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Chardon Attorney, Dolan, Celebrates 75th Birthday

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By Diane Ryder

Geauga County’s elite crowded into the lobby of the Eltech Building Thursday night to honor two 75-year-olds: Chardon law firm Thrasher, Dinsmore and Dolan, and partner and Cleveland Indians owner Larry Dolan.

About 150 attorneys. Judges, current and former county officeholders. and a host of other local dignitaries ate hors d’ oeuvres catered by Trifles as they mingled and offered Dolan their congratulations.

The 10-member law firm’s senior partner, David Lowe, hosted the evening.

“We decided to do this because it’s the law firm’s 75th anniversary. and, as It happens, also Larry’s 75 birthday,” Lowe said.

Partner David Ondrey drew laughs when he recognized Judges Forrest Burt, Chip Henry and David Fuhry m the audience, saying. “If you need food, Judges, Just raise your hand, and three lawyers will Immediately take care of you.”

Dale Markowitz, another partner. gave a history of the firm,

“The reason we’ve been together for so long IS, we’ve had the kind of people who have always been your teachers, your mentors and your friends,” Markowitz said. “My mother would have called each of them a ‘mensch.’ ”

The late Ray Thrasher started the firm m 1931. with offices on Chardon Square in what IS now called The Annex.

“Thrasher founded the firm because he discovered that being a lawyer was more lucrative than being a barber,” Markowitz told the crowd. “But he continued working as a barber during the Depression, and often got things like chickens and pigs m payment.”

Jim Dinsmore joined Thrasher in 1950, after returning to his hometown at the end of his service in World War II, Markowitz said.

Larry Dolan is no longer active in the firm. Markowitz said, he has gone on to bigger and better things as the owner of the Indians.

Markowitz told the crowd that Geauga County lawyers are special because they get along well, and attorneys from other counties marvel at that.

“Geauga County has a rich tradition of very talented lawyers,” Markowitz said.

“We have more respect because we are the premier trial lawyers from a small county, Our bar association members get along with each other. which IS rare; but is a very Civil. decent way to practice law.”

Thrasher, Dinsmore and Dolan moved its offices to the former Chardon Savings Building in 1969, and to the Eltech Building in 1993. Former Geauga County Commissioner Jim Patterson said of Dolan, “To sum Larry up in one word, he defines the word ‘gentleman.’ ”

Dolan was presented with a framed photo of all three of the offices the Jaw firm has used. He then commented on the large crowd, quoting a longtime client.

“He said to me, ‘If you can only get this many people at Jacobs Field,’ ” Dolan said in mock disgust.

When asked for his reaction to the birthday tribute, Dolan said, “It all wells up inside. Every one of these faces is a story. I’m still tingling.”

Dolan’s son, state Rep. Matt Dolan, R-Russell Township. said, ‘Tm Just glad everyone else can see my dad the way I see him.”

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