Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Former Assembly Majority Leader Joins Mayer Brown
By a MetNews Staff Writer
Former state Assembly Majority Leader Dario J. Frommer, D-Glendale, joined the Los Angeles office of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw as a partner in its California Government Practice Group yesterday.
Frommer told that MetNews that he talked to a number of firms of all sizes with Los Angeles offices and decided that, given his experience, Mayer Brown, with its established government practice, “was a good fit.”
Another factor, he said, was that he would get to work with old friends Bob Hertzberg, a former speaker of the California Assembly and recent Los Angeles mayoral candidate Phil Recht, chief counsel and deputy administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the Clinton administration and Mickey Kantor, who served as secretary of commerce and as U.S. trade representative also under President Clinton.
“Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw affords me the opportunity to continue my involvement in good public policy in California while working with some of the best legal and political talent in the country,” Frommer said in a release.
Recht, head of the California government practice, said:
“Dario’s record of excellent service to the citizens of California precedes him and I think he will be an extremely valuable asset to the growth and continued success of Mayer, Brown’s Los Angeles office and its Government Practice Group.”
Frommer has been mentioned as a possible candidate for chairman of the California Democratic Party, but said that his friend, former state Sen. Art Torres, has decided to stay on, so that’s “not an option.” Frommer was once Torres’ chief of staff.
“I’m excited about joining Mayer Brown’s government practice and acting as a bridge  between decision makers in business and government while continuing to work on some of the issues I focused on in the Assembly like health care, tax reform, and the environment,” he said.
Frommer represented Glendale, Burbank and part of Los Angeles in the Assembly from 2000 until he termed out on Dec 1. He has been succeeded by Democrat Paul Krekorian.
Jim Tancula, partner-in-charge of Mayer Brown’s Los Angeles office, said: “Dario has a wide range of experience in both the public and private sectors. Our clients will greatly benefit from his broad negotiating, problem solving and relationship building skills in the public arena, as well as from his expertise in critical issue areas such as health care, energy and the environment, land use, tax, telecommunications, transportation, and insurance.”
Frommer lists as one of his legislative accomplishments the creation of California’s Urban Parks program, which put $130 million into new neighborhood parks and preservation of urban open spaces.
He also chaired the Assembly Health Committee where he oversaw policy governing the conduct of providers, hospitals, health plans, prescription drug manufacturers, pharmacies, professional scope of practices and the Medi-Cal system. With then-Senate President Pro-Tem John Burton,  Frommer coauthored legislation which required large and medium sized employers to provide health care coverage for their employees.
In 2005, he was honored with the Antonio Villaraigosa Award on behalf of the Los Angeles County Deputy Probation Officers Union. He has also received the Legislator of the Year Award from three separate charitable organizations.
Frommer, who lives in Los Feliz, graduated from Hoover High School in Glendale. He received his bachelor’s degree from Colgate University, graduating cum laude with a degree in International Relations and Political Science. He received his law degree from UC Davis in 1992.
He began his legal career as an associate at Long & Levit, a San Francisco and Los Angeles firm, where he defended clients in environmental, insurance coverage and wrongful death actions. He also worked with Paul, Hastings, Janofsky and Walker as a contract attorney in the real estate department and has additional experience in small business litigation as well as campaign, election law and lobbying.
Prior to his tenure in the State Assembly, he was appointments secretary for then-Gov. Gray Davis. His responsibility included recruitment and placement of individuals in 3,400 civil service positions throughout the state.
Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw is among the largest law firms in the world with 1,400 lawyers in seven U.S. cities—Charlotte, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, Palo Alto and Washington- six European cities—Berlin, Brussels, Cologne, Frankfurt, London and Paris and Hong Kong.
Copyright 2006, Metropolitan News Company