Recent 'Champion of Liberty Award' Winner Diane Polan Passes Away

Longtime criminal defense lawyer Diane "Cookie" Polan of New Haven, known by her colleagues and the rest of the bar as fierce yet kind, passed away Friday morning.

This content has been archived. It is available exclusively through our partner LexisNexis®.

To view this content, please continue to Lexis Advance®.

Continue to Lexis Advance®

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber? Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® is now the exclusive third party online distributor of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® customers will be able to access and use ALM's content by subscribing to the LexisNexis® services via Lexis Advance®. This includes content from the National Law Journal®, The American Lawyer®, Law Technology News®, The New York Law Journal® and Corporate Counsel®, as well as ALM's other newspapers, directories, legal treatises, published and unpublished court opinions, and other sources of legal information.

ALM's content plays a significant role in your work and research, and now through this alliance LexisNexis® will bring you access to an even more comprehensive collection of legal content.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at

What's being said

  • William Doriss

    Guess who will not be voting for Shillary? And I‘m a life-long, New England liberal and registered Democrab. I have written on the internet multiple times that CONnecticut is a veritable Bermuda Triangle of the Legal Mind. Of that, there is NO doubt, and the women are taking over the judiciary with a vengeance. All of the significant parties to my prosecution and defense at New Haven Superior Court were women. The prosecution table was full of women. The judges were women. Me lead Public Pretender was a woman. My probation officer was a woman; her supervisor was a woman. They were "riding me". The handwriting was on the wall; I was going to prison--and there was absolutely nothing I could do about. Where was Diane when I needed her? Where were the lawyers? No more women on the SCOTUS. Three is enough! Where was the defense bar? Answer: MIA. I sought political asylum in a neighboring jurisdiction. So far, so good. I have been called for jury service twice here, and served once. The prosecutor was female; the judge was female; the jury forelady was female. The defendant was male. Guilty as charged! Not as long as my vote counts: Not Guilty,... "Mistrial," the judge inaudibly whispered. She made My Day, and one poor schmuck got lucky. That does not happen too often. People are stewpid. Jurors are people. Therefore, juries are stewpid, in my experience. I have attended and blogged on another noteworthy trial for murder in my jurisdiction. Once again, they got the wrong man. You can watch me on YouTube under William Doriss--spelled correctly--and William Dorris, spelled incorrectly. The &

  • William Doriss

    The first words I ever heard out of Mr. Pattis‘s mouth were, "Look, we defense lawyers work hard; we have to get paid!" Are you kidding me, or are you just plain stewpid?!? There‘s another criminal defense booster par excellence. Yea, he‘s a good talker, like most polyticians. Oops,... most polyticians are lawyers. Think Billary Clintons! P.S., I claim to have one of the most important cases in the history of CT jurisprudence during the 2000s, and/or perhaps the most recent decades in the state. This is due to the sheer number of issues and complexity of the cases. Nobody wants to dig deep. There are many issues which not one person has looked at in sixteen years--no one has read the 500 page trial transcript: False arrest in the City, excessive bail, overcharging ("piling-on" of charges not in the police report), multiple useless visits to the courthouse where nothing was accomplished over a two year period, violations of multiple Constituitional rights, violations of due process and procedure, testilying under oath by two police officers and five witnesses at trial, ineffective assistance of counsel, etc. You get the idea? Same ol‘ sh!t, different day, and I‘m not even a minority or a Hispanic. I‘m native-born WASP, grew up in the bloody state, went to college two times, served his country in the armed forces during wartime, received an honorable discharge, started his own busyness, and so on. And bye the way, paid ALL his child support, plus more! Of course the State of CT knows nothing of this, but if you should fail to pay, you can rest assured that they WILL send you to one of their stewpid prisons. Can U say "Prison-Industrial Complex"? You do not get a reward for paying your child support--not in CT--or a badge; not even a thank-you note. Just pay, pay, pay! And then pay some more. If this can happen to me, imagine what happens to all the other poor schmucks out there, day in and day out. NPR reported yesterday that ten teenagers and young men are killed by police in Amerika every day. (Nine or ten are black or Hispanic.) Not every week, not every month; every day. This is outrageous. If I were not white in the City of New Haven, I would most likely have been murdered. Not by some local thug, but by The Department of Police Service. This is crazy. It‘s out of control across the country, and CT is no exception. The CT defense bar is totally useless in my experience. I‘m sorry for Diane, but she fell short of the mark,... in my case. Am sorry she never called back. Am sorry she was short with me. My guess is, she was not interested, simpley. Too busy with her feminist agenda and gender concerns. Perhaps, too stressed-out. It‘s a shame. The &

  • William Doriss

    Part II. The &

  • William Doriss

    I never knew Diane, but this I do know: Fourteen years ago I called her at the recommendation of Sally Joughin, from People Against Injustice, New Haven. I was active with the group from the time of my false arrests until the time I left the jurisdiction of CONnecticut. I left a message. At 3:55, she called me back, inquiring as to what the call was "all about"? My cases were complicated with many issues, twist and turns. I started talking--emotionally--not realizing I was taking up her precious time. After a couple of minutes, she interrupted and said, "Look, I have to pick up my daughter at four o‘clock,..." She was clearly annoyed and in a hurry to end the call. I hung up and never called back. No luv lost between me and the great FemiNazi, Yale-educated defense lawyer Diane, who is so widely regarded and now gets this wonderful award. Will she be rewarded in Heaven? Inquiring Minds demand answers! Gratis: Mr. Thomas Ullmann. Yes, we know him too. He failed in his defense of Mr. Ed Grant for murder at Superior Court, New Haven, 2002. Yes, we were in attendance. It was bizarre and surreal to the nth degree. They got the wrong man. Mr. Grant is innocent, am fully convinced, and falsely convicted. I wrote a letter to The New Haven Register, expressing my views. My letter was published in its entirety, without editing. My letter is the only letter published regarding the outcome of the trial. I called the prosecutor, Mr. James Clark, a nitwit, or words to the same effect. I believe you can search this letter. I feel as strongly today as I did then. Would not change one word. When New Haven Detective Billy White got pinched by the Federales some twelve years ago, Mr. Ullmann was quoted in the local press as being a neighbor and calling Billy a great guy. We knew otherwise from the hood: He ran the local "beat-down possee". When we confronted him once when he was whaling on some poor black kid across the street, he threatened to rip my head off. True story. I saw it with my own two eyes, and tried to intervene as a concerned citizen and member of the community. There was nothing I or anyone could do. They have all the guns; you have nothing. When I filed a federal Chapter 1984 federal civil rights lawsuit against the City of New Haven and the State of CONnecticut for false arrest and malicious prosecution, Mr. Ullmann said it would go nowhere. Why, I asked? He said, "Because you don‘t know how to file a motion". I was representing myself pro se. I was unable to get Diane Polan, or Norm Pattis, or any other CT lawyer, or non-profit, to help me. The best that PAI could do was to refer me to greedy incompetents such as the above. Mr. Ullmann was correct. How did he know that my federal case, my appearance at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals and being docketed with the Supreme Court of the U.S. of A. would fail? Yes, Virginia, the criminal justice system is--in Donald‘s words--"rigged". You have no rights when there is no possibility of relief when your so-called rights are violated at the local, state, and/or federal level. Go to for exegeses on these topics. We might as well be living in Russia or China.

Comments are not moderated. To report offensive comments, click here.

Preparing comment abuse report for Article #1202770458893

Thank you!

This article's comments will be reviewed.

Recommended for You