Attorney Misconduct, Crime, Divorce Train Wrecks, General Counsel, In-House Counsel, Legal Ethics, Murder, Pro Se Litigants, Trials, Violence, White House Counsel

Ex-White House Lawyer And Fortune 500 General Counsel Gets Convicted Of Attempted Murder

John Farren and Mary Farren

When we last checked in on John Michael Farren, the former general counsel to Xerox and deputy White House counsel under President George W. Bush, things were not going well for him. Back in December, a jury found him liable for assault and battery against his former wife, Mary Margaret Farren. The jury awarded Mary Farren some $28.6 million in damages — an amount that reflected the brain injury and emotional trauma suffered by Mrs. Farren, who went from a lucrative job at Skadden to unemployment.

Criminal charges against Mike Farren remained pending at the time of the civil verdict. On Friday, the criminal case got resolved — and not in a manner favorable to Mike Farren….

Here’s a report from the ABA Journal:

A six-member jury in Stamford, Connecticut, convicted John Michael Farren, 61, on Friday after little more than a day of deliberations, report the Stamford Advocate, the Associated Press and the New Canaan Advertiser. He was convicted in the January 2010 flashlight beating of his then wife, Mary Margaret Farren, after she had served him with divorce papers.

The defense called no witnesses, but argued Farren didn’t attempt to kill his wife because he let her escape, and didn’t use either of two guns or a samurai sword kept in the home, according to the New Canaan Advertiser.

So Mike Farren wasn’t guilty of attempted murder because… he didn’t succeed? That doesn’t sound like a great defense to an attempt crime, but I guess you have to play the hand you’re dealt.

In fairness to Farren’s defense team, they had a tough case and a tough client. First Farren fired his lawyers and proceeded pro se. Then, a few weeks before trial, he asked for counsel and sought permission to be tried in absentia (because, according to Farren, hearing testimony about his attack on his wife would have been too difficult for him). After Judge Richard Comerford reappointed Farren’s original lawyers, Eugene Riccio and Timothy Moynahan, Mike Farren tried to appeal that decision. Oy.

Michael Farren got taken into custody after the jury’s verdict. Sentencing will take place on September 11.

The criminal verdict represents “another important step in obtaining justice for the victim of this terrible crime,” said Paul Slager of Silver Golub & Teitell, who won the civil case for Mary Farren. “It’s gratifying having the verdict of a thoughtful jury.”

(Disclosure: Silver Golub & Teitell is currently looking for a full-time associate with two to four years of litigation experience. Additional details appear in their ATL job posting.)

Former White House lawyer is convicted of attempted murder [ABA Journal]
New Canaan lawyer convicted of attempted murder [Stamford Advocate]
Ex-White House Lawyer Convicted of Attempted Murder of His Wife [AP via New York Times]
Farren found guilty of attempted murder [New Canaan Advertiser]

Earlier: Ex-Skadden Lawyer Wins $28.6 Million From Her Ex-Husband
All You Ever Wanted to Know About John Michael Farren, the Ex-Bush Lawyer Charged With Attempted Murder of His Skadden Counsel Wife

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