Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Annals of masterful lawyering

Imagine you are a lawyer who is representing a client who has been convicted of raping his girlfriend while they were both very drunk. Imagine, now, that you are taking this case up on appeal. Imagine that you are looking for an insightful quote to start your brief off with a bang.

A Montana lawyer, Palmer Hoovestal, decided that under these circumstances, the right way to start off his brief was with this quote:

"Don't worry about it... Like he said, we all do dumb shit when we're fucked up." - Mike Tyson, The Hangover

The Montana Supreme Court found this to be more than a little tacky, and delivered a delightful judicial slap in Hoovestal's face.

Belanus' brief on appeal opens with an expletive-laden quote from former boxer Mike Tyson... a peculiar choice for this case, given Tyson's conviction for raping an 18-year-old girl in Indiana in 1992.... The not-so-subtle point of this Tyson quote is that people should be forgiven for outrageous acts committed while extremely intoxicated... and which he now, for whatever reason, believes the court should bear in mind as we consider the legal issues raised in this appeal.

Do you think he won the appeal?

1 comment:

Lucy said...

Ollie, you have the most fucked up cases I've ever heard of. You *have* to write a book about these. Your tongue-in-cheek sarcasm would be perfect.
Plug: Check out You too can be part of the insanity this November!