The Market in Human Souls

I sometimes wonder whether the truth really matters at all, especially in criminal courtrooms, where we play at the solemn work of justice while wearing blinders. Consider, for the moment, the case of State v. Dr. Lishan Wang, now percolating in the New Haven Superior Court. In what parallel universe do you offer a 48-year-old man a sentence of 40 years in prison and call it a bargain?
Dr. Wang, a medical doctor, stands accused of murder for gunning down another physician, Dr. Vajinder Toor, in Branford, in 2010. On the state’s theory of the case, the shooting apparently had...
November 30, 2014

The Other Victim in Ferguson

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 is just as little doubt that Ferguson will erupt in violence when that happens. Two conceptions of justice will collide, thus illustrating in graphic form what a crisis of legitimacy looks like.
On August 9, 2014, Wilson, a Ferguson police officer, shot and killed Michael Brown. Thereafter, Ferguson erupted in violence. Police officials contend the shooting was justified; those on the street claim Brown is yet another victim of police...
November 19, 2014

King v. Burwell: A Ridiculous Attack on Obamacare

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 right, or justice. In other words, not just any group of folks constitutes a stable political entity.
By this standard, we are no longer a republic. The evidence is everywhere.
Consider the case of King v. Burwell, now on the docket of the United States Supreme Court. This is the case in which opponents of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, have seized upon four misplaced words in a complex piece of legislation to try to...
November 15, 2014

Why Law Is Not Medicine

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, should they do? My answer is typically succinct: consider medical school. The law, I tell them is dark place. I’ve imagined that medicine offers light.
Law school does next to nothing to prepare lawyers for their role as counselors. There is no requirement that lawyers acquire any formal training in psychology, social work or counseling of those in need. Yet the situations driving folks to a lawyer’s office are often life changing,...
November 6, 2014

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...

Whose Best Interest Served in Child Custody Cases?

October 26, 2014
There are secret courts operating in our midst, and I am not referring to those tribunals whose focus is national security. I’m talking about...

A "Special Agent" Files Suit

October 22, 2014
I'm not a fan of the Justice Department, so I ought to be rooting for Kurt Siuzdak, a 17-year veteran of the Federal Bureau of Investigation who has...

Excited Utterances

October 16, 2014
The law of evidence governs what is and is not admissible in a trial. A judge’s decision on what a jury hears could quite literally be the...

Hasty Suspension of Zealous Lawyer

October 14, 2014
I wasn't on the New Haven jury that convicted Angelo Reyes of arson and conspiracy charges. But I know a thing or two about Mr. Reyes, having...

Justice? Or a Roll of the Dice?

October 9, 2014
Juries are fickle, especially in civil cases, where we give them the right and the power to award money in the form of compensatory damages, and, in...

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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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