stinks even worse:

Cordray said while Lieberman is known as a criminal defense attorney, he and his firm have done special counsel work for the state attorney general’s office for 25 years, including debt collection and suing pharmaceutical companies over how prescription drugs are priced. (ibid)

If Cordray was serious about having this case handled by an expert local firm, Waite. Schneider. Bayless & Chesley in Cincinnati is probably one of the top firms in the country at doing these type of cases. Stan Chesley (also a huge Democratic Party supporter, at the national level) is known as the father of the class action lawsuit from his groundbreaking work on the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in Southgate, Kentucky.

What the Dayton Daily News doesn’t make totally clear, is that these types of lawsuits require huge investments by the attorneys in preparing and following through with these types of cases which can take 20 years to settle. Typically, a firm’s capitalization is a major question in its ability to perform. If Lieberman can’t pay his taxes, how can he afford to work on a major case for years with no guarantee of a payoff?

It’s time to investigate Richard Cordray.

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3 Responses

  1. David Lauri May 20, 2009 / 2:30 pm
    At least a local law firm’s getting some business.  Contrast that to the Dayton school board’s bringing in a non-local consultant earlier this year: http://esrati.com/?p=1568

    Speaking of http://www.greaterdaytonrta.org/, it sorely needs a redesign.  Whoever did the current version obviously didn’t care about page load times, having used a masthead photo that weighs in at 451 Kb.  Hell, all he or she had to do was re-save the image as a JPG, which would cut it down to 62 Kb.  And then there’s the lovely 1.2 Mb embedded Flash file, which isn’t doing anything that an animated GIF couldn’t do.

    Guess the RTA’s web developer didn’t stop to think that RTA users would be among the likeliest to still be on dial-up.  Not that the site’s fast even for broadband users.

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  2. bobby January 5, 2012 / 8:25 am
    Esrati on twitter “I just gave the President money in support of him naming Richard Cordray to CPSC.” 

    Brilliant or Bozo? Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

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