The State Bar of Arizona released a statement on Friday in regards to the death of attorney Mark Hummels.
Hummels was the second victim to die in a Phoenix office-complex shooting that occurred at 16th Street and Glendale Avenue on Wednesday.
The 43-year-old Hummels was representing Steve Singer in a lawsuit against the suspected shooter, Arthur Douglas Harmon. Singer was the first victim of the shooting to pass away.
Hummels was taken off of life support and passed away on Thursday night as a result of his injuries. He was declared brain dead.
John F. Phelps, Chief Executive Office and Executive Director of the State Bar of Arizona, issued this statement in response to yesterday’s death of attorney Mark Hummels:
The death of our colleague, Mark Hummels, is heartbreaking on so many levels. The loss of any life is tragic. But in this case, Mark was killed as a result of simply trying to do his job. We all know that attorneys are many times forced into conflicts that are often heated and emotional. Their goal is to use the skills they have learned to help their clients and adversaries understand that the legal system can resolve their problem. That concept is a critical part of what makes the United States not just a great nation, but a place of great stability. But this can come at a cost. Hummel’s murder was not the first. Last year Yuma attorney Jerrold Shelley was shot and killed by the divorced husband of a client. A study done by the American Bar Association in 1998 says that 60% of family law attorneys have been threatened by adverse parties, and 17% by their own clients. The ABA even has a list of safety precautions for lawyers. Still, attorneys come to work each day. They face hostility and anger knowing that their job is to find common ground where they can, and resolution where they can’t. Mark Hummels died after leaving a mediation. He died fulfilling Cicero’s belief that “We are all servants of the laws in order that we may be free.” Our thoughts and prayers go out to Mark’s family, friends and co-workers, as well as the other victims of this terrible incident.
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