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Rolling the Legal Dice in Newtown

Word on the street is that Koskoff, Koskoff & Beider is so wealthy the law firm weighs, rather than counts, its money. I hope that's true, because the fight the firm just picked against Bushmaster and others is going to cost plenty to litigate. Call the expenses of the suit the costs of good intentions.
Ten families of folks killed at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in December 2012 have signed on with the Bridgeport law firm. The targets? Bushmaster, the North Carolina-based manufacturer of the AR-15, a combat weapon; Camfour, a distributor of the weapon; and Riverview Gun...
December 17, 2014

Eric Garner Redux

I've managed to offend my friends and delight my critics by asserting that the Staten Island grand jury was correct not to indict New York police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner. Indeed, folks on the other side of the color line accuse me of succumbing to white privilege, or worse.
The accusations hurt, but my analysis remains the same: While Garner's death was tragic, as are all deaths related to a person being taken into police custody, it is not the result of a crime.
I've earned a healthy respect for the work of law enforcement officers the hard...
December 13, 2014

An Interview at Torture, Inc.

In the early 1980s, I had lunch at the faculty house of Columbia University, where I was a young instructor. Although my companion signed in as a representative of some innocuous sounding company, he was, in fact, a spy. The purpose of the lunch? To explore my interest in becoming one as well. He was employed by the Central Intelligence Agency.
I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life. I was the first person in my family to graduate high school, and then college, and then to teach in a college. To say that I was lost and confused is an understatement.
The exact...
December 11, 2014

The Eric Garner Homicide -- A Crime? No

Eric Garner paid with his life for making a simple mistake: He played street lawyer when officers tried to arrest him. The time and place to dispute facts with a cop is not on the street. It is in a courtroom. Resist an officer trying to arrest you, and you may well end up injured, or even dead.
Store owners on Staten Island had complained to local police that Garner was selling individual cigarettes, known as loosies, in front of their shops. Apparently, that’s against the law. It may well be a silly law, but it is a law that is on the books.
Daniel Pantaleo, a young police...
December 5, 2014

Obama's Disappointing Response to Ferguson

December 2, 2014
It will take more than the Band-Aid President Barack Obama offers to staunch the bleeding wound caused by the police violence in Ferguson, Mo. The...

The Market in Human Souls

November 30, 2014
I sometimes wonder whether the truth really matters at all, especially in criminal courtrooms, where we play at the solemn work of justice while...

The Other Victim in Ferguson

November 19, 2014
There’s little doubt in my mind that the grand jury in Ferguson, Missouri, will not indict Darren Wilson and charge him with murder. And there...

King v. Burwell: A Ridiculous Attack on Obamacare

November 15, 2014
The Roman orator Cicero defined a commonwealth, or a republic, as a group of people drawn together by common interests and a common conception of...

Why Law Is Not Medicine

November 6, 2014
From time to time, a young person turns up at my office door looking for career advice. They are considering a career in the law. What, they ask,...

Tommy the Tax Dodger Unfit for Office

October 29, 2014
If I had Tom Foley’s tax accountant, there is one thing I most assuredly would not do: I would not run for public office pretending I had any...

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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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