Whenever someone calls a lawyer, you can bet that there is some drama involved. Whether it's a bitter divorce, an angry lawsuit, or just plain criminal conduct, lawyers see the absolute best and the utter worst of humanity. Below, the lawyers of Reddit blew off some steam by revealing the most bizarre legal cases that ever crossed their desks.
1. I Guess That's One Way to Deal With Your Problems
The couple separated ten years ago but didn't officially divorce until a couple years ago. She was going to get his house so he burnt it down then faxed her the transfer of ownership forms. He might be going to jail for arson though.
2. The Self-Fulfilling Defense
Currently studying law. One of my tutors told me about a case he had while working for the state, where the defendant tried to claim that being an orphan had given him severe PTSD and mental illness and he was unfit to stand trial.
Unfortunately, he was on trial for murdering his parents, so it didn't really fly.
3. I Haven’t Got You, Babe
I used to work in "baby daddy" court as a caseworker. This guy kept telling me, the mother of the child, and anyone who would listen that the baby was NOT his. When they went before the judge, the judge confirmed through DNA testing that he wasn't the dad. Dude turned around and ripped off his jacket. His undershirt said "NOT THE FATHER!"
4. Return This Excuse to Sender
This postman once claimed that his speeding fine got lost in the post. The judge accepted it, too.
5. That’s Just Wrong
I am an attorney, but this wasn't my case. My ex's brother helped his friend (he was friends with the couple, but clearly "chose" the guy) hide assets and wash cash in the six months leading up to a "surprise, I'm divorcing you!" by the friend to his now ex and deceased wife. But oh, it gets so much worse than this.
He did this because she had just been diagnosed with cancer, was not going to live, and he didn't see why "his money" should go to "her health care" when she was going to "die in a few years" anyway.
6. Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say
I was in an accident a few years ago. The guy who hit me got a ticket for an unsafe left turn, and I got a ticket because I wasn't wearing my seatbelt. In the section on the ticket, the cop inadvertently wrote “Did wear seatbelt while operating the motor vehicle” instead of “did not.” When I got to court, the judge asked how I wanted to plead.
I asked the judge if I could clarify something first, and he said "Sure". I stated that "The ticket says I did wear my seatbelt while operating my motor vehicle. If that's the case, I want to plead guilty." The judge looks down at the ticket, looks back at me, and says "Case dismissed! Have a good day!"
7. Fancy Seeing You Here!
During my divorce, my ex was on the stand lying her behind off about how she was totally not using or having an affair with our underaged child present in the home. Her lover was outside because my attorney subpoenaed him and he HAD to be there. My attorney grilled him and what he said contradicted what my ex was saying at least a dozen times.
Then my attorney put her back on the stand and made her admit to every single lie she had told the judge. I was awarded primary custody of our child, the house, and child support. Also, her druggie boyfriend is not allowed within 500 yards of the child at any time. Pretty epic if you ask me!
8. Father Knows Best
My parents are both lawyers. I was in court with my dad when I was younger. Dad is throwing out objection after objection at the opposing counsel during cross-examination. Judge is sustaining all of them. Several hours into this, the judge is getting restless and asks the opposing counsel to hurry it up. Opposing counsel responds: "Well if Mr. Surname would stop objecting perhaps I could get through my examination."
Judge did not like this. She lays into the guy: "If you would stop asking objectable questions, Mr. Surname wouldn't have to object! Hurry this up, I am not going to sit here all day." Was pretty cool to watch as a kid. Dude got roasted. Dad won that trial.
9. A Post-Mortem Addition to the Family
I'm a lawyer who works in last wills and testaments. A lady confessed she had a secret daughter, and she wanted to leave the daughter some money and photographs without the rest of her family finding out. Even her husband does not know. That will be a fun conversation when she passes away.
10. Doesn’t This Guy Have Anything Better to Do?
Story from my parents who are lawyers. So throughout the divorce proceedings, there was a car that was a huge point of contention between the husband and wife. After months and months of saying he would never let the wife have the car, the husband concedes in exchange for something great, like one of their summer houses.
It turns out he had been driving the car for three hours everyday in a big loop around the city, putting thousands and thousands of miles on it basically making it worthless. The amount of planning and spite that went into that was amazing.
11. A Love-Hate Relationship
My client was accused of not leaving this woman alone when she wanted no contact with him. He swore that they were dating, and she'd call the police when she got mad. She swore she wanted nothing to do with him. She had a photo on her phone of him sitting on her porch, to prove that he'd come around without her consent.
I asked permission from the judge to look at the photos before and after to get context. Lo and behold, she had hundreds of photos of him. Eating dinner with her, sitting on her couch—even wearing her undergarments. It was a glorious moment.
12. That Stop Sign Had It Coming
Public Defender, checking in. Apart from the usual sociopaths who argue that there's nothing wrong with cheating people, stealing, and screwing people over, and apart from the constitutionalists who want me to argue that because they put their hands over their eyes the government can't see them anymore, there are some good stories.
I had a client accused of hit and run damage to unattended property; to wit: a stop sign post. My client had parked his car in front of a gas pump and walked into a corner store. The car rolled away from the pump without him, rolled over the curb, and then over a stop sign and into a ditch. My client ran out of the store, got in the car, and promptly sped off.
His driver’s license was also suspended at the moment. This was all captured on video by a conveniently timed passing city bus. My guy wants me to argue that it wasn't hit and run because he wasn't driving the car when the thing got hit. He's got exactly half a point. I had to tell him that his argument solved, at most, half of the problem because it sure as heck was him driving for the “run” part of the hit and run. He took the plea deal.
13. Salt of the Earth
Lawyer here. I once amended a will for a doctor in which he disinherited his son by removing everything he had intended to bequeath and replacing it with a "manure spreader.” I didn't ask any questions because changing a will is an easy thing to do. But one day, that doctor will die, and his son will have essentially be told to "eat excrement."
14. Correcting the Record
I had two charges in two different courts, and oh man, did I make a huge mistake. I accepted the first plea which almost always carries probation, but my plea didn’t have that condition. When it came time to accept the second plea, the prosecutor didn’t include probation because she assumed my first charge put me on probation.
She said as much to the judge and I, being a big dummy, corrected her. My lawyer grabbed my shoulder and, I kid you not, said "don’t listen to her, she doesn’t know what she’s talking about!!"
15. Surprises Comes in Twos
My estate planning professor told us about a guy who had two families, neither of which knew about the other until it was time to read the man's will after he died. This wasn't like a love child/mistress type scenario, both were nuclear multi-kid families. Both families showed up for what had to be one of the most awkward will readings in history.
I don't really know how he pulled it off, other than that he was away on "business" frequently.
16. The Sanctity of Marriage
I'm a lawyer. One of my clients got busted cooking meth. This was a very clear-cut case, they actually caught him in the middle of a cook. No way he was getting out of this one. Even worse, he was cooking at home and children were there. Yep, the DA loaded him up with felonies, there was no bail and he was being held in the county jail.
My client knew he was screwed. He had been planning to get married a few weeks after he got busted. My client asks me if he can get released for 24 hours so he can still get married. I tell him that I'll ask, but that there's no way in heck they'll let him out. First, I ask the DA if they will allow it. Nope. They laugh.
So, I file a motion with the court. Now, I knew the judge was a crusty old conservative family values kind of guy. Who also has a raging erection for drug crime. There was no law involved, but I put together an argument about the sanctity of marriage and how the state should encourage marriage at all times, and that sort of thing.
We have a hearing and I make the argument. The DA is totally opposed and calls it ridiculous. And the judge grants it. The judge actually decided to allow my client out for 24 hours to get married. He had to surrender at the county jail at 8 AM the next day and some other conditions, but, still, he was allowed out.
Everyone is stunned. Nobody can believe it. The day of the wedding comes, my client gets out, gets married, then goes back to the jail. Everything went exactly like how it was supposed to, which is also pretty shocking.
17. One Heck of a Loophole
Not a lawyer, but I once got stopped by a cop for a “fix it” ticket. Basically, you have to fix a broken tail-light and get a cop to sign the ticket, or pay the fine. That night, my car was totaled by a drunk driver who ran off the road and hit it at a high speed. Can't fix a tail light if you don't have the car anymore! So I wound up going in on my court date to contest the ticket.
I said "sorry, I couldn't get the light fixed and don't think I should have to pay." The judge gives me this look like "what's your excuse"—so I hand over the police report papers and briefly explain about the wreck. I didn't have to pay.
18. Race to the Finish
I'm not a lawyer, but I do have a story related to a divorce case. I once worked on bank equipment, and my favorite was opening safety deposit boxes for the bank. So one day, I was asked to get there before the bank opened, which was really odd. I show up and greet the bank employee—along with a lawyer and a very angry looking woman.
She is really impatient to get into the safety deposit box. I get the lock open and swing the door out, and she's screaming, "let me in there!," So I stepped outside and let her rush by. A few moment later, I hear a string of loud curse words: it was empty. Then she busts out and storms off, but while she passed she threw down a single piece of paper that had been in the vault.
It basically said, "Screw you, witch." It had been a nasty divorce, and the-ex husband got there before she did.
19. Better Taxidermy Than Estate Tax, Am I Right?
In my trusts & estates class in law school, we read a case about a man who left everything to his wife, but only if she got his body stuffed and left it on the living room couch forever. Luckily for her, the court invalidated that part of the husband's will. If I recall correctly, part of the reasoning was that it would make it impossible for her to date/remarry if she had her husband's creepy dead body glaring at anyone who came to see her.
20. Crimes of Fashion
Law student sharing a former professor’s story: Defendant busted for possession of narcotics, they were in the pocket of his leather jacket. He argues the search was illegal because with his buttery smooth leather jacket, there's no way the officer would have felt the drugs in his pocket during a pat down, so he shouldn't have reached in the pocket to find the drugs in the first place.
Judge asks if the jacket is the one he was currently wearing in court; it was. Judge asks to feel this jacket and the pockets. Defendant hands it to the bailiff. Judge finds more drugs in the pocket. Needless to say, it didn't go well for him.
21. Maybe They Just Had a Question!
Two guys were being tried for robbing a gas station. A customer who saw the robbery was now on the witness stand. The prosecutor asked him to describe what he saw. He said that he saw two guys robbing the store and then running out, when one of them bumped into him. Then the prosecutor looked at the two perps and said "Are those two men in the courtroom today?"
At which point, the two idiots raised their hands. Case closed.
22. Life Turned Upside Down
During divorce proceedings, when we didn't live together anymore, my wife filed a frivolous police report saying that I "threatened" her. In the police report, she wrote my apartment's address as her place of residence. A court immediately issued a restraining order against me, prohibiting me from being in my apartment (that I rented).
While the restraining order was active (several months) I had to live in hotels and Airbnbs, which of course is 2x-3x of normal rent, without having access to my clothes and other stuff. I also was paying the rent for the apartment that was empty all that time (she never actually went there during that restraining order, even though she claimed it as her residence).
The restraining order was lifted as the case was dismissed after she never provided any evidence or even testimony to DA. I didn't sign lease extension in time during this process because I had no information how long the restraining order will be for; even though it was lifted right before my lease expired, I ended up having to move (and pay a broker fee).
Of course this also delayed divorce proceedings because we couldn't communicate while the restraining order was active. Besides that, she refused to sign tax form for "married filing jointly." I ended up filing as "married filing separately," which meant quite a few thousand dollars extra in payment to IRS. This was the biggest case of "screw you over without any gain for me" that I have seen.
23. Absolutely Evil
She took the cats. He wanted the cats. Looked like courts would give him the cats. She had the cats put down.
24. Head to Head
Waiting for my case to be called I heard a wild argument. It was a domestic violence case and the petitioner (person seeking protection) was accusing respondent (ex-boyfriend) of abuse, specifically that he’d head-butted her. Respondent argued back by saying "Seriously, honestly, Judge, I couldn't have because look at my head, it's huge. A head this big would leave a mark. Honestly Judge, look at my head."
To which the judge responded, "Son, I have a big head. Look at my head." This went on for a minute. Now the story doesn't stop here. It just gets better. The respondent then argues that petitioner "is keeping him from seeing their daughter,” and that she went as far as putting her uncle as the baby's father on the birth certificate.
At this point I look around in shock, the clerk's mind is slowly grasping what he said, and the judge nods his head with a "typical Tuesday" smirk.
25. Take the Win When It’s Given to You
Not a lawyer. Went to court to contest a traffic citation and the cop didn't show up. Case dismissed. "Thank you, your honor." Next case also dismissed. Guy stands up and is angry. "Your honor, I came down here to fight this. I brought my friend as a witness and everything." Judge: "So you don't want me to dismiss this?"
"I paid $15 bucks in parking and we came to fight this." Judge: "Do you want to take a moment to think this through?" The witness has started tugging on the back of his buddy’s shirt by then and talks him down. "Thank you, your honor, I think I'll just go home."
26. Too Much Caffeine
I was on a jury. The defendant attempted to rob a tip jar from a barista, and the barista fought back. He ran, and she tossed the empty jar towards him. The defendant now claims that he was hit on the head and injured by the metal tip jar. Even though we'd already watched the video, and I already caught this detail, the prosecutor asked to play the video of the robbery again.
And then she says "How could the barista have hit him in the front of the head, when she was throwing it from behind? And he's wearing a HAT." She was so annoyed she had to point that out, and I almost laughed.
27. Purrrfectly Petty
Just last week, I handled a matter where the parents left millions in artwork to various people in their wills, wads of cash to various charities, and only left their kids the family cats. Turns out, they did it because the kids got them the cats to comfort the parents in their old age, and the parents freaking hated the cats, but the kids wouldn’t let them get rid of the cats.
28. Lawyers Can Go Mad, Too
I worked at a law firm that was subpoenaed as part of a divorce between a partner at the firm and a partner at another major law firm. The woman issued more than 70 subpoenas to banks, firms, investment companies—you name it—because she was convinced he had squirreled away $20+ million overseas behind her back.
It got so bad that she dug up receipts from 25 years ago to try to put together this grand conspiracy puzzle. In the end, after she racked up $1.5 million in legal fees, and seven different lawyers, the judge said this is ridiculous—there was no conspiracy, and you are not entitled to a portion of this phantom $20 million.
Mind you: this was a major law firm partner who was acting this way. She made millions per year in her career. But she apparently lost her mind.
29. That Settles It!
I was at a hearing arguing that my client was wrongfully terminated because the employer failed to abide by the proper procedures. During the hearing, a witness for the employer tried to offer documents that were fraudulently altered in order to make it look like the proper procedure was followed. It was a slam dunk.
I noticed the alteration and was preparing to point it out when the opposing counsel realized what was going on, rushed that witness out of the room, and after a quick adjournment, offered my client a large settlement.
30. Lost the War, But Won the Last Laugh
My great uncle's official will gave the contents of his outhouse to the City Council of a nearby town after they'd tried to take his land twice to build a new water treatment plant. He spent quite a few years fighting eminent domain claims and just wanted to give them something in return. As a joke, his kids boxed up all the books and magazines in the outhouse and dropped them off at City Hall.
31. A Bench Player
I practice mostly criminal defense. Fairly recently, I had a client who, after pleading guilty to a theft charge, contested the amount of restitution owed. Essentially, the client said “I stole some stuff, but I didn't steal all of that stuff!” The victim had to come to court to prove the value of the things he alleged were stolen.
Some of those things (that my client denied having touched, much less stolen) were rare and valuable coins. To support his claim, he brought a statement purporting to be from a local coin dealer with the type of coin listed and its value. I knew nothing about coins, but I knew the judge knew a lot about coins, having collected them for years.
The DA asks his questions. I muddle through my questions. Then the judge said he had some questions, and verbally ripped this guy's list to shreds. Stuff like, "You expect me to believe that such and such coin in such and such condition is worth $250 when I can go online right now and find the same coin for $36?"
I just sat back and enjoyed the show.
32. Not Done With Those Nine Lives?
Not a lawyer, but an aging woman my family knew left her house (large, and in a very affluent neighborhood) and estate to family friends for so long as her cats were alive and taken care of in said house. After they died, the house was to be sold and the remaining estate donated. The weird thing is, it's been like 20 years and the cats are still alive. Also, they've changed color.
33. Mistaken Identity
When I was in law school, I clerked for a criminal defense legal clinic. We had an assault and battery case where there was only one witness to the crime, which was the victim. I was sitting at the defense table with the actual attorney, another law student that worked on the case with me, and the defendant. We were all in similar looking suits as a matter of unplanned coincidence.
The victim was asked to identify the person who committed the assault in court. She pointed to me and not the defendant. Our attorney asked several times if she was really pointing to me and if she was sure, and she said yes. The prosecutor was visibly upset and the trial pretty much ended right then and there, as this was a bench trial and not with a jury.
It was never discussed or admitted to, but I suspect that our attorney purposefully had me there at the trial because of my passing resemblance to the defendant.
34. Domestic Stupidity
I used to be a domestic violence advocate, and helped victims get protective orders against their abusers. At one hearing, my client told her story of abuse—him hitting her after an argument. The judge asked him, “So, did you hit her?” He says, and I quote, “Now Judge, it was just a little lovetap, you know how it is.”
The judge blinked twice, stunned, slammed his gavel, and granted her petition.
35. Revenge Is a Dish Best Served...Cheap?
Not me, but a guy I worked with 10 years ago. I worked with a guy who really stuck it to his ex wife. When I met him he was working in a sporting goods store making 8 dollars an hour. He was not really like the other retail monkeys. He was older, well groomed, well spoken, clearly educated, all of that stuff.
One night after work he gets into his car, and I couldn't help but notice that it was a very very nice newish Jaguar. I asked him how he could afford it and he explained it to me: He had been an SVP at a well known fortune 50 company, pulling in 300k with bonuses and stock options. He was married but the marriage fell apart and in the divorce, she demanded that she get the house and 40% of his wages.
He and his lawyer somehow managed to get her to agree to let him keep the house in exchange for 75% of his pay. As soon as she took the settlement he quit his job and looked for a minimum wage job. He said to me that "She gets 75% of nearly nothing now." He had other money stashed away, so he didn't even need the job and he had the house and its equity as well.
Also, no kids, so there was no child support. Just alimony. She was furious of course, and tried to re-sue him but failed at least once and when she claimed that the settlement was not keeping her in the life style she was accustomed to, he simply told the judge that the divorce was traumatic to him and he could no longer do his old job as a result.
At least at that time, she did not manage to get out of the deal. Not sure how it all ended. But I thought it was brilliant if not crazy-level spiteful. He was a good employee too...good with customers, showed up on time, no absenteeism or anything like that. He claimed he loved each payday because it reminded him how little she was getting.
36. Forgive but Never Forget (or Enrich)
My vindictive grandmother left my aunt $20 in her will as a reminder of the $20 my aunt stole from her once.
37. The Man Who Totally Wasn’t Me
I wasn't a lawyer, but a law clerk working with the prosecutor's office. This guy was caught on the highest quality security cam video I've ever seen stabbing a store clerk like 15 times (she survived), and then was tackled a block away from the scene not five minutes later by a man who had see him flee and followed him, 25 feet from the knife and the jacket he'd been wearing that was covered in blood with a receipt with his name on it in the pocket.
It was the literal definition of a slam dunk case. The guy chose to proceed to trial without his lawyer, instead of having the case postponed after his attorney’s house was broken into and all his files were stolen. This guy’s main argument was that it wasn't him because in the statement of probable cause written by the officers after the incident they misspelled his highly unique last name by adding a T in the middle (e.g. Johnson became Johnston).
He spelled his name out at every opportunity with much emphasis. He also argued it couldn't be him because the man on the video tied a t-shirt around his head so that the distinctive tattoos there would be hidden, but he would never cover over his tattoos like that because he was proud of them and they represented his heritage as a Korean man.
The jury took less than a half hour to return a guilty verdict.
38. Driving While Modern
I have a buddy who is a DUI attorney. In the state he practiced in, being in the car with the keys in the ignition, even if the engine isn't running, is considered a DUI if you're intoxicated. A client came in and told his story to my buddy. The buddy goes to the DA after discovery and says "Don't take this to trial!" The DA replies "Yeah, right."
In court, he gets the State Trooper who made the arrest up on the stand. The Trooper says under oath "I saw with my own two eyes that the keys were in the ignition." Buddy gives the cop several tries to walk it back. Then has it read into the record that the car was a Prius. It didn't use a key. BOOM. Instant dismissal and the cop got into some trouble.
39. His Own Worst Enemy
For a while, my mother dated a man who really liked to act like a big shot. He was a guy that claimed to know a guy wherever you went. Any time you wanted something, he would say "Oh wait, let's go to store x instead; I'll talk to Bob the owner and get you a deal!" Nearly every time he did, the owner seemed like he wasn't entirely sure who this guy was.
Eventually the relationship ended. Soon after, we find out that he's taking us to court because we owe him money. Court date comes, he presents his case first. He goes through a huge itemized list of every item he ever bought us. Every single item, from a vending machine coke to a new sink. Even a birthday cake bought for the youngest child.
Once he's done, the judge asks if there was an agreement to be paid back for any of that. He says it was just an understanding. The judge asks specifically if he ever said he wanted to be paid back. He says no, but usually when someone buys you something you pay them back. The judge then explained that no, that's not usually how gifts work, and that by his own admission there was never an expectation to pay for anything.
So thanks to his own testimony, the case was closed.
40. Drunk on Puppy Love
I was a juror, but this was a heck of a defense. Defendant ran through a red light and crossed against traffic in front of an officer. She was over twice the limit. It wasn't her fault. She had a cut on her arm that her dog licked. The yeast from the dog’s saliva entered her blood stream and converted her blood sugar into alcohol.
41. Dearly Departed and Stealthily Wealthy
This is an interesting glimpse into the mind of a kind old woman in her 90s. My aunt and uncle (both were more like parents and incredibly beautiful people) passed away within a few weeks of one another. When my uncle became ill, my aunt tried to work on a will with her long-term lawyer, but she was kinda just old and out of it.
Her main concern the entire time was small knick-knacks like a jar of pennies she wanted a distant cousin to have or a used jacket from the 70s she bequeathed to a sister-in-law. It was quite touching how much time she spent carefully considering each item and who would get it. Most of the items were used and didn't even really hold any sentimental value, she just wanted them to go to good homes.
When she passed away, everyone knew exactly who was getting each odd item. The real kicker is when the lawyer told the primary beneficiaries that she never got around to the bigger assets and all that jazz. She basically told the lawyer, "Pay for our funeral and anything we owe and then family members x, y, and z can figure out the rest."
It ended up being millions in homes, lakefront property, jewelry, antique firearms, vehicles, life insurance policies, stocks, bonds, gold coins, etc. etc. Luckily, the family is very close and everything went off without a hitch. They were amazing people who wanted to keep family items in the family, they just didn't put that much weight on their incredible wealth.
They also hid their wealth amazingly. We all knew that they were very comfortable, but no one had any idea they were deep into eight-figure assets. It was just funny to see a random niece get a set of plastic cups, worn dance shoes, and a check for $125,000.
42. What If That Was a Lie?
At my first jury trial, I'm cross-examining the alleged victim, and in answering my question she says, "Oh yeah, I lie all the time!" Needless to say, I won that trial.
43. Absolutely Awful
The husband was severely screwed over by the wife purely because she could. She divorced him in a no-fault state, providing her with immediate out-of-pocket support from him until the end of the divorce, as well as all bills paid. Now this doesn't sound so bad... if the wife wasn't an abusive, vindictive, bipolar monster.
He's a gentleman, you know... the good husband type. But she just kept at it, arguing with family, abusing children, attempting suicide by sleeping pills, the works. The woman was an absolute train wreck. The worst thing was, there was nothing he could do about it. No one would really help him out of the mess.
Due to the laws of the state, despite firing four attorneys, and telling all of them "oh just send the attorney costs to my husband, have him pay," the court just shrugged their shoulders. The divorce carried on for nearly four years because the state did not require a settlement be made, so she just kept declining all of his offers while continuing to bask in free income.
It even got to the point where he was offering half a mil over the next four years and she said "go screw yourself." Over those four years his appearance and personality was like that of a president serving a term. It was absolutely awful to see.
44. Can’t Put a Price on Homemade Memories
When my dad's mother died, her will stipulated that everything was to be liquidated and the money distributed equally between her children and grandchildren. Fine, but literally everything had to be sold. There were family heirlooms, jewellery, things my grandfather (a carpenter) had made. So many sentimental family things that my father and his siblings badly wanted, but it all had to be sold.
They all went to the auction to try to buy some of the more sentimental items, but weren't always successful. It was heartbreaking, and I'm not sure what made my grandmother think it would be a good idea. Nobody wanted the money; they wanted her wedding ring and the clocks my grandfather had made and all that.
45. This Clause Is Worthy of Paws
One summer, I worked as an administrative assistant to a lawyer who worked in wills and estates. Most of it was the usual petty arguing about percentages of money, but one couple was deeply concerned about which of their children would receive the urn with the ashes of the family's long deceased cat. "Wouldn't want to play favorites."
46. Status Update: You Lose
I was representing a plaintiff in a hit and run case. Despite me preparing her for several hours the previous day, this client was an absolutely terrible witness for her own case. She couldn’t even identify the street she was crossing when she was hit by the car. The “gotcha” moment came during cross-examination.
The defense counsel pulls out a picture of my client dressed up and ready to hit the club, which was posted to Facebook the day after the alleged accident. I, thinking quickly, object because the timestamp refers to when it was posted, not when it was taken. So the defense counsel shows the picture to my client and asks her when the picture was taken.
Sure enough, she confirms that it was taken the day after the accident—i.e. when she was supposedly in unbearable pain.
47. They’re Reaching, Your Honor
Not a lawyer but when my mom was killed by a drunk driver, we were filing a wrongful death suit. And the lawyer for the defense used my mom's cancer to say that she was going to die anyway, so a wrongful death dispensation was not owed.
48. You Can’t Cook up a Clause Like This
In her will, my own grandmother specified which of the children and grandchildren should get which of the family recipes, and somehow felt the need to include commentary about why certain decisions were made. One recipe was this Prohibition-era recipe for beer that I knew my uncle, also a home-brewer, wanted, but she left it to me, with the comment that, "I know you wanted it, Teddy, but she has the second-best penmanship of the girls and will make you a copy."
And then like eight pages later, in among the specific descriptions of her vast collection of romance novels (really), was a line: "And [specific Jude Devereaux title] to Spidey, who will please subtract about half the hops before she copies the beer recipe for her Uncle Teddy so that any of us can drink it. Our Jon had his IPA last summer and just about died."
Uncle Jon just about burst into tears laughing, and Uncle Teddy had long since left the room because he has no darns whatsoever to give about romance novels. And no, I have no idea how she got this will done. My guess is she wrote it herself and the law students who come to her independent-living building signed off on it. It was...elaborate, that's for sure. Total value of the estate was well under eight thousand dollars, so it was mostly a funny last letter from Grandma.
49. Grass Dismissed
I got a violation put against my name for land I didn't own. It was the land next to mine, owned by the city. I got up to the stand, explained myself and presented pictures of the properties as evidence. The inspector who wrote the violation stood and called me by a name that wasn't mine, then showed pictures of a busted up car with a bunch of weeds on it which I had never seen before.
The judge raised her eyebrow and asked what address this was. He said an address that was across town from mine. I say that I have no connection to that land. She immediately removes the fines, case dismissed.
50. Dead on Arrival
A man was on trial in Denmark for having violated an entry ban to the country.
Prosecutor: "Your Honor, here he is!"
That was easy!
51. One Flew Over the Solicitor’s Nest
Not a lawyer, but I worked with plenty of estates and trust accounts over the years. This particular scenario is about the circumstances that led up to the trust account being opened. I used to work at a bank in the estates department. I was an administrator who had to manage the files, including encroachments upon the capital (i.e. "I want to take some money out now, please").
I had this one account—a multi-million-dollar trust for one single beneficiary, the son of the deceased. What's interesting is that the son killed the parents...with a hammer in grotesque and brutal fashion. He plead insanity.He would call once a year from the penitentiary/mental hospital, requesting $50 for commissary (to buy chips and gum).
The call was always strange. He was very polite, very doped up. The quality of the call was always very "tinny," like he was far away from the phone.
52. I Can’t Get No Better Result
I once watched my friend get out of a speeding ticket by sheepishly and truthfully informing the judge that he was late for a Rolling Stones concert. The judge didn’t miss a beat, just accepted the reason and dropped the ticket.
53. Choose Your Partners Wisely
I'm a divorce lawyer and I currently have a client who makes a sizeable salary, north of $200k/yr. His spouse has separated but will not leave the matrimonial home, despite her overtures that she wants to become independent. She has actively depleted the joint bank account of hundreds of thousands of dollars, which she has siphoned into personal bank accounts.
She uses the money to finance her lifestyle of expensive yoga classes, buying luxury purses and shoes, eating at fine dining establishments and spending recklessly to deplete her net family property. She was literally taking every penny that he deposited from his paycheque on the advice of her lawyer, which she then used to pay for her lawyer.
He was literally financing opposing counsel. That has now stopped. She will not allow him to see the kids when he comes home from work, or even read them bedtime stories. She refused to allow him to take his sons to see their grandfather in hospital, who passed away shortly thereafter, and she continues to alienate the children from the paternal aunts and grandmother.
She has no extensive family that still speaks to her. Both her and her counsel are bloodthirsty. Even though they signed a prenup, she wants to take half of the $2.5 million home, wants full custody of the kids, and wants him to pay her $8,000 a month in spousal support. She could work full time earning as much as $95,000/yr, but she'd rather live life like a real housewife.
I just took this file on, but it has the makings of a nasty divorce already. I want nothing more than to take her and her counsel down hard. Files like this make my blood boil, because sometimes other lawyers take stupidly aggressive positions to force the matter into litigation. Perhaps, I'll provide an update in the near future.
54. Crash Landing
I did some consulting work for two divorce attorneys when I was in grad school. Their client was a career airline pilot. His wife worked part time so there was a huge income disparity. It was an ugly divorce. During the process but before the final decree, tax time rolled around. The wife's attorney calls my guys and says, "Her accountant just called. If they can just share their W-2's and file jointly, they each stand to save about $8,000 over married filing separately."
My guys took that info to the husband. He says, "Screw her. Losing $8,000 is going to be way worse for her than it will be for me." Cold as ice, man.
55. The Prodigal Son Returns (and Hoards Your Stuff)
Not a lawyer, but my maternal grandpa was wealthy. He divorced my maternal grandma, remarried, and promptly dropped dead of a heart attack. He was only 48 and had no will, so everything went to his new wife, my mom’s stepmother. She was actually really nice and was planning on making sure that everything was "fair"...till she died in a car accident 6 months later. That was the beginning of the nightmare.
She was a widow herself prior to marrying grandpa, and had a now-orphaned 15-year-old son from the previous marriage who got everything. My mom and her siblings had to go to the auction at their childhood home and buy back as much of their heirlooms and memories as they could afford (and, truthfully, stole some of what they couldn’t).
56. Now This One’s Just Cheesy...
My dad is a lawyer, and he had one person come in that wanted to sue McDonald’s because she got her cheeseburger upside down in the bag at McDonald's instead of right side up....
57. A Wheel-y Good Defense
A friend's sister went to court over a moving violation. She's an engine tuner and had built herself a beautiful first gen Mitsubishi Eclipse with 6-700 horsepower at the wheels. This car, inevitably, attracted the attention of local law enforcement, who pulled her over with no fewer than eight cruisers after some slightly aggressive acceleration around a left turn.
During cross-examination, she asked the officer who'd made the call why exactly she had been pulled over. "I heard the engine revving, and I saw you spinning the tires and sliding around the corner." "To be clear, officer, which tires were spinning?" "The rear tires." "So I was spinning the rear tires, and it was the back end that swung out?"
"Yes ma'am, that's correct." "And you're sure that's what you saw?" "Clear as day, ma'am. The light turned green, you stepped on the gas, and the rear tires broke loose under power." "The rear tires broke loose under power? There's no doubt in your mind that that's exactly what happened?" "None at all." The courtroom went quiet. And then:
"Your honor, this officer is either lying or hallucinating. My car is front wheel drive."
58. Liquored Above the Law
Not in court but a conversation in my office: “It doesn't matter if you were sober or not. You jumped out of a third-story window with a beer bottle and threw it at a cop. The jury is going to think you were drunk. Also, I think you were drunk.”
59. You Saved a Child? How Dare You
When I was working for a New Jersey judge, we did mostly cases with the Division of Youth and Family Services (negligent custody, adoptions, etc.). This case technically was the government suing for custody, and it wasn't stupid. The parents never fed, clothed, sent their children to school, or otherwise let them out of the house, in addition to beating them.
At any rate, this case was recurring and involved parents who claimed to belong to the Moorish Nation, a small religious sect.
Their entire legal defense was that they were descended from Moors, and the United States government had no power over them. Not only was the government powerless over the Moors, but by taking the children, we were also committing mass, world-wide genocide.
What was most surprising to me was that their brief to the court seemed to have been written by someone with at least some legal training. But it only cited ancient Roman (and other old-world) civil law, multiple treaties between African and European states, a few completely off-point cases from like Wyoming and Ohio traffic court, and a copious amount of "religious law" that I was never able to find at all.
Needless to say, we placed the kids with foster parents—despite a riot in the courtroom, because the entire church showed up. Luckily the brief and parents' testimony described in comprehensive, vivid detail how I am going to burn in the eternal flames of damnation, so I have something to look forward to.
60. The Value of Silence
Lawyer here. During an order of protection hearing, the 6'3" tall muscular tattooed idiot told the judge that my 5'1" tall female client deserved the black eye he gave her because she wouldn't stop running her mouth. He actually expected the judge to be sympathetic or something. The second he admitted to hitting her the judge cut him off and said "Order of Protection granted. Next case."
61. Revenge Skips a Generation
"To my daughter Anne, who created my beautiful granddaughter Jane, and her dear fourth husband John, who laid hands on My Jane: I leave one dollar, you money grubbing jerks. To Jane, I leave all of my monetary assets, save $5,000, and my best gun which I leave to my son Bill, on the condition that he beats John bloody during the time between my funeral and my burial. Jane, bail your uncle out of jail, please."
I'm not a lawyer, but other than names, this is the exact wording of a great-uncle's will. At age nine, Jane told her mother that John had molested her, and her mother told her she deserved it. So, Great-Uncle took Jane in and raised her, and his two kids got exactly what it says. His son also got a truck and technically a house, although he only kept it until Jane was a legal adult and could afford the tax on it.
Bill got full custody of Jane when his father died, and he put every penny of her money into a trust fund to mature when she was 25 because he felt like his sister would try to get the money. He was right. And in case anyone wondered, yes Bill got his five grand. He didn't get arrested, though, because John had a warrant on him, so they didn't dare call the cops. Bill did kindly inform the police of his whereabouts a few weeks later.
62. The Only Thing Worse Than a Love Triangle Is a Legal Triangle!
I had a crazy older client who was suing his minister for seducing his younger wife and convincing her to dump him. He came in with the wife he abandoned for the younger wife. The guy was absolutely nuts. Some idiot signed him up and filed the suit and I inherited it. I spent hours telling the guy he did not have a case and he finally had to withdraw against his will.
It was a bit sticky because the judge was grumpy.
63. Party Pooper
Actual lawyer. This was what I dubbed the "Surprise Party Defense." In a hearing for an order of protection in which an ex-wife is trying to get an order of protection against the ex-husband who had been stalking her. They have a high-school aged child together. Ex-husband tries to argue against the order of protection by saying they may need to be able to communicate about the child.
The judge points out that they can communicate THROUGH the child, and also that other family members have been put in place by the juvenile court to be intermediaries re: pickup, drop-off, etc.Then ex-husband has a brilliant light-bulb idea: "Judge, what if I need to throw my son a surprise party, and I need to keep it secret from everyone, but his mom still needs to know so she doesn't throw a party the same day?"
In other-words, while I admit have been stalking my ex-wife and that there are grounds to grant an order of protection, you should not grant that order just in case I need to throw a surprise party one day. What made it was how clever he thought the argument was. Thus was born, the Surprise Party Defense. It was ridiculous.
The bottom line is, the guy was trying to use the kid as an excuse to avoid an order of protection, so he could continue to stalk and harass his ex-wife.
64. Getting Into Icy Territory
I once got out of a noise violation ticket. I was driving around and had the music in my car up pretty loud. A cop pulls me over and gives me a ticket for the noise violation. I go to court about it. My defense was, "If the ice cream man can drive around blaring that creepy music, I can listen to my radio." The judge tried hard to keep a straight face and I got out of the ticket.
65. Tragic Ending
Not a lawyer, but saw how divorces can get ugly. My neighbor brainwashed her kids to think their father had molested them, etc... so every-time he came to get his kids they would make it hard (run around the car is one example) Well, one day I came home early from college and the son shot his dad in his car. Ten years old, killed his dad.
They found out that mom was supplying the son with Prozac (not prescribed to him) and she was brainwashing him. They still live next door and the kid got out at 21, I think.
66. Nice Try, Lady!
I almost got scammed 12 years ago. It was the maddest I've ever seen a cop. I rear ended a lady in a Toyota 4x4 doing about ten mph. We were pulling off at a stoplight and she hit her brakes. Her brake lights were obviously less visible to me than the setting sun and I hit her. The only part of my truck to impact her vehicle was a tow hook about three inches long and an inch wide.
The entire left side of her back bumper was pushed in, a tail light broken, and minor body damage. I don't have pictures but it was very clear that there was no way my impact could have caused all that. She claimed otherwise, and very loudly to the officer that reported to the scene. He was furious. He tells me that I am free to go and I waste no time doing so.
As I pulled off, he was giving her the drill instructor treatment.
67. I’m Taking Mew With Me
I worked with a client who wanted language that her cats would be euthanized and buried with her. We had to explain why legally we couldn’t do that. The moral part just went over her head. One of the few clients who ever got under my skin.
68. 12 Seconds or Your Trial Is Free
This is a story that my grandpa always tells, so some of the details are fuzzy but this is the gist of it. My grandpa was a public defender, and this was a defense he used for one of his clients, who was being accused of attempting to break into a car. How it happened: Man #1 is sitting in his house, and he looks out the window and sees Man #2 next to a car parked in the street.
Man #2 is out there fiddling with the car door for like 10 minutes, and so Man #1 realizes he's trying to break into the car and calls the cops. Man #2 runs, and eventually Man #3, my grandpa's client, is picked up nearby because he matched the description of Man #2. So, my grandpa is meeting with his client and telling him what he's accused of. Client asks, "Wait, what kind of car was it?"
Grandpa tells him. Client says, "I can prove that it wasn't me." Grandpa: "How?" Client: "You said the guy was out there for 10 minutes–I can break into that car in less than 20 seconds." Grandpa: "Prove it." So, he finds one of whatever kind of car it was, and the client proceeds to pick the lock in 12 seconds.
Grandpa gets the judge out there, and the client does it again for the judge, who makes him do it one more time and then dismisses the case.
69. A Pheasant Surprise
My ex's mum was a lawyer, one of her clients at the time had a great one. She 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 her right in the face and knocked her off the back of the bike. They broke up about six months later.
So what does this woman do? She decided she wanted to sue him for ducking. Pretty ridiculous.
70. Sleep on It
Oh, geez where do I start. I mean I could tell plenty of these about my own clients, but I like this one: A lady has an injury/Comp case. It's for her upper back and, of course, complex regional pain syndrome. She decides she needs the insurance company to pay for a special mattress for her. Like, a $6,000 memory foam mattress, with heat and massage and a thousand other features.
And not just a twin, she needs a California King, because, of course, her layabout unemployed boyfriend needs to sleep there too. We spend months litigating this darn thing. Finally, she buys it herself and my client agrees to give her $1,500 just to be done with it. The judge takes myself and opposing counsel aside and says he's gonna screw us if we ever say the word mattress in his court again after wasting all this time.
It was that ridiculous. Not three months go by and the case comes on for another hearing. After exhausting all the chiropractic care allowed under the law, her doctor was seeking a variance to get some additional chiropractic. We get to court and I'm arguing it should be denied, etc. Judge turns to her and says, "Ma'am, why do you feel you need more chiropractic care?"
She pauses for a minute then says, "I'm having a lot of trouble sleeping on my mattress." I think I saw smoke coming out of his ears.
71. Telling It Like It Is
Fraud trial. Prosecution gets right to the point. Third question in to the defendant: “So you have no properties, no identifiable source of income, no inheritance, and, as far as I’m aware, have not won the lottery, yet you have foreign bank accounts with £x million and a Ferrari. It must simply be a coincidence that my client has an accounting black hole pretty much exactly equal to those riches.”
The defendant pretty much gave up on the spot.
72. Reputation Is Everything
Girl was 18 years old, sitting in the parking lot of a restaurant in her little VW Jetta. All of a sudden, some older woman in a freaking Escalade backs into her. Rather than getting out like a normal person, the woman gets out and starts screaming at the girl saying it was her fault and "why didn't you see me backing up!!!" etc.
So, when the cops come to write up the police report, the woman immediately tells them her story of how she was backing up and "that dumb girl" backed up into her without so much as a glance backward. She made sure to throw in little embellishments like, "I could have been KILLED!" etc. Friend told them that she hadn't moved and was in park the whole time. That the woman had backed into her.
Well, turns out the woman was a well-known woman who was exceedingly rich and gave an absurd amount of money to the police department every year at their annual fundraiser. So, who did they believe? The irresponsible 18 year-old girl or the woman that almost single-handedly built them a new jail? You guessed it.
Eventually, she had to settle with the woman because of lack of evidence.
My dad divorced his first wife and promptly took his name off of all the credit cards. She proceeded to buy all kinds of stuff, thinking she'd stick him with the bill. She was not happy to hear she was the only one on the account.
74. Losers Keepers
Former assistant state attorney/prosecutor here. This defendant is called up for arraignment and the judge is telling him that he's been charged with theft for stealing a roll of scratch-off tickets from a gas station. The judge informs the defendant that since the value of the tickets was over $300, therefore it's a felony rather than a misdemeanor.
The defendant says to the judge "But your honor, to be fair, the tickets were all losers" implying it's not theft at all. I was amazed at the ingeniousness yet futility of the argument.
75. Is It Hot in Here, or Is It You?
I had a friend who had a toxic relationship with his uncle. When his uncle passed, he was surprised to find he was in the will. Turns out there was a handwritten IOU that read, “I’m leaving you 15k BUT you have to come get it from me. I’ll see you in hell!” My friend laughed.
76. Kiss and Tell
This came in a deposition, but it's still one of my funniest stories from this old job. I worked part-time as a paralegal when I was in college. We had this massive case with a lot of people involved that had spun out into a bunch of little side cases. In one of those side cases, this guy was claiming our client had left him threatening voicemails related to the main case, so he and his wife sued for loss of consortium.
Loss of consortium, and I swear to you this is a real thing, basically means something happened that is stopping a married couple from having sex, and they want to sue you over it. The guy was claiming that he was so scared by these voicemails that he couldn't sleep with his wife anymore. Deposition time rolls around, and I'm sitting in the other room, but it's a small office and I can hear everything.
My boss starts asking the wife how we're supposed to know that it was our client's fault they stopped having sex. Maybe she's just not as attracted to him anymore. Maybe he's not attracted to her. Maybe they didn't have that much of a sex life to begin with, etc. So, this woman starts yelling "I love sex!" and banging her fists on the table.
Her lawyers try to calm her down and tell her to stop talking, but she keeps on shouting "I love sex! We used to have sex two, three times a day! We'd be thrown out of hotels because of the noise we'd make!" And to the protestation of everyone in the room, her counsel and ours, she proceeded to describe their sexual history in graphic detail, all of which was recorded in the deposition and filed with the court.
77. Just a Little Clowning Around
I did a pro bono case for a street clown who wanted to sue another street clown for stealing 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 legal ground.
78. The Rules Are There For a Reason, Folks
When I was about 13 or 14, I was really into skating and used to have to get the bus to the nearest town to go to their skate-park. Well, I wasn't too fond of this because (a) it was an hour each way and (b) it was a crappy town and some of the more...unsavory types used to come down sometimes and start on us. So, we decided what we needed was a skatepark in our own town.
So, my friends and I got together and started a charity with the help of a few local adults and (eventually) the Council. After a couple of years, we'd raised about £60,000 and our skatepark was built. Despite nearly being 30, this still sits as one of my proudest achievements (I was in charge of finances despite my age, and was pretty darn good at it).
There were a few requirements to suit the insurers and RosPA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents), such as gating it off and having lots of signs that have warnings, and to ban anyone under ten from using the park. Despite these signs, the inevitable happened and a kid aged eight went onto it (with his parents blessing and presence) and walked right in front of another skater, and was knocked over with a broken wrist.
So the parents sued. Oh dear! Never mind, we pointed out that the signs clearly stated an age limit, and the parents should have known better than to let him run around on a skate park when he was two years under the age limit. However, you'll never guess what their solicitor's argument was...Apparently, us putting the signs up with the warning showed we knew there was a problem, and we didn't do anything about it.
Screw those parents for blaming everyone else for their failed parenting. Screw their solicitor for trying to destroy a much-loved skate park for a quick quid.
79. What a Heel!
In criminal court one morning, the accused wore a pair of very unique custom made red cowboy boots... that were stolen from the house he was accused of robbing. Yes, he wore them. To court. To plead not guilty. The prosecutor was laughing.
80. Stumbled Into a Mess
Around seven or eight years ago a woman fell together with her balcony onto my mother's car. This woman was around 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 (she would have fallen from a greater height and onto rough concrete hadn't it been there) she decided it was a good idea to sue us. It's important to note here that:
a) It was her fault that she fell as she decided that wasting her money on safety checks was of no use. Therefore, no insurance money and b) Our car insurance sued her for some of the damage she caused (we paid most of it). Ms. Thick-as-a-Brick decides to sue my mother for parking her car there. She claimed that she would have been better off if it weren't there (which by any logic was complete rubbish).
Well guess what happened—she lost the case. As a result, she now had to pay both for the damage she caused, a fraction of her medical bill (she had medical insurance) and the lawyer fees for both herself and my mother. This is the point where she exhibits excellent cognitive skills and logic: she decides to move without informing the authorities.
My mom notices the moving-crew and decides to follow her to her new address. She writes down the address and eventually provides our insurance with it since the woman stopped responding to her mail. All of this got her in more trouble than she already was. To top it all off, the investigation caused by the latter eventually led to the police finding out she and her husband were connected to a human trafficking network.
81. The Grocery Store Was Clearly at Fault Here...
My lawyer husband had a woman come in to his office with this gem: she wanted to sue a large grocery chain because her baby's fingers had gotten hurt in one of their carts. How so? Well, all she did was put her baby in the cart. You know, down underneath the cart on that shelf where the babies go? Babies fingers were dangling down and the mom ran over its fingers, several times.
82. Some People Are Heartless
Bad separation, wife filed a restraining order on the husband (very common, wasn't a terrible guy but not great either). A year into the divorce his mother was dying, he asked his sister to speak with his ex-wife and ask to bring the kids to see her in the hospital before she died. The wife never did, instead she went to the court and said he violated the restraining order by trying to contact her (you can't contact someone through another party).
He admitted it and explained the situation, but was found in breach of the order. His mother died while he was locked up and the wife never brought the kids to see her.
83. There Is No Legal Precedent for This Level of Ridiculous
I used to work for the Attorney General in my home jurisdiction. A guy who'd had his children taken away for some really horrible abuse (he was crazy and had really insane religious beliefs) tried to get his kids back by claiming they were his intellectual property. He sent notices that he'd copyrighted the kids, and demands for their return.
Then he got the idea that his name and all his kids' names were trademarks, so every time he received a court document that referenced any of their names, he sent us an invoice for trillions of dollars for each use of his "trademarks." I guess this doesn't really fit the bill since the dude wasn't coming to me to sue someone, but it was still pretty remarkable.
84. Worst Case Scenario
We had a couple that were both lieutenant colonels in the Air Force. They had one daughter that was about 11 or 12. Both had graduate degrees and were generally intelligent people. Well the husband had an affair and things went sour with the relationship. The daughter was at that age when her relationship with the mother was starting to get a little strained and she mentioned how she wanted to stick with her dad because he was about to be stationed elsewhere and the parents would be going their separate ways.
The mother absolutely freaked. The first thing she did was go to the local police department and claim the father had been hurting the daughter. They investigated and couldn't find any evidence so they dropped the case. The mother still furious then goes to the Air Force Office of Special Investigations and reports the same thing.
The Air Force then suspends the husband from duty and conducts their own investigation, same result no evidence of wrong doing and the case is dropped. The mother then goes to the next state over where the husband is about to be transferred and contacts the local police there with the same story about molestation.
They of course do their own investigation but same result, case is dropped. Of course this whole time the daughter has been interviewed a dozen times by psychologists, various therapists, the police, the Air Force, and who knows else. The daughter is straight up traumatized by this. Not to mention the harm it did to her father's career.
He was basically screwed from any possible promotion just because of the allegations. As well as the fact that infidelity in the military is a big no no. But that was his own doing. Well, once word of all this gets back to the judge, he is furious. He's a former Air Force Jag and still has contacts in the ranks, so he can actually do some damage.
The couple comes in front of him one day for a hearing and he outright tells her she better stop this behavior or he's going to hold her in contempt of court for the maximum amount of time he can lawfully hold her in a cell, contact the DA and recommend the filing of charges, contact her Air Force superiors and recommend reprimand to the fullest extent possible, and basically anything and everything he can do within his power.
It was one of the most messed up things I've seen during my relatively short experience in the legal world.
85. Hide and Go Seek Gone Wrong
I'm an accountant, not a lawyer. Had a client who was divorcing her husband hide Ziploc bags of ground meat throughout the house (in air vents, the attic, behind water heater etc.) I think it was at least 20-30 bags that took months to find all of them.
86. Death Is a Top-Heavy Subject Matter
My Grandmother had her boobs done when she was in her 60s. Nothing really wrong with that, but when she died, her will said she wanted an open casket with her boobs on display. Really Nanna? She passed away at 80 and got exactly what she asked for. Grandad ended up sticking two strategically-placed daisies on her boobs.
So, she got what she wanted and so did Grandad. RIP Granny, you silly cow, I love you.
87. Like Riding a Bike...
Not a lawyer but my two bosses were married and opened a bike shop together. He was the brains and the backbone since he was a former Olympic mechanic, she just sort of balanced the checkbook and worked a couple days a week. Unfortunately, he had no credit and she did, so when they opened everything was in her name.
All he wanted in the divorce was the bike shop and was willing to buy her half. She wanted the bike shop too, but didn't want to buy him out for his half. Mind you, her father passed away and she was sitting on like $300k in the bank (and also had the audacity to take out student loans for her daughter to go to college).
He lost the bike shop and I think he got a little bit of money for his share. What she didn't expect was that all of the high-paying customers would stop going there. They were all his friends or they only wanted him to work on their bikes (so I don't know why she would have had that notion). So he opened up his own bike shop and all of the "regulars" have become regulars at the new bike shop.
88. Best Friends or Else
I was the child in a custody case between my parents. My mother's lawyer argued for and had it put in the final agreement that I had to add my mother as a Facebook friend. This was seven years ago, we are still not friends on Facebook, and she's blocked on everything I have an account for.
89. Doggone It
I’m a lawyer who is not practicing in court, but when I was in college doing my bachelor's degree, criminal law was part of the curriculum and this included spending a couple of days observing criminal trials. The things you witness. Anyway, at the start of one of these trials a guy with the greasiest mullet enters the room.
Thin, tall, disproportionately sized limbs, tattoos all over; I swear the way he sat before the judge, the only thing that was missing was a beer in his hand and a chicken under his arm. Now, this guy chose not to have a lawyer represent him, as he's a regular and spends short periods of time in jail or doing community service pretty much every month anyway.
Real problem case; alcoholism, etc., but still he comes across as a really sympathetic dude and has a really entertaining way of telling a story while keeping a straight face and not realizing how funny he is. He knows he's getting a fine and a couple of hours of cutting weeds as community service to keep our Dutch streets nice and tidy, but still tries to win the sympathies of the judge to decrease his sentence.
This man's dog was sent to a dog shelter when they found it malnourished a couple of weeks before when they brought him in for dealing—real sad, but also the reason he's standing trial. The guy got high as a kite and drunk as an Irishman on St. Patrick's and while completely out of his mind decided to get his dog back from the shelter, because he really missed “his girl.”
The judge asks him if it's correct that he broke the lock and some of the camera equipment on site of the dog shelter and he confirms. You could really tell from his passionate account of the progression of the evening that he did all this out of pure love as his dog according to him was the only thing that pulled him through all of his rough patches with his girlfriend and his issues.
So, the judge orders camera footage to be shown to confirm that it is the suspect and he confirms. On it he is seen stumbling about and wrenching one of the dog enclosures open and hugging a German Shepherd. At this point everyone is touched by seeing this guy be so emotional on the camera footage with the dog, hugging it, petting it and playing with it and you can see the judge really get into it, as well.
Anyway, so this guy continues with his story and tells about how he took the dog to his car and went home never feeling happier in his life and ends his account with the driest delivery of "needless to say, I was surprised when I woke up the next day and there was a German Shepherd in my room instead of a Staffordshire Terrier."
Everyone just broke out in laughter. He didn't get what was funny. Turns out the dude stole the wrong dog. Judge sentenced him to 50 hours of community service and €3 000 or so for repairs of the broken doors and camera equipment.
90. Making Paperwork Exciting
I watched a judge question a person in small claims court about a variety of things having to do with the overall lack documentation or evidence to support his claim. At the end, he proceeded to rant for a full five minutes about how this plaintiff had wasted everyone's time, one by one ticking off the failures, and then told him that he had better hope he never appears in this courtroom again or he’d be held in contempt.
The entire room was spellbound. It was better than any TV show.
91. Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Frivolous Lawsuits Will Never Hurt Me
Someone came in because their neighbor had done some gardening along the boundary between their front lawns. The client wanted to know whether she could sue the neighbour for trespassing for the pebbles that had come onto the client's side, and theft for the soil that had gone onto the neighbor's side.
92. Easier Than You Thought
I had court last Tuesday, as we were evicting our horrible tenants. I prepared for weeks, compiling hundreds of papers showing that they were perpetually late, that we always fixed any issues in a timely manner, that they got super pissed when we told them we weren't renewing their lease, etc. I copied every message we had ever sent to each other, made bullet points, and numbered them all for the judge to see.
I typed what I wanted to say and rehearsed it. I was ready to be a lawyer and defend anything they may have said against me. When the time finally came to testify, the judge straightforwardly asked me exactly one question: "Have the tenants paid the rent?" to which I said "No." And that was it! All that preparation for nothing!
93. Sweet Revenge
Not a lawyer. Wife cheats on her husband during his frequent travels for work. She files for divorce and gets to keep the house. Months elapsed and the husband is still rightfully pissed but has no recourse. Then he has an epiphany: "I wonder if she changed the password to the Nest Thermostat?" She did not.
For the next year he continues to mess with the thermostat. In the middle of summer when they're sleeping in HIS bed, he turns the heat on to 90 degrees at 3 a.m. Middle of winter? Time to shut off the heat and hope the pipes freeze. Away on vacation? Turn the air conditioning down to 55 and let it run 24/7 for a nice surprise bill when they get home.
94. Her Own Worst Neighbor
I have a brief encounter (personal injury prospect): Old lady slipped & fell on an icy driveway which was not salted or maintained, so she wanted to sue for damages. After hearing the story, turns out the lady fell on her own driveway which she did not salt/maintain. She was wanting to sue herself.
95. A Boneheaded Play
I sat in on a personal injury case where the plaintiff broke their leg in an accident and had a doctor on the stand as an expert. The woman's lawyer begins questioning the doctor about his experience with leg injuries (he was a well known orthopedic surgeon in the area). She asks if he’s ever treated a tibula fracture. He simply answers "no."
So, she starts grilling him with questions about the tibula. After about six or seven questions, she asks "how did you get a medical license if you've never treated a tibula fracture?" She launches into a huge rant trying to discredit his credentials, to which he simply responds "there is no bone called the tibula."
The lawyer became beet red and everyone in the room tried their best to keep from laughing, including the judge.
96. Not Your Average Legal Loophole
My uncle represented this guy getting a divorce from his wife of 15 years. Super toxic breakup and they split everything 50/50, even the land that the house they lived in sat upon. Well she decides to build a house right behind the other house, mind you this was a lot of land probably 200 yards separating both home sites, so that the back of the houses faced each other.
The house gets built and my uncle gets a call from his client asking about the legality of a situation he had gotten himself into. Apparently his ex wife would spend a lot of time in her backyard, so he saw her all the time. What he did was buy a female dog and name it the same name as his ex-wife. I think you can guess where this is going.
Anytime he would let his dog back in from letting her out he would yell "Susan you [female dog]! Get in here!" He would also yell if she was peeing on the flowers,"Susan! Quit pissing on the flowers!" or "Susan! Quit digging in the dirt!" The ex-wife called the cops on him a couple of times, but there was nothing they could do because the dog was registered under the name of Susan, and it was in fact a female dog, so there you go.
97. Good Call
This never made it to court. I asked my divorce lawyer what was the worst thing a client had asked him to argue. I was expecting a "I want the salad spinner!" sort of story. He had a client, a professor in his 70s who was divorcing his wife, also a professor in her 70s. They were both Jewish. His wife had a tattoo on her arm.
It was a number, put there by the Nazis when they put her in a concentration camp in WWII as a child. Husband was born in the US, was not German. The German government was in the process of settling a case with the survivors. She had some amount of money, a six-figure sum, due to her. The husband wanted his lawyer to argue that he should get half the settlement money.
The lawyer told him that there was a special circle in hell for lawyers who ask for stuff like that and that he was not planning on ending up there.
98. Well, I Guess He Walked Right Into That One...
My lawyer dad had a person come in and he couldn't walk because of some "injury" at work. At the time, my dad was skeptical so he hired a psychologist to do an examination on him, and she found out that something COULD be wrong, but she couldn't put her finger on it. Jump to next week, my dad ends up with a video in his hands of the person WALKING down their driveway to take out the trash.
Busted. So my dad called them and told them "Hey come on in, we have a breakthrough in your case, and you can get some money for your injury." So the guy comes to his office, and he leaves him sitting in the lobby for almost an hour because my dad knows this guy is a scumbag just trying to get money over nothing (which makes lawyers look bad).
So then my dad calls him into the meeting room, and plays the video. The guy walked out.
99. Don’t Stop Believing
My dad is out of state on business driving through some no-name town when he goes through an intersection. Suddenly, a cop pulls him over and tickets him—stating that he ran a stop sign. My dad insisted that there was not any stop sign, but the cop did not listen. Pissed, he went back to the intersection and saw that there was indeed a stop sign hidden behind a tree and twisted in the wrong direction!
Even more pissed, he went into a convenience store and bought a disposable camera. The clerk laughed because he saw what happened and knew what was up. Luckily, my dad had to be back there in a few weeks for work. The cop assumed that someone with out of state plates would just pay the ticket, and was shocked when my dad turned up in court,
He calmly presented his evidence to the judge, and strolled out in five minutes scot-free.
100. A Neverending Case of Nepotism
Two years ago I was struck head on in an intersection by a woman driving an SUV (I was driving my dad's Civic). She was speeding and had gone through a red light. My car was totaled, while hers looked like her bumper needed to be replaced. When the police showed up they told me that she was obviously at fault and not to worry.
A few days later I get a call from my insurance company saying that I was at fault... turns out the lady that hit me was the police chief's wife. It took a year to fight the case in court, which I eventually won due to the huge amounts of evidence against her. But it gets better...Two months ago I get a call from my insurance company saying that they were going to close the case.
Huge relief that that chapter of my life was over. The NEXT day I get a call saying that the case was reopened and I was being sued because the lady had suffered injuries in the crash...a crash that I was ultimately found not at fault for...
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