Alex Jones’ lawyer on Sandy Hook leak: ‘Worst day’ of career

WATERBURY — The attorney who ran Alex Jones’ defense in the Sandy Hook defamation trial in Texas testified in a disciplinary hearing Thursday that he was shocked to learn his office had leaked confidential medical records of grieving families that were protected by a court order.

“It was the worst day of my legal career,” said Andino Reynal, Jones’ lead attorney in Texas, testifying on Thursday in state Superior Court in Waterbury how he reacted when he found out during the Texas trial that medical records from a Sandy Hook defamation case in Connecticut had been sent by his office to the lawyers for two parents who won a defamation case against Jones in Texas. “I was surprised by it in court…and I immediately looked for a way to claw the information back.”

Reynal’s admission on Thursday that he was “very, very worried about what happened” was in contrast to the stoic testimony of New Haven defense attorney Norm Pattis, who is running Jones’ defense in a Connecticut defamation awards trial set to begin on Sept. 13. Pattis refused to answer questions on the witness stand about his role in the leak, citing his rights under the Fifth Amendment 25 times.

State Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis, who suspended jury selection Thursday and Friday in the upcoming Connecticut trial specifically to decide whether to discipline Reynal and Pattisgave both sides 10 days to make arguments about the implications of Pattis refusing to answer questions in his own disciplinary hearing.

What that means for a speedy ruling from Bellis on the discipline question remains to be seen, except to say the judge ordered closing arguments for Sept. 2.

During a hearing on the same discipline question last weekChris Mattei, the lead attorney for an FBI agent and eight Sandy Hook families who won a defamation lawsuit against Jones last year, testified that Pattis had sent him an email saying, “’I or my office may have violated the order of protection. ”

Thursday’s hearing comes three weeks after a Texas jury awarded $49 million in damages to the parents of a slain Sandy Hook boy Jones defamed when he called 2012 slaying of 20 first-graders and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School “staged,” “synthetic,” “manufactured,” “a giant hoax,” and “completely fake with actors.”

The hearing is less than a month before the start of a second jury trial in Waterbury to determine how much Jones must pay the FBI agent and eight families he defamed.

In the meanwhile, Bellis said she is determined to rule on whether Pattis and Reynal should be disciplined.

Pattis in earlier court documents argued that he did nothing wrong by sharing information in the Connecticut case with Jones’ lead bankruptcy attorney, as that attorney was the attorney of record at the time.

Jones has twice filed bankruptcy for companies he controls.

It was Jones’ lead bankruptcy attorney who shared information containing confidential medical records of Sandy Hook families with Reynal, Reynal tested in court on Thursday. In turn, Reynal’s office sent the information to the Texas attorneys for the parents of the other boy.

Reynal’s defense attorney asked if he or Reynal’s assistant sent the confidential information knowingly.

No, Reynal responded Thursday.

“How did that happen?” Bellis asked Reynal on the stand.

“I asked my secretary to share a specific file, and it housed the folder structure that contained the (Sandy Hook families’ confidential medical records),” Reynal said.

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