USA v. Tsarnaev: We're All On Trial Now

Now that the show trial is over, the real trial begins.
Now the United States of America will seek to convince a jury of 12 that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, one of the two Boston Marathonbombers, must, in the name of justice, be killed. This next trial, the penalty phase, is the real drama. Will we look deeply into what made this young emigre into a killer, or will we simply lash out in anger and rage to kill him?
A capital proceeding is a two-step trial. In the first phase, the guilt phase, jurors decide whether a defendant has committed a death-eligible offense. Tsarnaev was found guilty...
April 9, 2015

Why We Need Civilian Police Accountability Boards

Do black lives matter? Do cops’s lives matter? The answer to both questions is obvious: yes. That’s what makes the arrest of a fifteen year-old-girl in New Haven not long ago such a combustible topic. The sparks still flying after the arrest are proof that we need civilian police accountability boards.
The arrest was captured on YouTube. The officer forced a young black woman against the back of an SUV, and then used a leg-sweep to force her to the ground. She landed face- and shoulder-first on a curb covered with snow. It’s an ugly video, and the picture of the young...
April 1, 2015

Better Call Saul? Almost, But Not Quite

Looking for a realistic portrayal of the practice of law in a small firm? Then you had better call Saul, as in Saul Goodman, the fictional creation of Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould, creators of the new AMC series "Better Call Saul."
A busy law practice keeps me from watching much television, but I did watch Gilligan's earlier creation, "Breaking Bad," the saga of Walter White's transformation from high school chemistry teacher to methamphetamine king. Saul Goodman, you may recall, was Walt's lawyer.
Saul made me uneasy. He was a fast-talking, morally bankrupt, bottom-feeder made...
March 31, 2015

Of Rats, Sinners and Trial Lawyers

I just lost a tough case and, as in any loss, I am bitter about it. My client faces 60 years for the shooting of a rival gang member in Hartford’s North End. We tried the case twice, the first time to a hung jury. On Monday, a jury returned a quick guilty verdict.
The case turned on the testimony of two witnesses, one a man who claimed to be the driver as my client mowed down the decedent with an assault rifle. This witness was facing charges in some 14 attempted and conspiracy to commit murder charges, a man who had already pleaded guilty to another murder and had been sentenced...
March 26, 2015

Straight Talk About War on Drugs

March 25, 2015
What if just about everything we think we know about the war on drugs is wrong?
Start, for example, with the oft-repeated proposition that the...

The Judas Iscariot Sentencing Argument

March 23, 2015
Only rarely have I been able to use the Judas Iscariot sentencing argument. I did so today. My client was found guilty of murder, and faces a maximum...

Call Me Lazarus

March 23, 2015
I came home after dark last night to a report from my wife that our emu had died. She spotted him lifeless in the back of an outbuilding in which he...

Using Liars to Find the Truth?

March 22, 2015
Trial, some say, is a search for the truth. That’s specious tomfoolery. In fact, trial, at least a criminal trial, is guerilla warfare. Some of...

Public Defenders For All

March 12, 2015
I’ve never understood why folks don’t regard public defenders as real lawyers. Some of the best lawyers in the state are public defenders...

Sentencing Reform Overdue in Connecticut

March 8, 2015
Gov. Dannel Malloy is calling for reform of some of the state's draconian sentencing laws, proposing that mere drug possession be a misdemeanor, and...

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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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