The “opinion piece” filed on February 11, 2015 by Attorney Norm Pattis on the Connecticut Law Tribune website contained substantial errors, misrepresentations and “misrememberances” in the article entitled: “Despite Allegations, Family Courts Aren’t Corrupt.”
There was no apology which was posted by the editorial staff of the Connecticut Law Tribune for posting in paragraph three erroneous information in the original story issued by Attorney Pattis, who was immediately contacted by phone, email and his Twitter account to correct these “misrepresentations and misremembrances” of testimony by “disgruntled litigants” at the confirmation hearings on January 23, 2015 involving Judge Stephen Frazzini.
Inasmuch as the transcripts of the public hearings on January 23, 2015 are now posted on the judiciary committee’s webpage which validate there was no “testimony by disgruntled parents” as Attorney Pattis originally reported.
While the CLT staff didn’t post a “corrected information” on line until late in the afternoon, on February 12, 2015, there was no recognition by the CLT editors and management contacted on Friday, February 13, 2015 that the article by Attorney Pattis was a clear violation of Rule 3.6 (a) of the Connecticut Rules of Professional Conduct.
Despite the management of ALM being contacted about these concerns seeking the withdrawal of the article both on line and in the print edition of the Connecticut Law Tribune, Paul Sussman, the editor of the Connecticut Law Tribune confirmed by telephone on February 15, 2015 that the CLT on line and print version would contain this story.
Rule 3.6 (a) concerns the subject of Trial Publicity:
“A lawyer who is participating or has participated in the investigation or litigation of a matter shall not make an extrajudicial statement that the lawyer knows or reasonably should know will be disseminated by means of public communication and will have a substantial likelihood of materially prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in the matter.”
So, inasmuch as Attorney Pattis has used his editorial epee to inappropriately comment on a Judge’s confirmation hearing in attempts to interfere with prejudicing an adjudicative proceeding in which Judge Frazzini was participating, Attorney Pattis appears to be “impervious” to his own responsibilities to self enforce the Rules of Professional Conduct.
Statewide Bar Counsel’s Attorney Michael Bowler, and senior judiciary officials, including external affairs director Melissa Farley, Chief Administrative Judge Patrick Carroll and Deputy Chief Administrative Judge Elliot Solomon refused to intervene upon my request to seek the removal of the article in both the on line and print editions when contacted on February 15, 2015.
So, the issue of “public corruption” is demonstrated when lawyers protect lawyers when misconduct is alleged, judges protect lawyers when misconduct is alleged, and no one is willing to step forward who has the duty and authority to protect the “public interest in the integrity of the judiciary system”.
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