State Bar of Arizona president Amelia Cramer said that lawyer safety is an ongoing area of concern for the organization. In 2011, a lawyer in Yuma County, Ariz., was killed in a shooting rampage that left six dead. The lawyer, Jerrold Shelley, had represented the shooter's ex-wife when they divorced.
Cramer said the Arizona bar plans to ask its 22,000 members whether they have been threatened or attacked. Anecdotally, she already knows the answer is yes. She's the chief deputy county attorney in Pima County, and in her 100-lawyer office based in Tucson, she said, "Our prosecutors on multiple occasions each year for the last five years have been threatened."
After Mark was shot and killed, Cramer wrote that his "senseless killing raises questions about what more we can do within our profession to protect one another and our clients."
The bar released its file detailing a complaint that Harmon filed against Mark, alleging that he made "harassing and terrorizing phone calls." In a December 15, 2012, letter to Mark, Harmon wrote, "I will expose you for what you are, with numerous documents depriving me and my family of requested documents to prove my case."
The dispute began when Harmon, who represented himself and was not a lawyer, sued Fusion in April in Maricopa County Superior Court. Fusion, which operates customer-service call centers, entered into a $47,000 contract with Harmon to refurbish office cubicles. The company paid him $30,000 before realizing that the cubicles could not in fact be refurbished and asked him to return much of the money.
Harmon filed suit, demanding the balance of the payments plus $20,000 in damages. The company countersued, and questioned whether Harmon's sale of his home to his son for $26,000 was a fraudulent attempt to shield his assets.
It was "not the kind of case that might come to the firm all by itself," said Osborn partner Randall Nelson, but Fusion was a good, ongoing client, so Mark, a business litigator, was tapped to handled the matter.
In correspondence released by the bar, Mark seemed concerned about controlling the cost of the litigation. "I regret that you are choosing to make this litigation unnecessarily expensive and difficult," he wrote to Harmon on July 20. "I have not sent any 'harassing' or 'intimidating' emails, but have merely sought to communicate with you as necessary for the litigation of this case. I had thought that our exchanges had been relatively pleasant and cordial. I am sorry that you perceived things otherwise."
Harmon was not mollified, writing back on December 5, "I do not want you, or anyone from your firm, to ever call my residence again, and 'harass' my family.…If you feel the need to talk to me, you are to write me a letter to schedule a meeting."
On the morning of January 30, Mark and Singer, the Fusion CEO, met with Harmon in a Phoenix office building to discuss settling the case. Harmon shot them with a pistol, also wounding a bystander.
"I can't imagine it," said Sara Greene, a former Osborn lawyer who worked with Mark closely. "I never saw him short-tempered or anxious.…In everything he did, he sought first to listen and understand."