MOTIONS IN LIMINE:
From the Hercules and the Umpire Blog , run by Federal District Court Judge Richard Kopf, District Of Nebraska:
I hate motions in limine. A motion in limine is like a condom. It is intended to stop something before it starts. Thus, lawyers file motions in limine to stop the other party from presenting prejudicial evidence to a jury.
I came across this response to the prosecution's motion in limine to prohibit the defense from referring to them as "the government" :
speech code. First, the Defendant no longer wants to be called "the Defendant." This rather archaic term of art, obviously has a fairly negative connotation. It unfairly demeans, and
dehumanizes Mr. Donald Powell. The word "defendant" should be banned. At trial, Mr. Powell hereby demands 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." Obviously, this terminology need only extend throughout the
duration of the trial — not to any pre-trial motions. During its heroic struggle against the State, the Resistance goes on the attack, not just the defense.
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 entire response is here.
The lawyer who drafted and filed that response is the aptly named "Drew Justice". This guy is not just good, he is great. Isn't this the kind of lawyer you would want fighting for you? Captain Justice, Guardian of the Realm and Leader of the Resistance has entered the REGJB Rumpole Hall of Fame.
CLOSING ARGUMENT: DUTY, HONOR, COUNTRY:
On a more serious note is local lawyer Roy Black's comments about closing arguments and the speeches of General Douglas McArthur. In particular, Mr. Black is enamored with General McArthur's famous farewell address to the Corps at West Point: