Blog Posts


Will The Coronavirus Kill Libertarianism?

I don’t doubt for a moment that social distancing, hand-washing and covering one’s mouth and nose while out in a crowd diminish the risk of my acquiring or spreading the coronavirus.
It’s good medical advice, offered with good intentions by medical...

Identity Taxation, Dystopian Jitters, III

A friend of mine plans to attend a rally in his state’s capital. “Open up the country,” he’ll demand. He’ll be marching in the name of liberty.
Loved ones counsel vigilance. Stay home. If you must go out, wear a mask and gloves. Wash your...

"Social Credit" Scoring in the U.S. -- Dystopian Jitters, II

In the last piece of this series on Dystopian Jitters, I wrote about how the COVID-19 pandemic has been used to foster tolerance of mass surveillance. (See, Mass Surveillance and COVID-19 – Dystopian Jitters, I) Given the imperative to survive, most everyone is willing to...

Mass Surveillance and COVID-19 -- Dystopian Jitters, I

I’ve got a serious case of the dystopian jitters, and I can’t tell whether the source of them is realistic or not. So, I share them with you, the better to reality test in these days of isolated anxiety.
What are dystopian jitters?
A fear...

Dear Gov. Lamont: It's A Virus, Stupid

Word has it that Gov. Ned Lamont is beside himself. The judiciary isn’t doing enough in this crisis, he is said to mutter. He is said to have ordered, or is contemplating ordering, judges to turn up at the courthouses, even if it is only to punch the clock. Courthouses throughout...

COVID-19: What About Cross-Examination Of Witnesses?

Cross-examination is the engine of our civil and criminal justice system. When there is a dispute about facts, witnesses are required. Fact-finders, whether they be juries or judges, then make credibility assessments, deciding whom to believe. Yes, mistakes are made – many a...

COVID-19: Beware Woeful Wednesdays

I’m noticing something like a new rhythm as the weeks roll into the first month of COVID-19 pandemic. It seems that about once a week, I run out of courage, and collapse into a puddle of something approaching tears. Today was such a day.
For the most part,...

COVID-19 and the Vanishing Trial

I’m not sure what the new normal will look like for litigators in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, but several things seem obvious enough.
First, I doubt seriously that any juries will be selected until sometime in 2021.
Why? No one is...

Everyone Rations, All The Time; Let's Be Honest About It

We’re forced, suddenly, to make explicit what we do all the time – make cost-benefit decisions about how to allocate scarce resources. Economists call such choices decisions about marginal utility. What value do we get for the next dollar we spend? What do we forego by...

A Matter Of Survival -- Self-Regarding Acts?

For years, I’ve been haunted by the message of a slender volume written in 2014. Only China survived the challenges imposed by climate change. It did so because it alone had the ability to mobilize itself against the threat.
Western societies, western...

© Norm Pattis is represented by Elite Lawyer Management, managing agents for Exceptional American Lawyers
Media & Speaker booking [hidden email]