Lawyers' Idiotic Clients 

January 9, 2024 | Violet Newbury

Lawyers' Idiotic Clients 

It is no surprise that people who do unlawful things aren’t necessarily the smartest of the bunch. The attorneys who have to deal with these people daily have truly seen it all. But even lawyers are sometimes shocked at how stupid some of their clients can be—and it’s not just them.

1. He Took It To Eleven

I was supporting the prosecution team when a defendant didn't show up in court. We couldn't get in touch with him, and even worse, he was nowhere to be found. We ended up waiting around for 30 minutes before the judge had enough and continued with the court's schedule. 

Later that day, we discovered the disappointing truth. Instead of preparing for his court date, the guy had held up a 7-Eleven the previous night and was now behind bars two counties away.

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2. The Ride Of Chucky

My buddy Chuck, who's not always the smartest, came home from university one weekend and attended a party at my place. Someone accused him of hitting a girl, and she and her friend reported it to the authorities the following day. I was asked to provide a witness statement, despite not having seen anything. 

We had a shared acquaintance whose dad was a lawyer. This lawyer advised us not to respond. Chuck headed back to school the next day and no more was said about it. However, three years later, things took a turn. Chuck was visiting home again when the authorities ran his license plate one evening as he was leaving my house. 

Four officers showed up at his place the following day with a warrant for the old charges. Chuck was so engrossed in his video games and Tool album that he didn't notice the officers dealing with the neighbor's escaped pit bull. 

Once he discovered what was going on, he contacted the lawyer and they started making arrangements for his court appearance. During this time, I happened to be dating the friend of the supposed victim. That's when the entire story was revealed.

She admitted to the lawyer that her friend had made up the story. Chuck and his lawyer went to court, and the judge agreed that there was no proof that Chuck really hurt the girl intentionally. Just when we thought the case was over, the girl’s father got into an altercation with Chuck outside the courthouse. 

Chuck inadvertently knocked into the prosecutor trying to intervene. The downside for Chuck was that cameras had captured everything, leading to him being taken and charged with assaulting an officer of the court.

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3. Her Defense Was A Bust

My husband and I once worked together in a restaurant. There was this co-worker, frankly unpleasant and bad at her job too. One day, she went to a nearby store during her break to grab some drinks. Things went downhill from there when she tripped and broke her ankle. But there's more to the story.

Despite her injury, she managed to drive back to work, positioned herself on the ground outside the restaurant, and began to shout for help. She even tried to stick the blame on our employer by suing them. As part of this case, we all had to clarify that she had already left the restaurant to go to the store when the mishap took place. 

Things started turning when the surveillance video from the store, the place where she actually fell, was evaluated. The situation was quite dire for her by this point. To our shock, the footage showed that she couldn't resist having a drink just before her fall. 

But the real kicker came when another video was played—this one from the restaurant's back door, showing her limping up and positioning herself on the ground. This blatant act led to her being slapped with charges. Karma always operates in mysterious ways.

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4. Don’t Mess With Taxes

I once defended clients against the IRS. They were a married couple that owed nearly $250,000 in unpaid taxes. We didn't have much of an argument to make, so we decided to get the couple to meet with the IRS and ask for a little mercy. However, the wife ended up losing her temper with the IRS representative. 

She even stood up at one point and yelled out, "You'll pry my Mercedes from my cold, dead hands!" After, she stomped out of the meeting room. As you might guess, she didn't get to keep her Mercedes.

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5. Never Make A Threat You Can’t Carry Out

My father had taken a client to court for not paying him. The judge ruled in my dad's favor for the full amount of $15K. But the mood swiftly shifted from jubilant to frightening. The client he sued stood up to leave, approached my dad, and threatened, "If you believe you're going to get a penny of that money, you're an idiot. I'll take you out first".

Afterwards, he started to leave. For a fleeting moment, my dad worried that he would get away with his threat. But his fear was short-lived; the man had spoken loudly enough for the court officer and the judge to hear. The man didn't make it out of the courtroom.

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6. From 0 To 100

I used to have a misguided buddy who swiped a wallet from a gym locker room and made a beeline for Walmart. She imagined she could rack up a big shopping spree before the wallet's owner finished their workout and marked the cards stolen. 

Of course, she wasn't certain if she was already too late, so she tested the waters by buying a pack of gum first. It worked. So she got bold and filled her cart with high-end items, intending to check out again. However, she didn't anticipate a major hiccup. 

Evidently, buying a piece of gum and then almost $5,000 worth of electronics a moment later from the same place tends to raise alerts for credit card companies. As it turned out, the card showed up as possibly stolen. 

The cashier informed her of this, so she attempted to use another card from the stolen wallet. But those were flagged too since they were all linked. Consequently, she began to attract unwanted attention from the Walmart staff, which made her nervous. 

She then opted to use her own credit card to pay for the items, planning to return them later since her plans had fallen through. And just like that, the authorities had all they needed: her name and address, leading to her eventual capture.

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7. A Morning Drink Got Her In The Clink

I once had a client who was an elderly woman in her 70s with a serious drinking addiction. Due to her husband's forgetfulness, related to aging, and her excessive drinking, they had some shared domestic disputes. She had been ordered to avoid any contact with him for a certain period. On top of that, she was required to stop drinking as part of her probation.

Alas, she would keep drinking excessively, call her husband, and bother him, ignoring the no-contact rule. After about seven or eight probation violations later, she was on the verge of getting time behind bars. Nobody wanted to put an elderly woman behind bars, so until that point, she had received probation instead of a proper sentence.

I managed to secure a no-jail agreement with the prosecutor, mostly hinging on reports that she had been attending addiction counseling successfully. The plan was for my elderly client to show up to court, plead to the charges, and finalize this agreement. That's when things went south.

She did show up to court—by accidently crashing her car right in front of the courthouse because she'd been drinking with her breakfast that day.

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8. The Hand That Guided Her

So, I have this buddy who's a lawyer. He was in court defending a client. When it came time for the prosecution's main witness to identify the defendant, she seemed lost. My friend thought, "Great, if she can't point him out, they'll likely drop all charges". He was already quietly cheering, thinking he nailed this case.

But then, as he let his gaze drift over to his client, he facepalmed. Unbelievably, his client had just cheerfully raised his hand to help the witness spot him. Even the judge had a good laugh at that one.

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9. This Didn’t Fare Well For Him

I've had some experience as a lawyer for legal aid, and I've had a fair share of clients who've made questionable decisions. One memorable event involved a trial at a circuit court, located about an hour from the city where I work. My client chose to take a taxi to the courthouse, promising to pay the driver upon arrival.

When they reached the town, the client asked the cab driver to stop at a convenience store near the courthouse. What happened next surprised everyone—they tried to swipe five 26-ounce bottles of drinks without paying. They were swiftly taken in and detained. Consequently, the trial had to be delayed, and we spent the rest of the day fruitlessly trying to secure bail.

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10. He Was Bawling After That

During the divorce, the former husband argued that he hardly made any money and couldn't afford to pay the child support we demanded. A couple of hours later, he posted a snapshot on his public Facebook profile flaunting a stack of cash and boasting about how "loaded" he was. Needless to say, his argument fell apart after that.

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11. It Was All Just A Little Too Much

When I was a law student, I volunteered at a desk that assisted people in filling out court paperwork. The difficult part was that, as I wasn't a licensed attorney, I wasn't able to give them any formal advice or let them know if they actually had a case. Even so, I heard some remarkable stories. One, in particular, will always stick with me.

I remember a woman who wanted to sue her previous employer because they overpaid her on her last paycheck. She believed it was because they liked her and wished for her to return. The overpayment was only about $60, but she was aiming to sue for $10,000.

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12. Five-Finger Or Employee Discount?

I used to be an employee at Best Buy. One of my co-workers took a customer's credit card and didn't give it back after she made a purchase. Later that day, he drove to the nearest Best Buy that wasn't ours, about 65 miles away, and used the stolen credit card to purchase a few items. 

He bought a TV, a surround sound system, and a PS3, all on her card and with HIS employee discount. A few days later, he was taken in and found himself in a lot of trouble because of what he did.

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13. Lying For The Fun Of It

There was once a guy named Jim who passed, leaving some property to Ralph. However, due to certain problems, Ralph couldn't inherit it and hoped to give it to his son, Mark—who also happens to be Jim's grandson—instead. But, since Mark was underage, my client, Jenny, planned to look after the property as his appointed guardian.

Sarah, the one in charge of sorting out Jim's estate and also his daughter, confessed to the judge that she had distributed the personal property. The judge chastised her, saying she couldn't just distribute it. Suddenly, Sarah claimed she still had it. When the judge asked her to clarify if she did or didn't have it, she stated that she indeed had it. 

When asked why she initially said otherwise, she replied, "Because I'm not under oath".

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14. Facebook Fool

One of my dad's clients was initiating a lawsuit, claiming a severe leg injury from tripping in a restaurant. It seemed like a far-fetched suit, but my dad handled it well and was close to securing a good compensation for the girl. That is, until she revealed something unexpected on social media. 

She posted a bunch of photos on Facebook of her dancing at a bar, merely a couple of weeks post-incident. Her case was dismissed right away.

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15. He Couldn’t Stay Out Of The Picture

I was covering a traffic case for a colleague's client at my law firm. But at the hearing, the officer didn't make it. Our client, who was accused of causing a fender-bender, was completely insistent that he was innocent. He was part of a three-car pile-up and swore that he was shoved into the car ahead by the car that hit him.

I was thinking, "This is a slam dunk". I turned to the client and told him, "Don't utter a word, okay?" He nodded. We went through the hearing and all witnesses had their say. Yet, without the officer, nobody could place my client at the scene or driving the car. 

The judge was just about to say, "Considering all the evidence, I must find Mr...", but then my client cut him off. "My Lord, I have some photos I took at the crash site," he interjected. I could only stare at him in disbelief. The judge responded, "Young man, do you hire a lawyer for a reason?" 

He nodded. "Did your lawyer ask you to speak?" He shook his head, "No". To that, the judge replied, "Well, before you decided to speak, nobody could place you at the accident, and I was about to dismiss your ticket. But now, you've just done it yourself".

The guy quite literally talked his way into a fine.

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16. Repeat After Me

I had to appear in court over a ticket. The officer misplaced the ticket book, so there wasn't any "official" proof. The judge told the next 15 people on the docket—which included me—that we only had to say “not guilty," seeing as there was no evidence. One guy got up and started to argue that he was only going five mph over the speed limit, not 10.

The judge glanced at him and said, "Son, just say not guilty". The man again objected, “But I wasn't going that fast”. The judge chuckled and reminded him again, “Son, I only need two words from you, not and guilty”. The man, looking puzzled, uttered “not guilty?” as if questioning. 

The judge said, “Case dismissed”. The entire courtroom broke into laughter and applause for him.

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17. The Outcome Was Indeed Positive

I used to work in personal injury law, representing the injured party. One memorable incident involved deposing someone else's client who was involved in a car accident. The man, an employee of a car dealership, had recklessly swerved across two lanes on a freeway, ricocheting off a car in an intersection, and finally hitting my client's car that was idle at a traffic light.

My client was stuck in his car until he was extricated using the "jaws of life". During the deposition, I asked the dealership employee if he had used any illicit substances on the day of the event. He denied it. I then asked about the day prior and the last week. He was firm in denying any use. But some vital information I had was about to cause a stir.

I presented him with the results of his drug test, required by his employer, which showed positive for multiple substances. I inquired as to why he tested positive if he claimed he hadn't taken anything. Startled, he exclaimed, "Well, I wouldn't have agreed to the test if I knew I would test positive!"

Shortly after that revelation, the case was concluded hastily. And there you have it.

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18. Smackdown!

When I was interning as a law student, we had a case with a client who got stopped by the authorities. When asked if he had any illicit substances or drinks in the vehicle, he honestly replied that he didn't. However, he mentioned that he did have some that he was selling in his hotel room. After telling them, he politely led the officer to his room and handed over his stash.

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19. Good Intentions Sometimes Have Bad Outcomes

I was studying law and helping out lawyers with different cases. One time, we found ourselves in the middle of a squabble about the care of an elderly lady. She was suffering from dementia and was quite old, so her daughter and a lawyer were named as her official guardians. But the niece, who was our client, raised doubts about the daughter's intentions.

The daughter's behavior was definitely suspicious. She had taken tons of money from her mom, not to mention a vacuum cleaner and even her silverware. As a result, the poor old lady was left with no choice but to eat with her hands. It seemed like an open-and-shut case for us. Then our client, the niece, moved the old lady to a nursing home to assure she'd get proper care.

However, she did this without consulting us. Even though she meant well, the daughter and the lawyer were still the elderly woman's guardians. They were the ones who had the right to decide where she lived. In the end, things took a turn for the worse. They accused our client of abduction, and unfortunately, we lost the case.

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20. Twice Tanked

I'll always remember this one client who was accused of driving after drinking. He hoped to dispute the claim, believing he wasn't overly impaired and that the testing was mishandled. Yet, it didn't help his cause when he showed up for his court sessions completely out of it—not once, but twice.

He even tried to drive away both times, only to be quickly halted by officers who then performed a breathalyzer test and charged him again. Unsurprisingly, we didn't have a victory in this case.

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21. Their Worlds Were Turned Inside Out

A friend of mine, who happens to be a lawyer, had a unique case involving one of his clients. This client, alongside a buddy of his, decided to double date and subsequently got intimate with their dates in his van. The rather foolish twist in this tale is that they only had one contraceptive between them, and in order to remedy this, they decided to share it.

The rather unsanitary solution was to turn it inside out for the second user—a catastrophic decision. The trouble started when the second girl fell pregnant from residual secretions that was on the outside of the contraceptive her partner wore. What unfolded next was a complicated paternity suit which, as you might expect, got extremely messy.

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22. No-Show Bozo

I used to work as a paralegal, and I've seen plenty of clueless clients that could fill a never-ending list. We once had a client involved in a minor traffic case who absolutely refused to make an appearance in court. He had an excellent lawyer who had managed to work out a really good deal for him. But because he didn't go to court, the judge issued a warrant for him to be taken in.

We finally tracked him down, planned for him to attend court the next opportunity possible, and filed the necessary applications to clear the warrant. And, you guessed it, he didn’t show up again. So, he ended up losing out on a fantastic deal, spending an extra $600 to $700 in lawyer's fees due to the extra work, and the warrant against him was still active. Foolish.

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23. He Couldn’t Bail Himself Out Of That One

A suspected bank robber was at a bail hearing where the judge informed him that his bail was set at $100,000. The judge further clarified that this meant he could post $10,000 cash to secure his release until the trial. Then the judge asked the suspect if he had $10,000 for bail to have the chance to go home. His response was interesting.

The suspect said, "Judge, if I had $10,000, I wouldn't have robbed the bank". Upon hearing this, the US Attorney asked for a copy of the hearing's transcript—it turned out to be the easiest conviction ever.

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24. He Was On A Losing Streak

A man unravelled after an argument with his girlfriend at her place. Subsequently, he ended her life, undressed completely, and left his clothes beside her. He then ignited the scene to eliminate any evidence. However, in his haste to escape the burning house, he realized he had forgotten his keys in his pocket. 

This led him to dash back into the devouring fire to find his keys amidst his flaming clothes. Overwhelmed by the smoke, he leaped out the window and soon passed out. When the authorities arrived due to the fire, they discovered him lying outside, bearing burn injuries. 

Spinning a tale, he asserted that he had visited his girlfriend's house when he noticed the fire and risked his life to rescue her in vain. However, he fell speechless when questioned why he had no clothes on.

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25. Called Out

I used to work as a defense lawyer in the big apple, and in the city's lockup, every call made by prisoners was taped. I'd often tell my clients that their calls weren't private and to avoid talking about their case or calling anyone involved in it. I had one client who was up on charges of bothering and threatening his ex-girlfriend.

This was my first (and last) encounter with a genuine case of double jeopardy. My client had already admitted his guilt and served a short sentence for the same offences. So, on our first court appearance, I was certain that my client would walk out a free man. But boy, was I in for a shock.

When we got there, I learned that there was another indictment against my client for new transgressions. This happened because the "genius" that my client was, he had phoned his ex while inside, and the prosecutor had tapes of him threatening to harm her if she showed up in court to give evidence against him. 

We entered a guilty plea on the spot and he got sentenced for three years for interfering with a witness and contempt of court. If only my client had paid heed to my advice and let me do my work, he could have been a free man three years earlier.


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26. He Was Pushing His Luck

A guy was at an initial court hearing for an accusation of mistreating his girlfriend. The supposed victim didn't appear, and so the case was dismissed by the prosecutors. The judge mentioned to this guy that it was a fortunate day for him and asked for his thoughts. 

The guy started to give his perspective on the incident and nearly talked himself into getting accused again.

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27. Get Back To Basics

After getting through my freshman year in law school, I spent the summer as a public defender for children in neglect cases. Essentially, these were instances where kids had to be separated from their parents due to neglect and mistreatment. Both the parents and the government had representation in these hearings. The requirements for parents are pretty basic.

Essentially, they need to provide enough food, a safe living environment, and proper care for their children, all without any signs of harm. When kids are taken into custody, mothers are informed that they can reclaim their children by maintaining a decent job, securing an apartment, passing substance tests, and severing ties with any individual who poses a threat. 

The astonishing number of mothers who failed to meet these criteria was truly eye-opening.

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28. Paper Trail

A guy I went to high school with ended up in a difficult situation. After serving time in lockup, he was released on probation. Struggling to find a job to cover his probation and court fees, he made a pretty major mistake. He chose to hold up a bank.

Casually, he walked into the bank and slipped a note to the teller saying he was holding up the place and demanded money. Surprisingly, she complied and he left. Bizarrely, the moment he walked out, she flipped over the note. 

Rather shockingly, the paper he used was actually the rear side of his probation form, complete with his address and all his details. You can guess what happened next, right? He was back in custody quite quickly after that.

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29. Ah, The Company One Keeps

One of my friends was married to this shady guy who happened to have an equally shady friend. This not-so-bright friend got himself taken in because he decided to hold up his own local bank. Even while wearing a ski mask, a bank teller recognized him from his regular visits, and reported him to the authorities.

So, he ended up behind bars. Then, an unexpected surprise came knocking on my friend’s door early one morning. The authorities were searching for a small garden of plants she had growing in her backyard. When she asked how they knew, they told her that the friend had written her and her husband a letter from behind bars. 

It read, “How are you? I’m good. How’s your garden going? I can’t wait to be released so we can enjoy some. The supply in here isn’t reliable, so I hope you’re taking extra care of our plants. Ha-ha. Please say hello to everybody for me". He signed it and because all mail from there is monitored, the censors got wind of it and tipped off the authorities. 

Consequently, my friend and her less-than-perfect husband got caught.

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30. Delete, Delete, Delete

I dealt with corporate cases, so my clients were mostly large corporations. I worked on an international tax case concerning a corporation's transfer pricing setup. During our investigation, we stumbled upon an email that wasn't protected by the privilege clause. 

The subject line read, "Transfer Pricing," starting off with, "Ensure this email is deleted; it'd be an awful breadcrumb for the IRS to trace". We made sure to create 10 copies of the email. This even included a scanned version of a hard copy, as someone had printed it and filed it away.

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31.  Watch Your Language

My father was a lawyer. He found himself in a discussion with some fellows who didn't realize he spoke their first language perfectly. While they communicated with him in English, they would switch to their native tongue to chat about concealing the facts. 

My father allowed this to continue for some time before he abruptly chimed in, using their language, to inquire about the genuine story. Their reactions were of total surprise and shock.

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32. Need A Ride?

There was a man who held up a bank and quickly left. His "genius" escape plan was absolutely ridiculous. He chose to hop into the closest taxi. Flustered, he shouted at the driver, "I just swiped a bunch of cash from that bank, now let's go!" But he completely messed up. 

The person driving wasn't a cabbie—it was an officer. Caught up in the rush, the man confused the patrol car for a taxi. Considering both vehicles were white, the mix-up could be somewhat understandable, but it was extremely foolish, nonetheless.

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33. He Got Some Crazy Advice

An accused person decided to fire their public defender after getting some tips from his cellmate. They informed the judge that they wanted to handle their case. The judge wondered if they were planning to change their plea, and the defendant confirmed, "Yes, I want to plead not guilty by reason of insanity".

That's when the judge inquired, "Do you live with a mental disorder?" To which the defendant said, “No”. After a short talk with his prior attorney, the accused welcomed back the public defender to serve as his lawyer. 

I suspect that the defendant took his attorney's advice once he understood that pleading “not guilty by reason of insanity” means admitting he actually carried out the actions he was charged with.

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34. His Reasoning Was Out Of Control

My mom used to be a public defender. Once, she represented a guy who was repeatedly charged with reckless driving. To get the best outcome, she told him to stay quiet while she negotiated with an Assistant District Attorney. However, when they stood before the judge, he began to ramble on, spinning quite an unbelievable tale.

He pleaded with the judge, explaining he had just visited McDonald's, a Big Mac in one hand and a large Coke in the other. Because his cup holder wasn't within easy reach, he tried to justify his actions saying it became unavoidable driving at over 90mph on a curvy, rural road with a speed limit of just 30mph.

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35.  It’s Not Mine!

I once had a client who was accused of multiple counts of possession with intent to sell (PWID). This wasn't his first run-in with these charges, and he was facing a minimum of 10 years behind bars if found guilty. The state offered a plea deal that would set aside the mandatory sentence. It seemed like a pretty straightforward decision.

The plea deal implied a 12-year sentence with possibility of parole in 3-4 years. Insistent on his innocence, the client, who was out on bail, rejected the offer. On the day of the trial, my client was nowhere to be found. I alerted the judge and prosecutor that he might not show up. As I left the court, a deputy gave me the news—my client was behind bars.

I rushed over to speak to him. He had been picked up for driving after drinking on the eve of his trial and the officer discovered fifteen packets of illicit substances hidden in his shoe. Despite this, he insisted that the stash was not his. 

Ultimately, he was convicted of two counts of PWID at his trial resulting in a 21-year sentence, with a compulsory 10-year term that wasn't eligible for parole or suspension. On top of that, he was found guilty of another PWID charge related to the stuff in his shoe. 

This resulted in an added 25-year mandatory sentence, to be served consecutively with his previous sentence. Still, he stuck to his story—the substances were not his and he was not a dealer. It's hard to believe.

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36. Bedazzled Bonehead

Her lawyer advised her to dress up nicely for court, implying her "Sunday best". But when she arrived, the room inhaled sharply. She strutted in wearing a paired sweatsuit with the word "juicy" brilliantly displayed on the backside. 

As potential jurors started to enter, she inquired about the length of the trial, mentioning that she'd left her baby in her nearby parked vehicle with the hazard lights on.

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37. Security Breach

As I was going through court security with my client, one of the deputies stopped him. The deputy lifted my client's jacket by the lapel, giving me a view of a shoulder holster my client was sporting. It was this holster that seemed to catch the deputy's attention. 

I remember thinking, "Did this goofball really bring a pistol to court?" To my surprise, the deputy reached into the holster and pulled out a pack of smokes.

Oddly enough, my client preferred to carry his smokes in a shoulder holster.

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38. Door Jam

My dad used to be an attorney. He once worked on a federal case involving a bank heist. The thieves were able to pull off the heist and were on their way out when they hit a snag. The reason was surprisingly simple—the door wouldn't budge. They tried shoving the door and ramming into it but it was to no avail.

Confused and panicking, they assumed that the bank manager had locked them inside. The officers arrived, casually strolled into the bank, and promptly apprehended the bewildered burglars. Turns out, the door had to be pulled to open.

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39. His Alibi Was To Die For

A few years back, my mom served as a court-assigned attorney for a man with numerous charges. Despite her warning, he chose to speak for himself during the trial. He confidently declared, "I couldn't have been selling illicit substances on that day. I was in Baltimore, end another person's life," then he mentioned the victim's name. 

As you can imagine, he ended up with additional charges afterwards.

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40. His Stupidity Insured He Would Get Busted

I once had a client with workers' compensation who was declared permanently partially disabled. This stated that he claimed he couldn't work anymore due to injuries he'd sustained on the job, so he'd get weekly payouts and healthcare benefits for life from his insurance provider. However, he later started his own construction firm.

Let's just say it wasn't the smartest or most honest move, but that's not the worst part. The guy actually decided to use the very same insurance company that was paying him these benefits to cover his new business's workers' comp. He even testified for his employees in their compensation cases.

Eventually, the insurance company figured out what was going on and took him to court.

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41. Stupid Incorporated

When I was assisting a judge, there was a case where a man, who had breached his parole, decided to defend himself—always a red flag. He only identified himself as a registered company. His argument was that the court documents, which used his real name, had nothing to do with him since he'd rebranded as a corporation.

He maintained that he had signed the parole agreement under pressure—even going as far as to write "under pressure" next to his signature on the document. Therefore, he reasoned, the terms of the parole didn't hold any real weight over him. 

The judge basically said, sure, if you believe you didn't truly agree to the parole terms, that means there's no parole at all. Hence, you can return to lockup. End of story.

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42. There Was No Going Back

A coworker of mine was representing a man accused of stalking and then taking his ex-wife's life. He was looking at life without parole if found guilty, making his next decision all the more baffling. Midway through his trial, he asked to plead guilty. His lawyer strongly advised against it, but he insisted, leading the attorney to inform the judge.

Diligently, the judge double-checked his understanding, stating, "Do you understand that a guilty plea means a life sentence without parole?" The man responded, "Yes". The judge continued, "This means you will be transferred to the state institution where you'll remain until your passing, understood?" Again, he replied, "Yes".

When the judge asked, "Can you explain why you're deciding to do this?" He said, "I want to spare my family the stress". The judge asked him to consider it overnight and they would revisit it the next day. Morning came, and the man assured the judge he was certain about pleading guilty.

His decision couldn't have worsened his predicament, as he could at least try for acquittal in trial. However, a year later, he returned, trying to retract his guilty plea to proceed with trial. The Court of Appeals dismissed this; his fate was definite.

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43. Just Follow Instructions

A lady was caught driving after drinking and was taken to the local station for booking. Afterward, they arranged a taxi for her and instructed her to head straight home and stay there. Roughly 20 minutes later, the same officers happened to be near the parking area where they had left the lady's vehicle earlier. Shortly after, they saw a cab arrive.

The woman exited the cab, hopped into her car, and promptly drove away. However, she wasn't on the road for long before the sirens wailed. She ended up with two violations in a single night. After her second breathalyzer test, they didn't let her go.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

44. The Truth Was In The Whine

I used to spend heaps of time in court. One time, I witnessed a case where a man was on trial for driving after heavily drinking. While testifying, he casually mentioned he'd brought drinks to a hospitalised buddy. He said his friend couldn't drink it, so he drank it himself.

That's when his attorney began to hastily interject, trying to get him quiet. But the defendant loudly declared, "DON'T INTERRUPT ME," to his own attorney. The judge responded, "It might be wise to heed the counsel of your attorney. Let's take a second". But it spiraled out of control. 

The defendant cut off the judge, stating, "I'll finish my story, and then I'm out of here!" Typically, acting disrespectfully or interrupting a judge will get you silenced. However, this time, the judge merely grinned, leaned back and said, "Alright then, continue".

At that very moment, everyone in the court understood that this gent was in deep trouble.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

45. Stopped In Their Tracks

At the courthouse, two brothers due for their hearing made a mad dash for the front door and bolted down the street, handcuffs linking them together. But soon, their plan fell apart. Coming up to a stop sign, one tried to go left while the other right, with the handcuffs stuck in the middle. 

The brothers ended up crashing into each other behind the pole and tumbled down—a tangled mess on the ground. The officer tailing them had to halt his chase, doubled over with laughter.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

46. Baby Mama Blowout

I was advocating for my client's release without bail. When asked by the judge about his living arrangements, my client stated that he was planning to live with his fiancée. He told a heartfelt anecdote about his loving and supportive fiancée, their soon-to be child, and his desire to support them as a free man.

After the story, the judge called for the defendant's fiancée to present herself to the court. What happened next was totally bewildering. Two women rose from different areas in the room and began to approach the judge. One was visibly four months pregnant, while the other was nearly due. 

Matching looks of confusion passed between them as they neared each other. It was clear as day when the women each put together what was happening. Before even reaching the lawyers' table, they began to throw down. Irrespective of their pregnancies, these ladies were really going at it. 

The bailiffs had to compose themselves from laughter and intervene in the dispute. My client exclaimed humorously, "Well, Your Honor, I didn't expect both of them to show up". The judge decided to refuse bail for my client, citing protection as the reason.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

47. He Got Stymied

I used to work for a public defender's office. During this time, I encountered a client who insisted on having a line-up related to an incident involving multiple witnesses. Our first meeting took place in a secluded room, where I explained to him what would happen and what he should anticipate. 

The line-up was like those you commonly see on TV, with similarly-dressed individuals standing side by side behind a one-way mirror. The participants for the line-up were chosen from the current inmates. Although they tried, the pool of people to pick from wasn't vast. 

When I went in to see the client, I noticed a giant stye on his left lower eyelid that looked like a golf ball. It was the most noticeable facial characteristic I'd ever seen. Despite this, he insisted on the line-up, and as expected, every witness quickly identified him.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

48. Bottoms Up Old Biddie

A senior citizen who'd had a few too many was behind the wheel when she ran into me. Turns out, the authorities were buddies with her husband, a firefighter, so they let her off the hook without any tests or charges. The EMT guys joked that she was tipsy enough to send me on a trip to Disneyworld—that's how I figured out she wasn't clear-headed during the collision.

But unfortunately, without any official noting or charging by authorities, my lawsuit lacked evidence. Come the day of my deposition, she was there, disputing my every word, continuously ignoring her lawyer's attempts to quiet her down. It was beyond frustrating, being called a liar while she managed to escape the consequences. But then, she dug her own grave. 

She unexpectedly claimed that the incident report was inaccurate. When my attorney asked for clarification, she revealed she'd been heading from her friend's bar. Pushing further, my lawyer asked if she'd had any drinks at the bar. She casually confessed, "Well yeah". 

Upon being questioned regarding how much she'd had to drink, she unguardedly stated, "I don't know. They don’t charge me. They just keep refilling my glass". To the astonishment of her lawyers, her admission was all on tape.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

49. He Was Knee-Deep In Sleep

My dad served as a lawyer in the Navy. He took on an important early case, defending a man who was charged with dozing off while on duty during the conflict in Vietnam. My dad was excited, thinking he had built up a strong defense. But he was cut short when the judge asked him to turn around and keep his client awake.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

50. It Was A High Sign

I first got my feet wet in mediation handling a small-scale landlord/tenant dispute in a crowded courthouse corridor. While more significant cases typically got their own room, it was fairly normal for smaller disputes to settle wherever there was space available outside the courtroom. The two people involved were separated by around 20 feet.

Tension was high on both ends, which resulted in me darting back and forth trying to unpick their issues, find common ground, and work towards an acceptable settlement. Unexpectedly, the tenant began showing signs of willingness to compromise, which was a surprise after some of his previous comments.

Proud of my apparent success, I took this to the landlord who, encouraged by the tenant's change of heart, agreed to ponder over the options we'd considered. When I returned to the tenant, his mood had radically shifted. Suddenly he was like "Sure, let's just go with what she suggested. No biggie".

Despite my surprise, I kept pushing to confirm his true feelings, and after a short while, we found ourselves signing a mediation agreement detailing mostly what the landlord wanted. As I was wrapping up the discussion, I noticed him furtively clutching what appeared to be a joint. 

He was strategically positioned near an air vent, which might have explained the odd smell I couldn't quite identify earlier. A quick visual sweep confirmed the hallway was pretty busy, dotted with attorneys, clients, and court officials continually passing by. And we were just a stone's throw from a courtroom door. 

As he walked off, it dawned on me that he might have been too high to truly consent to this agreement—something he likely rued come morning.

Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock


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