Friday, November 1, 2013

'Captain Justice' appears in a Tennessee Court

CRL&P is happy to share this fascinating story about a local defense attorney whose passionate advocacy on behalf of his client gave us this:

When prosecutors in Williamson County tried to ban a defense attorney from referring to them as "the government" in court, defense attorney Drew Justice had a demand of his own:

From now on, call me "Captain Justice."

The prosecution apparently thought that reference to it as "the government" was pejorative and was an attempt to prejudice its case, so naturally it filed a motion to quell the term's use. But, Captain Justice was about to loosen his tie.

Justice fired off his own motion in response. It included conventional references to case law, the First Amendment — technical stuff that one would expect in a court filing.

And then he got creative.

If the court sided with Rettig, he demanded his client no longer be referred to as "the Defendant," but instead be called "Mister," "the Citizen Accused" or "that innocent man" — since all defendants are presumed innocent until a judge or jury finds them guilty. As for himself, clearly "lawyer" or "defense attorney" wouldn't do him, well, justice.

"Rather, counsel for the Citizen Accused should be referred to primarily as the 'Defender of the Innocent.' … Alternatively, counsel would also accept the designation 'Guardian of the Realm,' " Justice wrote.

And since prosecutors are often referred to formally as "General" in court, Justice, in an effort to be flexible, offered up a military title of his own.

"Whenever addressed by name, the name 'Captain Justice' will be appropriate."

Gathering steam, he went on to say that even "the defense" wasn't adequate and that "the Resistance" would be far more appropriate.

He then concluded his motion, returning to the formal language of court documents — sort of.

"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."

The prosecution reportedly was "disappointed" by Captain Justice's response, and wanted to keep its mind on the specifics of the case.

Happy Friday!

Current Affairs, First Amendment, Freedom of Speech | Permalink


I saw a defense attorney in New York refer to the prosecutor as those government schmucks. The judge reprimanded him for imputing government employees such as the judge himself but said he was free to call the guy a schmuck.

Posted by: Liberty1st | Nov 1, 2013 1:04:01 PM

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