Legal Ethics

Lawyer who fired gun in police standoff wants to switch to criminal law

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A one-time government lawyer who defeated charges related to a police standoff wants to switch to criminal defense work.

Mark Bramble, accused of firing nearly 50 rounds from his Charleston, West Virginia, home in August 2013, regained his law license earlier this year, the Charleston Gazette-Mail reports. He will have to be supervised by another lawyer for a two-year period of license probation and must meet with a counselor.

A judge tossed charges of attempted murder and wanton endangerment against Bramble in 2014, ruling that he was suffering from delirium caused by taking Unisom during the police standoff.

Bramble told the Gazette-Mail his experience with the criminal justice system taught him patience. He also learned what kind of lawyer he doesn’t want to be. “When I was incarcerated, in general population, there were 15 other inmates in there and none of them met with their lawyers, except me,” Bramble said. “I wasn’t trained that way. I found it offensive.”

Bramble had worked in the workers’ compensation division of the West Virginia Attorney General’s office before the standoff. Before working for the government, Bramble was an insurance lawyer in private practice.

Bramble has one previous brush with the discipline system related to the January 2000 slaying of his 2-year-old son. He was admonished for posing as a defense lawyer for the suspect in the boy’s death. The suspect was a boyfriend of Bramble’s ex-wife, and the ruse was part of a bid by Bramble to gain custody of his 4-year-old daughter, according to the Gazette-Mail.

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