As it turns out, an increasing number of attorneys are becoming victims of targeted attacks. According to one source, district attorneys (those charged with prosecuting criminal offenses) ranked among the top five of all victim professions. With two prosecutors murdered in Kaufman, Texas, last year, and the recent abduction of the father of a prosecutor in North Carolina, the threat is very real.
Even attorneys in private practice are not immune. Across the country, lawyers face danger from opposing parties, interested parties, and even their own clients. In one study, 46 percent of attorneys reported being threatened or assaulted on the job at least once in their career. More shocking, 42 percent of those violent encounters happened at their own office!
While most litigants probably view the attorney as someone who is "just doing their job," that view can always change. The more contested or heated the litigation becomes, a party may become personally bitter with the attorney - especially if the legal process yields unfavorable results. This may carry negative consequences.
"...the practice of law often brings the attorney into contact with people experiencing extreme emotional upheaval."
- Common Myths & Misconceptions of Violence
- Motivational & Behavioral Patterns of Attackers
- Threat Assessments: Predicting the Next Attack
- What Attorneys Can Do to Protect Themselves