Miss Manners Tours The Killing Fields

Let me see if I get this right: We take an eighteen-year-old kid, break down his inhibitions against killing another person, train him to kill, place him in harm’s way and require him to kill or be killed, and then expect what? That he will blow the smoke from his smoking barrel, walk away from the battlefield with a smile on his face, and not suffer aftershocks? Warriors will suffer road rage. I suspect it goes with the turf.

The furor over the Internet film of several Marines urinating on the corpses of three Taliban fighters they had just killed in battle is...
January 13, 2012

Perry v. NH: Finding Facts In La-La Land

It should surprise no one that the lone vote casting doubt on the reliability of eyewitness testimony came from the only United States Supreme Court justice with experience actually trying cases. Most justices think facts are something you read about in a textbook, or in a legal brief. Only Sonia Sotomayor has actually looked a jury in the eye and asked them for something. She alone wants the nation’s trial courts to take special pains to make sure eyewitness testimony is more than mere finger pointing.

The 8-1 vote in Perry v. New Hampshire rejected the claim that...
January 12, 2012

National ID Cards And Social Control

I have an assignment for an aspiring historian: Locate the moment in American history when ordinary people began to fear one another more than they feared the potential of government to abuse its power. I am sure the moment exists. I see signs of it everywhere. Consider the case of how a national identification card reflects this redirection of our fears.
We are living in the world George Orwell wrote about, a place in which Big Brother not just watches, but controls the ability of ordinary people to take care of themselves. Requiring a national identification card, or requiring that...
January 10, 2012

Birther Madness On Display In Fulton County

When I watch Orly Tatiz and Georgia State Representative Mark Hatfield, a Republican, explain why they think President Barack Obama’s name should be struck from the Georgia primary ballot I am at once inspired with a wish that the South had won the Civil War: The species of idiocy espoused by these two inspires such revulsion that I wish they lived in another country. But we are joined at the Constitutional hip. So I call these two birthers fellow citizens, and I marvel that anyone in their right mind could waste their time on the nonsense they espouse.
The two will be on...
January 8, 2012


January 7, 2012
Murder-for-hire preoccupied me at week’s end. It’s not that I was in the market for a killer, mind you. But I’ve defended people...

Science Fiction In The Family Courts

January 5, 2012
The course I recall best from law school was Carol Weisbrod’s family law class at the University of Connecticut. At the time, I did not...

Hidden Ambulance Chasing

January 3, 2012
I’ve often wished that the general public could see what goes on behind closed doors in the criminal courts. All that is generally reported is...

USA v, Assange, The Trial To Come

January 2, 2012
I expect the trial of the year will be United States of America v. Julian Assange. Of course, Assange has not yet been charged. He is not even in the...

Garfield's Assassination: The Limits Of What We Know

January 1, 2012
President James Garfield did not have to die. It appears as if the medical care he received killed him. Even so, Charles Julius Guiteau fired the...

2011: A Report From The Trenches

December 31, 2011
I will count 2011 a good year, despite the dire economy. It was a year of focusing, getting lean, re-examining priorities. As 2011 ends, I am...

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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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