How To Enjoy Your Own Wake

I detoxed on Scott Greenfield and Simple Justice a year or so ago, and have had few occasions since to go back to his page. But when I read this morning that he was unplugging his keyboard, I was surprised. I will miss him now that he has gone. Indeed, I suspect he will be back soon enough, perhaps in a new form: The writing bug is hard to shake. I suspect he is enjoying his own wake just now.
When he returns I hope he will turn a new leaf. I liked it when he wrote about cases and controversies involving lawyers doing battle in court. It was when he turned his sights on the Internet...
February 15, 2012

Romney, Right Reason, and Birther Bashing

I suppose Barack Obama and Mitt Romney ought to just pack up their bags and head, respectively, to Kenya and Mexico. You see, that is where their fathers are from. In birther-world that deprives them of the status of "natural born citizens," and thus makes them ineligible to become president of the United States.
The fact that Obama’s father was a Kenyan and Romeny’s father was born in Mexico doesn’t matter to most of us. I doubt anyone seriously suspects that Obama is a sleeper cell for a secret Kenyan plot to take over the United States; as to Romney, well, I...
February 13, 2012

University Honor Codes and Star Chambers

I’ve never fully understood what universities are seeking to accomplish with their various honor codes. Yes, it is important to teach students the values of citizenship in a community of scholars. But aren’t transparency and a sense of fair play also important?
Every so often, I am asked to represent a student facing discipline for misconduct of some sort at a private college or university. Invariably, the student and his or her parents present me with the university’s "honor code," a copy of the letter informing the student of the potential for expulsion, and an...
February 12, 2012

Whose "Best Interests" Served In Custody Wars?

Against my better judgment, I have stumbled into yet another post-judgment divorce case, this time, on behalf of a former client, now friend, who is not seeing a couple of his children. There is a guardian ad litem, an attorney for the minor child, a therapist for the kids, a reunification therapist, lawyers for mom and dad., and, of course, mom and dad themselves. The kids have been evaluated, and re-evaluated by skilled professionals in child psychology and development.
All these adults are looking at this mess and wondering how the "best interests" of the children might be...
February 9, 2012

Crossing the Line in East Haven

February 6, 2012
Friends and colleagues profess confusion: Why would I do it, why cross a line that seems to separate good from evil? Some are angered: How could I do...

The Trouble With Probation

February 2, 2012
I am not sure what is going on in the Connecticut Office of Adult Probation lately, but my telephone has been ringing off the hook. Until recently,...

Kind Words From F. Lee Bailey

January 29, 2012
Here's the foreward to my new book, Taking Back the Courts, written by an idol of mine, F. Lee Bailey. To say I was thrilled to get this review is an...

The Lynching of Patrick Witt

January 28, 2012
Journalists and bloggers glory in the role of iconoclast. Nothing falls with quite such a crash as a hero toppled by disclosure of their failings....

One Last Chat With Peter Dorsey

January 27, 2012
I never got a chance to stop in to ask Judge Peter C. Dorsey what he thought of the new gym in the basement of the New Haven federal court....

Bambi Goes Cop Hunting In East Haven

January 24, 2012
The politics of federal law enforcement are now front and center in the courtroom of United States District Court Judge Alvin W. Thompson. That is...

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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.

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