Blog Posts


Dear Gov. Lamont: It's A Virus, Stupid

Word has it that Gov. Ned Lamont is beside himself. The judiciary isn’t doing enough in this crisis, he is said to mutter. He is said to have ordered, or is contemplating ordering, judges to turn up at the courthouses, even if it is only to punch the clock. Courthouses throughout...

COVID-19: What About Cross-Examination Of Witnesses?

Cross-examination is the engine of our civil and criminal justice system. When there is a dispute about facts, witnesses are required. Fact-finders, whether they be juries or judges, then make credibility assessments, deciding whom to believe. Yes, mistakes are made – many a...

COVID-19: Beware Woeful Wednesdays

I’m noticing something like a new rhythm as the weeks roll into the first month of COVID-19 pandemic. It seems that about once a week, I run out of courage, and collapse into a puddle of something approaching tears. Today was such a day.
For the most part,...

COVID-19 and the Vanishing Trial

I’m not sure what the new normal will look like for litigators in the wake of the ongoing COVID-19 crisis, but several things seem obvious enough.
First, I doubt seriously that any juries will be selected until sometime in 2021.
Why? No one is...

Everyone Rations, All The Time; Let's Be Honest About It

We’re forced, suddenly, to make explicit what we do all the time – make cost-benefit decisions about how to allocate scarce resources. Economists call such choices decisions about marginal utility. What value do we get for the next dollar we spend? What do we forego by...

A Matter Of Survival -- Self-Regarding Acts?

For years, I’ve been haunted by the message of a slender volume written in 2014. Only China survived the challenges imposed by climate change. It did so because it alone had the ability to mobilize itself against the threat.
Western societies, western...

A Prescription For CNN -- A Dose of the Law

Have you noticed something different about CNN in the past few weeks?
Sure, its round-the-clock coverage of the COVID-19 coverage is repetitive, urgent and filled with expert opinion and commentary. You’d expect nothing less from the cable network. I know I can...

Mr. President: A Federal Quarantine Is Unjustified

The president has spoken, sort of, announcing hours ago on Twitter that he is considering a quarantine order for portions of New York, Connecticut and New Jersey. I write from Connecticut, an easy drive from New York City. My message is simple: Don’t do it, Mr. President.
...

Beware An Algorithmic Coup

A bold new body of law will emerge from the COVID-19 crisis. Expect expanded police powers for states, a re-striking of the balance between state and federal governments, and a re-examination of what is reasonable in terms of the Bill of Rights. Expect all that.
But...

COVID-19: Ruminating about Ruminations

“Grandpa, what did you do doing during the war?”
I can imagine a time, a few years down the road, in which a grandchild asks about the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the virus, we are told on the news day after day, that has “changed...

© Norm Pattis is represented by Elite Lawyer Management, managing agents for Exceptional American Lawyers
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