Legal Ethics

Ohio's Top Court Hears Arguments by Ex-Attorney General Seeking Stay of 6-Month License Suspension

Arguing that a former state governor and a former president of the Cleveland City Council received lesser punishment for similar violations of legal ethics rules for lawyers, a former Ohio attorney general on Tuesday asked the state’s top court, through his counsel, to stay a six-month suspension of his own law license.

Former Ohio Attorney General Marc Dann resigned from office in 2008 amidst allegations that he ran the AG’s office like an out-of-control fraternity house and pleaded guilty in 2009 to misusing political funds and filing inaccurate disclosures while in public office.

His lawyer, Alvin Matthews, said Dann’s actions didn’t harm any client and pointed to the pro bono work he has done to complete his required community service, the Plain Dealer reports.

Attorney Jonathan Coughlan spoke for the Board of Commissioners on Grievances and Discipline. He said Dann, as the state’s chief legal officer when he committed crimes, should be held to a higher standard and pointed to prior discipline against Dann, in 2004, for failing adequately to prepare for a legal matter while serving as a state senator.

Earlier coverage: “Ohio AG Marc Dann Resigns, But State Probe of His Office May Continue” “Scathing Report Blisters Ex-Ohio AG” “Ex-Ohio AG Blames ‘Arrogance’ and ‘Hubris’ for His Downfall in Testimony Before Disciplinary Board” “6-Month Law License Suspension Is Recommended for Ex-Ohio AG”

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