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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Surprise!!! Lawyer Who Pushed 'Major Expansion' Of Colerain Township Garbage Dump Wants To Put Law Partner Pat Fischer In Judgeship

Landill Expansion Among Career Highlights
CINCINNATI (TDB) -- The Cincinnati Enquirer ran lawyer Joseph Trauth's letter-to-the-editor today without mentioning that the judicial candidate he backs is his partner at Keating Muething & Klekamp, a downtown Cincinnati law firm.  It's a significant omission.  Trauth has a reputation as a hired gun for major corporations.  Trauth favors his partner, Pat Fischer, over Democratic Judge William L. Mallory in the race for a seat on Ohio's 1st District Court of Appeals.  Cincinnati Magazine in October 2008 reported that, "Trauth specializes in land use battles, generally squaring off against citizens and local governments."  Here are a couple of Trauth's legal accomplishments as taken from the official bio posted on the law firm's website:

"Obtained regulatory approval for the Star 64 1,000 foot TV/radio tower in the City of Cincinnati at the top of Winton Road near North Bend Road."

"Handled cases for Rumpke Landfill, Inc. involving the rezoning for a major expansion of the Colerain Township, Hamilton County, Ohio Rumpke landfill, expanding their landfill area by 65 acres and creating a planned light industrial district of 73 acres."

The Enquirer has been criticized before for wearing blinders about Trauth. NewsAche, a defunct blog that was authored by an Enquirer insider had this to say in Feb. 2008:

"Read Cliff Radel's near-blow job today about Joe Trauth, a lawyer who specializes in representing big corporations in real estate and zoning fights. He's represented home builders, shopping center developers, Wal-Mart and Rumpke. Radel did manage to quote one attorney who's faced Trauth in some of these cases, but this story is a largely uncritical, unskeptical look at a corporate hired gun. No attempt is made to look at the outcomes of the cases Trauth has won. Have they been good for the community? Trauth is never asked if he feels like a corporate bully, overwhelming lesser-funded groups of homeowners who oppose many of these projects. That would be disrespectful. Radel didn't say what Trauth's hourly rate is, or how Trauth has spent the money he's made representing big companies. (Radel does write that Trauth represents small clients, but names only one and doesn't talk to any. I'll guess that Trauth has many more large clients than small ones.)

"Radel is capable of this kind of reporting, but was he given the time and the direction to pursue something other than what was published? Doubtful. The Enquirer doesn't have the resources or the will to hold someone like Trauth accountable, because that type of journalism takes time and costs money, and Radel probably has other work that needs to be done. Overall, I'm not sure why this story was assigned, why it was published, or why it was on the front page. But this is the kind of uncritical journalism produced by stingy, dying newspapers."

Judge Bill Mallory is my friend and I know first hand that he is fair, hardworking and has a first-rate legal mind. His docket was always up-to-date, cases did not lag and justice did not drag. He is endorsed by the Fraternal Order of Police. Mallory has served as a judge in Hamilton County since the mid 1990s.  He is the first African American ever to serve on the Court of Appeals in Hamilton County.  Here's what I had to say back in January: "When I retired from the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he invited me to be his law clerk (a job with the archaic title 'constable') for a time while he served on the Common Pleas bench. He thought it would be enlightening for a journalist to see how things worked from the inside. He was right. But I also got to see him at work -- how he was consistently conscientious and conscious of his responsibility to society, all levels or society. He knew the world wasn't perfect. But he was adamant in his pursuit of justice."

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