‘Game of Thrones’ Fan Demands Trial by Combat in Supreme Court Case
If you’re a fan of Game of Thrones, you know that trial by combat doesn’t end well — a character must fight to the death to prove his innocence. If he lives, he’s innocent. If he dies, he’s guilty. One Game of Thrones super-fan thinks this is a great idea, and is attempting to invoke his right to trial by combat in the New York State Supreme Court.
According to The Wrap, Staten Island lawyer Richard Luthmann has been accused of aiding a client in committing a fraudulent wire transfer. Luthmann, a self-professed Game of Thrones fan of questionable judgment, has petitioned the court to allow him to prove his innocence in trial by combat. The lawyer’s court filing reads:
Defendant invokes the common law writ of right and demands his common law right to Trial By Combat as against plaintiffs and their counsel, whom plaintiff wishes to implead into the Trial By Combat by writ of right.
Luthmann also provided a detailed history of trial by combat in court cases, which dates back to the 11th Century when Duke William II of Normandy conquered England. The lawyer also notes that no U.S. court has ever denied a client’s right to this practice — probably because no one has ever requested a trial by combat:
Since , no American court in post-independence United States to the undersigned’s knowledge has addressed the issue, and thus the trial by combat remains a right reserved to the people and a valid alternative to civil action.
The lawyer does sort of have a point — if it has never been outlawed, it’s technically legal. But maybe the reason why our government has never legislated against the practice is because no one has ever been stupid enough to attempt trial by combat. In the history of stupid things we’ve done in America, the fact that we’ve never had to outlaw this practice because we’ve never had a reason to do so is pretty impressive.
Most recently, Tyrion Lannister requested trial by combat on Game of Thrones Season 4, allowing Oberyn Martell to serve as his “champion” (his proxy) in the battle, which ultimately ended…let’s just say it did not end well.
What’s even more curious about this case is that someone who could be persuaded by a TV series to believe that trial by combat is a viable way to determine innocence was somehow given a license to practice law.