The Vanishing Fourth Amendment

Walk into criminal court some time to listen to closing arguments. Odds are you will hear the prosecution talk about holding the defendant accountable for his crimes. But who holds the government accountable when it errs?
Judges are extremely reluctant to do so.
Consider this...

In Praise of Judge Aaron Persky

I’m not hopping on the bandwagon circling the Santa Clara County, California, courthouse. Don’t add my name to the million-plus names of those calling for the scalp of Superior Court Judge Aaron Persky. Far from a goat, Judge Persky is a hero.
Would that there were more judges...

Harambe and the Law

What should the law require in the wake of the shooting of Harambe, the 17-year-old gorilla shot to death by zoo officials last weekend at the Cincinnati Zoo?
Some basic facts don’t seem to be in dispute.
On Saturday, a 3-year-old boy on a visit to the zoo with his mother managed...

Could It Be Trump in 2016? Yes

The Federal Reserve Board holds the key to why Donald Trump could easily become the next president of the United States, and it has nothing to do with monetary policy. This key is something street lawyers have been talking about for the past few years: People are broke, frightened, and therefore...

Another Reason to Be Wary of the State -- Your Kids

If your child suffers a serious unexplained injury, the state just might seek to terminate your parental rights. It will do so in a closed courtroom, where the public never gets the right to know what passes for justice.
Termination of parental rights is the moral equivalent of the death...

Troubling Decision in Sandy Hook Gun Suit

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza, a troubled young man, walked into an elementary school and killed or seriously wounded more than two-dozen people, most of them children. He used an AR-15 rifle, a killing machine manufactured by Bushmaster Firearms International LLC. Military and law enforcement...

Pluralism, Nihilism and Restrooms

We’ve reached the breaking point. We’ve each become gods in our own idiosyncratic religions, idols served by congregations of one. The result is a public space reduced to warring imperatives. Welcome to the end, as in the logical conclusion, of pluralism.
I’m talking, of...

A Devastating Loss

“Angel came down from heaven yesterday; she stayed with me just long enough to rescue me.” The words are Jimi Hendrix’s. I’ve been listening to the song for the past eight months dreading this day. I began to hum them the day I learned Penelope would die as a result of her...

What's The Harm In A Book Of Prayer?

I’m at a loss to explain to my client why she cannot have the book I sent her. But it is so. The warden will not permit her to accept a Daily Roman Missal sent to her from Amazon. Why? It is bound in leather, the reasoning goes. Really? Do prison officials expect her to fashion a weapon from...

Hulk Hogan and St. Augustine's Pears

Erin Andrews and Hulk Hogan have me wondering about St. Augustine’s pears. Is something like a meaningful sense of sin taking root?
Andrews and Hogan, whose legal name is Terry G. Bollea, were awarded eye-popping verdicts in separate trials in recent weeks.
Andrews, a Fox...

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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