Entries categorized "Good News"

Cert. Denied in City of Evanston v. Franklin

Congratulations to Tom Goldstein's and Pam Karlan's Supreme Court litigation clinic for successfully opposing cert. in City of Evanston v. Franklin.  In Franklin v. City of Evanston, a unanimous three-judge panel of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals found a violation of Franklin's procedural due process rights when, after being arrested for a minor and non-violent crime, he was fired for asserting his privilege against compelled self-incrimination at a job termination hearing.  I summarized Franklin here.

$600,000 Verdict in Retaliation Case

Since grade-school we've all been taught to see the world in two shades -- The police are the good guys, and they fight the bad guys.  What happens when the good guys start breaking the law? What happens when a police officer tries exposing corruption within the police department?  What happens when a local police officer helps the FBI and the United States Attorney's office?

That's simple -- He's tossed out.  There's no greater crime than crossing the thin blue line.  Didn't this guy learn anything at the police academy?  Yesterday, however, a jury countered, "Thin blue line?  What about the First Amendment?"

A former Hartford police detective who claimed that he was fired because he helped blow the whistle on police corruption in Hartford won nearly $600,000 in punitive and compensatory damages Wednesday from a federal jury in Bridgeport.

The jury, which deliberated for more than 11 hours in U.S. District Court, found that the city of Hartford, former Hartford Police Chief Joseph F. Croughwell and former Lt. David Kenary should be held financially liable for retaliating against Nicholas Russo after they found out that the detective had offered his help in a federal probe against the police department.

The story gets better.  Norm Pattis was the lead trial lawyer.  Although Norm has a reputation for his skills in winning excessive force cases, he also frequently represents police officers who have been harmed for doing nothing more than tell the truth.  And he has another win.  Congratulations, Norm!

Los Angeles Lawyer R. Rex Parris vs. State Farm

I was pleased to learn that Los Angeles attorney R. Rex Parris recently won a $135 million settlement for State Farm employees who had wrongfully been denied overtime compensation.  Unlike the so-called "coupon settlements" many class action lawyers win for their clients, some of Rex's clients will be receiving up to $50,000 in back-pay.

Rex, who is on the faculty of Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College, has won numerous million-dollar verdicts.  Proving that some trial lawyers vote red, Rex is active in Republican politics.  Indeed, one of Rex's many claims to fame is that he made Newt Gingrich stop telling lawyer jokes.

He also actively supports the community by donating time and money to local charities, in addition to serving as a coach for a local mock trial team.  Rex's contributions to the community were recognized when a high school was named after him.

Congratulations to Rex, whose web site is located here.

Connecticut Lawyer Norm Pattis has Joined Crime & Federalism

I'm pleased to announce that Norm Pattis is a permanent co-blogger at Crime & Federalism.

Norman A. Pattis practices law and owns a rare book shop just outside of New Haven, Connecticut. He recently formed his own firm, specializing in criminal defense, civil rights, appellate work and representing lawyers in professional disputes. From 1993 until recently, he was associated with John R. Williams.

Norman A. Pattis is an accomplished lawyer and writer.  Mr. Pattis practices law and owns a rare book shop just outside of New Haven, Connecticut. He recently formed his own firm, specializing in criminal defense, civil rights, appellate work and representing lawyers in professional disputes. From 1993 until recently, he was associated with John R. Williams.

Pattis became associated with John Williams in 1993, and became partner in the firm in 1997, after careers in college teaching and journalism. He specializes in criminal defense and civil rights.

Notable civil rights included Kevin King v. Mark Verdone, et al., in which he obtained a judgment of more than $2 million for a prisoner beaten during an escape attempt; Peterson, et al. v. City of Hartford, in which nine white and Hispanic firefighters won a $3.1 million reverse discrimination verdict against the city's fire department; Broadnax v. New Haven, in which he won a $1.5 million verdict on behalf of a the city's highest ranking female firefighter. In Higgins v. Burleigh, et al., Pattis won a $700,000 verdict for a young boxer beaten by police officers outside a nightclub.

He has also won many other federal civil rights verdicts for police brutality, false arrest, malicious prosecution, denial of equal protection of the law, discrimination and other civil rights. He once tracked down the financier of a brutal contract shooting, forcing a settlement after the man filed bankruptcy to avoid the civil trial, and after several days of cross-examination of the financier and his ex-wife designed to show that their "divorce" was little more than a fraudulent conveyance.

Pattis has also represented those accused of crimes in state and federal courts. He obtained an acquittal on two counts of attempted murder of police officers arising from the point-blank shooting of two Middletown officers during an arrest. He also won an acquittal for a man accused of felony murder in the course of a high-speed chase in which a police officer died. In another case, he won acquittals for two men accused of beating several police officers. He has successfully defended weapons charges, narcotics charges, cases alleging sexual assault, bank robbery and embezzlement.

He has defended capital cases on both the trial and appellate level. His defense of Lon Grammer and Tonica Jenkins, both accused of fraudulently obtaining admission to Yale University in separate incidents, attracted national attention.

A former member of the staff of Gerry Spence's Trial Lawyers College in Wyoming, Pattis has also served as a faculty member for the National Institute of Trial Advocacy. He has also been a guest speaker before bar association groups, including the Idaho Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. Pattis also writes a weekly column for The Connecticut Law Tribune, found most weeks at www.law.com/ct, and a monthly column for The Hartford Courant's Northeast Magazine.

He is a frequent commentator on legal topics on television and radio. His first attempt at fiction, Dark Justice, was published in serial form by The Connecticut Law Tribune.

Pattis has argued in the United States Court of Appeals for the Second and Sixth Circuits, and appeared before the United States Supreme Court in prisoner's rights litigation.

Mr. Pattis' contact information is below:
Norman A. Pattis
649 Amity Road Bethany, CT

New Contributor

I am pleased to announce that Norman Pattis has joined Crime & Federalism.  Norm and I go back about 3 years, and he is someone I admire.

I'll let him formally introduce himself.  In the meantime, you can read his first post, "Nutmeg Madness," which is available below.  He also writes a weekly column for the Connecticut Law Tribune

Also note that I am going to fix my blog so that the author of a respective post is indicated in each post.