When I had a “regular” practice, a pile of minor criminal files, a shelf full of active family law cases, I was constantly worried about clients who were self-destructive, those killing themselves slowly with alcohol, chemicals and dangerous behavior.  But there were a couple of times when we had to keep the doors locked because of threats.  I’ve kept the notes and tapes.  At a CLE in Duluth, one of the women there had been viciously attacked by an opposing client, and her story was gut-wrenching and alarming.  One day in Dakota County, I notice extensive uniformed and undercover police presence, and learned that one of the parties on the calendar that day had previously chased a judge around the bench with a gun… OH MY!   Unfortunately, it’s too common:

The dangerous practice of law.

Recently an attorney in the trenches of Family Law, Terri Melcher, was stabbed by her client’s ex-husband.

This just in:

Most, if not all, of you are already aware of the brutal knife attack
on Fridley Family Law attorney Terri Melcher.  Terri was attacked in her
office late last week by the ex-husband of one of her clients.  Many
of her friends and colleagues in the legal community have asked how they
can show their care, concern and support for Terri.

Messages of support can be emailed to Susan Sheely or Marna Anderson, and
we will ensure she and her family get them.

In addition, the Anoka County Bar Association has set up the
“Terri Melcher Benefit Fund.”  Donations can be made directly to
the fund at any Wells Fargo location, or checks made out to the Fund can
be sent to:

Susan Sheely, c/o Barna, Guzy and Steffen, Ltd.,

200 Coon Rapids Blvd. NW, Suite 400,

Coon Rapids, MN 55433


Marna Anderson, c/o Hicken, Scott, Howard and Anderson,

2150 Third Ave., Suite 300,

Anoka, MN 55303

Thank you all for your care and concern for Terri during this difficult


From the STrib:

St. Paul man charged with stabbing his ex-wife’s lawyer

A St. Paul man was charged Monday with stabbing his ex-wife’s attorney in the attorney’s office last week.

Sheikh Nyane, 32, of St. Paul, was charged with attempted first-degree and second-degree murder.

Nyane recently had lost legal and physical custody of a child, according to the Anoka County attorney’s office. Lawyer Terri Ann Melcher was representing Nyane’s ex-wife in family court.

According to the criminal complaint, Nyane went to the attorney’s office on the 6400 block of University Avenue NE. in Fridley about 5 p.m. Friday, where he repeatedly stabbed her in the face, throat and collarbone area. Police found Melcher in her office bleeding. She identified Nyane as her attacker and said that at one point he held her down while cutting her throat, the complaint said.

Nyane turned himself in to Minneapolis police officers at Bobby and Steve’s Auto World on Washington Avenue at Interstate 35W in Minneapolis, police said Friday. Nyane was arrested about 40 minutes after the attack occurred.

In an interview with police, Nyane said he stabbed Melcher using a knife he brought from home, the complaint said.

Melcher, 54, was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center. Police said Friday that she had been in critical condition when admitted but was expected to survive. No updates on her condition were available Monday.

Nyane is being held at the Anoka County jail in lieu of $1 million bail, with no conditions. He could yet be released on $500,000 bail, with conditions.

Leave a Reply