• 99 Posts for 2013 • More recent •
Former Bridgeport Mayor Joseph P. Ganim was convicted by a federal jury and served seven years in prison for his role in a racketeering conspiracy that extorted some $800,000 from contractors seeking to do business in the Park City. That verdict was returned in 2003. He's done his time. Now he...
It's Thanksgiving week as I write this, and who wants to work? Better to pull some anecdotes from memory, and entertain.
"Mr. Pattis, are you all right?" The judge looked concerned. She was sitting no more than six feet from me. I thought I was fine, actually. After all, I was...
It was perhaps fitting that on the day the Danbury state's attorney released his report on last year's shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, New Haven was under siege. It's a sign of the times, isn't it? Random acts of violence, amorphous terror and, always, armed men on the move,...
Anyone married for more than a few years has an intuitive grasp of the cognitive process known as framing: Once someone has decided to view you in a certain light, the facts just get in the way. Come home late to an angry spouse, and there is little you can say in your own defense, even if it is...
News that the Supreme Court reversed the conviction of a former client of mine was a delightful surprise. He was convicted of sexually abusing a young child. At trial, we won acquittals of the most serious charges, but the jury convicted on two counts, enough to yield a six-year sentence on...
"The lord is my shepherd; I shall not want."
Oh, that it were true, that there were a shepherd to stand beside me in the well of this court, when I want so much, so often, and with such desperation. I have become the good shepherd to the man beside me. He has placed his entire trust in me,...
How many innocent men and women are sitting in prison? No one knows, exactly, and few care. A person who's been found guilty by a jury had their trial, right? And if they've lost their appeal, well, doesn't that settle it once and for all?
We know better, of course. The Innocence Project has...
It's been awhile since I've written about my dogs, Odysseus and Penelope, but I swear they have been giving me tutorials in the law, teaching me about loyalty and zealous advocacy, the two most important qualities any criminal defense lawyer must have. I've learned more about lawyering from my dogs...
St. Augustine reports the following conversation between Alexander the Great, who struggled to drive pirates from the Mediterranean Sea, and a hapless pirate who had fallen into the emperor's custody.
"How dare you molest the sea," Alexander said.
"How dare you molest the whole world,"...
Expert testimony, we are taught, is intended to assist juries in deciding difficult factual issues. We permit the opinion testimony of folks who know things the rest of us don't because of their education, skill, training or experience, thus, a doctor on disease, or an electrician on circuitry. We...