Hello and welcome to The Law Office of Jerome Paun. Please allow me to introduce myself. I am Attorney Jerome Paun. I want to thank you for visiting my website.
I have been a practicing attorney since 1980. For many years, I was a labor lawyer representing labor unions and their members in labor and employment matters. In the late 1990s, at the request of some union members, I expanded my law practice to include criminal defense. Since then, my criminal defense practice has grown to the point where it is all I do. I now only defend clients against Connecticut criminal charges, drunk driving and other motor vehicle offenses, and juvenile delinquency charges.
As a solo practitioner, I am responsible for proudly representing each and every one of my clients personally. I am honored to have been selected as one of the top 100 Connecticut criminal defense attorneys by the American Society of Legal Advocates and The National Trial Lawyers since 2014. I am proud to have earned a "Superb" 10.0 rating as a top Connecticut criminal defense lawyer from Avvo.com. And I am proud to have earned their "Clients' Choice" awards each year since 2013.
What I Believe About Defending People in Criminal Cases
When I defend a person charged with a crime, I not only defend that client but also all the rest of us. People don't realize that it is the criminal defense attorney who puts the brakes on the state's enormous apparatus for incarcerating people. The United States incarcerates people at the highest rate in the world (over 700 people per 100,000 population)! Without criminal defense lawyers challenging the state's police power, the state could lock-up all of us for no reason at all, without regard for our constitutional rights! Criminal defense lawyers are the first-line defense against the tyranny of a police state. By vigorously defending my clients' constitutional rights day-in and day-out, I stop the state from arresting people and locking them up for no good reason at all.
I believe in those constitutional rights that some regard as mere technicalities. Those constitutional rights and the criminal defense lawyers who vigorously defend them are our protection against becoming a police state. I am very proud to stand with other criminal defense lawyers defending our liberty and democracy as well as our clients.
An Effective Criminal Defense Attorney
Potential clients often ask if I am aggressive (as if that were an important trait in a criminal defense lawyer)? The answer is, I am effective. I want to be as effective as possible in getting the best possible results for my clients.
Aggression usually breeds aggression. Aggression defies effectiveness. Think about it for a minute, do you usually get what you want from someone by being aggressive toward them? Don’t they usually meet your aggression with resistance to you and what you want?
Aggressive behavior is not an effective criminal defense. Most of the time, there is a smarter and better way to achieve the best result.
Since 97-98 percent of all cases in Connecticut criminal courts are resolved without trial, good negotiating skills are necessary to persuade prosecutors and judges to give clients the best outcomes. During my many years as a union-side labor lawyer, I developed excellent negotiating skills that now benefit my criminal defense clients. In most cases, the best results for my clients are achieved through diversionary programs or negotiated plea agreements.
When diversionary programs are unavailable and negotiation fails to achieve an acceptable result, trial is frequently the only alternative. If a trial becomes necessary, I am perfectly willing and able to go to trial and fight to defend my clients' rights and freedom in front of a judge and jury.
Education & Life Experience
I grew up in a working-class neighborhood of New York City in the 1950s and '60s. I graduated from Andrew Jackson High School in 1968. While still a high school student, I began my life-long involvement in the civil rights movement.
After graduating high school, I continued my higher education at the State University College at Brockport, New York, receiving my Bachelor of Science degree with academic honors (cum laude) and dual majors in philosophy and political science. My college education included a deepening commitment to the struggle for civil rights and as part of that commitment, I became active in the anti-war movement.
While in high school and throughout my college years, I worked summers as a New York City lifeguard in Rockaway, saving lives and protecting the safety of the public that enjoyed the ocean beach. After college graduation in 1972 and briefly working as a New York City taxicab driver, I worked for two years as a Volunteer In Service To America (VISTA). I served poor people as a criminal defense paralegal in Rochester, New York.
During my last months in VISTA, I was recruited into a new Master of Arts degree program in political science for urban administration, launched by the State University College at Brockport, New York. I completed my master’s degree in 1975 and applied to law school.
I earned my Juris Doctor degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo Law School in 1979. After successfully competing against my fellow law students, I was one of only three first-year law students selected to join the Moot Court Board, the student organization that competes against other law schools in moot court competitions. Upon graduation, I was admitted to the Order of Barristers, an honor awarded to law students who excel in moot court competition. While attending law school, I wrote and secured a foundation grant to fund several law students, including myself, to work part-time with Prisoners Legal Services of New York, providing legal assistance to inmates incarcerated in New York State prisons.