An attorney for Infowars founder Alex Jones has been suspended from practicing law for six months after a judge determined he gave Sandy Hook families’ confidential medical records to people who weren’t authorized to have them.
Norman Pattis represented Jones in a defamation case in Connecticut brought by several families of the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. The 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School left 26 people, including 20 children, dead.
Barbara Bellis, a superior court judge in Connecticut, ruled on Thursday that Pattis acted “knowingly and intentionally in disregard” of his obligations to respect a protective order from the court that designated the Sandy Hook families’ medical and mental health records as confidential.
The families’ medical records were reportedly passed to several other people connected to Jones’s various legal battles who were not authorized to access the documents.
“The Connecticut plaintiffs’ sensitive information which should have been safeguarded and which was also protected by the court order was carelessly passed around from one unauthorized individual to another, without regard for the protective order, and with no effort to safeguard the Connecticut plaintiffs’ sensitive, confidential documents,” Bellis said in her decision.
She added that, given Pattis’s extensive experience practicing law in Connecticut for nearly 30 years, “there is no acceptable excuse for his misconduct.”
Jones, who spread false claims that the shooting was a hoax, was ordered to pay nearly $1.5 billion in damages to the Sandy Hook families in the Connecticut case. The Infowars founder was also ordered to pay another $50 million in damages to the parents of a Sandy Hook victim in a separate defamation case in Texas.