New Haven's Aborted Assault on Fourth Amendment

At the end of a long day, the last face I expect to see, tucking me in and whispering endearments, is that of New Haven Police Chief Dean Esserman. But perhaps that will change some day. Dean cares about me, you see. He cares about all of us. He cares so much about us he wanted to permit officers...

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...

What You Can Do About Corporate Fraud

You may not recall the name Bradley Birkenfeld. But, I suspect, if you work for a large bank, a hospital, a defense contractor, or any of the thousands of other corporate entities that are either regulated by federal law or receive federal funds, you will never forget his name once you read this...

Judge Gleeson Bends Rules -- Gets It Right

I can never really tell when a client is serious about suicide. My hunch is that those who talk about it won’t do it. It’s the silent types who from time to time cross that dark line. It is devastating when they do so. In every case, you look back for signs, cues and portents. Sure,...

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...

Human Rights Exhaustion

In the end, when our civilization and way of life collapses, it will not be because some foreign enemy laid us low. The rot that will destroy us will be home grown.
The lingering decay was on display in Milford recently, where school officials banned Halloween celebrations in the elementary...

The Importance of Jury Duty

“How did you feel when you got your summons in the mail asking you to come to court?”
More often than not, it is the first question I ask potential jurors during jury selection. Most folks sigh, and then state that they weren’t happy. Jury service is regarded as an...

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...

A Question of Competence

Dr. Lishan Wang doesn’t want to be forced to take medication. His mind is clear. He is prepared to represent himself at trial against the charge of murder. He wrote all this and more in a recent letter to the New Haven Register. He complains that the folks at the Whiting Forensic...

GM, Volkswagen -- Criminals Without Consequences

There’s a rough divide among criminal defense lawyers, distinguishing those who defend so-called white-collar cases from those who defend other crimes, such as murder, rape, robbery and child abuse. White collar cases, taking their name from the pressed and starched shirts of the power suite...

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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