Marcus Mumford, the lawyer who represented Ammon Bundy in the Oregon standoff trial, agreed Monday to no longer handle federal cases in the state.
Bundy and six co-defendants were acquitted in October 2016 of charges stemming from the armed occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, a federal bird sanctuary in southeastern Oregon. After the surprising verdict, U.S. marshals tackled Mumford and shocked him with a stun gun as he argued with a judge over whether Bundy should continue to be detained.
Mumford was charged with failing to follow a federal officer’s orders and failing to stop resisting arrest. The charges were later dropped, but Oregon chief U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman sought to revoke Mumford’s ability to practice federal cases in Oregon.
Mumford initially fought the ban, but acquiesced Monday at a brief hearing in Portland. He and his attorney, Matthew Umhofer, declined to comment.
Mumford faces a bar complaint in his home state of Utah. A formal finding against him in Oregon might have worked against him in Utah, so he voluntarily agreed to abstain from practicing in a state in which he rarely has a case, said Matthew Schindler, a lawyer who defended one of Bundy’s co-defendants and has vigorously supported Mumford.
“I don’t believe that Marcus did anything wrong during the course of the trial that I participated in,” Schindler said outside the courtroom Monday. “But I think that under the circumstances there’s no question this was the right decision to make.”
Bundy retained Mumford less than four months before trial. Mumford quickly made an impression with his combative style and speech impediment — a stutter. He and U.S. District Judge Anna Brown clashed throughout the weeks-long trial, and the tension came to an explosive end after the verdicts were read.
“What we need far more of in our legal community are Marcus Mumfords,” Schindler said. “We got plenty of people that are nice and polite and are willing to come in and walk their clients into guilty pleas. To me, it’s a privilege to be with somebody who is willing to give whatever it is they’ve got to give.”