Amid Litchfield fatal shooting probe, attorneys say it’s common for lawyers to carry guns

The law office of Cramer & Anderson on West Street in Litchfield. State police said a person was shot and killed Monday night outside the office.

LITCHFIELD — While state police continued to say little Thursday about the ongoing probe into the deadly shooting involving a well-known lawyer, the head of the Litchfield County Bar Association says it’s common for attorneys to carry guns.

Litchfield County Bar Association President Ryan Henry, a partner at Allingham, Readyoff & Henry, says “a number of attorneys” carry guns for their protection.

As one example, Henry cited the case of attorney Julie Porzio, who was gunned down in the parking lot of a Connecticut courthouse in 2009.

“As lawyers, we’re dealing with, in many cases, a lot of high-conflict situations where people are angry and feel they didn’t get a fair shake,” he said. “There’s a lot of people out there with mental illness that have serious psychiatric issues. It’s not uncommon for people to carry guns. ... You don’t know what’s on the other side of that door.”

John Drapp III, a Bridgeport attorney, said there are many lawyers who either carry a firearm or have the ability to do so, but often it may come down to the type of law they practice.

“There’s different reasons for it ... I think a lot of lawyers have a permit whether they carry or not,” Drapp said. “There are quite a number of us who do have the ability if we want to utilize it.”

Henry said he’s known attorney Robert Fisher, the subject of the state police investigation into Monday’s shooting, for 16 years.

“This is so unfortunate,” Henry said.

Litchfield State’s Attorney Dawn Gallo said police are still investigating the shooting, but added there is not a case until and unless charges are filed.

“The state’s attorney’s office prosecutes the cases once there are arrests made. However, of course, in serious cases, we’d like to be kept apprised of the investigation,” Gallo said. “We would review search warrants if needed — things of that matter.”

Gallo called in state police Western District Major Crime Squad detectives after the shooting was reported Monday evening outside the Litchfield office of the Cramer & Anderson law firm. A gun was recovered at the scene of the shooting that was registered to a licensed owner, state police said.

As of Thursday, state police said there were no updates to release about their investigation, including whether anyone was arrested.

State police said Fisher, a senior partner with Cramer & Anderson, was the subject of the investigation. On Tuesday, state police identified the victim as 39-year-old Matthew Bromley. Police said they believe he and Fisher knew one another, but said how the two are connected is part of the ongoing investigation.

Fisher has hired Torrington attorney Bill Conti, of the Law Offices of Conti, Levy & Salerno. When reached Thursday, Conti confirmed he is Fisher’s attorney, but said he had no further comment.

According to the Conti, Levy & Salerno website, Conti has practiced law for 46 years. His areas of practice include criminal law, personal injury law and civil litigation.

Connecticut Media Group