(Updated) Not So Fast On Joe Paterno

Pennsylvania lawyers are no doubt sitting by their phones, hoping that someone will call to report that they, too, were a victim of Jerry Sandusky’s lust. There’s great money to be made in claims of child sex abuse. Just ask the Catholic Church, which has paid claimants in a series of high-price settlements of child-sex claims. Big institutions have deep pockets and public relations departments that care about image.
Sandusky was for many years defense coordinator for the football team at Pennsylvania State University. He retired in 1999, but retained an office and full...
November 9, 2011

U.S. v. Jones: Can Digital Sheep Expect Privacy?

It comes as a surprise to many people to learn that the federal courts do not recognize a right to privacy as a matter of constitutional law. But it is true. In large part, that is because at the time the Constitution was drafted, few would have thought it necessary to include such a right in the list of those protected by the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The federal government was a comparatively weak and puny thing in that era; it was regarded as one of limited, or enumerated, powers. It did not have the authority to act unless that authority had been...
November 7, 2011

Go Ahead, Mike: Tell Her Why You Want To Kill Her Father

Let me see if I understand this: Requiring Joshua Komisarjevsky’s daughter to testify in the death-penalty phase of his trial might harm her psychologically, but it is just fine and dandy for the state to kill her father?
Lawyers for Komisarjevsky plan to call their client’s nine-year-old daughter to the stand, presumably to shed some light on something other than the ten-hour period in his life in which he participated in the savage murder of two children and their mother, crimes for which he has already been found guilty.
The state opposes permitting the child to...
November 6, 2011

An Acquittal. Will The Government Be Held Accountable?

Here’s a question I hope comes to a courtroom in Connecticut within the next 30 days: Will the United States Government be forced to reimburse North Haven businessman Frank Ruocco for his legal fees?

Mr. Ruocco was acquitted of 19 counts Friday afternoon by a federal jury in Bridgeport, Connecticut. He, an associate, and his company, Earth Technology, Inc., were charged with fraud in a scheme involving alleged overstated invoices and other affirmative acts of fraud. The Government was dogged in its pursuit of this case, zeroing in on a company involved in...
November 4, 2011

"Violent Chaos" In Oakland? Good

November 3, 2011
You can sing Kumbaya until you are hoarse, and I’m betting the big money boys and girls on Wall Street, in the nation’s boardrooms, and...

Eric Robert Might See Things Too Clearly

November 2, 2011
I’ve never met Eric Robert of South Dakota, but what I’ve read about him makes me wonder whether he is a little too sane for the rest of...

Who Feeds The Sheep?, And Using The F-Word In Court

October 27, 2011
Twice in twenty-four hours I recently drew criticism from folks I respect. So I am doing a little soul-searching.
I was on a panel in New...

Komisarjevsky: Human, All Too Human

October 23, 2011
I am sick to death of the Cheshire home invasion cases. They linger, like a nightmare that will not go away. If there is a reason for good cheer, it...

Lost Memory Of Skin: Harsh Truths Half Explored

October 21, 2011
“These men are human beings, not chimpanzees or gorillas. They belong to the same species as we do. And we’re not hardwired to commit...

Citigroup Laughing All The Way To The Bank

October 20, 2011
I suppose reports that the Security and Exchange Commission just extracted a $285 million settlement from Citigroup for mortgage-related fraud ought...

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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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