Beam Me Up, Your Honor

New York State Judge Joseph L. Latwin showed his geek cred in footnote 2 of People v Wilkins, 40 Misc. 3d 1207(A), 1207A (N.Y. City Ct. 2013). The case involved a Defendant charged with Aggravated Driving while Intoxicated and Driving while Intoxicated. Here is what the Court found:

Here, there was sufficient circumstantial evidence from which the jury may have found operation. Defendant’s vehicle was not present at about 11 a.m. but was there, when defendant was found in it around 1:00 p.m. The engine running. Defendant was slumped over the wheel of the vehicle. In keeping with the above cited cases from the Appellate Term, 9th Judicial district cited above, this is sufficient circumstantial evidence from which the jury could have inferred that the defendant operated the vehicle on August 1, 2012 between 11:00 a.m. and 12:55 p.m. Defendant offered no evidence that another drove the vehicle in Rye, that the vehicle was pushed or propelled through Rye by animal or human muscular power, was placed there by Divine intervention, was airlifted or towed there, appeared as the result of a magic trick or illusion, or was teleported down from space n2 to Cedar Street. Other than the defendant driving there, there was no explanation (rational or otherwise) or any evidence from which any other inference could be drawn of how the defendant’s vehicle got to Cedar Street in Rye – a block away and around the corner from Kelly’s Sea Level Bar.

FOOTNOTES

n2 There was no evidence that the Starship Enterprise was in the vicinity of Rye at the time – the original Star Trek having aired from 1966 to 1969. Scotty passed away in 2005.

People v Wilkins, 40 Misc. 3d 1207(A), 1207A (N.Y. City Ct. 2013).

Judge Latwin has a way of making his point. He not only flew his geek flag, but ran up a whole semaphore message referencing magic tricks or that animals pulled the car to the final location in the case. Quite the judicial Picard Maneuver.

The good judge highlighted the fact judges have hobbies, are well-read, have a sharp wit and can add pop culture to an opinion to send a message.

Live Long and Prosper, Your Honor.

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Josh Gilliland
Josh Gilliland is a California attorney who focuses his practice on eDiscovery. Josh is the co-creator of The Legal Geeks, which has made the ABA Journal Top Blawg 100 Blawg for 2013 to 2016, and was nominated for Best Podcast for the 2015 Geekie Awards. Josh has presented at legal conferences and comic book conventions across the United States. He also ties a mean bow tie.

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