Washington attorney Lee Rousso was arrested for stabbing another attorney on December 13, 2022. According to authorities, the motivation for the attack was years old — a grudge that Rousso had harbored for nearly ten years. Rousso published a book in 2021 detailing the brutal thinking of a group of lawyers and seven judges — including the attacker — that he called the “Bar Card Lynch Mob.”
Senior Deputy Attorney General Gary Ernsdorff wrote in court filings that the prosecutors and judges who were the targets of Rousso’s ire “were targeted as a result of their work in the criminal justice system.” , they watched with great concern as the defendant’s anger increased, instead of disappearing, over time.” And the information that Rousso includes in his book is also used in the indictment documents, “His anger includes all seven but is focused first on the victim in this case.”
Excerpts from Rousso’s book are also included in the court filing, citing Rousso’s belief that he could get away with killing the man. was pierced. In the letter, Rousso also expressed his desire to harm a female attorney who he also thought was part of the “Bar Card Lynch Mob.”
So, what *is* behind Rousso’s anger? Like reported by the Seattle Times:
About 10 years earlier, while representing a man who was appealing a criminal charge, the lawyer found out that Rousso, the man’s trial lawyer, had not reviewed some of the evidence. in the first case, according to the charges. As a result, the attorney said Rousso provided an ineffective attorney, the charges say.
Rousso later sued the attorney and another attorney involved in the appeals case for defamation, saying they damaged his reputation, according to the charges. The defamation case was later dismissed, and Rousso was ordered to pay other attorneys’ legal fees.
Eventually, Rousso’s law license was suspended and he closed his practice.
The victim, a 64-year-old Seattle attorney, was attacked in front of his home as he drove home from his law office.
As the lawyer was walking to his house, he felt a blow on his back, and screamed for help, watching the man he saw get back into his car and leave, mentioned in the charges.
The lawyer – who was able to provide the first three letters of the car’s license number – realized he had been hit when he felt water on his back, removed the backpack he was wearing and saw a knife “like Rambo” on the ground. , according to the charges. While at Harborview Medical Center, the attorney told police he suspected Rousso’s assailant, the charges say.
Authorities say the lawyer’s backpack prevented serious injuries.
After the incident, the victim contacted the lawyer Rousso who wrote about the abuse. He and his wife reported seeing a suspicious vehicle matching Rousso’s description to police days before the attack. And so the case against Rousso began to come together.
Witness interviews, cell phone records, work records from Rousso’s previous job as an Uber driver, and purchases made on his electronic benefits card were issued to him near every home of lawyer and helped police build a criminal case against him, according to the charges. .
After the attack, Rousso fled to California, where he was arrested.
Kathryn Rubino is a Senior Editor at Above the Law, host of The Jabot podcastand co-hosting a Think Like a Lawyer. AtL tipsters are the best, please contact them. Feel free to email he and any advice, questions, or comments and follow him on Twitter @Kathryn1 or Mastodon @Kathryn1@mastodon.social.