Legal Professionals Share Moments That Instantly Ended a Case

April 13, 2019 | Miles Brucker

Legal Professionals Share Moments That Instantly Ended a Case

Most of the time, months and months of meticulous preparation go into a legal case to ensure that nothing goes wrong. Other times, not so much. As seriously as most people who wind up in court take their setting, there are always some who just don’t seem to grasp the magnitude of appearing before the law—and it usually doesn’t end well for them. Whether it was a stupid comment, a lack of preparation, or just an epically brilliant move or blunder by someone involved, there are some cases where the entire verdict can basically be decided in a single moment. Here are 43 stories about some of the most memorable examples of such cases.

1. Just a Hunka Hunka Burnin’ Judge

I once attended oral arguments for US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. It's pretty much the big time as far as lawyers are concerned. I watched a lawyer argue that his client had received what's known as "ineffective assistance of counsel" at the trial from which she was appealing. The attorney, however, was not doing a very good job during oral arguments. So, at one point, one of the judges on the panel actually leans forward and asks him "Counselor, are you currently providing ineffective assistance of counsel?"

Judge banging gavel in courtGetty Images

2. A Matter of Seasoning

A lawyer was verbally running through the evidence against the guy he was defending, trying to claim that there wasn't enough of it to even justify calling a trial. All totally fine, except for when he said, "I believe a more seasoned judge wouldn't have let this trial move forward in the first place." He apparently hadn’t known that the judge he was speaking to had given the okay to move the trial to this court. He was immediately given a hard "motion denied."

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

3. Keeping Up Appearances

My brother was on a jury back in the days of MySpace. A woman had been hit by a big rig during some foggy weather and she was suing for a back injury. On the last day of the trial, they asked her if she had a MySpace account and then brought up her site for the jury to see, as I think all profiles were open to the public back then. There was a picture of her dancing on the hood of a car, and right next to it was a text exchange of her saying that she shouldn’t go out too much because her lawyer says that she has to look injured. Needless to say, she lost that case.

Rock and Roll factsShutterstock

4. Start With the Man in Your Mirror, Sir!

I once observed a case where the plaintiff attorney simply played Michael Jackson’s “Man in the Mirror” as his closing argument, hoping to evoke an emotional response in the jury. He lost the case.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

5. Lost in Translation

The dude in the court right before my brother one time was a guy who claimed to have only spoken Spanish. The judge read off everything that he had been charged with and then the conversation went something like this:

Judge: "Mr. Gonzalez, how do you plead?"

Gonzalez: "No hablo ingles."

Judge: "Mr. Gonzalez, do you understand a word I'm saying?"

Gonzalez: "No hablo ingles."

Judge: "Mr. Gonzalez, am I to understand that, in all of this time, no one has bothered to get a translator for you?"

Gonzalez: "No hablo ingles."

Judge: "Well, I guess if you can't understand what you're charged with, we'll have to drop all the charges."

Gonzalez: "Gracias, señor."

Starts walking out.

Judge: "Get back in here!"

Lawyers Share “I Rest My Case” FactsGetty Images

6. Coming Clean

So this wasn't the defendant who messed up, but a plaintiff. I was on a jury for a civil trial. There were two co-plaintiffs suing one defendant. The first co-plaintiff was being represented by his father, who was an older guy and didn't seem to have much experience in court. For the first week of the trial, seemingly every other question was being objected to, usually because his "questions" weren't questions or because he was trying to elicit testimony that was hearsay. He basically pissed everyone off and presented a terrible case.

The second co-plaintiff then gets on the stand, and it was clear that he was there very reluctantly. It then gets to the defendant's lawyer's turn for cross-examination, and the co-plaintiff blurts out that the only reason why he's there is because of a fiduciary duty to the other plaintiff. He then gets asked if he feels that the defendant owes him any money, and he just says "no." It took six weeks to complete the rest of this stupid trial and we, the jury, ended up awarding no money to anyone. What a colossal waste of time!

Lawsuits factsShutterstock

7. Cutting Right to the Chase

I had a case in which a lawyer, who apparently had expertise in areas other than litigation, decided to litigate a case for one of his clients. He asked to depose my guy. No problem. I meet with my guy and get him all prepared for the testimony. We sit down at the deposition, he’s sworn in and we’re ready to go.

Now, the first question isn’t “would you please state your name?” or anything like that. The first question was something like “Isn’t it the truth in this case that on April 6, 2004 you...” and then a conclusory statement about his whole claim. I objected. My guy says “No.” Other lawyer shuffled his papers and after a lengthy pause asks the second question: “You sure?” The case did not go much further...

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

8. Throwing Out the Plastic, and the Case

This was not a case of mine per se, but still a personal favorite. I was sitting in court waiting for my turn. The case going on while I was waiting was a littering case. The police officer said that he had seen the defendant throw a clear wrapper from a pack of gum out of his window. The guy decided to defend himself. He called his girlfriend to take the stand as a witness after the officer has already testified.

The guy asks her "Did I or did I not throw a gum wrapper out the window?" She replies "No, you did not" with this huge grin on her face. The defendant is now also visibly grinning, and goes "What did I throw out the window?", to which she replies "It was the plastic wrapper from your cigarettes." The guy rests his case right there and walks off dramatically. He literally thought that he had just gotten himself off the hook because the officer hadn’t been able to properly identify the clear plastic that he admitted to having thrown out the window.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

9. Showing Them All Who’s Boss

I used to be a police officer and spent a lot of time in court. I saw a lot of things go really wrong for people over the years, but the one that sticks out most in my mind is a guy who was up for a DUI. He started relating his side of the story and told the judge that he had "only had two bottles of wine." His lawyer was desperately trying to get him to stop talking.

The man then yelled at his own lawyer "Don't interrupt me!" to which the judge said, "I think you should probably take a moment to listen to your attorney." The man then told the judge "Don’t tell me what to do, I'm not a damn child!" The judge just smiled, leaned back, and said "Of course. By all means, then, continue." The result went badly for him, unsurprisingly.

Police Officers Unforgettable Moments On the Job factsShutterstock

10. Weeding Out His Chances

I’m an attorney and I once heard about a hearing in which there were several criminal defendants brought before the judge. The judge noticed a strong pot smell in the courtroom and asked if any of the defendants had pot on them. No one came forward and the judge proceeded, but the odor became stronger and stronger with every passing minute.

Finally, the judge demanded that the perpetrator come forward and confess. After a few minutes of waiting around, one of the defendants finally came forward and admitted to having had several bags of weed on him in the courtroom. I’m not sure what the charges were before him, but I definitely wouldn’t want to have been his attorney that day!

Lawyers Share “I Rest My Case” FactsShutterstock

11. Knowledge is Power

I was working for a barrister who had turned up to a hearing and discovered that the opposing counsel had secretly contacted the judge’s chambers with a whole bunch of information about the case. That’s a horrendous breach of professional ethics—one of the very, very basic rules of litigation is that you file stuff with both the judge and the other side (except under very special circumstances). My barrister just kind of shrugged his shoulders at the judge when asked if he had known about the information in question. The judge spent the rest of the hearing tearing the opposition apart. They lost an absolutely un-loseable case.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

12. Parental Guidance

I went to court with a friend who was really nervous, and just needed someone to sit with him. Drug court was VERY interesting to watch. One girl was there with her mom, who kept trying to speak for her. The judge would ask a question, and the mom would answer. The judge would remind the mother that her daughter was 18 years old and could speak for herself.

This mom would NOT listen, and was beginning to piss the judge off. The mom even started getting an attitude with the judge and saying things like, “She’s just a child, she’s scared!” The judge just said “Ma’am, she’s 18. She’s not a child anymore.” He finally threatened her with contempt of court and that got her to be quiet.

The girl ended up getting a slightly harsher punishment than the other people pleading youthful offender, and I definitely think that her mom helped with that. Instead of having a drug test once a month that's $50 each, she was put on color code. This seemed to make the mom mad and she tried to say something again, but this time the daughter elbowed her to keep her quiet.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

13. So That’s How You Really Feel, Eh?

A defense lawyer was once delivering her closing statement to the jury. In her final sentence, she accidentally said, "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I urge you to find my client guilty." There was a long moment of silence before she caught her mistake and shouted out "I mean not guilty! I meant to say NOT guilty!"

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

14. The Sovereign

Sovereign citizens always make for a good time. There was this one guy getting a divorce from his wife of 25 years. His entire argument for why he shouldn’t have to pay any alimony to his wife who stayed home taking care of their eight kids (three of whom were still at home) was that since his wife would no longer do her “marital duties,” it wasn’t technically a true marriage. What he meant by this was that she wouldn’t sleep with him anymore because he was trying to force her to have even more kids. He then dramatically referenced the Bible to top it all off. The judge’s face was priceless.

Mel Gibson factsPixabay

15. Bad Advice

I was still in law school working for a solo practitioner part-time. We had this divorce case where the dude got caught cheating and his wife had cleaned out their bank account. It was their only marital asset, and she was using it to pay for her attorney’s fees. There was absolutely no reason for her to pay that much for an attorney and, due to that, the attorney on the other side was inflaming her client to fight on every little issue to earn that retainer.

Now, our dude was also stupid. He didn't pay the court ordered temporary child support order and due to that, he had to pay some of her attorney's fees. But after all that is dealt with, we have a date to hear arguments on anything not agreed to. Our biggest point is that he'll pay the support order, but that she owes him half the bank account amount. We get in front of the judge and she tries to argue that she used the money to pay for a new place and moving fees. Nonsense, we had the financial statement where the wife stated that she paid pretty much the whole amount as a retainer.

The judge turns around, looks at the attorney in the face, and tells her that her signature is on the financial statement, meaning that either she lied on the statement or she is lying right now. The judge tells her to think very carefully about her next statement and that, in her opinion, the wife needed to pay half the money back. The other attorney instantly goes quiet, asks for a recess, and completely changes her resolution position.

We basically had her by the neck, because she knew that if we wanted to, this could amount to a bar complaint—as she had made a false statement to the tribunal. We got him back all his money and he got to claim his child for the next five years on his taxes. Honestly, I felt bad for the wife. She had no clue how badly her attorney was screwing her over. This, among other things, is why I refuse to practice family law.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

16. Bias on the Bench

I once saw a judge stand up and recuse himself from a criminal case in the middle of a trial, publicly stating that he knew the defendant—and that he was a “son of a you-know-what and guilty as hell!”

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

17. Fifteen Seconds of Fame

I was working as court staff in a hearing where a guy was accused of robbing a grocery store. The defendant's lawyer was arguing that they could not identify the man in the surveillance camera footage as his client. While the footage was being shown to the court, the defendant leaned over and said, loud enough to his lawyer for everyone to hear, "Do you think they can tell that it's me in the video?"

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

18. Terms of Endearment

I’m a cop and I was once picking up some extra duty as a bailiff on my day off. I usually try to remain as neutral as possible in court, but I remember this one guy in court who I couldn’t help but second hand cringe for. He was leaning on the stand, and at one point instead of saying “Yes, your honor,” he said ”Yeah dawg, I gotcha!” It may not have decided the case per se, but it was pretty hard for anyone in the room to take him seriously again after that.

Favorite Childhood Christmas Movies factsPxHere

19. Cases Closed

I worked as a paralegal at a firm specializing in land use litigation and real estate. Another paralegal’s husband had once gotten a DWI charge and, as a favor to her, one of the partners offered to defend her husband in court. This is a small community with a landmark windmill in the center of town. Well, this paralegal’s husband (who we all called the “missing link”)’s DWI stemmed from him crashing his car into the windmill. It had been on the front page of the local paper, there were reporters at the arraignment, the whole nine yards.

So, the law firm partner tells the “missing link” that when the judge asks him how many beers he had had before his accident, he should tell her that he had just had three. He proceeds to stand up in front of the judge and tell her confidently that he had only had three...cases! The whole room started laughing and he ended up getting jail time.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

20. He Must Have Gone Bongers

When I was clerking for a judge, a defendant once wrote a letter to said judge trying to explain that the two bongs found on the floorboard of his car were actually his girlfriend’s—but that he was afraid to speak up earlier because she is on Section 8, and drugs are forbidden for Section 8 recipients. Mind you, he was on probation at the time the cops had pulled him over and so it didn’t really matter who had owned the bongs, he was still in violation of his probation for being in possession of drug paraphernalia either way. His attempt to get out of his charges not only screwed over his girlfriend, but it also showed that he knew of the bongs that were in her car—thereby losing him his own case as well.

Instantly Ended a Case factsPixabay

21. Making Small Talk

I’m not a legal professional, but I do have a good story on this topic. Fifteen or so years ago, my dad was the manager of a small hotel. One of the semi-regular customers was this big Samoan dude, who booked in for a day at a time, always had a few visitors, and always paid in cash, in a one-to-one conversion with American dollars—highly unusual in Australia.

Dad always said he was a great customer—very friendly with the staff, never gave anyone any problems, and always had a bit of a chat when he checked in. One day, a couple of detectives rolled up and asked to speak to my dad. They showed him a photo of the aforementioned customer and asked if he was currently staying in the hotel. Dad confirmed that he was and in a matter of minutes, a small contingent of cops arrived, stormed the room and escorted the guy away in handcuffs. It turns out the guy was a pretty major drug dealer and was wanted in a couple of states.

Cut to the court date quite sometime later. My dad is on the witness stand and, for whatever reason, the defense is trying to make it out like my dad didn't know the defendant, and had never seen him before. Obviously, my dad insisted that he did, in fact, know the defendant, but that line persisted from the defense.

As my dad left the witness box, he walked past the defendant and said "Hi, Barry!" to which Barry enthusiastically replied, "Hi Jason, how are you?!" While I'm sure this wasn't the only thing that counted against him in the case, it certainly couldn't have helped. He ended up getting quite a few years in jail.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

22. File, Strike, Repeat

My favorite case of all time was a group of LLC members who refused to hire a lawyer for the company as required by the local rules. They kept getting their filings stricken. It was to the point where the judge wouldn’t even set a hearing anymore. They just filed whatever they filed, I moved to strike, and the court entered an order striking it. Now that’s what you call a vicious cycle!

Frivolous Lawsuits FactsShutterstock

23. Space Race

A prominent female attorney didn't like the judge's ruling in a family law case. She asked him if he was from another planet. The judge said, “I beg your pardon?” She approached the bench (without permission), and very rudely repeated her question. The judge told her to apologize. She refused. The judge had her thrown in jail for contempt of court. He did not change his ruling.

Instant Karma factsMax Pixel

24. Cry Me a River

After argument from the Assistant District Attorney, the judge asked the defense counsel why he should allow the defendant to remain on his own recognizance. The defense counsel looks up, obviously searching his brain hard for any reason he can possibly come up with because he knows his client is a dirtbag, before finally responding with the following: “Because my client’s girlfriend lives in the apartment above mine, and I’ll have to hear her crying all night!” The defendant was remanded to jail.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

25. What’s in a Name?

There was a landlord who was suing someone for eviction, but she was trying to do so without revealing her real name because she had been collecting rent money in cash and not declaring it, while her building was in foreclosure. So, she had her accountant (who had apparently believed that there was such a thing as “client accountant privilege” or something like that) sue the tenants in his name instead.

So, this random accountant dude shows up at eviction court alongside the tenants. The judge quickly notices that his name is not attached to the building or the leases in any way, but he swears that he can get the landlord on the phone to vouch that she has "authorized" him to do this in her name. The judge dismissed the case with no prejudice. Moral of the story: you can't simply borrow someone else's name to sue someone if you're trying to do illegal things under your own name (or at all, for that matter).

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

26. He Biked Right Into That One!

Not me, and not a legal professional, but my brother's EMT instructor used to live in Chicago. The instructor had just had his license suspended for numerous traffic charges, including evading police, but he had accidentally forgotten all about his arraignment date until about an hour prior to court. So, the guy hopped on his motorcycle and drove himself to the courtroom as fast as he could. Remember all this for later.

When he arrives, he goes up to the stand and the judge reads him his charges. The judge then asks him how he got to the courthouse that day. Instructor: "Oh, my brother gave me a ride." Judge: "Is that right?" Instructor: "Yes, your honor." Judge (Looking at the Bailiff): "Do you have that footage from Parking Deck 3?"

He then proceeds to play some surveillance camera footage of him showing up just an hour or so earlier—on the exact same bike that he was using when he was running away from the cops in the case that he was now on trial for. His license remained suspended and the judge told him that he couldn't go anywhere near the bike during that time. There was even a cop standing next to it when he left.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

27. He Learned His Lesson...

I am a lawyer now, but this was when I was still in law school and we had to go watch actual court cases in the local district court. A guy was accused of destroying some stuff that his neighbor owned. After a complicated plea by his lawyer about how some evidence was inadmissible and how, therefore, it could not be proven that the defendant was guilty, the judge delivered the verdict, agreed with the lawyers, and acquitted the client. The defendant then stood up, walked over towards the judge in front of everybody as if to shake his hand, and said out loud, “Thank you, your honor. I swear I’ll never do it again!” The prosecutor then quasi-jokingly says, “Appeal!”

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

28. Just For the Record

I wasn’t the lawyer, but a paid expert witness. As our lawyer was questioning the federal employee in an environmental law case, our client jumped up from the table and screamed out in his broken English “that woman a [expletive]! She a [expletive] lies like a [expletive]!!” Fines were paid, but we did win the case in the end.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

29. French Fried

I’ve got a funny historical one here. Marshal Michel Ney was on trial for treason after Napoleon got overthrown for the second time. His lawyer was desperately trying to save the Marshal's life by taking an unusual approach to the case—he was claiming that due to a border change, Marshal Ney's hometown was, at the time of the trial, in Prussia. Therefore, argued the lawyer, Marshal Ney was not technically French anymore and accordingly could not be guilty of "treason."

Offended by this claim, Marshal Ney disagreed and decided to shout out to the entire courtroom "I am French and I will remain French until the day I die!" He was subsequently found guilty and sentenced to death. This story is a double whammy, as it’s also a great example of epic last words. He asked for and was granted permission to lead his own firing squad.

His last words to them were: "Soldiers, when I give you the command to fire, fire straight at my heart. Wait for the order. It will be my last to you. I protest against my condemnation. I have fought a hundred battles for France, and not one against her. Soldiers, fire!" Talk about a way to die!

The Napoleonic Wars factsWikipedia

30. A No Show

I was in court once for a speeding ticket. The prosecutor didn’t offer me a reduction, so I plead not guilty. We got into court and the judge called the officer who had pulled me over to the stand. He hadn’t shown. The judge was already irritated and he asked the prosecutor where the cop was. The prosecutor admitted that he hadn’t called the cop to come in because he had assumed that I wouldn’t show or that I would plead guilty. The judge was pissed. Then, the idiot made the mistake of asking the judge if we could wait an hour for the cop to come.

The judge lost his mind, livid that we had all arrived on time and this dunderhead couldn’t be bothered to do his job correctly. The judge told us that the case was dismissed but that we were not dismissed from the table yet—he wanted us to stand there for ten minutes and watch while he chewed the prosecutor a new one. I must say, I did kind of enjoy witnessing the guy get chewed out for messing up the entire trial—it was like a bonus to me for winning the case!

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

31. It’s All Over in a Flash

A lawyer once flashed his gun at the witness during a deposition. I’m quite sure that whatever he thought that this move would accomplish was not even close to what actually ended up happening…

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

32. So Much to Discuss, So Little Time

A lawyer showed up 45 minutes late for court, just to reschedule it because she didn't have time to talk to the defendant prior to court. Next court date, she showed up late again and proceeded, despite still not having had any time to talk to the defendant beforehand. The twist? This was my lawyer. The second time she was late, I got to enjoy facepalming as I sat back and listened to the judge and bailiff joke about what a crackpot my public defender was. I did not win the case.

Caught Lying FactsShutterstock

33. You’ve Got a Friend in Me

I’m not a defendant, but there was this dude in the court I interned at who went in to support his friend but inadvertently wore a shirt that was the exact same color as the ones worn in group trials. The bailiff mistook him for a convict and was repeatedly asking him to sit down. He finally responded: "Hell naw, man. I'm just here to see my friend. I ain't got no case. He was the one who got caught. I got away!" No. No, you did not get away...

Caught Lying FactsShutterstock

34. No Help Needed

I’m not a lawyer, but I was observing court once and saw a prosecutor proceed on a trial against a self-represented individual for breach of a condition in their probation order. The self-representative won. The prosecutor had brought in a probation officer and proceeded to question them as their witness. Then, the self-representative cross-examined them poorly. That was the only evidence the prosecutor had.

Neither the prosecutor nor the probation officer could establish that the individual had breached their probation order. The prosecutor was arguing that the accused had never completed any counseling before their probation had ended. The wording in the probation order said that they needed to complete counseling AS DIRECTED. So, the probation officer never directed them to attend counseling and then breached them for failing to do something that they never directed them to do.

Needless to say, the judge got angry and talked down on the prosecutor. Moral of the story, prosecutors don’t have time (at least in some jurisdictions) to even read their own low complexity files before the day of a trial. As a result, this dude may have missed work to attend a nonsense trial. If he had been a wealthy individual, who could have hired a lawyer to properly review the disclosure received from the prosecution office, he never even would have had to go to trial on it. Sometimes, wording is everything!

Lawyers Share “I Rest My Case” FactsWikimedia Commons

35. And Now, We Wait

This was in a courtroom where all they do is issue restraining orders. Everyone gets there at the same time in the morning and sits in the chairs waiting as the judge calls up the cases one by one. A dude purposely sat down right next to the girl that was trying to get the restraining order against him. He then started trying to hold her hand and what not while they were waiting. She yelled and asked for help. The dude was then forced to have to wait outside. When his turn finally came up, the judge was so mad that he almost had him sent to jail.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

36. All Men Are Equal in the Eyes of the Law—Except You!

I was the defendant (not the lawyer) in a civil case where the county had accused me of violating a rule forbidding a house to host more than two parties in a month.

The county's prime witness admitted, on the stand, that:

1. The rule was implemented specifically in response to a complaint against me.

2. The rule was not written in the county code.

3. The rule was not included in my warning letter nor in my citation.

4. The county had no expectation of ever applying this rule to any other resident in the future.

The judge declared the rule null and void.

Ching Shih FactsShutterstock

37. Showing Her Hand

This is slightly different than some of the other stories on here, but I once worked at a company where we found out that a lawyer was trying to arrange a class action suit against us. Luckily, we found out about it well before it had the chance to have gotten off the ground. How did we find out so soon, you ask? We found out because this lawyer had attempted to email her client, but accidentally emailed all of us instead—with all the details of the class action suit included.

Speak to the Manager factsShutterstock

38. Two’s Company, Four’s a Crowd

My father is an attorney and he always had a story for us whenever we would ask him about his favorite cases of all time. He tells it way better than I do, but I'll give it a shot anyway. Some dude was allegedly smashing a wall with a sledgehammer along with a group of a few others, in order to try and break into a private property.

The cops rolled up, and he was the only one to get caught. Fast forward a few months, and this guy is in court. Apparently, a cop on the witness stand began to say something about how "the defendant was the only one caught, but there were two other men who fled on foot and couldn't be apprehended." My father’s client’s face lit up when he heard that statement.

He immediately jumped up and screamed out “'AHA!” before proceeding right away to tell the judge, "That’s not true, your honor! There were four of us!" I guess he thought that if he could disprove something that someone else was saying, then he would be let go on some kind of technicality. Safe to say, he was eventually found guilty of vandalism. My father says that upon hearing the comment, the judge just kind of sighed and unenthusiastically told him that it would be a good idea to keep his client quiet.

Thomas Seymour factsShutterstock

39. Doing His Duty

There was an episode of paternity court on TV where the girl spent almost the entire episode berating the guy, having people analyze genetic similarities between the child and the “father,” and going on about how this was all ridiculous because she hadn’t been with anybody else in years. The judge finally looked over at the guy and asked him if he had anything to say in his defense since he had just been standing there quietly while taking this verbal assault from his ex-girlfriend.

He motioned to show that he had a folder of paperwork. The bailiff took it up to the judge, who looked it over and then immediately dismissed the case in the guy’s favor. It is then explained that he had been actively deployed by the military for the past four years, and wasn’t even in the country at the time that the baby was conceived.

Near-Death Experiences FactsShutterstock

40. Did Not See That Coming...

I used to work with an engineer who liked to tell a story about the time he gave a deposition on a patent case. He answered a bunch of questions about a discussion that had occurred in a specific meeting five years prior. At the end, the lawyer asked when that conversation had occurred. My coworker gave the exact time and date of the conversation. The lawyer then asked how he could possibly be so sure about the exact time of a meeting that occurred years in the past. My coworker’s response was "I remember because right after that meeting I went back to my desk and suffered a heart attack." There were apparently no further questions.

Instantly Ended a Case factsShutterstock

41. A Bird’s Eye View of Terror

I represent school districts. One of my clients has a farm that is used to teach agricultural science to the students. The manager of the farm once decided to brutally euthanize a whole bunch of chickens in full view of a group of elementary school students. Sometimes, farms have to euthanize chickens. We understand, and that in and of itself was not the problem.

The problem was that he was whacking the chickens over the head with a hammer. And, to make matters worse, he had decided to whack each chicken like five or six times before they died, because he is apparently some kind of psychopath. The poor chickens were NOT dying from this. That didn’t deter him from continuing.

If one of them refused to die, he’d just toss the chicken on the ground and try again with another one. But the birds were all getting horrifically damaged and injured, so they were just flapping in circles on the ground, or walking with terrible, stuttering limps, or screaming in pain. One of the kids recorded the whole thing and holy hell was it awful to watch! Obviously, I recommended that the school district fire him immediately because his behavior was completely unacceptable. He then tried to sue us. For GENDER DISCRIMINATION. That case was practically over before it began…

Instantly Ended a Case factsPixabay

42. 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, calmly presented his evidence to the judge, and strolled out in five minutes scot-free.

Lawyers Share “I Rest My Case” FactsWikimedia Commons

Sources: , ,

More from Factinate

Featured Article

My mom never told me how her best friend died. Years later, I was using her phone when I made an utterly chilling discovery.

Dark Family Secrets

Dark Family Secrets Exposed

Nothing stays hidden forever—and these dark family secrets are proof that when the truth comes out, it can range from devastating to utterly chilling.
April 8, 2020 Samantha Henman

Featured Article

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.

Madame de Pompadour Facts

Entrancing Facts About Madame de Pompadour, France's Most Powerful Mistress

Madame de Pompadour was the alluring chief mistress of King Louis XV, but few people know her dark history—or the chilling secret shared by her and Louis.
December 7, 2018 Kyle Climans

More from Factinate

Featured Article

I tried to get my ex-wife served with divorce papers. I knew that she was going to take it badly, but I had no idea about the insane lengths she would go to just to get revenge and mess with my life.

These People Got Genius Revenges

When someone really pushes our buttons, we'd like to think that we'd hold our head high and turn the other cheek, but revenge is so, so sweet.
April 22, 2020 Scott Mazza

Featured Article

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but few people know her even darker history.

Catherine of Aragon Facts

Tragic Facts About Catherine of Aragon, Henry VIII’s First Wife

Catherine of Aragon is now infamous as King Henry VIII’s rejected queen—but very few people know her even darker history.
June 7, 2018 Christine Tran

Dear reader,

Want to tell us to write facts on a topic? We’re always looking for your input! Please reach out to us to let us know what you’re interested in reading. Your suggestions can be as general or specific as you like, from “Life” to “Compact Cars and Trucks” to “A Subspecies of Capybara Called Hydrochoerus Isthmius.” We’ll get our writers on it because we want to create articles on the topics you’re interested in. Please submit feedback to Thanks for your time!

Do you question the accuracy of a fact you just read? At Factinate, we’re dedicated to getting things right. Our credibility is the turbo-charged engine of our success. We want our readers to trust us. Our editors are instructed to fact check thoroughly, including finding at least three references for each fact. However, despite our best efforts, we sometimes miss the mark. When we do, we depend on our loyal, helpful readers to point out how we can do better. Please let us know if a fact we’ve published is inaccurate (or even if you just suspect it’s inaccurate) by reaching out to us at Thanks for your help!

Warmest regards,

The Factinate team

Want to learn something new every day?

Join thousands of others and start your morning with our Fact Of The Day newsletter.

Thank you!

Error, please try again.