Benchslaps, Legal Ethics

Lawyer Smacks Judge Repeatedly With Flyswatter

So it’s come to this. We live in a world where the headline “Lawyer Smacks Judge Repeatedly With Flyswatter” had to be written. That jumble of words came together to honestly describe an actual event.

If you’re still pining to live in a world of trial by combat, have we got the court for you. Consider this the logical progression from a world where judges feel free to physically benchslap attorneys in the hallway — because now the lawyers are fighting back and there are weapons involved.

Granted a plastic flyswatter lacks the heroic appeal of Prince Oberyn’s spear, but it’s a terrifying weapon nonetheless because nobody wants to be hit in the face with a flyswatter.

Watch the rise of alternative dispute resolution take another unsuspected swerve off the road in this closed circuit video feed….

Did we mention that no one wants to be hit in the face with a flyswatter?

The killing end of a fly swatter should be used for one thing and one thing only, to endlessly pursue the extinction of flies. Nothing else. I treat the lethal end of a fly swatter like it’s triple coated in AIDS.


Evgeniy Tankov, a 35-year-old attorney in Kazakhstan, was unhappy with both a judge’s ruling and the fact that most of us think that Borat was unfairly mocking Kazakhstan. Tankov decided to cure both issues in the most logical way possible — he took up a flyswatter.

But with things not going his way in court, CCTV footage shows him approach the judge and say: “Let’s not hang about arguing the law here, let’s decide this with flyswatters.”

He then brandishes the flyswatter, and slaps the judge who at first tries to ignore it despite being hit three times.

I guess security is pretty lax in Kazakhstan. I’ll bet they’ll let you take your Blackberry in too. Wait a minute. Where are they? Is this a courtroom? It looks kind of cramped.

The video makes Kazakhstani justice look pretty laughable, but it’s what isn’t in the video that really shows why Kazakhstan sucks: no one seemed the least bit phased that a lawyer brought a flyswatter into the courtroom. He’s standing around with the thing for the entire proceeding before he started beating the judge and nobody said, “Hey, Evgeniy, why the f**k are you carrying around a flyswatter?” And if he’s really saying “let’s decide this with flyswatters” like it’s some kind of medieval duel, are we to believe the judge is armed with a flyswatter too? Is the country so overrun that everyone is packing plastic?

But Artem Ibragilov, 39, the lawyer for the other side, was clearly not prepared to sit by.

Instead he stands up and punches Tankov, a lawyer from Karaganda, the capital of Karagandy Province in central Kazakhstan.

Seconds later the judge comes round and starts wrestling with Tankov as well.

“Clearly not prepared to sit by”? That unjustly lionizes him a bit. Ibragilov didn’t courageously stand up for courtroom decorum, he waited until the guy’s back was turned and rabbit punched him. That’s almost as much of a dick move as slapping someone with a flyswatter. Then he completely gets out of the way once the judge gets involved — I guess we’ll call it a benchzapping in this case. We should really be focusing on how much of a wuss Ibragilov is.

As one would expect, Tankov faces upward of 10 years for attacking the judge. He’s also been barred from practicing — removing one more lawyer from the streets of Kazakhstan.

Which means it’s about time for Slate to write an article explaining why now is a good time to apply to law school in Astana.

Watch lawyer attack judge with FLYSWATTER after decision left him fuming [Daily Mirror]
Lawyer Doesn’t Like Judge’s Ruling So He Does The Humane Thing And Smacks Him In The Face With A Fly Swatter [Barstool Sports]

Earlier: Trial By Combat: It Was Real And Spectacular [ATL Redline]
Judge Beats Up Public Defender
The ATL Markup Of Slate’s ‘Apply To Law School Now!’ Article

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