George Jetson and Drones

If you’re of a certain age, you will recall the Jetsons, as in the space-age cartoon characters who’d do such things as leave their pod for work or play by means of an airborne vehicle they flew themselves. As George would leave in the morning, the skies were full of other commuters, each coasting through the skies. “How do they avoid colliding with one another?” I wondered. All these things flying every which way. Surely there would be accidents.
We regulate commercial air transportation in the United States through the activities of the Federal Aviation...
February 19, 2014

Oink, Oink, The Prosecutor Squealed

Remember “Miller’s Boys,” the gang of corrupt racist cops whom the feds prosecuted, calling them bullies with badges for their treatment of illegal immigrants in East Haven? Well, Sergeant David Miller, the presumed leader of the pack, was in federal court today (Wednesday) for sentencing, and there was the same government that called him a racist begging the sentencing judge for leniency.
The government is a one-eyed pig, fouling its own pen whensoever it oinks.
This prosecution was supposed to demonstrate to the world the government’s commitment to equal...
February 14, 2014

Busybodies Kidnap Sick Teen

Massachusetts Judge Joseph Johnson has imposed a gag order on the parents of Justina Pelletier, preventing them from raising public questions about why their daughter remains in custody in the Bay State. It is not at all clear to me why the parents have not contested this gag order. Perhaps they hope that by obeying the judge's order, Massachusetts might give them their daughter back.
One year ago, the West Hartford couple took their then 14-year-old daughter to the Boston Children's Hospital, where she was admitted. In 2011, Justina was diagnosed by doctors at the Tufts Medical Center...
February 5, 2014

Trial as Ordeal

It seems to shock friends when I tell them that it matters not at all to me whether a client has committed the very crime the state alleges. Even clients are wary. Some clients seem to suspect that if they tell you the truth, you won't defend them with all the might you can muster.
But it's true, and therein lies the rub: Although judgments in criminal cases are cast in moral terms - a defendant is guilty or not guilty of the crime charged - the law is not about morals. It is a far more mundane affair. The criminal law would be a far better thing if it shed the language of morals; we've...
January 15, 2014

Why Chris Christie Should Be Worried

January 12, 2014
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie could very well find himself a defendant in a criminal prosecution as federal prosecutors investigate his...

How To Destroy Good Lawyering

January 11, 2014
I called one of the law’s great septuagenarians just after the new year to commiserate about the passing of New Haven attorney William...

Turning Tricks for Justice?

January 2, 2014
I’ve never fully understood just why prostitution is a crime. Our courting and mating rituals as a species are complex. Prostitution...

The Flicker This Time

December 28, 2013
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...

The Good News About "Affluenza"

December 25, 2013
Ethan Couch caught a break the other day in Fort Worth, Texas. It didn’t outrage me at all. In a left-handed way, it almost made me...

Three Faces of Islamophobia

December 22, 2013
NOTE: I WOULD NO LONGER GIVE THIS ADDRESS. RECENT EVENTS HAVE MADE BE WARY OF ISLAM. TERRORISM MAY NOT HAVE A RELIGION, BUT THERE ARE PLENTY OF...

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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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