Aaron Hernandez's Minefields

Criminal trials often demonstrate a truth the novelist George Eliot knew: “People are almost always better than their neighbors think they are.” Consider the case of ex-New England Patriot Aaron Hernandez, who will stand trial accused of murdering Odin Lloyd on January 9 in Fall River,...

New Rules for Police Accountability

The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner offer a chance to reconsider the law on police use of deadly force. Under current Fourth Amendment law, police are forgiven the use of such force if it was objectively reasonable for them to believe that they faced an imminent risk of harm. The trouble...

The Trenches Sang of Joy

German and British troops laid down their arms on Christmas Eve, 1914, in the bloody fields of the Western front during World War I. Ordered to continue to kill, the men rebelled, if only briefly, to exchange greetings and to sing Christmas carols.
Silent night, Holy night
This night...

Prosecuting the Prosecutor

Ferguson, Mo., state's attorney Robert McCulloch admits he presented evidence he knew to be false to the grand jury considering whether to charge Darren Wilson with murder or some other offense in the killing of Michael Brown. Disbarment would be an appropriate penalty for this feckless...

Fire Next Time? No. A Fire Drill

 I suspect before too long the list of police officers killed by those outraged over the deaths of Eric Garner and Michael Brown will grow. New York’s Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos are but the first to fall. Indeed, the day after the Brooklyn officers...

Returning to New Haven

Ten years ago, it seemed like a good idea to pack up and leave New Haven. So I did, starting my own law firm and moving my office out to Bethany. I was looking for a little tranquility, I suppose. Although I did not realize how much I would miss the Elm City.
So this week, my office began the...

Rolling the Legal Dice in Newtown

Word on the street is that Koskoff, Koskoff & Beider is so wealthy the law firm weighs, rather than counts, its money. I hope that's true, because the fight the firm just picked against Bushmaster and others is going to cost plenty to litigate. Call the expenses of the suit the costs of good...

Eric Garner Redux

I've managed to offend my friends and delight my critics by asserting that the Staten Island grand jury was correct not to indict New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner. Indeed, folks on the other side of the color line accuse me of succumbing to white privilege,...

An Interview at Torture, Inc.

In the early 1980s, I had lunch at the faculty house of Columbia University, where I was a young instructor. Although my companion signed in as a representative of some innocuous sounding company, he was, in fact, a spy. The purpose of the lunch? To explore my interest in becoming one as well. He...

The Eric Garner Homicide -- A Crime? No

Eric Garner paid with his life for making a simple mistake: He played street lawyer when officers tried to arrest him. The time and place to dispute facts with a cop is not on the street. It is in a courtroom. Resist an officer trying to arrest you, and you may well end up injured, or even...

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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