Why Jeremiah Donovan Should Not Be Held In Contempt

Superior Court Judge Roland Fasano wants to hold a hearing to determine whether he should initiate criminal contempt proceedings against Jeremiah Donovan. In a one-line order, the judge wrote: “[I]t is alleged Attorney Donovan made extrajudicial statements relating to the matters of State v. Hayes and State v. Komisarjevsky for public dissemination, that raise a reasonable likelihood of material, prejudicial impact upon the Hayes trial currently in progress and the Komisarjevsky trial to follow, all in flagrant violation of this court’s order of Sept. 13, 2010.”
September 30, 2010

A Compromise Verdict In A Sad Killing

Consider the following fact pattern, as a jury did this week: A man shoots a woman through the head during an argument in the kitchen of his own home. As he shoots her, his girlfriend, the mother of his his three children, jumps onto his back. He shoots a third woman in he chest. She runs from the kitchen and down a narrow hallway; when she returns moments later, he shoots her again. When his gun jams as he tried to shoot her a third time, he tosses the weapon to he side, choking her. He is charged with murder as to the first woman, and attempted murder and assault as to he second...
September 30, 2010

White Collar Ambulance Chasing?

I always thought the white collar guys were a more gentlemanly cast of lawyers. They certainly look the part: Expensive suits, fancy shoes, and brief cases that all but announce: "Power, power, power." Most of my legal career has been spent in the tweedy trenches defending more obvious crimes, such as murder, rape and narcotics offenses. Hell, I used to consider bank robbery a white collar crime.
But I've been defending folks accused of white collar crimes increasingly in recent years. I even bought a couple of new suits and a new pair of shoes not long ago. And I've learned, to my...
September 28, 2010

Sentencing Day For Mickey Sherman

UPDATE: Sentencing Has Been Postponed Until November 5
Mickey Sherman heads to court today. There is nothing unusual about that. He is one of Connecticut's best known criminal defense lawyers. But when he goes to court today, he will going to face his own sentencing. I'm betting on a jail sentence for Sherman.
Sherman plead guilty earlier this year to two misdemeanor counts of failure to pay federal taxes. It seems that Mr. Sherman did not pay federal taxes in 2001 and 2002, despite earning more than a million dollars in income during that period. The 63-year-old Greenwich lawyer...
September 27, 2010

Breyer's Making Our Democracy Work: The Court's Work Explained

September 26, 2010
"Only one-third of all Americans can name the three branches of government (two-thirds can name a television judge on American Idol); only one-third...

A Necessary Act Of Contempt In Hayes Trial

September 25, 2010
When I heard that Jeremiah Donovan stood on the courthouse steps yesterday and held a press conference regarding press reports about his ciient,...

Virginia and Killing: It's Time For Abolition

September 24, 2010
I won't pretend to be neutral about the death penalty. The state ought not to have the power to kill its citizens. Period. It is too awesome and...

Rage And The Hunting Of Steven Hayes

September 23, 2010
Herewith a debate of sorts on the morality of the death penalty and the rule of law in the Connecticut case of State v. Steven Hayes. Is killing the...

Junk Science The Handmaiden Of Junk Justice

September 23, 2010
More than once I have heard a prosecutor in trial urge a judge to admit contested evidence: "The state cannot prove its case without this evidence,...

666: It's Time For A Change

September 23, 2010
I note the irony for what it is worth: On this, the 666th post on this blog site, I am announcing a change to a new blog site:...

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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.

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