Not all arguments are worth the time…to some people. To other people, they want to be right so bad that they’ll take their grudge all the to court to prove they’re right. We’ve seen it on TV–landlords wanting to evict tenants for cats or “serious” back injuries from minor fender benders. But as these lawyers learned, deluded clients exist in real life too.
1. Who Let The Cat Out?
I am a personal injury lawyer, and I work in the UK. I took a call from this potential client that had fallen down the stairs in her own home. She had tripped over her own cat. She told me that she wanted to sue her local authority as the council owned her home and she was not allowed to keep pets as part of her lease.
She claimed that when the house was inspected, no one told her to get rid of the cat. It was therefore the council’s fault that she fell down the stairs. We didn’t take the case.
2. Missing Something
I had a client who wanted to sue because there were no strawberries in her fruit salad which she got from a supermarket. A secretary was able to screen the call, thankfully. She asked if the package said it had strawberries, and the response was, “No, but I thought there would be some in there.” I don’t know how these people make it through life.
3. Tight Squeeze
I had a guy who wanted to bring a class action against the company that made his underwear. His reason for doing this was truly outrageous. He was convinced that his underwear was the reason that he had crooked junk. He assured us that as soon as the jury saw his junk, they would side with him. No, we didn’t take the case.
4. King Of The Hill
A guy found a rock in the middle of Melbourne that he believed came from an underground volcano. Because of this, he therefore believed that he had discovered the volcano and owned the volcano and that the Melbourne city council as well as the Victorian government should pay him rent to live on top of his underground volcano.
5. Vicious And Wild
I once was brought to court by someone who said my dog broke into her house and hurt her dog. She claimed that she had, ahem, bathroom-related samples as proof. The animal control officer involved couldn’t believe what she had to tell me. She showed up to court absolutely high, and the prosecutor couldn’t keep a straight face the entire time she waved a bag of poo around the courtroom. Crazy.
6. Coming Right At Ya
I was sued for $50,000 in college because of something that happened during a snowball fight. I had returned from winter break early to do some prep work for an upcoming debate tournament. I walked from the debate union to the girl’s dorm for some of my partner’s files where my teammates were having the snowball fight.
This one girl, weighing 250 pounds per the ER record, decided to run towards me with some snow. I instinctively grabbed one of her hands and pulled down causing her to flip over my arm and land right on her shoulder. Two years later, I was served with papers. She’s suing for the cost of the surgery to fix her shoulder.
The rub, however, lies in that they can’t do an MRI because she has a fear of enclosed spaces. Also, they can’t sedate her because she has a fear of needles. So, she wants the money for surgery without the actual surgery. Long story short, we settled for $12,000. Some people.
7. Clog In The System
I was a lawyer for twelve long years. By far my most memorable client was the guy who was charged with “taking a mobile toilet.” After we won the case, he told me he still had the toilet. The jerk had kept it in his backyard because he was too lazy to return it, even though its destination was nearby. I forced him to deliver it back that night, and I’m still offended that he lied the entire time.
8. Sphinxed It
My dad is an in-house lawyer for a major insurance company. He once spent an entire year trying to help deny insurance benefits for a painter who had stepped off his ladder onto a cat, fallen down the stairs, and become paralyzed. The insurance company was arguing that a cat was a commonly expected occupational hazard.
They argued that as a painter, he was negligent by not checking for cats before stepping down off his ladder. It took a whole year of my dad’s life arguing over whether a cat is a known occupational hazard of house painting.
9. Dotted Line
A man named Dennis came into my office with charges for driving while intoxicated and operating a vehicle without a valid license. Dennis swore up, down, and sideways to me that it was all overblown. According to him, he hadn’t been drinking, he had a valid license, and he’d never even driven the vehicle in question. I got the feeling like there was more to the story, so I suggested that Dennis go see another local lawyer.
Dennis refused, saying I was the only lawyer he wanted. In hindsight, I should have realized the truth: He probably had already gone to everyone I suggested and only came to me after they refused to take his case. Either way, it was too late: He was my client now. I started work by reviewing Dennis’s records and discovering that not only did he blow a .18 on the breathalyzer, but he gave blood for testing to them after he kept insisting, he wasn’t tipsy. The blood test came back with a .22 BAC.
As for driving, two separate squad cars witnessed Dennis’s vehicle run over a mailbox and drive off; they’d followed and pulled him over. Per the report, Dennis was the only person in the car in the driver’s seat and he wasn’t wearing his seat belt. Then I tracked down his license through the DMV, and it had expired three years ago. Plus, it was suspended for two years before that.
I called Dennis back into my office and told him he did not have a case. Dennis admitted that he probably was intoxicated but wasn’t aware that he had been drinking, bizarrely claiming that his son must have spiked his green tea (?). Even with all this, though, Dennis wanted to proceed, so I added a clause stating that I had told him we’d lose the case. I took the case to trial and, of course, we lost it.
He was sorely disappointed but only got probation after trial. I think the judge was taking pity on me more than Dennis. Dennis later sued me for his retainer because I didn’t adequately defend him. As proof of my inadequate representation, he offered the judge’s verdict rendering him guilty. It was thrown out quickly.
10. Dividing Cat Sets
My friend got engaged, and apparently, this made his ex-girlfriend very angry. The ex-girlfriend sued him for custody of their two cats and a crazy amount like $500,000, claiming that the lost cats were highly trained service animals. They were not. She lost her case almost immediately and my friend now shares custody of the cats with his nutty ex.
11. Not Buying It
I’m in immigration, so most of my “stupid” cases involve people trying to con the system or “forget” to tell us important information. One lady stood out, though. She was referred to us as a pro bono case. She was filing for asylum based on the fact that’s she’s a Chinese national and she’s a devout Christian. If she had to go back, she would be harassed based on religious reasons.
So far, nothing about the case was too weird. She gave detailed statements about how local authorities had harassed her and her family and how certain members of her congregation were detained. I went through all the statements, and the names and places sounded familiar…like, weirdly familiar.A quick Google search showed it was one of the “bought” stories.
Essentially, there are people on the Internet that sell these packages of fake documents and stories for a successful asylum case. It usually is a real case that was successful, and somebody got a hold of the supporting documents, mass produced, and sold them. Normally, you’re supposed to change the names from the original, but she didn’t. Oh, but that wasn’t her dumbest mistake.
The biggest red flag was that in her supporting documents, the witnesses kept referring to her as a “he.” At first, I thought the English translation had typos, but it was the same in the original Chinese ones. I did not take on her case.
12. Don’t Want To be Here
A lady who was sitting behind bars in my state tried to sue the state Department of Corrections for “holding her against her will.” Her lawyer wouldn’t touch it.
13. Cracking The Case
I was a civil rights investigator, and we had one guy complain that he was fired from his factory job because of his race. He was Black. The owner of the factory said it was because the guy was doing crack during his lunch break, which he was. We thought that was the end of it, but then we investigated: A few of his white co-workers were also doing crack at lunch and none of them had been fired. In the end, we settled, but it felt like a victory.
14. In My Own Words
I dealt with a guy once who wanted me to take on his road traffic accident insurance claim. He had written a poem, in Yoruba, about the accident. He refused to tell me anything about his case until he’d read the entire thing in Yoruba. I can’t speak any Yoruba. As in, that day was the first time I had even heard of that language or found out it existed..
I’m not even from a part of the world where I might readily be mistaken for someone who speaks Yoruba. It’s a West African language, and I am really, really obviously not from a West African background. I tried to explain that to this guy who became very agitated and insisted that he just had to read out his poem in Yoruba before anything else happened.
I gave up and told him to get on with it so we could discuss his claim. He did. I thought it would take a couple minutes, but I was so wrong. This thing was long. It took him nearly twenty minutes to finish. Then he sat back with a huge smile and said he was certain I’d take his case. I was asking him some questions about his case, but he refused to answer. He said all the answers were in his poem.
At that point, I told him to get out and to stop wasting my time. He did, but not before standing around outside my office for an hour or so, reading out his poem, to no-one in particular, over and over again. In Yoruba.
15. Return Fees
I’ve been a lawyer for nine years, and in all that time, this was by far my dumbest case: An elderly fellow was kicked out of a library for making an obscene gesture at every Black librarian he saw. He was furious that they infringed on his “freedom of speech” and tried to sue the library. He came to me as his consultant. I quickly decided not to take that case.
16. Scratched The Surface
I worked as a receptionist at a small personal injury firm and was the first line of defense against all of the more outlandish cases. One of the most ridiculous was a woman who wanted to sue her cat’s veterinarian for malpractice because her cat scratched her, which in turn supposedly caused several health problems to arise.
She believed the vet was at fault because she was convinced the cat was carrying some obscure disease, and the vet had failed to catch it. It was my second day on the job, so I put her through to an attorney not yet knowing what else to do with such a ridiculous situation. She got a firm “sorry, can’t help ya” from us.
17. Out Of Cluck
My friend’s client is being sued and the plaintiff is trying to turn the whole thing into a class action suit, but here’s the kicker: this whole fuss is about…chicken wings. This guy is claiming that his ten wings only count as five wings because there are two edible pieces to a chicken wing. In chicken anatomy class, this would be true. In restaurant chicken wing business, it’s not.
18. Painfully Insistent
I worked as IT for a family firm. A lady came in one day asking to have an attorney look at her divorce. She went in with the lawyer and told him she wanted the divorce on the grounds that her husband was hurting her. The attorney explained that he would be willing to take her case to court, but noted that the marriage was only a few months old.
The best way to get a divorce and get away from her abuser was just to file a no fault and get it over with. This was not what the lady wanted to hear. She started yelling, throwing things, and even hitting the lawyer. Mind you, he is an older guy in his late 60s. She was yelling that if she could get four other divorces from her husband, then she could do it again a fifth time.
That’s when it clicked: She had married and divorced the same guy four times before this. After that, the firm didn’t take the case, but our sister firm did take on the guy’s case. It turned out that she had actually been the one mistreating her partner and basically holding him and the kids in the house and keeping them there by threatening to make false accusations. Yikes.
19. Massaging It Out
I worked in an auto-insurance defense firm years ago. I was representing a despicable insurance company against equally despicable chiropractors in personal injury protection cases. We had a lot of slimy clients, but I’ll never forget the case with an actually innocent woman. She was a poor, heavily pregnant, young lady of color.
She was driving in a slummier suburb, then pulled up to a four-way stop where she was rear-ended in a low-speed collision. The person who hit her was an on-duty officer in his patrol car. He checked on her and called an ambulance, and went with her to the hospital to make sure she and the baby were ok. They were, fortunately.
She gave birth later on, and both kid and mom are fine, but she was still sore from the accident, so she went to a chiropractor. After multiple sessions, she racked up almost $10K of bills. The insurance company didn’t want to pay and instead wanted to move for trial by arguing that, “she wasn’t hurt in the accident. She just wanted post-childbirth massages.” It was flabbergasting to us all.
We stood there with our mouths open, eventually asking, “So, you want us to subpoena this very poor single mother? You want to put her on the stand, and somehow get her to say that she wasn’t hurt and just had ‘woman pain?’ As well as subpoena the officer who hit her and get him to say that taking her to the hospital to check up on her, when she was nine months pregnant, was an unnecessary overreaction? Do you have any idea what we’ll look like to the jury?”
After like a week of this, the insurance company finally agreed to settle. I quit shortly thereafter. Now, I own a brewery because being a lawyer sucks.
20. Pricey And Pals
My mother worked with lawyers, and this gentleman called and wanted to file a lawsuit against Walt Disney. They asked why. He claimed that the Disney characters were coming out of the TV and taking food from his refrigerator. They told him they’d take the case for the advance fee of $100K and never heard back from him.
21. Pointing The Finger
I worked for a large national insurer that often dealt with frivolous lawsuits. In one case, there was a guy visiting friends in the country. Over the course of the night, he got wasted and decided to wander across the street to the driveway of a farm. On his way, he ignored multiple signs that said “no trespassing” and “beware the dog” in both English and Spanish.
He got to the end of the driveway, and there’s a large dog chained to a post in the front yard barking its head off at him. The farmer came out and told the guy to get away from the dog. He said something like he’s “good with dogs” and tried to pet the dog. The dog ripped off his finger. This dummy started screaming and ran back the way he came.
The dog owner tried to save the finger for reattachment, but the guy disappeared, so the farmer turned everything over to the authorities. Shortly thereafter, we denied the dummy’s claim, and he hired an attorney. Every time he did, we would send over the documents to the attorney. The attorney would review them and then immediately drop the case.
This idiot keeps insisting that we need to pay for his “emotional trauma” but so far, no one’s taken his case.
22. Seeing The Problem
A guy came and had a company build a shed on some land. On the phone, he told me they had built it incorrectly. He insisted on meeting with me and talking about a potential court case. When the guy got to my office, I asked him what was wrong with the building. I learned that it wasn’t perfectly square with the road in front of it. It was off by a foot. You couldn’t tell.
But he would always know, and it bugged him. I told him that without any real damages, he had no case. He stormed out angrily.
23. Pretty Fly For A White Lie
While I was a summer associate, I worked on a case where a lady sued her apartment complex for a truly stupid reason. She walked out of her unit, slipped on duck poop, and injured herself. We represented the apartment complex. The associate told me to slip as many bird-based puns into the motions/pleadings as possible. I happily obliged.
24. A Load Of Crow
I defended a guy, let’s call him Dan, who was charged for stealing some crowbars. The crowbars were found in the back of Dan’s pickup truck. At the trial, the “victim,” let’s call him Mark, and two of his buddies came to court and testified that the crowbars, which had been taken into evidence and properly labeled for the trial, definitely didn’t belong to Dan. Instead, they were Mark’s.
Dan, his brother, and his girlfriend testified that the crowbars were theirs. They had been using them that day… That was pretty much it. In the end, the jury found my client not guilty. A juror later wrote that she believed jury duty was very important to the country and doing one’s duty, but the trial had been the stupidest waste of time she had ever endured. Tbh, I agreed.
25. Scaring It All Away
A guy I know worked for the DPP and told me about a case where a guy was up on car theft charges, which is five years maximum, but he was very likely to get a suspended sentence/probation since it was a first-time offense. The dummy, though, thought it would be a good idea to intimidate the witness into not testifying.
The witness called the authorities and had CCTV footage of this, so he got an extra charge with a 20-year maximum sentence. There was no chance that he was getting a suspended sentence or probation on that one.
26. Lawn And Order
Someone came in because their neighbor had done some gardening along the boundary between their front lawns. The client genuinely wanted to know whether she could sue the neighbor for putting pebbles onto the client’s side of the lawn, and also whether she could sue her for “theft of soil”—just in case the neighbor had accidentally taken some of the client’s dirt. Unreal.
27. Wall, Get Off
I had some work experience at a firm, and a case popped up about a couple who were walking on a wall and fell off. They wanted to the sue the person who owned the wall.
28. Pays To Be Funny
I did a pro bono case for a street clown who wanted to sue another street clown for copying his routine. You can’t copyright a routine because it isn’t stored in a medium. I told him that, but he insisted we try to break some new policy ground.
29. Pain Of Salvation
I was out with my friends. There was a guy sitting behind us who went into cardiac arrest. I was still a paramedic trainee, but I knew enough to help out and give the man CPR. I kept his heart pumping for three minutes before the ambulance arrived. He lived. Three weeks later, I got a piece of mail that made me livid. I received a law suit complaining that I had broken one of the man’s ribs.
30. Wrong Direction
My dad is a lawyer, and he had one person come in that wanted to sue McDonald because she got her cheeseburger upside down in the bag at McDonald’s instead of right side up.
31. Keep Hurting On
I got sued once for hitting a guy in my RAM Charger. It was my fault, but he tried to play me and lost horribly. He got into the ambulance at the scene, decided against it, and then said he was fine. The same officer gave us both a ride home. He then went to a bar, got wasted, fell off a barstool, and really hurt his back.
Now, he was messed up enough to go to a hospital. He sued me, claiming the back pain was because of the accident, but neglected to mention the aftermath-trip-to-the-bar to anyone. My lawyer ripped him apart in court, and I never had to pay a dime other than what insurance paid for his car. Afterwards, my lawyer told me that was the most fun he’s ever had on a case.
32. Didn’t Come Prepared
I’m a Texas state judge. This homeowner invited people to his house for Sunday morning after Saturday night wedding. Sunday morning, he’s passed out in bed. Guests arrived and let themselves in. This lady with a two-year-old kid saw there wasn’t food, so she made some lunch. Meanwhile, unfortunately, her two-year-old drowned in the pool.
She sued the homeowner because if he had lunch ready, she would have been watching her kid rather than making lunch. Jury gave her zero.
33. Colliding With Stupidity
Two years ago, I was struck head-on in an intersection in my dad’s Civic by a woman driving an SUV. She was speeding and had gone through a stop light. My car was totalled, while hers looked like her bumper needed to be replaced. When the officers showed up, they told me that she was obviously at fault and said I shouldn’t worry.
A few days later, my insurance company said that I was at fault. It turns out that the lady who had hit me was the chief officer’s wife. It took me a full year to fight the case in court, which I eventually won due to the huge amount of evidence against her. But two months ago, my insurance company called to say that they were closing the case.
It was a huge relief that that chapter of my life was over. But then, the very next day, everything changed. I got a call saying that they were reopening the case and the lady was suing me because because she had suffered injuries in the crash. The crash that I was ultimately found not to be at fault for.
34. Royal Service
I went to law school in England, which is where I practice now. My first day volunteering at the aid clinic at school, a bedraggled guy with long hair and a beard halfway down his chest came in. He said he’d just returned from 10 years in a Thai prison, and he wanted help to sue the Queen for not rescuing him fast enough. Awesome.
35. Taking A Big Fall
A woman fell off her balcony and then onto my mother’s car. This woman was around 55-years-old, so she ended up with lots of broken bones and some pretty nasty bruises. Considering that my mom’s car pretty much saved her life since she’d have fallen on rough concrete had it not been there, she thought she would sue us. Unfortunately for her, there were just a few problems with this.
First, it was her fault that she fell as she decided that wasting her money on safety checks was of no use. Then, our car insurance sued her to pay us back for car repairs we’d had to get done after she crash-landed into our vehicle. Undeterred, Mrs. Thick-as-a-Brick then sued my mother for where she’d parked her car, by claiming that she’d have been better off without it there.
She lost the case, and she now had to pay both for the damage she caused to our car, a fraction of her own medical bills, and the lawyer fees for both herself and my mother. This was the time where she exhibited excellent cognitive skills and logic. She decided to move without informing the authorities. My mom noticed the moving-crew.
She decided to follow her to her new address. She wrote it out and provided it to our insurance since the she had stopped responding to her mail. All of this got her in even more trouble than she already was. And then, the other shoe dropped: The investigation led to the authorities learning that both she and her husband were connected to a human trafficking network.
36. To The Letter
A former client wanted to sue his employer for not providing him with a letter of recommendation. He demanded compensation for the accumulated lost wages from all of the jobs he couldn’t get, which he certainly would have gotten with said letter…for the six years following the termination of the employment in question.
37. It Really Squatters
We had some squatters who were living in a house we owned on the property. An old man used to live in the house but had recently passed due to cancer. His family hadn’t once come to visit him. We took care of him, bought him groceries, and whatnot. After he passed, his awful, selfish family decided that the house was theirs—even though it’s in my father’s name.
So, they came from Ohio all the way to Tennessee to try to move in. Well, they succeeded because when we called the authorities, they claimed they couldn’t do anything. We got our attorney involved and tried to “evict” them. After a few attempts, they eventually moved out, but took the fridge and some of the appliances with them.
But they left one crucial thing: Their own father’s ashes. Oh, but then it got even worse. As we were looking through the house and tidying it up, we saw that they’d set up a makeshift explosive device! It was an oxygen tank on the porch with a metal rod pointing up. Then, the saga continued when we got a letter a few weeks later from some attorney in California.
He was saying the squatters actually owned the house. They were claiming that they owned the old man’s house and our house, so we needed to move out (!). We looked into the letter and discovered that the attorney’s office they used does not exist. They faked the whole thing. Our attorney was having a field day with the entire case. He said it was the craziest one he ever worked on.
38. Left With Permanent Change
An old lady came with two last wills in her hands. One was from 1979 and one from 1994. She said her daughter used her inheritance from the ‘94 will and sold it, but she, the daughter, was now broke. She said, “can we use the will from 1979 to claim all her inheritance back?” You don’t need to be a lawyer to guess the answer to that one…
39. Pheasant To Meet You
My client was riding on the back of her boyfriend’s motorbike when a pheasant came flying at them. The boyfriend ducked, which meant that the pheasant hit my client right in the face and knocked her off the back of the bike. They broke up six months later, which was when she decided to sue him for ducking. Pretty ridiculous.
40. Kick In His Step
My dad’s a lawyer. A client said he couldn’t walk because of some “injury” at work. At the time, my dad was skeptical and hired a psychologist to do an examination. She found out that something could be wrong but wasn’t sure what. So my dad kept investigating and soon ended up with a video of his client walking down their driveway to take out the trash.
He was busted. So, my dad called the person and told them, “hey, come on in, we have a breakthrough in your case, and you can get some money for your injury.” The guy came to his office, and he left them sitting in the lobby for almost an hour because my dad knew the guy was a jerkbag who was trying to get money over nothing.
Doing that makes lawyers look bad. Finally, my dad called him in to the meeting room and played the video. The guy walked out.
41. Exactly How Bright
My neighbor pressed charges on me for coming home late. I return home from work at 3 AM every day. The light of my car would wake him up. He was so upset about this that he literally brought me to court over it. After he shared his problems and what was happening, the judge just repeated what he said, advised him to buy black-out curtains, and dismissed everyone from the court. I didn’t even have to say anything.
42. Pupper Circumstances
My girlfriend and I adopted a dog from the local pound. A year later, she took a new position in D.C., and we had to decide what we were going to do with said dog. Because she was going to be moving into an apartment, we agreed that I’d keep the dog in Colorado, and she could take him while she was in town visiting family.
Three years later, me and my old girlfriend had broken up (long distance didn’t work for us) and I had another girlfriend living with me. The ex came to pick up the dog during one of her visits, saw my new girlfriend, and kind of lost her cool. She started demanding that I meet her in a “neutral location” to give her the dog when she came to visit after that.
Then she demanded that she have the dog for a few months out of the year. Naturally, I thought she was being ridiculous. Next thing I knew, she wanted to sue me for custody of the dog. Two months and too many conversations with her lawyer later, I ended up just paying her $500 to buy her own dog and just get the heck out of my life.
43. Lickety Split
While I was working at a DA’s Office in a metropolitan area, a guy was caught eating out a girl on the ground between two parked cars…in the middle of the street…in broad daylight. When the officers took the girl in, she defended herself and was quoted in the official file as saying, “It’s not my fault that I taste good.”
44. Seeing It Coming
My dad manages a Rite Aid, and a woman sued his store because she tripped over the giant yellow thing that stops cars from plowing into the front windows. It never went to court because the company decided to give her some $10,000. She was super old, but still, it’s painted bright yellow. How do you miss that??
45. A Whole Big Deal
A 400 lbs woman sat on a swing at a school and broke it. She sued the district for damages and won. The school responded by removing their potentially unsafe playground equipment and then they did something kind of catty: They installed a plaque blaming the woman for the removal. She sued again for defamation but lost and had to pay the district’s attorney fees. You shouldn’t laugh at your clients, but that whole situation was hilarious.
46. Told You So
A woman got into a physical altercation with an employee at Walmart. To break up the fight, some other employees called the authorities, who then brought this lady into the station for disorderly conduct. During her intake interview, I made a list titled, “Why We Shouldn’t Take This Case.” One point being that she had a history of suing her former attorneys.
My crazy boss forced me to take the case and her retainer anyway. I wrote a memo explaining why she had no viable case hoping she’d at least get some closure out of it. She didn’t. And then, surprise surprise, she sued me. I got it dismissed in five minutes but still had to show up in small claims court over some nonsense I never wanted to do.
47. Presidential Inception
I was working intake for my firm. One day, a lady called up and said she had a great case. She told me that a few months before, she went in for back surgery and things went very wrong. At that point I was thinking, “ok, it’s some kind of medical malpractice issue.” But no, I never could have predicted her story. She said that while she was under, President Obama sneaked in the room.
He then put pig skin into her. She said that the pig skin was still inside her and making her sick. I went to the partner and told him I had a great case. The bad news was that the defendant had civil immunity for at least the next three years. I was then told to go back to work. Unfortunately, we didn’t take the case.
48. The Great Bovine
A guy in small claims court was suing Western Beef, a supermarket chain in low-income areas in NYC, for $9,950 because the cashier tried to charge him $10,000 for fish heads when he was only purchasing $50 of fish heads. The judge asked why he was suing if he had never lost anything (the transaction obviously didn’t go through), leading the guy to tell him about another, even crazier, experience he had at this fish store.
He had bought $50 of fish heads at Western Beef, and the same thing happened, and he got $5 off. The attorney for Western Beef, who was wearing an ankle bracelet for monitoring, successfully argued that even if plaintiff was entitled to anything, it would only be a $5 coupon.
49. Took Too Long
One client made an offer to sell commodities at a particular price. Our client sent the contract to them for a signature at which time, if they accepted, our client would sign. The client waited three months, and then the price of that commodity skyrocketed. Our client sent them an e-mail rescinding the original offer.
They let the other party know that the price of the commodity rose. The other party immediately signed the contract and sent it back to our client by replying to the e-mail rescinding the offer. And then they tried to say that there was an enforceable contract.
50. Picky Eater
I represented a kid who was booked for battery because he threw a tomato slice at his mother. We argued self-defense. The mom made him a sandwich. He whined about not liking tomato. His mother then threatened to slam his face in the sandwich if he didn’t eat it. So, the kid picked up the tomato slice using his fingers.
Then he flung it at his mom. The state tried to argue the mother was exercising corporal punishment, but we countered by saying that slamming his face into a sandwich is beyond the scope of corporal punishment and could lead to serious bodily injury, thus it necessitated a pre-emptive self-defense. The judge bought our defense.
51. Meat Pack And Go
I got a job after law school in at a small office in a very rural town. One day, a cousin of one of the partners came riding up on his bike. The partner said he didn’t want to deal with it, so he told me to handle his cousin. The cousin reached into his jacket and pulled out a Ziploc bag with a slice of bologna inside.
It had a piece of metal in it – probably something that fell in during processing. He thought he had a multi-million-dollar product defect case and wanted us to sue. Alright. I asked him if he ate a piece with metal in it and was harmed. He said, “no, I saw the metal before I ate it.” I asked if anyone else was harmed.
“Nope, we passed it around and looked at it.” So, I told him that if the defective slice of bologna, which it was, didn’t harm anyone then his damages would be limited to his costs. I told him that I could probably get him a free pack and that was about it. He was really disappointed and left the bologna at the office.
I said that I’d have his cousin take a look. He left. I took the bologna back. He nearly wet himself laughing when I told him the story. The secretaries came to see what was up, and everyone just lost it. That was a fun day. The slice of bologna went into the freezer at the firm and, as far as I know, it’s still there.
52. Can’t Believe My Eyes
My mother-in-law got home from a movie really upset. I asked her what was wrong, but oh boy, I lived to regret it. She wanted me to sue the movie theater because it was too dark, and she’d sat on a piece of gum. She said it ruined her pants. Her $20 Wal-Mart pants. Thank God, due to continuing education difficulties while living out of state at the time, I had elected to make my law license in that particular state inactive.
53. Race Against Mine
White woman sued her company because they promoted a Black man over her. He was more experienced than she was, and she had a long, well documented history of not getting along with the Black employees in the department where the disputed promotion happened. She sued for gender discrimination. Case dragged on until finally, the company settled.
54. Too Much To Go Dutch
I met a guy at a bar. This man had problems. He wanted to sue his ex-wife (who he was already suing), the opposing counsel, the judge for putting his children in danger by giving his ex-wife custody, his church for making him leave due to the restraining order they put on him, and his bank for giving his ex-wife access to their joint accounts, which she drained.
Oh, and he also wanted to sue his cell-phone company for not letting him cancel her number before the divorce decree was finalized and the doctor for diagnosing him as paranoid schizophrenic because they were all colluding together to destroy his life. The best part is that he wanted me to take on all this work for contingency.
He said, “there’s a lot of meat on these bones. we can go halfsies on whatever you win.” I remember specifically that he said, “go halfsies.” I hope it’s needless to say, but I did not take this client on.
55. Ruining The View
I’m an expert witness appraiser. In our state, many houses have trees planted on the property line to denote the division. Most of these trees were over a hundred years old. My client cut down two of thirty trees, subdivided his property, and built two houses all done properly, but his neighbor sued him for doing that.
He said he, “can’t sit at his desk and watch the squirrels frolic,” in those two trees. That was in the actual complaint. His property was already pretty heavily wooded. I had to testify that cutting two trees didn’t change the value of the property. The neighbor’s value actually went up due to my client’s newer house.
56. Shady Labelling
A lady emailed me and said that she wanted to sue Garnier because the hair color she bought was marked chestnut brown, but it was actually dark brown.
57. You Started It
My dad was on patrol and pulled over a guy who was wasted. When my dad tried to take him in, he started to struggle and then he went to grab at my dad’s waist to get his gun. My dad took his trusty mag-light and clocked him once on the head. Then the guy tried to lawyer up. When the lawyer asked why, he was confused. He said, “wait a minute, you tried to grab his weapon, and he only hit you once.”
Needless to say, charges were never brought.
58. On What Grounds
My grandmother lived in an apartment complex for old people. One day, she was leaving and slipped on the ice. She broke her hip. During her surgery, the anesthetic affected her, and she had a drinking problem. So, she was seeing things and thought it was 1976. They sent her to the psych ward, which made a lot of sense.
She had a stroke while there, and nobody noticed. Unfortunately, she passed just a few months later. After, my family spoke to a lawyer about suing the hospital for not noticing the stroke. They told us we couldn’t and would have to sue the apartment owner for not clearing the ice. We decided that was unreasonable and dropped the issue.
59. What’s Yours Is Mine
My co-worker’s girlfriend (not wife) filed for divorce. Yes, really. They aren’t married, and common law doesn’t apply in our state. They had lived together for five years. She has a job. She isn’t on the mortgage and left him a few months before. There are no kids involved. They were never engaged. She wants him to leave his house…that he bought…and paid the mortgage for.
Not only does she want to move back in, in the “divorce agreement,” she also wants him to pay her $2,800 a month. When my buddy told me about all this, I referred him to my divorce attorney, and now that attorney is probably going to represent him. The chick is nuts. She also already tried to get a restraining order against him, which was eventually dismissed.
60. In Pieces
I run a consumer advocacy firm. I had a client tell me that he’d bought a product and the company refused to honor the warranty. I asked for details, and he screamed in my face asking if I was going to take his money or not. I decided then that I wasn’t taking him on as a client, but I wanted to know what was going on.
I convinced him to tell me what happened. His story made my jaw drop. He told me he bought a computer back in the 1990s. It had just recently stopped working. But not because it was old and just stopped working. It was slow, so he picked it up, and tossed it out a two-story window. And then he wanted to sue the manufacturer for breaking the warranty.