Thursday, December 11, 2008

Client assaults public defender


LYNNWOOD, Wash. – He is always on the "other side of the fence" – arguing for leniency for the alleged bad guys.

But this time, a local public defender reportedly fell prey himself to a client's fist.

He didn't see it coming, but there is visual testimony that this unsuspecting lawyer was caught off-guard.

"I have a broken nose, I have the black eyes, and it's kind of bleeding over to the other side," said Jim Feldman. "It doesn't feel great. I'm wondering how I didn't see it coming."

"I leaned down to get to the file. The next thing I experienced was a punch," he continued. "Then he hit me again. I felt the second punch."

Outside attorney Jim Feldman's office door, associate attorney Joseph Jordan responded to the fracas.

"I heard a scuffle and a punch," he said. "I was trying to get into the room, he was trying to get out of the room and he pushed me aside."

The suspect allegedly tried to flee the office, but then other workers attacked him right outside the door.

"I just chased him out to the parking lot and I guess I tackled him in the parking lot," said Jordan.

Tuesday's brouhaha erupted from a seemingly minor complaint. David Linden allegedly visited the office of his former attorney demanding a consultation on an old DUI case.

"He was obviously getting more agitated, his voice was rising somewhat," said Feldman. "I said, just sit down and be calm, I don't want to have to call the police."

Feldman says the suspect hit him twice – the first time on the cheekbone.

Now, this public defender finds himself in a unique position.

"I'm always on the other side of the fence, arguing for leniency for the defendant, and now the level of violence impacted me directly," he said.

Police arrested the suspect for second-degree assault. Feldman is still considering how lenient he now feels.

Attorney Jim Feldman has worked as a public defender for nearly 35 years, and although he's been verbally attacked, he says he's never faced physical violence before.

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