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Criminal Defense Lawyers Need To Apply

I will miss United States Magistrate Judge Holly Fitzsimmons. She’s retiring effective April 2015, reportedly to spend more time writing the things of her own choosing, rather than crafting opinions about other people's struggles. She served with civility, being gracious even when the lawyers before her lacked grace. I know this because I was once so vexed by a series of evidentiary rulings that she made in a case of mine that I avoided her for years. When I next appeared before her, she was, as she always was, a calm and steadying voice.
Magistrate judges can do a...
August 29, 2014

The Fire Next Time?

Odds are you never heard about the killing of 20-year-old Dillon Taylor. He was shot to death in in Salt Lake City, Utah, just the other day. The man who shot him was a police officer acting in the line of duty. Dillon was unarmed. More significantly, he was white.
Where's the outrage? Where are the protests, the non-stop media coverage? Where's United States Attorney General Eric Holder on this killing? You can hear the questions coming from those located comfortably right of center, in publications such as The New American. It's the same group that scours the press clippings...
August 27, 2014

Put a Leash on Sunil Dutta

I couldn’t stop thinking about the allegory of the metals in Plato’s Republic as I read the op-ed piece in The Washington Post written by Los Angeles Police Officer, Sunil Dutta. He was writing to express a police officer’s point of view in the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown, in Ferguson, Missouri. I kept thinking Plato nailed it; Mr. Dutta, though plenty spirited, is incapable of leadership. He understands his role, but not the reasons for the role he plays.
The Republic is one of western civilization’s great meditations of a well-ordered state...
August 20, 2014

Sunil Dutta is an Entitled Asshole

Perhaps you missed the piece in today's Washington Post by Sunil Dutta, a member of the Los Angeles Police Department, and junior college instructor. It is a whiny, self-righteous screed that will make him a hero around cop bars and police water coolers nationwide. His message? If you don't want to get hurt, just obey when he asks you to do something. Screw the Constitution. Kiss the man's baton and you'll be fine.
Here are excerpts.
"Working the street, I can’t even count how many times I withstood curses, screaming tantrums, aggressive and menacing encroachments on my...
August 19, 2014

The Courts Helped Kill Michael Brown

August 17, 2014
It is only a slight exaggeration to say that Michael Brown’s blood is on the gavel of the federal judiciary. In the past couple of decades, the...

Closing Courts to the People

August 14, 2014
"If you gaze long enough into the abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you." I think about this line of Friedrich Nietszche's more often than I care...

A Prison on a Hill

August 13, 2014
Every time I hear a judge talk about sending people to prison as a means of promoting public respect for the law, I want to stop the proceedings and...

False Confessions: Trust as a Weapon

August 9, 2014
From a distance, the case no doubt looked hopeless. Jonathan Gibbs had confessed to police, signing a statement under oath, telling officers he was...

Brady's Death Homicide? Ridiculous

August 8, 2014
Politico is not naming the member of the Washington, D.C., Police Department who announced that John Hinkley may face new charges because of the...

Psalm 23 In The Well Of The Court

August 3, 2014
What would you call a self-confessed agnostic who recites Psalm 23 in times of grave trouble? Hypocrite comes to mind, and the...

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Taking Back the Courts
Norm Pattis Taking Back the Courts

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorites movies as a kid. Little did I know judges were so much like the wizard, hiding behind empty trappings of power. This book tells you things you need to know about what really goes on in court. Read it, weep, and then demand that the courts do better.

In the Trenches
Norm Pattis In the Trenches

Plenty of lawyers write about the law, but few who write try cases. Judge for yourself whether I talk the talk and walk the walk in this collection of occasional essays about life in the law's trenches.

Juries and Justice
Norm Pattis Juries and Justice

How prepared are you to take seriously the notion that 'we the people' are, in fact, sovereign? Discover the secret, and unused, power of jurors. 'Ask why; then nullify.'

Norm Pattis

About Norm

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 150 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.

© Norm Pattis is represented by Elite Lawyer Management, managing agents for Exceptional American Lawyers
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