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Client killed girlfriend and himself at Wis. law firm, authorities say

Posted Nov 22, 2013 1:55 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A 68-year-old client shot his 63-year-old girlfriend to death and then killed himself at a small Wisconsin law firm Thursday afternoon, authorities said.

The nature of any legal work being done for the man by Briggs Law Offices hasn't yet been released, and the identities of the two people who died are being withheld pending notification of relatives, according to the Fitchburg Star and the Wisconsin State Journal.

The couple arrived unexpectedly at the firm, which also is the residence of attorneys Michael and Norma Briggs, then argued before the man pulled out a firearm and shot the woman and himself, the Dane County sheriff's office said. The lawyers reportedly were present at the time but not injured.

Located in the town of Oregon, the firm specializes in family law, residential real estate and wills and estate planning, according to its website, which indicates that it has not been accepting news clients in recent months.

The Wisconsin Law Journal (sub. req.) said Michael Briggs had his law license suspended due to a disciplinary matter and Norma Briggs had her license suspended due to nonpayment of state bar dues.

An investigation of the deaths by the Dane County Sheriff’s Office is ongoing.

"I think that this highlights the high emotion that can be involved, whether it be relationships or high-stress situations, can result in violence in any place,” Sheriff Dave Mahoney told the State Journal.

“We’ve seen it across the country, we’ve seen it across the state, we’ve seen it in large communities in the state of Wisconsin and we’ve seen it most recently, and again today, in rural areas.”

A phone message requesting comment was left at the law firm by the ABA Journal on Friday morning. It did not receive an immediate response.

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