Apple, Involuntary Servitude, and the 13th Amendment

            Framing the dispute between Apple Inc. and the Federal Bureau of Investigation as the need to balance security and liberty tilts the debate in favor of the government. A more candid framing destroys the government’s assertions: the conflict pits...

Prosecutors and Blood Lust

Just why the office of the chief state's attorney is hell-bent on killing people is one of those deeper mysteries I am destined never to understand. But there stood Harry Weller, one of the state's smartest appellate lawyers and prosecutors, in the well of the Connecticut Supreme Court, urging...

2015's Person of the Year Is ...

At year's end, it is sometimes customary to name a person of the year, so let me add my nominee: Aylan Al-Kurdi. Odds are, you never learned his name, but it's also true that you will never forget the sight of him. He's the tiny body laying face down on a beach, dead, near Bodrum, Turkey, his face...

Confessions Of A New Gun User

I felt much as a secret agent, or a confidential informant must feel, settling in among strangers, listening to them talk, wary of my surroundings. But I was one of them, wasn’t I? No one forced me to attend. I chose to be present, and for no apparent ulterior motive. 
Yet I...

Allahu Akbar? No, Thanks.

           “So, will you be voting for Donald Trump?”
            The question came from a public defender in a quiet voice, scarcely audible above the sound of the judge advising a defendant of...

An Invitation To John Grisham

I imagine John Grisham, the best-selling author of plot-driven legal thrillers, channel surfing late one night on his 100-plus-acre farm in Oxford, Mississippi, and settling on an episode of "Better Call Saul." The author of books selling 275 million worldwide must have felt a pang of regret on...

Integrity, Color Blindness and Juries

If the recently argued case of Foster v. Chatman teaches anything, it is that there probably is no fail-safe way to police the conduct of lawyers during jury selection. In the end, the criminal justice system, and the civil justice system, will rise or fall based on the integrity of...

The "Ferguson Effect" Is Most Likely BS

Causation, as trial lawyers know, is a notoriously difficult subject. We're taught, for example, what scientists know: two events apparently related in time may not be related as a matter of fact. Thus the old maxim: post hoc ergo propter hoc, loosely translated as "after this, therefore because of...

The New Racism

Some time in or about 2040, Caucasians will become a minority in North America, according to projections from the U.S. Census Bureau. This change in demographics will alter the political landscape; indeed, things are already changing. Consider the concept of "white male privilege."
What is...

Strict Liability In Police Shootings

As of Oct. 5, 754 people, or almost three people per day, were shot to death by police officers in the United States in 2015. This information was not compiled by a law enforcement agency, although it easily could have been. Instead, The Washington Post has been gathering the data and posting it...

About Norm Pattis

Norm Pattis is a Connecticut based trial lawyer focused on high stakes criminal cases and civil right violations. He is a veteran of more than 100 jury trials, many resulting in acquittals for people charged with serious crimes, multi-million dollar civil rights and discrimination verdicts, and scores of cases favorably settled.

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I believe that the state is a necessary fiction and that failing to combat it is the first step toward tyranny.
– Norm Pattis


Nothing in this blog should be considered legal advice about your case. You need a lawyer who understands the context of your life and situation. What are offered here are merely suggested lines of inquiry you may explore with your lawyer.

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