Mass Surveillance and COVID-19 -- Dystopian Jitters, I

I’ve got a serious case of the dystopian jitters, and I can’t tell whether the source of them is realistic or not. So, I share them with you, the better to reality test in these days of isolated anxiety.
What are dystopian jitters?
A fear of what the future may bring.
As a species, we have the wonderful gift of imagination. We don’t merely detect and respond to the data our senses bring to mind; we can add or subtract ideas, and create imaginative worlds of our own based on our selections. Thus science fiction,...
April 11, 2020

Dear Gov. Lamont: It's A Virus, Stupid

Word has it that Gov. Ned Lamont is beside himself. The judiciary isn’t doing enough in this crisis, he is said to mutter. He is said to have ordered, or is contemplating ordering, judges to turn up at the courthouses, even if it is only to punch the clock. Courthouses throughout the state have been effectively shuttered for weeks now, handling only “emergency” matters.
I don’t know if this simply a bit of ill-digested liver on the governor’s part. (Okay, okay – read Dostoevsky’s “Notes from Underground” for...
April 10, 2020

COVID-19: Beware Woeful Wednesdays

I’m noticing something like a new rhythm as the weeks roll into the first month of COVID-19 pandemic. It seems that about once a week, I run out of courage, and collapse into a puddle of something approaching tears. Today was such a day.
For the most part, I’m upbeat, even philosophic about it all. I grew up amid chaos and have earned my living dancing on the perimeter of disaster. But I knew no better as a child, and simply lived; as an adult, I approached the line always believing I could pull back, just in the nick of time, before disaster claimed me...
April 8, 2020

COVID-19: What About Cross-Examination Of Witnesses?

Cross-examination is the engine of our civil and criminal justice system. When there is a dispute about facts, witnesses are required. Fact-finders, whether they be juries or judges, then make credibility assessments, deciding whom to believe. Yes, mistakes are made – many a “fact” is no doubt found that would surprise God, or some dispassionate observer, but cross-examination has for centuries been regarded as the best means for determining the truth.
Will cross-examination survive COVID-19?
As I write this, Courts here in...
April 8, 2020

Fall, or, Dodge in Hell -- The Case for Mortality

August 8, 2019
Suppose money were no object: Would you declare in your will that, upon your death, every effort should be made to preserve your body,...

A Simple Plan For Reducing CT's Prison Population This Week

April 6, 2020
It is only a matter of days until COVID-19 takes root in one of Connecticut’s prisons, infecting both guards and inmates. The...

Everyone Rations, All The Time; Let's Be Honest About It

April 5, 2020
We’re forced, suddenly, to make explicit what we do all the time – make cost-benefit decisions about how to allocate scarce...

Cincinnatus Gates for President!

April 6, 2020
Bill Gates for president?
Why not? He’s the perfect choice in a crisis. He’s the functional equivalent of a...

A Sad Farewell To A Great Judge -- Warren Eginton

October 10, 2019
I understand and accept the syllogism, I really do:
"All men are mortal.
"Mr. X is a man.
"Therefore Mr. X is...

Gov. Lamont's Disastrous Tax On Legal Services

February 20, 2019
Gov. Ned Lamont lives in a bubble, and that bubble is impenetrable. I know this because he was once a potential juror on a criminal case...

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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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