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."
In May, fed up with Justice referring to prosecutors as "the
government," Assistant District Attorney Tammy Rettig filed a motion to
ban Justice from using the term in trial.
"The State has noticed
in the past few years that it has become commonplace during trials for
attorneys for defendants, and especially Mr. Justice, to refer to
State's attorneys as 'the Government,' " she wrote in her motion. "The
State believes that such a reference is used in a derogatory way and is
meant to make the State's attorney seem oppressive and to inflame the
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,
"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."
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.
Captain Justice, Guardian of the Realm and Leader of the Resistance,
primarily asks that the Court deny the State's motion, as lacking legal