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Game Of Thrones superfan accused of fraud demands trial by combat

Game Of Thrones scene, or New York State Supreme Court trial? You be the judge

How many times have you had this exact same experience: You’re just an average guy, living his life, practicing the law like a good lawyer should. Also, you happen to be a fan of the HBO series Game Of Thrones. Who wouldn’t be? It’s a great show! So one day, you’re out in the world, doin’ your thing, just lawyering it up, maybe dropping the occasional “winter is coming” on the clients you know are guilty when suddenly, you’re charged with aiding a client in committing fraudulent transfer. The law, which you have so nobly served your entire adult life, is suddenly bearing down on you. So, facing these accusations, you do what any reasonable person does in that situation: You demand the right to trial by combat.

That’s exactly what Staten Island (shocker) lawyer Richard Luthmann recently did, as The Wrap reports the attorney filed documents with the New York State Supreme Court, asking for the right to settle his court case via trial by combat to the death. In technical terms, it sounds a little something like this:

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.


Beginning with the 11th century conquest of England by Duke William II of Normandy, as any lawyer having trouble distinguishing between American law and Game Of Thrones likely should, Luthmann outlines the history of the practice, pointing out that no U.S. Court has ever outlawed this form of justice. “Since [1776], 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,” he claims, which sounds eminently possible. The only surprising move is that he then didn’t go on to point out that, by this logic, he could also demand the right to trial by Cheetos-eating competition, trial by who can listen to Matchbox 20’s Mad Season album the most times without going insane, and trial by thumb war.

The court has yet to issue an official response to the request, which probably just means the judge is trying to figure out who the State’s champion should be in this upcoming battle. We’re thinking someone from Staten Island might make a good candidate.

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