Court overturns suspension of Alex Jones’ lawyer in Sandy Hook case that led to $1.4B judgment

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut court docket on Thursday overturned a six-month suspension given to a lawyer for conspiracy theorist Alex Jones for improperly giving Jones’ Texas attorneys confidential paperwork, together with the medical data of family members of victims of the Sandy Hook Elementary Faculty taking pictures.

The state Appellate Courtroom dominated {that a} choose incorrectly discovered that legal professional Norman Pattis violated sure skilled conduct guidelines and ordered a brand new listening to earlier than a special choose on doable sanctions. The court docket, nevertheless, upheld different misconduct findings by the choose.

Pattis defended Jones in opposition to a lawsuit by most of the Sandy Hook victims’ households that resulted in Jones being ordered to pay greater than $1.4 billion in damages after a jury trial in Connecticut in October 2022.

The households sued Jones for defamation and emotional misery for his repeated claims that the 2012 college taking pictures in Newtown, Connecticut, was a hoax. Twenty first graders and 6 educators had been killed. The households stated Jones’ followers harassed and terrorized them.

The trial choose, Barbara Bellis, suspended Pattis in January 2023, saying he did not safeguard the households’ delicate data in violation of a court docket order, which restricted entry to the paperwork to attorneys within the Connecticut case. She known as his actions an “abject failure” and “inexcusable.”

Pattis had argued there was no proof he violated any conduct guidelines and known as the data launch an “harmless mistake.” His suspension was placed on maintain in the course of the Appellate Courtroom assessment.

“I’m grateful to the appellate court docket panel,” Pattis stated in a textual content message Thursday. “The Jones courtroom was not like any I had ever appeared in.”

Bellis and the state judicial department declined to remark by a spokesperson.

The Sandy Hook households’ legal professionals gave Pattis practically 400,000 pages of paperwork as a part of discovery within the Connecticut case, together with about 4,000 pages that contained the households’ medical data. Pattis’ workplace despatched an exterior exhausting drive containing the data to a different Jones lawyer in Texas, at that legal professional’s request. The Texas lawyer then shared it with one other Jones legal professional.

The data had been by no means publicly launched.

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