Emasculating Juries: Another Form Of Tyranny

I used to think we got the law enforcement we deserve. But then I realized that we the people have very little to say in the matter. The truth is, we get the law enforcement federal judges think we deserve. Here's the real question: What did we do to deserve these judges?
A revolution has taken place in our courts during the past couple of decades. It has been a slow and insidious upheavel, however. It was unaccompanied by bloodshed or popular manifestoes. And the leaders of this revolution did not take to the streets. They worked quietly, behind the scenes, wearing black robes and,...
October 31, 2010

Law, Morals and Salvatore Vitale

Salvatore Vitale cried in court the other day, The New York Times reports. The former hitman for the Bonanno crime family was being sentenced by United States District Judge Nicholas Garaufis. Call it pay day for Mr. Vitale. He was sentenced to time served, seven years, despite his self-confessed hands-on role in the murder of 11 people. He walked out the courthouse door and into the arms of the United States marshals, who whisked him away to a new life, under a new identity, in the federal witness protection program. A life you will pay for with your tax dollars.
Serial killers...
October 30, 2010

Wire Me Up, Uncle Sammy

Just how badly do federal prosecutors want to prosecute Waterbury State's Attorney John Connelly? Pretty badly; the vision of Connelly in handcuffs haunts the heartless corridors of the New Haven office of the Justice Department. It's the sort of vision that makes FBI agents do crazy and unpredictable things. Things like making deals with the Devil's disciples. Consider the following, which I have confirmed from three sources.
Several months ago, a man facing bank robbery charges in the Judicial District of Waterbury was appointed a federal public defender. Although the man had no case...
October 29, 2010

Score One For Komisarjevsky

I am sure Superior Court Judge Roland D. Fasano really didn’t mean to begin laying the foundation for post-conviction relief as to Joshua Komisarjevsky. But the practical import of his decision to place Attorney Jeremiah Donovan on what amounts to a form of existential probation could benefit Komisarjevsky in years to come. It would have been far simpler and more elegant for Fasano to decide the contempt issue before the court. Donovan appeared at a hearing to show cause as to why he was not in contempt of a court order barring any of the lawyers in this now-infamous case from...
October 28, 2010

Will The Real Tom Cruise Please Rise?

October 26, 2010
The Cheshire home invasion case has thus far been a media extravaganza, taxing the resources of a small courthouse in a small state. But for all the...

Killing Justice; Killing Hayes

October 26, 2010
Had attorney Jeremiah Donovan waited a week or two, his violation of a court order would never have been necessary: Joshua Komisarjevsky's diaries...

Choate's Misplaced Censorship

October 24, 2010
The Choate Rosemary Hall school in Wallingford, Connecticut, is one of the nation's premiere prep schools. Kids go there with hopes of a bright...

Komisarjevsky: The Devil Within

October 24, 2010
I wish I knew why motorists stopped to gawk at every bit of roadside carnage. We are drawn almost against our will to stare at the sorrow of others....

Why Steven Hayes Should Testify

October 23, 2010
The penalty phase of the prosecution of Steven Hayes has been nothing short of bizarre. The best defense thus far seems to be a twisted variant of...

Malik Jones's Rotten Luck

October 21, 2010
There was a short, but significant, drama in a Hartford, Connecticut, courtroom earlier this week. It lasted all of 25 minutes. It was a trial in...

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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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