James Holmes, The Joker and Everyman

It says a lot that as James Holmes opened fire on moviegoers in Aurora, Colorado, they did not know whether he was part of the film’s special effects, an opening night piece of eye candy tossed into the mix for a little extra thrill. The audience was there to see good versus evil, after all. When Holmes uttered “I am Joker,” some folks must have been just delighted. “The Dark Knight Rises” was going to be special.
Then the line between fantasy and reality collapsed. The blood on the floor was real. So were the dead bodies, and the screams of the wounded. It...
July 21, 2012

Grand Jury Abuse In Connecticut?

Am I alone in wondering whether federal prosecutors in Connecticut are abusing the grand jury process? When I discuss the issue with fellow members of the defense bar, folks get nervous. Blowing the whistle on Uncle Sam could hurt either them or their clients. Funny how the topic of grand jury abuse scares defense lawyers; it should scare prosecutors.
The federal constitution requires the government to seek an indictment, a decision by members of a grand jury that there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed, before arresting one of us for a felony. Constitutional...
July 18, 2012

Freeh's Report No Shocker

Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State and Jerry Sandusky reads like the not-too-original account of a honeymoon: He said all the right things, and in just the right tone. There were even pictures, in the form of exhibits. I am sure the university spent millions of dollars for the effort. But it teaches nothing we did not already know.
Penn State placed institutional concerns above the welfare of individual children. I guess that means the university is no better than the Catholic Church. Is anyone shocked?
Jerry Sandusky was a sexual predator who used his position at the...
July 12, 2012

Freeh's Report No Shocker

Louis Freeh’s report on Penn State and Jerry Sandusky reads like the not-too-original account of a honeymoon: He said all the right things, and in just the right tone. There were even pictures, in the form of exhibits. I am sure the university spent millions of dollars for the effort. But it teaches nothing we did not already know.
Penn State placed institutional concerns above the welfare of individual children. I guess that means the university is no better than the Catholic Church. Is anyone shocked?
Jerry Sandusky was a sexual predator who used his position at the...
July 12, 2012

New Hampshire Chooses Freedom

July 5, 2012
New Hampshire did something extraordinary the other day. The Granite State decided to take juries and the work they do seriously. As of January 1,...

Making A Monkey Of Justice?

June 28, 2012
There really ought not to be two standards for what is fair, just and reasonable, one for the ordinary, run of the mill case, the other for cases in...

What Next For Jerry Sandusky?

June 24, 2012
What happens next in the Jerry Sandusky case? The premiere event will, of course, be sentencing day. A few months from now the former Penn State...

Sandusky, Sexophrenia, and the Sickness Within

June 23, 2012
I awoke to the sound of radio reports on the trial of Jerry Sandusky. There was rejoicing outside the courtroom. Folks traveled for miles to be...

Dean for a Day?

June 21, 2012
I’ve never wanted to be the dean of law school. For that matter, I’ve never even wanted to teach at a law school either. I suppose that...

How A Kangaroo Court Does Business

June 19, 2012
Here is a letter and email chain reflecting how a Kangaroo Court works. A tragedy in four parts:
ACT I: An Invitation to an Execution:
On...

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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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