Norm Pattis’ Sandy Hook Fuckup May Roil January 6 Investigation

Connecticut judge Barbara Bellis suspended Alex Jones’ lawyer, Norm Pattis, for sending the medical information of Connecticut Sandy Hook plaintiffs to lawyers from both sides of the Texas Sandy Hooks lawsuit.

“Simply put, given his experience, there is no acceptable excuse for his misconduct,” Judge Barbara Bellis said in a court decision released Thursday.

Pattis is one of the state’s most well-known defense attorneys. He said he plans to appeal the decision.

“We cannot expect our system of justice or our attorneys to be perfect but we can expect fundamental fairness and decency. There was no fairness or decency in the treatment of the plaintiffs’ most sensitive and personal information, and no excuse for the respondent’s misconduct,” Bellis wrote.

She goes on to say that because of this, the court agrees with the Disciplinary Counsel’s recommendation to suspend Pattis from practicing law for several months.

As Pattis noted in a statement to NBC, however, he’s not just Alex Jones’ attorney. He’s also one of two lawyers representing Joe Biggs in the Proud Boys case, which is in the final day of voir dire today. And he represents Jones sidekick Owen Shroyer, who is tentatively due to plead guilty at the end of the month.

The Proud Boy defendants are already asking for a delay of their trial so they can read the January 6 Committee transcripts (though note they’ve had 16 of those transcripts since early December). But this decision seems likely to cause a delay, because the case really is difficult for one attorney to manage, but Judge Tim Kelly will want to avoid any claim by Biggs that he was no competently represented by Pattis.

Update: Here’s the ruling, which among other things describes how it happened that Pattis shared such highly confidential information — after blowing the protective order early in the case!

21 replies
  1. Rugger_9 says:

    IANAL so it may be a silly question: doesn’t an attorney have to be a member of the bar in a particular jurisdiction / level to practice? If the CT bar license is suspended but Pattis has a DC license, I do not see how anything changes WRT to the PB case unless Pattis goes off the legal rails there. Then the judge might consider priors in assigning sanctions. I’m not sure if Pattis is licensed in DC or is ‘pro hac vice’ which IIRC allows another jurisdiction’s license (like CT) to be used in DC.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Loss or suspension of a license in one jurisdiction usually leads to similar problems in every jurisdiction in which an attorney is admitted to practice. If the admission in a foreign state is temporary, such as when admitted PHV, that usually terminates the temporary admission.

      To avoid prejudicing a client, an attorney in Pattis’s situation should immediately recommend substitute counsel for all his work.

      • Rugger_9 says:

        I would agree, and thanks for the input. How long a delay do you think we might see, a Friedman Unit (= six months) more or less?

  2. joel fisher says:

    I’m probably suffering from terminal naivete, but it seems to me that if a defendant is being prosecuted by the US, Congressional investigations should be available to the defendant in the course of discovery. Congress is, after all, part of the US government. I know, I know…separation of powers and all that. I’ll shut up.

    • Tech Support says:

      Yeah I’m way out over my skis here, but my understanding is that what’s important is that the defense receive, in advance, any material that the prosecution intends to use at trial. If J6C hasn’t given material to the DOJ in the first place, then it can’t be used in the prosecution and certainly can’t be shared. Just because some corner of the government possesses this information, it doesn’t make it intrinsically relevant to the trial.

      • bmaz says:

        No. Brady, Jencks and Giglio control, and this is absolutely pertinent information and the defense and DOJ entitled to it. J6 are just being incompetent assholes.

        [Apologies, I accidentally attached this reply to Harpie initially instead of you.]

  3. Bay State Librul says:

    OMG, roil the J6 Investigations, I’m having mild palpitations already.
    Speaking of J6, the Globe had a human-interest story from a former Capitol Policeman, outnumbered 58-1 during the insurrection two years ago today.
    He made one statement that rings true — he is a watercolor artist now, and believes one day, there will be a January 6th Exhibit.
    History has a way of memorializing our grief.

    [FYI — story at link above is behind a paywall. /~Rayne]

  4. DaveC2022 says:

    IANAL, but wading in anyway:
    -Timing matters. J6 committee generated content that was created after discovery production would not have been included in discovery production
    -Memory is vague, but I think the topic of J6 defendant discovery requests of J6 Committee materials has come & gotten some attention here. Worth some searching on EW
    -Delay is typically in the defendant’s interest. Marginally valid requests for delay do not have to be completely sincere. As long as they are credible enough to avoid sanctions for the attorneys, in most courts, they are legitimate (delaying) tactics.

    • bmaz says:

      “Timing matters. J6 committee generated content that was created after discovery production would not have been included in discovery production.”

      Absolute nonsense. And even were it to be halfway true, it would depend on the particular defendant, charges and charging date. Your generality is absurd.

      Listen “IANAL” is not a valid permission slip to spew things you don’t know or understand.

      “Delay is typically in the defendant’s interest. Marginally valid requests for delay do not have to be completely sincere. As long as they are credible enough to avoid sanctions for the attorneys, in most courts, they are legitimate (delaying) tactics.”

      More nonsense. Delay does not always favor the defendant, and it can fly in the face of speedy trial provisions.

  5. Ginevra diBenci says:

    Pattis characteristically turns this crisis into as opportunity when he speaks to NBC about PBs’ trial. My question as a longtime Connecticut Pattis-watcher is, how much did his creation of this crisis derive from his planning involving the PBs and Shroyer?

    He’s a jerk but he’s just not *that* stupid.

  6. Mitch says:

    Are some underestimating
    The incompetence of
    Norm Pattis? For a while
    He was the darling hero
    On Simple Justice raving
    But, is Alex Jonesvnot bringing any malpractice actions?
    Standup comedy, and
    The jokes of the Conn
    Bar, who have podcasts.
    But, is there a problem on
    Norm, and court rules?
    Seems he thinks he is
    Special, just like
    Simple Justice, Scott
    Greenfield, and their
    Cult blog jive as to
    the “ Wizard of Wyoming”

    • bmaz says:

      this is bullshit. Scott Greenfield is a personal friend of mine, and Marcy too I believe. Simple Justice is not even close to being a “raving” or “cult” blog, extremely far from it and one of the best criminal defense blogs on the net. Scott’s latest on Pattis is pretty fair actually. There are all kinds of “Appellate Twitter” people on the net, but very few experienced and credible long time criminal defense attorneys. Scott is one, so is Ken White (Popehat). And, yes, me too, and we all know each other personally and refer clients to each other. Pattis used to be one of those guys, but took a turn to the idiots for personal gain and glory whoring. Make no mistake, he was at one time in the past one of those guys and well respected. But is a laughing stock now.

      • Mitch says:

        Oh, now the NY clique points to ex DOJ attorney Ken White on its raving.
        White had a piece on Spence, and Winning.
        Did he not read the E L Newton case, on how Spence framed E L. The clique of bull shitters and blog jive.
        Figures, a friend of Scotty pops up to defend his B S.
        So Long Island.
        What next, an endorsement of George Santos.
        Jivey coastal B S bloggers.

        • bmaz says:

          You are full of shit. Don’t come back here again with that ignorant bunk. And shove your George Santos crap. And, by the way, I am not on a coast. So dicey jive that.

          • Rayne says:

            LOL I can’t claim I’m not on a coast — I’m on the third/north/freshwater coast.

            Now I’m gonna’ use my freshwater coastal powers to exorcise this troll which is unable to write coherently in English. By the power of Nayaano-nibiimaang Gichigamiin, begone!

          • shg says:

            Sorry, bmaz and Marcy. Mitch has been spewing his incoherent nonsense over at SJ for the past 2 days, and I let him have one comment and then cut him off. Sorry that my nutjobs found their way over here.

            [Welcome to emptywheel. Please choose and use a unique username with a minimum of 8 letters. We are moving to a new minimum standard to support community security. Thanks. /~Rayne]

            • bmaz says:

              Lol, no worries at all, we deal with dipshits multiple times every day and know how to dispatch them. This one is done.

            • Rayne says:

              No worries. That particular user has been cut off here, too.

              Any chance you can share what topic he chose to babble on at your site? Wondering if there’s a pattern. Thanks!

Comments are closed.