Lawyer says shooting suspect had a history of filing lawsuits - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Lawyer says shooting suspect had a history of filing lawsuits

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Arthur Harmon Arthur Harmon
PHOENIX -

Arthur Harmon, the suspect in Wednesday's office building shooting, was in the middle of a legal battle with the person he allegedly killed. But it's not the first contentious lawsuit he's been involved in.

70-year-old Arthur Harmon is no stranger to the legal system. We found he's been involved in a number of civil cases involving creditors and insurance companies.

One attorney we spoke with says he's litigious and had anger issues when he dealt with him 5 years ago.

"He had been involved in about 10 or 11 prior civil lawsuits, he's litigious and has sued a lot of people," said valley attorney David Panzarella.

Panzarella dealt with Harmon in a 2008 case.

"He represented himself and he was a particularly unpleasant man, not only lawyers and staff in our office will remember his name for years. When his name came up today we certainly recognized it."

Panzarella represented a man who was sued by Harmon for causing a fender-bender.

"He had obvious anger issues and was unpleasant to the lawyer handling the case and was rude and disrespectful, ended up going to an arbitration hearing, not unlike what happened today," says Panzarella.

"Ordinarily these hearings take two hours. Wednesday's hearing took 8 hours, and he was abusive and loud and agitated, and his wife had to be calmed down several times."

Harmon was representing himself in a case against Fusion Contact Centers. The case was scheduled to be settled at the office where the shooting happened.

Published reports say the company hired Harmon to refurbish office cubicles at two California call centers but there was a contract dispute.

According to court documents, the company claimed Harmon fraudulently transferred the title of his house, possibly trying to keep it away from creditors or those with interest in it.

Panzarella says attorneys often share stories about backing off particularly unsettling cases.

"You can tell that they are getting so agitated, but you wonder when it's all over if they are going to meet you in the parking lot."

Panzarella said in his case, Harmon was awarded money, but said Harmon was angry because it wasn't nearly the amount he thought it should be.

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