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Nov 05 2013

All Hail Captain Justice

I love coming across hilarious legal filings and Alex Songe pointed me to this one that is brilliant. In a criminal case, the prosecutor asked the judge to instruct the defense attorney to stop referring to them as “the government” (as in “the government hasn’t proven its case). This is very common terminology in a courtroom. The defense attorney filed this hysterical response:

Should this Court disagree, and feel inclined to let the parties basically pick their own designations and ban words, then the defense has a few additional suggestions…. First, the Defendant no longer wants to be called “the Defendant.” This rather archaic term of art obviously has a fairly negative connotation…. At trial, Mr. P. hereby demands to be addressed only by his full name, preceded by the title “Mister.”

Alternatively, he may be called simply “the Citizen Accused.” This latter title sounds more respectable than the criminal “Defendant.” The designation “That innocent man” would also be acceptable.

Moreover, defense counsel does not wish to be referred to as a “lawyer,” or a “defense attorney.” Those terms are substantially more prejudicial than probative. See Tenn. R. Evid. 403. Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the “Defender of the Innocent.” This title seems particularly appropriate, because every Citizen Accused is presumed innocent.

Alternatively, counsel would also accept the designation “Guardian of the Realm.”

Further, the Citizen Accused humbly requests an appropriate military title for his own representative, to match that of the opposing counsel. Whenever addressed by name, the name “Captain Justice” will be appropriate. While less impressive than “General,” still, the more humble term seems suitable. After all, the Captain represents only a Citizen Accused, whereas the General represents an entire State.

Along these same lines, even the term “defense” does not sound very likeable. The whole idea of being defensive comes across to most people as suspicious. So to prevent the jury from being unfairly misled by this ancient English terminology, the opposition to the Plaintiff hereby names itself “the Resistance.”

* * *

WHEREFORE, Captain Justice, Guardian of the Realm and Leader of the Resistance, primarily asks that the Court deny the State’s motion, as lacking legal basis. Alternatively, the Citizen Accused moves for an order in limine modifying the speech code as aforementioned, and requiring any other euphemisms and feel-good terms as the Court finds appropriate.

The defense attorney’s actual last name, by the way, is Justice.

12 comments

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  1. 1
    lldayo

    That made my day. Did the judge allow it?

  2. 2
    lldayo

    Never mind. I didn’t read the whole article.

  3. 3
    Trebuchet

    I thought I was reading Popehat for a minute there.

  4. 4
    Alverant

    In the podcast “Decoder Ring Theater” there’s a PI named Jack Justice. I wonder if they’re related.

  5. 5
    Reginald Selkirk

    Viva la resistance!

  6. 6
    John Pieret

    Two words: “brilliant” and “envy”!

  7. 7
    freehand

    If they lob you an easy one, you’re pretty much obligated to hit it out of the park, yes?

  8. 8
    busterggi

    Personally I enjoy reading the adventures of Captain Justice, the British boy’s magazine/pulp hero from the ’30′s – kinda like a more juvenile Doc Savage.

    Alverant – love Decoder Ring Theater, you need to try the Thrilling Adventure Hour.

  9. 9
    Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden

    Sitting in a law school lobby after class & before catching a bus home, having had to read some really ridiculous government arguments this past week, I cannot tell you how much this made my freakin’ day.

  10. 10
    democommie

    The prosecutor doesn’t want to hear “the government”? Okay, howzabout, “The State’s lickspittle lackey”?

  11. 11
    Johnny Vector

    “Justice has a name. And the name it has, aside from ‘Justice’, is, um… Yeah, let’s go with ‘Justice’.”

  12. 12
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Possibly the best response to a stupid legal request EVAR™.

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