A Connecticut judge suspended the law license of a lawyer for right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after he allegedly improperly released court documents from the Sandy Hook defamation case.
The files included two years of Jones’ text messages, medical records from some of the Sandy Hook families and other confidential discovery items.
“At a basic level, attorneys must competently and appropriately handle the discovery of sensitive materials in civil cases,” Judge Barbara Bellis wrote in a court order that suspended attorney Norman Pattis’ license for six months. “Otherwise, our civil system, in which discovery of sensitive information is customary and routine, would simply collapse.”
Bellis said she “flatly rejected” Pattis’ assertion that his release of the confidential records was an “inadvertent mistake,” writing that Pattis “failed to provide even the minimal amount of attention and care required when it came to handling the plaintiffs’ sensitive discovery materials.”
“We cannot expect our system of justice or out attorneys to be perfect but we can expect fundamental fairness and decency,” Bellis wrote. “There was no fairness or decency in the treatment of the plaintiffs’ most sensitive and personal information, and no excuse for [Pattis’] misconduct.
Despite his license suspension, Pattis is currently on the legal team representing Proud Boys leader Joseph Biggs as he faces trial for seditious conspiracy charges in Washington, DC. Pattis alerted the judge in that case of his suspension Friday morning, saying that he planned to appeal the suspension and would continue representing Biggs.
Pattis will not make any arguments in court on Friday, he said, while he files an appeal and researches whether he can practice law in Washington, DC, despite the Connecticut suspension.
Pattis did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the suspension.