Connecticut defense attorney Norm Pattis – who gained notoriety recently for dropping his pants and hurling the N-word at a comedy skit -- has signed on to defend Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs.
Pattis filed his appearance yesterday to represent Biggs in his trial as one of five Proud Boys charged with seditious conspiracy related to the January 6 insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, the New Haven Register reported. Pattis, described by the newspaper as a “lightning rod” for controversy, has received increased criticism from progressive groups in recent years for conduct and statements not limited to his client list.
Pattis has defended conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in civil cases over his heinous lies claiming that the Sandy Hook killings were a hoax. After reporting that “it was not immediately known Tuesday how Pattis became involved in Biggs’ case,” the Register noted that “the two both made separate appearances on the same episode of Jones’ show in 2019.”
But there was also this from the report: “Earlier this month, Pattis and his co-counsel sought permission to be removed as Jones’ attorneys in the defamation case, citing a breakdown in communications with their client. A judge is expected to rule on that motion this week.”
Pattis’ representation is just the tip of the iceberg, however, as to his controversial nature as described in an extensive 2020 profile of him by Connecticut Magazine. Labeling Pattis “the defender of the despised,” the magazine detailed deeper concerns about him.
“He’s also seemingly declared war on the left, whose social causes he had long championed and fought for,” the magazine reported. “In the past, he’s won cases for victims of sexual discrimination and racist harassment, as well as death-penalty appeals. But this past year he infuriated the New Haven NAACP, a former ally, by posting a racially charged meme on his Facebook page. The post depicted three hooded white beer bottles arrayed around a brown bottle hanging from a string. Its caption: “Ku Klux Coors.” Civil rights activists called it disgusting and racist. Pattis called it funny and free speech.
“It wasn’t his only inflammatory social media post. He’s supported convicted rapist Bill Cosby and others. When newly elected Rep. Rashida Tlaib — the first Palestinian-American woman to serve in Congress — said on Twitter in January 2019 that she would “always speak truth to power,” Pattis replied, “No suicide bombing?” Asked about his tweet, Pattis says, “That was a flip expression of sarcasm, not more not less.”
“The Facebook controversy seemed to have completed the transformation of Pattis — he’s also a public intellectual who often opines in columns and on his blog — from liberal fighter for social justice to Trump voter and right-wing critic of political correctness and so-called “woke” culture.”
Pattis is described in the article as brilliant.
“Pattis’ critics and admirers don’t agree on much, but they do agree on one thing: He’s very good at what he does. He has the courtroom victories and hate mail to prove it. “He’s a natural-born trial lawyer,” says New Haven civil rights lawyer John Williams, Pattis’ legal mentor and former law partner.”
On the other hand, “Hugh Keefe, one of New Haven’s most experienced trial lawyers, praises Pattis’ intelligence and legal skills, but says he is at times “gratuitously cruel.” Pattis, Keefe says, “sometimes seems to be fighting something inside.”