JAMS ADR Insights
Civil Dispute at the Center of Phoenix Shooting
Published January 31, 2013
At a mediation this week in Phoenix, Ariz. a shooting rampage resulted in two people dead, an attorney in grave condition and another injured. The shooter, Arthur Douglas Harmon, was involved in a business dispute regarding office furniture. News reports have said that the shooter was found dead Thursday morning of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
One deceased victim, Steven Singer, was the CEO of a company for which the shooter had provided a service, which resulted in a contract dispute.
Reports are now surfacing that the second victim, Mark P. Hummels, “will not survive the shooting,” according to a statement from his law firm. Hummels, “a prominent Phoenix attorney,” was shot in the neck and back in the Wednesday morning incident.
According to USA Today, a third victim was shot in the hand after being caught in the crossfire outside the building’s entrance.
Mr. Harmon was a pro se opponent in litigation over a $20,000 office furniture dispute and present at the mediation session at DeConcini McDonald Yetwin & Lacy. Singer, the CEO, had contracted with Harmon to refurbish and move cubicles and furniture at a California office of the company. According to reports, Mr. Harmon had been paid $30,000 of the $47,000 the job was worth and sued in April to get the rest of the money, even though he wasn’t able to complete all of the work, the newspaper says.
As a part of the legal community and specifically the ADR community, we are surrounded by people who work on a daily basis to resolve disputes in a peaceful and non-violent manner. When we hear of such an occurrence at a settlement conference, where we hope people come together in good will to resolve a dispute, it leaves a horrible feeling in our stomachs and raises many questions and other things to ponder. Our condolences go out to the victims and their families involved in this tragic event.
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