Man Actually Hires a High-Profile National Security Lawyer to Fight a $60 Traffic Ticket

Stock photo of a police officer writing a traffic ticket to a driver

Getting a traffic ticket is never a fun experience. A lot of the time it’s because of something you didn’t even realize was wrong in the first place, and you’re stuck having to pay the fee. You can always dispute the charge in traffic court, but that requires you to take time off from work, hope the police officer that gave you the ticket doesn’t show up, and maybe the judge will cut you a break. Or, you can go above and beyond by hiring a high-end lawyer from Washington D.C. to fight the charges.

That was the case when 24-year-old data analyst Joshua Tishman received a traffic violation for flashing his high beams at another driver who cut him off in traffic. Specifically, he was charged with “Failure to Use Multiple-Beam Road Lighting Equipment at Level Required for Safe Driving.”

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Instead of just paying the $60 traffic ticket, according to The Washington Post, Tishman enlisted the services of Mark Zaid, an attorney from D.C. who was part of the legal team that represented a whistleblower involved in a National Security case. On top of that, Zaid also charges $600-per-hour.

According to Zaid, he chose to take up the case to stand up for what is right, as well as have a little fun for himself.

Considering that Zaid handles some very serious cases on behalf of the U.S. government, it is fair to say that he can handle a simple traffic ticket. His reputation preceded him, arriving in court very prepared by disputing the charge against Tishman by citing a similar Montana case where one driver was pulled over for the same reason. According to Montana’s Supreme Court, they ruled that flashing high beams in uncertain situations wasn’t hazardous. Otherwise, it would have been written into state law.

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On the other end, Maryland State Troopers defended the officer’s decision to issue the traffic ticket saying that drivers flashing their high beams could potentially “evoke an unintended reaction from another driver, and it can actually make a situation more dangerous.”

When it was all over, the case worked out in Tishman’s favor. He pled not guilty to the charges, the state trooper that issued the ticket had to testify at another case and never returned to court, and Zaid provided $7,500 worth of legal work for the data analyst pro bono.

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