New England trial attorney Norm Pattis has written a new book, “In the Trenches.” It is a collection of essays on his thoughts and experiences as a trial lawyer. Pattis discusses his new book in this exclusive interview with the Legal Broadcast Network.
Pattis is a very busy trial lawyer, but he finds time to write about his work. “Writing is therapy,” Pattis explains. He writes two columns each week, one for a regular newspaper and one for a legal paper.
One of the first essays in the book recounts his experience with a murder trial in which he got an acquittal but which made him unhappy. Pattis says that, during the course of the trial, he developed a bond with the victim’s mother, and she was devastated by the verdict. Pattis was delighted by the acquittal but sad for the mother. He says that after he got home from the trial he “cried like a baby.”
Much of the book has to do with Pattis’s opinions about the justice system and the punishment of people convicted of crimes. Pattis is concerned that there is a “crisis of legitimacy in public institutions in the United States.” Pattis opines that, for people of color, prisons have become a substitute for the plantations on which they were once enslaved. “We have 5% of the world’s population and 25% of the world’s prisoners.” He suggests that prisons are an easy way to deal with “what Dickens might have called the ‘surplus population.’”
Pattis says that the U.S. has a prison industrial complex in which many prisons have been privatized. Those prisons need to fill beds, and the criminal justice system provides the people. Pattis suggests that “we need to question the extent to which we call conduct criminal.” He also says that it is time to examine the extent to which people are given extremely long sentences. “It is far cheaper to educate a man than it is to imprison him.”
Pattis is an advocate of repealing the Second Amendment. He says that the courts and prisons are filled with very young men who kill someone in a fit of anger, in front of people who can identify them. The cases are difficult to defend. Pattis notes that, in addition to the victim, there is a defendant who will serve a long sentence (probably 60 years in Connecticut).
Pattis says that the Second Amendment was designed to insure the availability of a populace able to resist tyrants. But no one uses guns as political protest, he suggests. He believes the Second Amendment benefits arms manufacturers, and no one else.
Norman Pattis is a leading New England based trial lawyer. He represents people who face powerful foes. His relentless voice levels the playing field for individuals against prosecutors in serious criminal cases, for people or families who experience catastrophic injuries against uncaring insurance giants, for victims of corporate malfeasance, and other people who face the loss of liberty or property. He is a veteran of more than 100 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. Attorneys from California to New York refer their clients to the Pattis Law Firm, and they seek out Norm as co-counsel in challenging high stakes cases across the U.S. The Legal Broadcast Network is a featured network of the Sequence Media Group.