Wednesday, May 7, 2008

It's not as if they could not afford the attorneys' fees.

The story below was reported in today's ABA Journal. Now, I know several couples who remained married for years, even though living apart, because they could not afford the attorneys' fees for their divorce. That, of course, cannot be the reason that the two attorneys in the story were still married. After all, both were successful divorce lawyers.

This article amazes me on more than one level. First, there is the fact that a Brit was using a handgun - a rare occurrence. Secondly, by reporting the couple's apartment cost and their income, it seems to imply that this type of tragedy should not have occurred. I'd like to know when violence became only a lower-class affliction. Nonetheless, coming to my third point, I am surprise that these two people were still married. I mean, is your spouse pulling a gun out during an argument and going on a shooting rampage truly your first sign that your relationship is far off course?

Prominent London Lawyer Killed in Police Shootout

Posted 11 hours, 52 minutes ago
By Martha Neil

Updated: An alcohol-fueled argument between two married London
divorce lawyers may have led to a police shootout last night in which
one was killed in their home in the expensive Chelsea neighborhood,
stunning fellow practitioners.

Complete details aren't available, but barrister Mark Saunders is
dead, and "it is believed Saunders began firing rounds at police and
neighbours from his flat off the King’s Road just after 5 p.m.," reports
the Lawyer.

He was 32, and was educated at Oxford University, reports the
London Times
. The newspaper article says that Saunders had a
severe alcohol problem that had led to difficulties in his
approximately one-year-old marriage. Although Saunders had
served in the military, he apparently was never in combat in either
Iraq or Afghanistan.

Saunders was a member of QEB Chambers, as is his wife, Elizabeth
Clarke, the Lawyer writes. She is reportedly 40.

Friends and colleagues say in multiple articles that Saunders was
a skilled, successful, socially prominent lawyer who was a pleasure
to be around at parties.

The Markham Square apartment in West London in which Saunders
died cost the couple approximately $4.5 million in October of last year,
according to the Mail.

An unnamed friend told the Evening Standard he was stunned to learn
that Saunders hadn't been caught in the crossfire but was actually the
gunman, the Mail notes. "He married Liz just over a year ago and they
were family law's golden couple," the friend says. "She is a highly
regarded barrister in her own right."

Together the two are estimated to have made between $1.2 million
and $2 million annually.

Additional coverage:

The Guardian: "Rising star in legal field"

London Times: "Mark Saunders' father: we are shocked and stunned"

Updated at 3:40 p.m., central time, to include additional coverage
and updated details from the Mail and the Evening Standard.

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