We're More Than The Sum Of Choices. A Critique Of "Expressive Individualism"

A good friend of mine is a physician. In a recent conversation, I was describing a new book I had just read, referring to a powerful critique of Judith Jarvis Thompson’s famous defense of the right to have an abortion, first published in 1971 in Philosophy and Public Affairs. Imagine you awoke to find that you had been surgically attached to a world-famous violinist, she argues, and that you were you must remain so for the next nine months in order for him to survive. Would you feel your rights were violated?
Of course you would. You would be compelled to...
April 7, 2021

Amend the Constitution to Bar Race-Based Transfer Payments

I wrote this almost a year ago. Friends thought I was howling at the moon. Now they think I was prophetic. Spread the word. We need to amend the federal Constitution to prevent race-based transfer payments and distribution of public goods. It was written as I watched the hullabaloo arising from the George Floyd death.
We finally learned what all the fuss has been about for the past month. It’s not about police reform. It’s not about systemic racism. It’s about race-based transfer payments, or reparations. At least it is according to the ideologues...
April 4, 2021

Locke's Radical Limits On Individual Rights

Libertarianism and individualism generally run hand-in-hand with a robust view of property rights. If the state is an artifice, then aren’t limitations on how much property individuals can acquire arbitrary and therefore suspect? Individualism and limited government are fast friends, at least in the United States.
John Locke’s views on property show that the linkage of individualism and robust property rights is not necessarily strong. Indeed, Locke looks more like a Social Democrat than a member of the GOP. Chapter five of the Second Treatise of...
April 4, 2021

The Chauvin Proceedings Look Like A Show Trial. Wassup?

I’ve been reading press reports of the Derek Chauvin case in Minneapolis with a gnawing sense that something isn’t quite right. I can’t tell whether Chauvin’s defense seem are understated geniuses or, perhaps, not up to the task. As for the prosecution, it took them four days to get to the point, having wasted, and been permitted to waste, the better part of the first four days of trial presenting irrelevant and immaterial evidence.
Thus far, the trial has the look and feel of a show trial.
What’s going on?
April 2, 2021

What To Do About Social Media Censorship

November 13, 2020
Social media censorship is a red-hot topic now. Conservatives are outraged by a perceived bias against their content by the likes of...

An Open Note to Lex Fridman

February 24, 2021
The best thing about the pandemic? I’ve discovered podcasts. One of the best is Lex Fridman’s, called, simply, Lex Fridman...

The Pretrial Motions Will Go A Long Way Toward Deciding The Chauvin Case

March 18, 2021
Trial lawyers know the significance of motions in limine; often, trials are won or lost based on the rulings judges make before a jury...

Atkinson v. Facebook: Here's the writ

November 13, 2019

Some Sobering Lessons Learned In A Year Of Living Cautiously

March 19, 2021
Fifty-three weeks ago today, I got off of an airplane in Hartford, Connecticut, and headed home to face the pandemic. Since that time,...

Playing With History: Neither A Jefferson Nor A Kinte Be

March 28, 2021
I have a confession to make: I never watched the television series “Roots,” nor have I read the Alex Hailey novel...

Visit His Websites

Pattis & Smith Law Firm
Norman Pattis
RSS Feed
Become a patron

Press Videos


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
Media & Speaker booking [hidden email]