A Utah lawyer who worked on an Oregon refuge case called a judge's move to ban him from practicing law in federal court in Oregon "vindictive."
Marcus Mumford questioned the authority of Oregon's chief U.S. District Judge Michael W. Mosman to strip him of his legal authority to practice law in Oregon federal court. He also accused deputy U.S. marshals, who tackled him and stunned him with a Taser gun after Ammon Bundy's acquittal a year ago, of trying to "settle scores" in the wake of his success.
Mumford represented Bundy, who was on federal trial last year in Portland stemming from the armed takeover of a federal wildlife sanctuary in Oregon in 2016. A jury acquitted Bundy and his co-defendants of conspiracy, weapons and other charges, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported.
At the end of the trial, U.S. marshals tackled Mumford and stunned him with a Taser when he repeatedly questioned the trial judge why Bundy should remain in jail. Mumford was taken into custody and released, charged with failing to follow a federal officer's orders and failing to stop resisting arrest.
A trial had been set for April 13. But in mid-April, Mosman took the rare move of seeking to revoke Mumford's ability to practice in any federal court in the District of Oregon. He cited Mumford's failures or refusals to observe court rulings, repeated instances of Mumford arguing with the judge with a raised voice and sometimes in the jury's presence, inappropriate commentary on a witness in the presence of a jury, and his arguing for Bundy's release after his acquittal "without a good-faith basis to believe that the pre-existing custody order" from Nevada was not still in effect.
Mumford wrote in his 138-page response to Mosman's proposed sanction that he was concerned that the judge's order "gives such a misleading representation of what actually occurred at trial."
"I do not claim that I was without error in my advocacy, but I never willfully — let alone repeatedly — failed to observe or refused to observe court orders or instructions," he wrote.
Mumford said Mosman lacked authority to initiate such a potentially career-damaging sanction, noting that Mosman in May recused himself from deciding if Mumford should be sanctioned to avoid anyone questioning his impartiality.
With Bundy headed for federal trial this week in Las Vegas, Mumford wrote the timing of Mosman's action "causes one to wonder if it was not triggered by an effort to prevent me from continuing my representation of Mr. Bundy in Nevada."
Opening statements for Bundy's trial in Las Vegas are set for Tuesday.
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