The Elegance of Anarchism

"[T]he great emancipatory gains for human freedom have not been the result of orderly, institutional procedures but of disorderly, unpredictable, spontaneous action cracking open the social order from below." Thus concludes James C. Scott's brief celebration of the joy and necessity of anarchism,...

A Primer on Anarchism

Anarchism is given a bad rap by folks who rarely take the trouble to understand what they are criticizing. Alexander Berkman's classic text on anarchism, The ABC of Anarchism, is a good place to start in educating the ignoratti.
Originally published in 1927 by the Vanguard Press, the volume...

Why We Lost the War on Terror

I was startled to learn that manipulation of federal "no-fly" lists takes place simply as a means of recruiting potential informants: Young Moslem men are from time-to-time placed on the lists by federal authorities and then given a choice: Want to be treated as no threat? Then act like one. Tell...

The Flicker This Time

The publicist describes Kiese Laymon as a "black 21st-century Mark Twain," a curious sort of notion I was eager to test, and now, having read the book, am just as eager to reject. Laymon isn't some reconstituted version of a white man. Did the person who wrote this description even bother to read...

Connelly's Latest -- Can Haller Outgrown His Lincoln?

Michael Connelly never practiced law a day in his life, but his fiction best approximates the gritty reality of the private practice of law. His Mickey Haller series continues to amaze me. I repeatedly find myself underlining sentences in the book that capture exactly the sense of creative chaos...

Love and Courage: Junger's War

This past Memorial Day I saw a graphic reminding us to recall all those who have lost their lives in armed conflicts on behalf of the United States. The bars reflected war dead in the conflicts that we’ve engaged in since the Second World War. Somehow, the tiny bars associated with the Iraq...

An Unflinching Look At Chaos

There is a moralistic tinge to the practice of criminal law that makes no sense. We shroud the misdeeds and allegations that land a person in criminal court in terms of choice, responsibility and just desserts. That seems to miss the point. There is a grim necessity to a good deal of what goes on...

9/11, Loss and Ceremony

We’ve survived the tenth anniversary of 9/11. The media reports no shocking new acts of terror. We’ve waved flags, declared both the victims of the attack and those victimized by their response to the catastrophe heros. We’ve stood by while those who lost so much in the wake of...

Truth or Dare: Stewarts' Tangled Webs Disappoints

I wanted to fall in love with James Stewart’s Tangled Webs, (Penguin Press, New York: 2011). The subtitle alone persuaded me the author was on to something important: "How False Statements are Undermining America: From Martha Stewart to Bernie Madoff." But my love was not to be. I read my way...

Clarence Darrow: A Real Lawyer Struggling Against Currents and Insolvency

Clarence Darrow is the sort of icon whose status guarantees that new biographies will be produced about him from time to time. Although dead now some 73 years, his presence lingers. He is on anyone’s short list as one of the nation’s greatest trial lawyers. Andrew Kersten’s,...

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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