'Game of Thrones' loving lawyer seeks trial by combat to resolve lawsuit

© Igor Russak
In a bid to resolve a legal dispute over fraud in an unconventional way, a New York lawyer has asked the Supreme Court for a trial by combat. Richard A. Luthmann is an aficionado of the Game of Thrones TV series, in which trials by combat are often featured.

Responding to charges that he allegedly helped his client commit fraud, Luthmann wrote in a brief, filed to the Staten Island Supreme Court: “The allegations made by plaintiffs, aided and abetted by their counsel, border upon the criminal. As such, the undersigned [Luthmann] respectfully requests that the court permit the undersigned to dispatch plaintiffs and their counsel to the Divine Providence of the Maker for Him to exact His divine judgment once the undersigned has released the souls of the plaintiffs and their counsel from their corporeal bodies, personally and or by way of a champion.”

According to Luthmann, trials by combat have never been outlawed in New York State or anywhere else in the United States.

“At the times of the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791, trial by combat was not outlawed in any of the Thirteen Original United States (including the State of New York) , all of whom [sic] inherited British common law upon independence in 1776,” he wrote.

The lawyer added that since then, no “American court in post-independence United States, to the undersigned’s knowledge, has addressed the issue, and thus trial by combat remains a right reserved to the people and a valid alternative to civil action.”


Luthmann notes that back in 1774, as “part of the legislative response to the Boston Tea Party, parliament considered a bill which would have abolished appeals of murder and trials by battle in the American colonies. It was successfully opposed by Member of Parliament John Dunning, who called the appeal of murder 'that great pillar of the Constitution.'”

A fight to the death would draw attention to what Luthmann perceives as the ridiculous allegations made against him.

“They want to be absurd about what they're trying to do, then I'll give them back ridiculousness in kind,” the lawyer pledged, Staten Island Live reported.

Court filings reportedly show that Luthmann had represented David Parker, who was involved in a dispute over more than $500,000 he allegedly owed the plaintiffs, and that Luthmann allegedly instructed him to hide his assets “beyond the reach of [his] creditors,” which appears to be a violation of state law.

The plaintiffs allege that Parker wired $50,000 to Luthmann's account in 2013, just five days after the suit was filed in a Manhattan courtroom.

Luthmann has denied any wrongdoing and said in his court filings that Parker paid him a "patently reasonable" fee – $52,500 – for his legal services from November 2012 through May 2013.

He said the plaintiffs "cannot enforce their judgment" so they "look to sue Mr Parker's lawyer."

In his lengthy legal brief, Luthmann wrapped up: “One of the inconveniences of this procedure is that the party who institutes it must be willing, if required, to stake his life in support of his accusation.”