Alex Jones lawyer’s license is suspended for releasing sensitive records

Norman Pattis cannot practice in Connecticut after releasing medical records of Sandy Hook families during Infowars host’s trial

A judge has suspended the license of a lawyer who was representing Alex Jones when the attorney appeared to have accidentally released sensitive court records surrounding the defamation lawsuits after the Sandy Hook school killings that the notorious conspiracy theorist lost.

In a court order that she issued on Thursday, Connecticut judge Barbara Bellis suspended New Haven-based Norman Pattis from practicing law in the state for six months.

Bellis, who decried Pattis’s actions as “inexcusable” and an “abject failure”, wrote: “We cannot expect our system of justice or our attorneys to be perfect, but we can expect fundamental fairness and decency.”

Pattis had sent out medical records pertaining to some of the families of those killed during the Sandy Hook attack, along with other information that was considered confidential, Bellis’s ruling showed.

Despite Pattis’s claim that the release of the records was an “inadvertent mistake”, Bellis “flatly rejects” the claim. In her court order, she wrote that “there was no fairness or decency” in how Pattis handled “sensitive and personal information” at the center of a lawsuit in which the families of Sandy Hook victims accused Jones of using the shooting that killed 26 at the school to build his audience and make millions of dollars through his false claims that the tragedy was a hoax aimed at forcing the US to accept gun reform.

“At a basic level, attorneys must competently and appropriately handle the discovery of sensitive materials in civil cases. Otherwise, our civil system, in which discovery of sensitive information is customary and routine, would simply collapse,” Bellis continued.

An assistant of another attorney for Jones, in a related case in Texas, mistakenly sent their legal adversaries Jones’s text messages that contradicted sworn statements from Jones claiming he had nothing on his phone related to the deadly school shooting.

Rulings in the lawsuits against Jones in Texas, where he resides, and Connecticut, where the Sandy Hook attack occurred, have resulted in Jones being ordered to pay more than $1bn in damages after he was found to have unduly inflicted anguish on victims’ families, among other harm.

In a statement to the Associated Press, Pattis said he plans to challenge the order with a higher court, writing: “We’re looking forward to appellate review.”

Pattis is currently representing a member of the rightwing extremist group Proud Boys in Washington DC who has been criminally charged with seditious conspiracy surrounding the violent January 6 riots that took place at the US Capitol exactly two years ago Friday.


Maya Yang

The GuardianTramp

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