Jim Crow In The Jury Room

Call me a racist, but Connecticut does not do enough to assure that criminal defendants face a jury of their peers.
I’ve just finished jury selection in a murder case in Norwich. We finally picked a panel after six full days of jury selection. One hundred and fifteen men and women sat through some portion of voir dire. As near as I can tell, there was not a black-man among them. My client, charged with murder, is African-American. What am I to tell him about a jury of his peers?
One answer is that race doesn’t matter at all. We’re all Americans. We believe in...
November 29, 2012

Assisted Suicide and the State

FEW THINGS TERRIFY ME AS MUCH as the thought of being kept alive, indefinitely — hooked to machines, monitored, maintained and held in the land of the living long past the point at which the joy of living has ceased.
I worry less about death than I do about pain. It may be appointed unto us once to die, but needless suffering seems avoidable. Hence, my support for assisted suicide, an issue that strikes at the root of how and why we govern ourselves, and whether there is any collective response to an individual’s death that seems just.
Connecticut lawmakers are poised to...
November 29, 2012

Cy Vance's Expensive Fantasy Life

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance, Jr., might be one of those understated legal geniuses who see things in life’s tawdry fact patterns the rest of us miss. Or maybe he’s just the son of a famous man, former Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, who rode his daddy’s coattails all the way into a job that’s just too big for his meager talents. Gauging by his office’s performance in the Anna Gristina case, I am not checking the genius box when it comes time to cast a ballot for Vance.
Ms. Gristina was charged by the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office...
November 21, 2012

"You Can't Govern Us; We Quit"

Secession anyone? The last time there was a groundswell of support for the states to secede from the union, we ended up fighting a bloody civil war. One hundred and fifty years later, there are new calls for secession. Just how serious is the new secession movement?
The mainstream press has not reported much on the rush of secession petitions posted on a website maintained by the White House. At week’s end, petitions had been filed from all 50 states. Texas leads the way, with more than 100,000 signatures on its petition. Connecticut’s petition had 2,500 or so signatures....
November 15, 2012

Time to Repeal the Second Amendment?

November 14, 2012
I’ll be starting trial this week in Norwich. My client is accused of murder. The victim was shot to death, point blank, with a hand gun. The...

Destiny and Demographics

November 12, 2012
So we’re to have four more years of Barack Obama in the White House. Good, I say. Better him than a throwback to a 1960s sitcom. Once the...

Four Nominees For Federal Judge In Connecticut

November 8, 2012
Even if you are in mourning about the results of the presidential election, and I am not, you will agree that there is one occasion for rejoicing:...

The Rhetoric Of Accountability Backfires On Prosecutor

November 8, 2012
I did not get a chance to head out to Milford to watch any of the trial of Jason Anderson, the former Milford police officer involved in the...

I Don't Feel Like Much Of A Sovereign Today

November 6, 2012
I did not feel like much a sovereign when I walked out of the polling place this morning. No, I felt as though I’d just been tossed from a...

Just South of Crazy

November 4, 2012
I’ve a brand-spanking-new lawyer reporting for duty this week. Freshly minted and admitted to the bar, she’s eager to show the world what...

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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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