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When Lawyers Attack!

fight.jpgLast spring, Schwebel Baking (an Ohio bakery) was involved in contract negotiations with the Teamsters Local 365, which the bakery’s employees were members of. John Masters (the Teamsters’ attorney) and Stephen Sferra (Schwebel’s attorney) were conducting these negotiations in a hotel conference room and things apparently got a little heated while the two were arguing over pensions. Things got so hot that, according to a lawsuit filed by Masters this week, Sferra beat the crap out of Masters, choking him, punching him and knocking him to the floor.

Last August, Sferra pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct charges relating to this incident, although a former partner of his claims that he’s “a decent gentleman in every sense of the word.” Masters, meanwhile, says that Sferra’s firm has touted its image as a “tough guy” firm, adding:

Sometimes you yell and scream at somebody. But I’ve never seen anyone close to putting their hands on anybody.

I’ve also never seen any lawyer-on-lawyer fights actually get physical (though I’ve seen plenty of shouting matches, and have unfortunately been in a few myself). However, a fellow associate did get so fed up with opposing counsel once that he offered to settle the matter in a boxing ring (and having later gone up against that same opposing counsel, I understand exactly where he was coming from - those guys were insufferable, condescending, obnoxious twits).

(A grateful hat tip to the WSJ Law Blog.)