I’ll admit it. My former life took place in a world where it was uncommon for lawyers to be referred to as “Captain.” However, it was not some weird lawyer Comic-Con. Rather, it was the United States Air Force, where most of the lawyers are junior officers known as Captains. Apparently, there’s a lawyer, Drew Justice of Tennessee, who also wants to be referred to in the courtroom as “Captain” -“Captain Justice,” to be exact. Mr. Justice is neither a military officer nor a super-hero. He’s just a criminal defense lawyer with some creativity and a dream.
This bizarre request actually stems from a prosecutor’s request for the judge stop Mr. Justice from referring to the prosecutors as “The Government.” The rationale being, of course, that everyone hates the government and Mr. Justice was using the term in a derogatory fashion. Mr. Justice was not pleased with this request. Rather than simply acknowledging that the prosecution is an arm of the government or that the prosecution’s request implicated the First Amendment, he went a step further and got creative.
Here’s a list of the creative new titles he requested that the Court use if he could no longer refer to the prosecution as “the government:”
- Rather than “the defendant” his client should be known as “Mister,” “the Citizen Accused” or “that innocent man;”
- Rather than being called defense counsel or counsel for the defendant, he should be known as “Defender of the Innocent” but conceded that he would also alternatively accept “Guardian of the Realm;”
- When being referred to specifically by name, he requested to be called “Captain Justice.”
The tongue in cheek nature of his request certainly gets the point across, but it is doubtful that the court found it too amusing. Still, it is hard not to laugh when reading the conclusion of his filing:
“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.”