Various media outlets in West Virginia are reporting that one West Virgina attorney has been charged with malicious assault for allegedly beating up another West Virginia attorney in the Marion County Courthouse.
Sometime between 2:30 and 3:00, on January 22, attorney Stephen Sean Murphy allegedly attacked attorney Scott Radman in the courthouse. Apparently waiting to get outside was not an option. The two TV stations I linked to (WDTV and WBOY) both report that witnesses claim that Mr. Murphy continued to beat Mr. Radman on the head even after Mr. Radman lay helpless.
You might think that allegations are a sign that Mr. Murphy was taking zealous advocacy in a case to a new level. But WVmetronews.com reports that the Marion County Sheriff's office does not know what started the fight and that it did not appear that the two attorneys were involved in a case together. Neither attorney has much of an online presence so it is unclear whether the attorneys even practice in the same area of law.
Mr. Radman was taken to the hospital. Mr. Murphy was arrested, arraigned, and released on a $10,000 bond. No word on whether West Virginia's office of Disciplinary Counsel will take action to investigate whether Mr. Muprhy's alleged conduct violates West Virginia's Rules of Professional Conduct. As a general matter one would like to think that a lawyer beating a helpless person about the head and face is frowned upon when it comes to maintaining and upholding the dignity of the profession.