A battle of semantics between two US lawyers has culminated in one requesting to be referred to as “Captain Justice” in a surreal court filing that has swept the internet over the weekend…
The dispute began after Tennessee Assistant District Attorney General Tammy Rettig filed a motion to prevent the defence referring to the prosecution as “the government”. Rettig suggested that such a use of language was designed to “make the State’s attorneys seem oppressive and to inflame the jury”.
This riled defence lawyer Drew Justice (yes, that’s his real name), who responded with a filing in which he accused the prosecution of having “precisely zero legal authority for its rather nitpicky position”.
But Justice didn’t stop there. “Should this Court disagree, and feel inclined to let the parties basically pick their own designations and ban words,” he continued, “then the defense has a few additional suggestions for amending the speech code.”
Among the suggestions was that defence lawyers be referred to as either, “Defender of the Innocent”, “Guardian of the Realm”, “Leader of the Resistance” or “Captain Justice”.
As for the term “defendant”, that should be banned, asserted Justice, and replaced with “the Citizen Accused”, or, even better, “That innocent man”.
The full filing is below.