john michael farren.jpgA former Bush Administration lawyer has been charged with attempted murder after allegedly strangling and beating his wife, a counsel at Skadden Arps.
John Michael Farren, 57, served as deputy counsel to the president under Fred Fielding in the most recent Bush administration, as general counsel at Xerox, and as Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade under President George H.W. Bush. Since leaving the White House, the UConn law grad returned to Connecticut.
Last night, he made the news there when he allegedly attempted to kill his wife. From the Greenwich Time:

John Michael Farren, 57, of New Canaan, was charged with attempted murder and first-degree strangulation after police received a panic alarm from his home shortly after 10 p.m.
Farren was arraigned in state Superior Court in Norwalk Thursday. He appeared in court with a large bandage on the right side of his neck and has been placed on suicide watch.

According to CBS News, his wife is Mary Margaret Farren, an energy regulation and litigation counsel in Skadden’s D.C. office.


mary margaret farren.jpgAccording to the Associated Press, Farren beat his wife with a flashlight. Mary Margaret Farren suffered “a broken jaw, fractures to the face, lacerations to the back of her head and is lapsing in and out of consciousness.” She passed out during the attack but managed to escape with her children when she regained consciousness.
From her Skadden bio:

Mary Margaret Farren joined Skadden, Arps’ Energy Regulatory Group in 1997. Ms. Farren represents clients, primarily investor-owned electric utilities, in a wide variety of matters before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, such as mergers and acquisitions, complaint defenses, formula rate proceedings, transmission tariff filings, market-based rate filings, proceedings related to wholesale power procurement auctions, as well as federal court appeals of FERC decisions. Ms. Farren’s experience includes complex FERC litigations.

The Farrens have been married since 1997. They have a six-year-old and a four-month-old. According to the arrest affidavit, Mary Farren had delivered divorce papers to her husband on Monday, says CBS News.
Farren is being held on a $2-million bond, which his attorney, Eugene Riccio, called “ridiculous.” What’s truly “ridiculous” — and horrifying — is brutally attacking one’s wife with a flashlight.
UPDATE (6:12 p.m.): We had contacted Skadden for comment. The firm’s spokesperson called us to let us know that the firm has no statement at this time.
Former White House lawyer charged with attempting to kill wife in New Canaan [Greenwich Time]
John Michael Farren, George Bush’s Old Lawyer, Tried to Kill Wife Mary Farren, Say Connecticut Cops [CBS News]
Cops Say Ex-Bush Lawyer Tried To Kill Wife [Associated Press]


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