August 18, 2022 | Scott Mazza

Crazy Tales From The Law

Being a lawyer is stressful, challenging, and only occasionally victorious, so it’s no wonder these lawyers took to Reddit to vent out some of their most ridiculous tales from the law. Buckle up for some dramatic courtroom twists, idiot clients, and all matter of legal bamboozling. If you’ve ever been tantalized by the idea of jury duty, these stories are for you.

1. Weekend At Bernie’s

I work for an insurance defense firm. One of the partners, as happens sometimes, handed me a small subrogation case for our insurance client, and told me to resolve it. Our insured, a man of around 75, was driving his car on a four-lane road in the left lane. Here’s where it got really interesting. The defendant, a lady who had been involved in a grisly murder as an accomplice about 15 years ago when she was 18, was in the right lane.

The lady side swiped our insured's vehicle, causing like $4,000 in damages. At the scene, our insured said that he was just driving, and then he was side-swiped. The defendant said, "I don't know what happened, officer". The lawsuit was about six or seven months old when I got it, and the partner who was initially handling the case had spoken with the insured on two occasions and sent him a letter.

When I received the file, the trial was a few weeks away, so I printed out the pictures of the vehicle, sent a subpoena to the officer, and tried to call the insured. I got a busy signal, so I put the file away. A few days later, I got a call from the officer who filed the report. The conversation made me want to scream. "I'm not going to make it to court because I'm off on the court date".

"Alright, well, when are you available”? "The report is hearsay. You don't need me anyway". "Ma'am, what I need you for is not hearsay. I'll reset this for a date that you are available for". That wasn't helpful. I called the defense attorney, and we pushed the trial out about a month and a half. I issued a new subpoena to the officer.

I tried to call our insured again. I got a busy signal. I pulled up LexisNexis and looked up our insured...that’s when the truth hit me. He passed the previous month. I'd never had this happen before. I called the insurance adjuster handling this claim. "Hey, I hate to tell you this, but our guy is deceased”. I talked to the partner who had handed me the case.

He suggested that we fake it. I'll take the adjuster to court, I'll call the defendant as my witness, then I'll call the officer, and then I'll get pictures of the vehicle into evidence using the adjuster. The adjuster could also testify to damages. The adjuster is willing to try. About a week later, I get a call from the officer. "I can't come to court. I have the training, and I'm major surgery that's been scheduled for a long time on that day".

I really wanted to call her sergeant and complain, but it wasn't worth the trouble. So, it's going to be the adjuster and I. We'll probably lose since I have no impeaching evidence against the defendant now. I have no witnesses to impeach her version of events. And then the kicker. Suddenly, I get a phone call from the defense attorney, and they agree to pay the claim in full.

I've never told that attorney that my guy was fully a corpse, but someday, I kind of want to.


Crazy Tales From The LawPexels

2. Veggie Tales

A number of years ago, my mother was sitting in her car in a grocery store parking lot when someone ran up, reached in the open window, grabbed her purse, and ran away with it. At the time, my mother was in her late 70s and in the beginning stages of dementia—"Now sweetheart, please remember to call collect when you call," every time I called her on my cell phone, that sort of thing.

My mother later identified the guy in a lineup. When she appeared in court, the prosecutor did the usual thing: Prosecutor: Miss, do you see the person who took your purse in the courtroom? Mom: Yes. Prosecutor: Will you point to the person, please? (Mom points at the defendant) During cross-examination, the defense tried to establish doubt about the accuracy of her identification.

The usual stuff for people her age: how are your eyes, how's your memory, etc. Then: Defense lawyer: Miss, are you sure that this is the person that took your purse? Mom: Yes, I am. Defense lawyer: And how are you sure about that? Her response here was pure gold. Mom: Because the man who took my purse had a head shaped like a zucchini.

The entire courtroom looks at the defendant's head, which is one of those long oval heads and is indeed shaped rather like a zucchini. Defense lawyer: No further questions. The man was found guilty. My father, also a lawyer, said that during examination you never ask a question that you don't know the answer to, and that this was a textbook example of what can happen when you do.


Lawyers Screwed factsShutterstock

3. Whoopsie Daisie

I just started interning in a new office and got my first dose of crazy today. I work for a legal agency in a poor area of a large city as an interning paralegal. Oftentimes, we work out of an office in the county courthouse. My division of our agency handles foreclosure prevention. Normally, people come in after being served with a foreclosure complaint and we help them deal with the bank, apply for loan modifications, etc.

Our clients are usually decent people who just fell behind on payments due to a variety of circumstances and are very grateful for our help. However, this lady's story was…different. It's early in the morning and the clinic has just opened. From the hallway, I hear the squeaking of a shopping cart round the corner into our waiting area.

The prospective client is an elderly Asian woman with a cart full of vegetables. Why she brought these to the courthouse, I will never know. I invite her in and sit her down. She has a very thick accent and a less than stellar command of the English language, but I get the drift that she's talking about purchasing a foreclosed house. This is where the problem started.

The supervising attorney emphatically told me that very morning that we were not to work with people seeking to purchase foreclosed homes under any circumstances. I am about to show her the door when she starts talking about suing the bank and court-appointed foreclosure referee. At this point, I'm totally lost and get a consult from a staff attorney.

We patiently talk to her and try to figure out what the heck she’s talking about. As it turns out, she had in fact purchased a foreclosed home over a month ago at a foreclosure auction in our county. She stated that she currently lives in public housing in a bad part of town and doesn't understand English very well. Then comes the fun part.

Apparently, she had a doctor's appointment the very morning of the foreclosure auction and was given painkillers at the hospital that "impaired her judgment". Despite the language barrier and the Vicodin coursing through her old lady veins, she decided to schlep across town to our county's courthouse to attend the auction anyway.

She apparently won an auction, signed a purchase contract for the property, and put down an astoundingly large down-payment (something to the tune of $50,000) to secure her spot. So, she gets home, presumably coming down from the pain meds, and realizes that she bought, for just herself and her daughter, an unoccupied triplex in possibly the worst neighborhood in the county.

She is now coming to our office to try to have the sales contract annulled and have her down payment refunded on the grounds that she bought the wrong house. She had apparently intended to buy a one-bedroom apartment. The story doesn't end there, though. Before coming to our clinic, she had tried to sue the bank and foreclosure referee from the past foreclosure case, who, at this point, have no bearing whatsoever in her dilemma.

The attorney and I are looking at each other, half bewildered, and half trying to suppress a lopsided grin. We ask her if she had any paperwork, and lo and behold, she pulls out from under her mound of vegetables a photocopy of a handwritten summons and complaint. The handwriting itself was barely legible, but from what we could make out, it was written mostly in broken English and contained no factual allegations other than she was taking medication.

She had apparently tried to file it with the court clerk—rejected—and tried to serve it by mail—returned to sender and not an acceptable method of service in our state anyway—on the bank. The attorney decided to stop this circus and informs her that we cannot take her case and stands up to get her a brochure with the number of our county's bar referral service.

As he does, she grabs my arm and says "I no need lawyer. I need only advice. You tell me where I can serve [name of bank]”? My canned response, "Ma'am, our organization does not represent home-buyers. The referral service will connect you with someone who can help". However, the old lady is persistent. "Please. I have no money. You can give advice from experience”? No, lady. No I can't. Long story short, she ends up wheeling herself downstairs to the bar referral service's office where she will presumably start the whole process over again with another confused intern. Fun times.


Crazy Tales From The LawPexels

4. Nothing Comes For Free

In Brazil where I work, the incomes are low and the real estate prices are high, so the most common way to buy property is by getting the bank to buy it for you, then you pay the bank for 5-30 years. It’s similar to a lien or a mortgage, but importantly, the property legally belongs to the bank until you pay the whole debt.

Of course, this is a dumb system and a lot of people can’t afford to pay the whole thing, then the bank sues them, gets the property back, blah-blah. This kind of thing is at least 15% of my job. But sometimes things get interesting! The characters here are SG (Screaming Gentleman) and Me. This started a few weeks ago. It’s my counter shift.

Things are quiet—too quiet. Screaming Gentleman shows up. Looks like our classic troublemaker: A stubby man on his late 30s, ugly polo shirt, and too much cologne. SG: Hey lady, I got a letter and this thing just can’t fly! I’m being evicted from my apartment! Me: Just a moment, I’ll check it up for you. I couldn’t believe what I was reading.

He’s not only being evicted, he’s being kicked out for illegally living in someone else’s property without even having a rent contract. I explain that to him. SG: No, no, no. That’s not it. This is MY apartment. Me: Sir, who is Madame Screamer? SG: That’s my ex-wife! Me: Okay, so she stopped paying for this apartment and the bank reclaimed it.

SG: No! That’s not right! That apartment is MINE. I paid almost $100,000 on it! (This is AT BEST 40% of the price of any property these days) Me: It is right. The apartment was auctioned and the new owner is evicting you. SG: But I'm the owner. I’m getting that apartment back! Me: Sir, that’s not possible. It was auctioned. You weren’t even on the contract.

SG: BUT IT’S MINE. I’m the one who paid for it. I just registered it to my ex’s name so I could avoid paying alimony…you know how it is. I thought she was still paying the bank! Oh, how unfortunate. I smile on the inside. Me: So, from now you have a few days to leave the apartment of your own volition… Oh, he didn’t like that one bit.

SG: Like heck I’m leaving! I’m getting a lawyer to get my apartment back! I’ll fend for myself! I’m taking care of two of my daughters, where do they expect us to live?? I’ll live in MY apartment! Me: According to the lawsuit, the apartment now belongs to the bidder. SG: NO! It belongs to me! This whole story is only a couple’s quarrel! It’s definitely not a couple’s quarrel.

She lost the apartment two years ago, it was auctioned almost a year ago, and the new owner has been trying to evict him since July; the poor owner guy had to resort to a lawsuit because SG refused to leave. Me: Yeah, you have the right to get a lawyer, but in cases like this it doesn’t even make sen… SG: I’M GETTING A LAWYER. I’M NOT LOSING WHAT’S MY RIGHT. I HAD NO IDEA SOMEONE WAS TRYING TO TAKE MY APARTMENT FROM ME. THANKS FOR THE INFORMATION.

I literally gave him zero information because he wouldn’t let me. The new owner is the only person who paid anything for that property in over two years…Earlier this week, I checked up his lawsuit again. Some unfortunate free lawyer took his case, but knowing that it was completely pointless to ask to get back the apartment, the lawyer only petitioned for extra time to move out.

He’s not getting extra time and he’ll be fined proportionally to the time he lived for free in someone else’s apartment.


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5. Welcome To The Madhouse

A citizen walks to the counter. He’s an angry-looking male on his late-30s. “I want to know if this eviction warrant is real”. He has a very official court document on his hands—but then I notice something alarming. His fingers are bleeding and staining the paper. I think he punched someone on his way here. “Yes, it is”. “And do they have the right to do that”?

Well, if the judge signed a freaking eviction warrant, then yes. But as the man is nervous and I hate to send people away just to have them come back later and annoy me again, I take a look at his lawsuit so I can explain how everything happened. It’s a digital file so it’s easy to take a general look and understand the situation. After browsing through his case, I assure him that the homeowner has EVERY right to do it. He then starts his personal drama.

“The owner has been threatening me via Whatsapp! That’s why I’m not sure if this eviction is real”! I can do nothing about that, sir. “But it is”. “They are evicting us right now, but I decided to come here because I thought it was fishy…no one asked to listen to our side…then this ‘apparitor’ suddenly shows up…” “Yes, and it’s real”. It all starts coming out.

“The lawyer did that before, he said he would kick us out, but my mother-in-law put up a fight and made him leave…can he REALLY do this? She’s an old woman”. “If you’re not paying the rent, then yes”. “We only didn’t pay the rent because we didn’t know who to pay to after the guy passed… but we’ve been paying the property taxes, he doesn’t pay them”!

“Well, then you can sue him over that, and maybe get a discount on your debit regarding the rent”. “So I can’t solve it here now”? “No, you need to get a lawyer and documents proving that you paid those”. “A lot of people went to the house and claimed to be the owner! Who I should pay to? That’s why I didn’t pay”! “You should pay to the person you signed the contract with”.

“So, I don’t live in the house, I came here to see it for my ex-mother-in-law…my daughter lives there…the court apparitor said she’ll call the CPS on my kid…my kid IS NOT unattended, she has EVERYTHING…she has clothes, she’s not starving…we are getting a new house right now, I just need more time, this is all too sudden”! Oh, so his kid has everything. Except, apparently, a roof.

When he says this is sudden, I explain to him that his ex-mother-in-law hasn’t paid the rent for months and that they were notified about the eviction many times before, over a year ago. The eviction per se only took this long because the plaintiff is ALSO being sued by a third party who claims he does not own this property…still, the tenants had to figure out who to pay to instead of NEVER paying ever since they moved.

There’s a special procedure for that, they could just send the money to a court account monthly until the real owner was established. “The apparitor isn’t being impartial, she only listens to the owner’s lawyer, she denies everything we say, she won’t consider our side, is that right? She can do that? Why is she with him? I think it’s VERY strange that they arrived together”.

Your side is that you haven’t paid your rent for months, dear. What else is there to hear? “She’s only following the judge’s orders. They arrived together because the owner or his representative needs to be there with the apparitor. You had the opportunity to explain your side back when you got the subpoena”. He got more and more unhinged. “So she’s ACTUALLY from this court”?

No, she’s a hired actor to antagonize and scare you…“…Yes”. “But, say…the apparitor is rushing us to move…this is too little time to get a new house, those things take time, you know? We’re doing all we can, but she doesn’t have compassion…YOU KNOW how moving houses is…I’m only asking her to be calm and she’s threatening to call CPS to take my daughter….We didn’t know we would be evicted this soon….”

“You were notified of voluntary vacancy, right? You knew you had 10 business days”. “Yeah, but it isn’t enough to get a new house”! BUT YOU’VE KNOWN FOR OVER A YEAR THAT YOU’RE ABOUT TO BE EVICTED. He then babbled some more about the apparitor calling the CPS on his kid. “She’d only call the CPS to make sure your daughter is okay, sir. And she can’t wait that long because she has plenty of other warrants to execute”.

Now that he was finally convinced that the eviction was real, it just got worse. He became the most annoying choosing beggar I ever dealt with. “But the owner only rented ONE moving truck…we have a lot of stuff…. I’ve been asking him to get two more trucks, but he won’t! It’s my right to ask that, isn’t it”? The (alleged) owner was honestly too kind.

His responsibility over the eviction is providing the means to empty the house, AKA people to carry stuff. It’s not up to him to move all the tenant’s stuff to their new address. “No, the owner only needs to provide the means to take your belongings out of his house”. He just cannot believe that after living in a house for free for over two years he won’t even get all his stuff moved for free.

This part about him not getting two more moving trucks is repeated for a ridiculously long amount of time, until I send him off advising that he should probably rent the other trucks he needs and he leaves complaining, but at least not at me. I truly love how in my job sometimes nothing out of the ordinary happens for weeks, then in a minute I’m in a madhouse.


They Can Never Get Over factsShutterstock

6. His Day In Court

About 20 years ago I worked as a case clerk for an attorney who handled employment law. The attorney I worked for had been practicing for something like 25 years. By this point in his career, he was billing a ton of hours to insurance companies that covered big companies against wrongful termination suits.

In other words, most of the time we were defending real jerks. Our job was to get the people who brought suit for discrimination against their bosses to settle for as little as possible. This often got dragged out into several years of discovery and so on, until finally, the two sides would settle just before going to trial. We had one very different client though.

He was left over from the attorney’s work years earlier when he used to work for the people bringing suit, rather than the insurance companies. This was a man who had worked a well-paying union job in a factory for a very large corporation. At some point the corporation downsized the plant, and surprise, they laid off all the best-paid (i.e. highest seniority, and thus the oldest) workers.

I don’t remember the details, but it was something like everyone over the age of 45 got laid off while all the younger workers stayed. A bunch of the older workers filed suit for age discrimination. Tons of people had to be deposed, and the litigation went on and on. Over time all of the workers settled, but there was one exception. Our client refused.

He REALLY wanted his day in court, I think more to make a point than because of the money. It had been at least 10 years since he was laid off but he was determined not to settle. So, I was helping out with prep work to go to trial. Getting files ready to go, reviewing stuff for our team, etc. Jurors had been selected. The first day of actual court came and for me it was exciting.

I was new, and this was the first time anything we worked on had gone to actual trial. I was asked to be on hand in case anything needed to be fetched last minute. But when I came in that morning, I got the shock of my life. One of the junior attorneys told me that the trial was off…the reason being that our client had passed overnight.

He had a heart attack. Poor guy had been waiting so long for his day in court only for that to happen. I assume the stress got to him. I left that position soon afterward, so I never found out how the case was resolved. One of the attorneys told me though that it was unlikely they’d get much compensation for his widow. They thought that without him there to give testimony, it was more likely to be settled for less than what he could have gotten if he had made a deal years earlier.

I don’t know if there is a moral to the story other than maybe knowing when continuing to fight in court is not worth the stress, pain, and suffering it can cause.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

7. Hit The Road

I got a speeding ticket about a decade ago. I live in an unincorporated "rural" neighborhood—a typical suburb, but we don't have streetlights or sidewalks—outside of a small city. There's basically one main road to town from where I live, and it's the same main road of the actual town, but the first mile and a half of it when you turn off my street, before you reach the nearest gas station, is technically county.

Because of this, the city authorities have no jurisdiction there, and I have been consciously aware of this since, oh, forever. So one quiet Sunday afternoon, I'm heading toward town a little fast during that first stretch of road, maybe 5-10 mph over, but I make sure to engage my cruise control for the speed limit before I reach the gas station.

The road is nearly perfectly straight and I can see way ahead of me and behind for a long, long ways, and there are literally no other cars anywhere. There's a bored officer parked at the gas station facing the road, and I get maybe a mile past it when I see him appear as a very tiny speck on the road in my rear-view mirror. I glance down to confirm my cruise control is set at 40mph and continue on my way.

He starts gaining on me, and soon after, he flips his lights on, so I pull over for him. Him: "Do you know why I stopped you”? Me: "No, sir, I have no idea". Him: "You were doing 53 in a 40". Even when I was outside of the city limits, I wasn't going that fast. Me, without missing a beat: "No, sir, I was not”. Him: "Yes, you were, I paced you at 53..."

Me: "What is 'paced'“? After some back and forth and having him explain it to me, I'm told that "paced" is basically when he guesses my speed by observing how long it takes me to get from one landmark to another while he follows me. I think I understand what he was trying to say, but I also think he misunderstood how it was supposed to work.

So as politely as I could, I told him this and explained that I had my cruise control set, and I know I wasn't speeding. Big mistake. Then he started to get snippy with me. There was some more back and forth, mostly repeating ourselves, but I made sure to remain calm and polite even though he was being a complete jerk to me throughout it all.

I got him to admit he didn't use radar but he eventually wrote me the ticket anyway, and shoved it in my face to sign. So I asked him, "Signing this is just my acknowledgment of receiving the ticket and not an acknowledgment of guilt, correct”? I even made him confirm the court date out loud for me, too, to which I smugly replied I'd see him there.

I knew I was right, but I also figured it probably wouldn't do any good since it was my word against his, so I didn't really prepare for court any more than reminding myself to stay composed and truthful when I'm there. At the very least if I still had to pay the ticket, maybe he'd be inconvenienced by having to deal with the whole situation and I could get some satisfaction from that.

So I showed up for my day in court, dressed as nicely as possible and reminding myself to breathe. I didn't see the officer there, but there was still time. I just waited while other cases took place before me. And waited. And waited. And finally, my name was called. Without me getting to explain anything about what happened during the traffic stop, the judge said my ticket was dismissed, and that was that.

Kind of a shame because at that point I was really looking forward to being a thorn in his side, but it was the best possible outcome I suppose.


Said To Police factsPxHere

8. Maybe DON’T Represent Yourself

This happened several months ago, but is still really clear in my head because of just how crazy it was to watch. Now, I'm not a lawyer, nor a law student. I'm just a philosophy undergrad whose concentration requires I spend a semester interning with something related to either law or applied ethics, and I managed to get mine with a judge at the county court.

The main requirement was to just go to all the different courtrooms and come up with questions related to possible ethical issues. So, it's 10 in the morning on a Friday in a courtroom when a man, Hugh, is called up for arraignment. He acted weird right off the bat by going to the defense table, sitting down, and pouring himself two cups of water, which he downed one after another.

All the while he's ignoring repeated requests by the bailiff to stand up. The judge asks the prosecutor where his counsel is because the public defender on record isn't in the courtroom. The prosecutor tells her that the defendant had chosen to represent themselves, but the paperwork hadn't been done yet. Before the judge has a chance to ask her follow-up question, Hugh stands up from his seat, slaps the table, and yells "OBJECTION! I'm representing myself".

You could feel every single person in that room internally groan as they hand him the waiver to fill out while other people are called up. I was sitting right in the middle of the gallery, so while the court was going through the routine motions of arraignment with other people, I get to overhear the argument between Hugh and the bailiff.

So the form is pretty straightforward: "You understand you have the Right to X. Yes_ No_". You put an X in the "yes" box and initial it if you want to represent yourself, but for reasons I still don't understand Hugh had marked "no" and thought that's what he was supposed to do. He spent a good 15 minutes arguing with the bailiff over the wording of these questions before finally asking for a second form to fill out.

The Court decided to wait until everything else on the docket had been finished before calling him back up. This was a good two hours, so it's noon by that things get crazy. When he's called up the judge says: "Sir, it says here in the file that you were supposed to meet with the doctor about representing yourself, but you failed to make the appointment. Why was that”?

Hugh's response made it immediately apparent how this would play out: "I didn't go to the doctor because I evaluated myself and declared myself competent to represent myself”. The resulting exchange became increasingly heated. Judge: "Sir, you have to go see the doctor if you wish to represent yourself in this case". Hugh: "No, I believe I'm competent. I don't have to see the doctor. I don't even know why I'm here".

Judge: "Sir, you're here because you're accused of beating your wife”. Hugh: "Accused by who?! Who's accusing me? I don't see any witnesses. The state can't bring charges against me, only the witness can. And! It’s not wrong for a man to discipline his wife. I've done nothing wrong". It then became a kind of shouting match between Hugh and the judge where Hugh refuses to accept any possible explanation given to him.

At this point, there are four additional deputies in the room with the bailiff surrounding him. When the judge asks him if he had taken anything before showing up to court, his answer made jaws drop. He loudly says that while he may have done “something” before walking in he was still completely competent and it wasn't a negative factor.

The judge finally decides enough is enough and has him remanded because of his erratic behavior and the admittance of being one something until he can see a psychiatrist about his competency. As the sheriff's deputies move to handcuff him, he flips out. He starts flailing his arms while trying to turn around to face them and screaming about how he "doesn't consent to this” and "they have no authority to detain him".

They had to bend him over the bar to get him into handcuffs. At which point he stopped yelling, at least until the judge appointed the public defender to represent him to finish the arraignment, whereupon he started screaming again about how the court has no authority over him to do this. He declared several times that he was firing the public defender so he could represent himself again on the spot.

It was the first time I'd ever actually seen someone like this in person. I'd seen videos of them, but seeing it happen in front of me was an experience.


Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

9. We Got There In The End

Back in 2016, I got outrageously tipsy with some friends, went back to my place, and continued to drink until blackout. I come out of my blackout in a hotel room with a different friend and his girlfriend at the time. I hadn't seen this friend in a while because he'd developed an addiction problem and had basically been told by everyone to not come around.

So he's packing up the hotel room, door wide open, and I ask if I can help carry anything. I put on a backpack, they have a few other bags, and we're walking towards the door. Then chaos breaks loose. Three officers enter the room, with two more outside with two detectives. They cuff us, tell us they had a complaint that someone was being held against their will (pretty sure that wasn't the entire story, but the whole thing never came to light), and proceed to search the room from top to bottom.

They find substances in our bags. Now, an astute eye might notice that they were not invited into the hotel room, and at no point (including in the reports) established probable cause for searching the bags. Reasonable expectation of privacy or some such. My friend's attorney actually successfully negotiated the charge down to probation.

My charges were lesser, just for weed and not the more intense substances my friend had. I hired my own attorney and he offered $500 to do some community service and get it dismissed, or $2,000 to fight it, as he put it, "All the way to the Supreme Court". I was pretty broke at the time, so I actually sold stuff to a pawn shop in order to scrape together $500. I got zero assistance with figuring out the community service.

Turns out, you can’t do community service at most places here if it's for a substance issue. It took three resets before I could turn in my first hours. After I gave the sheet to my attorney, he gives me the next date and says, "I'll let you know beforehand if I even need you there". It all fell apart from there. Day before, I haven't heard from him, so I text.

No response. Call him. No answer, no return call. I end up going to the courthouse just to be there in case, but can’t get a hold of him. I double-check the information he gave me and realize I'm there a day early, so I text him I realized my mistake and go home. The next day, still no response, I show up again. Can’t get him again, try to figure out what's going on, but I didn't bring any of the information like the case number, so I end up going home.

I decided to look up my case on the online system. Doesn't show up, which makes sense if it's dismissed with the county’s systems. I figure maybe he was just annoyed at how much work he had to do for $500 and was just being unprofessional. I decided to see if there's a warrant for me and find nothing in the online systems again. I went about my life wondering what the heck happened, and check a couple more times over the next two months for my case or a warrant.

Never found either. Two years later, I had to go to a Department of Public Safety office for job-related training on a state-integrated system. We sit down and class is starting when everything changes for the worst. I'm asked to step outside. Two DPS officers are there, and they detain me for a warrant for failure to appear on that very case.

I get bailed out three days later and get the name of my court-appointed attorney (because chronically broke), and the court date. I contact the attorney and he basically talks over me to get the call over with. This dude is clearly overworked, and not particularly interested in my ticket. I barely get a word in edgewise to confirm the court date, which the county had gotten wrong, as is customary.

Now it's important to mention that this county was VERY liberal in a VERY conservative state. While surrounding counties were still arresting people for my minor substance charge, this county was now actively dismissing cases for small amounts, stating it wasn't worth their time. I figured that since I had worked in the kitchen in the county slammer, I had about five days of time served on an offense they weren't even interested in anymore.

It wasn't a case they were even that hot on when they were prosecuting them. However, I never got to relay that to my extremely busy attorney. The court date comes, and I leave a little later than intended. It all goes wrong again. As fate would have it, there's a wreck on the highway, and I'm 100% going to be 15 minutes late to my court date.

So I let my attorney know, and he says it's fine, just be there within the next hour. So I get there, get to the correct floor, open the doors to the courtroom, and the guy walking out at the exact same time says, "You [my name]”? I say yes, and he hands me the dismissal while looking THOROUGHLY confused. He looked like he'd walked in the courtroom and found Barney sitting there.

"I walked in, checked in with court, and was handed the signed dismissal. They dismissed it before I even got here". I said I figured they'd dismiss it, which he didn't like. He actually looked angry and said, "Well that's news to me". I just said thank you and got out of there. If he'd let me get a word in edgewise previously, I could have given him a heads up.

However, even I didn't think it would be dismissed before we got a foot in the door. Never did find out what happened to my original attorney. I found out he wasn't working for the firm he was working for when I hired him, but nothing else. He was working for a VERY prestigious defense firm that handled capital cases, and I suspect he cracked under the pressure.


Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

10. Never Liked That Guy Anyway

My first real law job was at a small firm. While we called ourselves a boutique firm, we'd also do simple tasks for friends of the owner. One of the friends was a gruff man I'll call Gary. Gary reminded people that he had a bunch of businesses involved in commercial real estate. Gary thought that anything he didn't understand was a scam.

Most of Gary's businesses seemed to revolve around a large parking lot with mobile equipment. Gary had a snow plow business and another replacing HPS (High Pressure Sodium) bulbs in office park and mall parking lots. Up until now, he'd just walk to the owner's office and they'd deal with one another. One day, my boss emailed me and asked me to handle Gary's problem.

I agreed to help where I could. I quickly learned to regret that choice. Gary showed up and dropped into one of the two chairs in front of my desk. To prevent people from hanging out, I had purchased unpadded, pressed wood seats from Ikea for my client seats. Think the seats you had in high schools, but in un-yielding plywood. Gary was angry about something.

Me: "So, what can I help you about”? Gary: "Ok. I got divorced about a year and a half ago. Because I didn't want my witch wife to get my businesses, I quick-claimed them to my buddy. Now that the divorce is over, he won't give me it back". Me: "Let me see if I got this right. You were getting divorced and you sold property to your friend with a quit-claim deed".

Gary: "It's called a quick-claim, because it's fast". I keep my mouth shut. I got a B+ in Property, but I'll leave Gary to his opinions. Me: "I see. What property did you transfer to your friend”? Gary: "All of it. My lot, my trucks, and my employees" Me: "Ok. So let me get this straight. Your ex filed for divorce and you transferred your lot and equipment to your friend”.

Gary: "Yeah. And now that the divorce is final, he won't give it back". Me: "And the giving back part was a handshake deal, right”? Gary (Realizing that I'm not on his side, either): "So you're on his side”? Me: "Um. No. I'm on your side, but I hate to tell you, you messed up. You sold all your property to prevent your ex-wife from getting any of it, but now it's gone. Sorry". Gary did not take this well.

He stomped out of our offices screaming and whining. I poured myself an afternoon cup of coffee and went back to work. By the time my coffee was cold, my boss called. Boss: "So, I understand Gary left unhappy”. Me:" Yep. From what I gathered, he transferred all his property to a drinking buddy in a botched asset protection play. Buddy isn't willing to give it back".

Boss: "So anything you can do for him”? Me: "Sorry, no. I think he's broke. His ex may have a claim under a constructive trust theory". Boss: "Yeah. well, I guess we'll leave sleeping dogs to lie. Screw that guy, anyway”.


Lawyers Expose The Worst Clients EverPexels

11. Let’s Go To The Tape

I work in what's essentially a kangaroo court of an industrial licensing/accreditation board. My experience is limited to moot court in high school and a few years of being a paralegal. I'd prefer not to say the industry involved just because it's so small I may be identified. To put it simply, numerous companies in the USA have certain extremely specialized and potentially hazardous equipment.

However, there's only one company that operates the specialized "mechanics" and equipment necessary to maintain the dangerous equipment. These are extreme professionals though—they get put in what's essentially a space suit in an extreme environment for insane amounts of times doing these repairs/inspections on extremely dangerous machinery, sometimes while it's running.

They go through intensive medical screening, and rigorous training, and most have advanced college degrees in the field. They make 200k-250k yearly doing this. I work for the "mechanic" company as, essentially, a defense lawyer that's not a lawyer in the accreditation/licensing board. Many times, the companies that have the equipment to be maintained love to bring the most frivolous stuff to the board.

Some of the accusations made look like they came out of the delusions of a geriatric with schizophrenia. This case revolved around several companies’ seemingly unfounded claim that the mechanics sabotaged their equipment to spite all companies involved, knowing they would possibly hurt themselves doing so, and knowing that their sabotage would endanger tons of people.

The only solid fact disclosed in the first hearing is that a $20-part in a multimillion-dollar machine was left out, therefore resulting in it breaking and a catastrophic failure. Each of the mechanics’ protective suits has a black box of data being recorded during the repairs. I'd listened to a total of 15 hours of recording. It was everything the repair company had as far as data and there was nothing suggestive of any wrongdoing.

Now, it's important to remember this isn't a court of law. There is no mandatory disclosure of evidence and there's a ton of "gotchas" that happen. Anyway, I'm pretty much ready to get this dismissed. Seems utterly ridiculous, pretty much ready to pull out the “Ok, you’re stupid, bye” card when the tribunal was imminently going to dismiss this kangaroo trial.

The "prosecutor" was cross-examining the accused "mechanic" defendant aggressively over quite inane irrelevant questioning, trying to trip up and catch the defendant on ridiculously irrelevant stuff like what type of car he had, what he does before jobs, his sports team preferences, what route he takes to work, what gate he comes in on that campus, etc.

The tribunal keeps reprimanding the "prosecutor" for getting in his face, then the prosecutor comes out of left field. "Well, did you conspire with this guy in the prep room to mess up the machinery”? The defendant of course says no. "Prosecutor" repeats the question. Defendant says no. Then the prosecutor comes out with a sentence that closed the case.

"What about the recording proving you conspired to destroy equipment”? That was the point where my stomach dropped and my sphincter tensed up a little bit. The defendant denies the possibility of the existence of such a recording. Prosecutor ends up pulling up a recording showing literally everything: A video of him driving past one side of the campus to go in his preferred gate.

A video of him in the car he said he drove going in the gate, his team’s mascot bumper stickers on the car, him wearing the color he admitted to wearing getting out, him walking into the prep room, and a full audio recording of him conspiring with the other person on the job about how he was going to intentionally destroy the machinery, and for the other guy to get away when he went to do it.

He definitely lost his license. No idea what else happened because we were asked to leave the room, but I'd imagine someone got in some big boy trouble in the real court system.


Lawyers' dumbest clientsShutterstock

12. Double The Trouble

Although I work in the law, I was sitting in a court witness waiting room on this day, ready to give evidence in a different case. The lady next to me was being interviewed by her baby barrister, who had clearly borrowed his much larger uncle's suit. He had also clearly never met the lady or read the case—and he was about to mortify himself.

Baby Barrister: Now, tell me what happened Lady: I was at home with my twin sons, and the defendant comes into the trailer and stabs one of them. Baby Barrister: how old are your boys? Lady: 16 years old. Baby Barrister: Both of them? I have never been able to pinpoint so clearly the moment a client realizes they should've gone with a more reputable firm.


Crazy Tales From The LawPexels

13. You’re On Candid Camera

I’ve been a workers’ comp attorney for 21 years, and 19 of that was defense. And oh boy, I have seen some amazing FB posts and surveillance video. I had one young lady injure her knee, and a few weeks after her accident she posted a video of her pole dancing at some bachelorette party. The best surveillance I saw was a two-way tie, though.

Back in the early 2000s, one gentleman was treated regularly for a very specific nerve issue around his wrist. Outward symptoms included loss of hair growth in the affected area, as well as discoloration and temperature changes of the skin. Well, the video shows a stunning truth. There’s this guy getting out of his truck, taking his belt off, and whipping the ever-lovin' heck out of his wrist.

This scammer was beating himself to make sure his wrist was discolored and warm to the touch. The second video was actually the employer’s own static camera set up in the security guard house/booth where the claimant worked as a security guard at a waterfront resort. She had alleged a fall as she was walking out of the guard house towards a vehicle to check credentials.

Well, this video showed her grabbing onto the sliding door handle of the house door and holding onto it to slowly set herself down on the ground. Then she starts hollering to her co-worker about her violent trip and fall. Yeah, that was a trip alright. The look on her lawyer’s face when I showed them that video at her depo was priceless.

I’ve only had two cases in my career where the adjuster refused to even offer one cent to settle, and that was one of them.


Caught on Home Security Cameras factsPixabay

14. Repeat Offender

The last time I got called for trial duty, we were all in a room on the second floor of the courthouse having coffee and waiting to see if we would be required for any jury trials. I noticed a bailiff standing looking out the window and sort of chuckling to himself, so I go over and take a look. The window overlooks the employee/court officials parking lot at the back of the building.

It's fenced with chain-link, topped with razor wire, and has an open gate with a guard booth. I also notice there is a tow truck in the process of hooking up a car. I ask the bailiff what's going on. He tells me about one of the best incidents of karma I’ve ever heard. See, a short time ago a woman—a total Karen—drove through the gate, ignoring the guard, and parked her car.

The guard approached her and informed her that unless she was a court employee or court official she could not park here. She apparently told him that she's here to fight a parking ticket and that makes her a freaking court official for the day and stormed off. He then tells me that the woman is currently in one of the courtrooms waiting for her parking ticket case to be called while her car is being impounded for being illegally parked.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

15. A Genuine Gotcha Moment

We were working on getting a case thrown out. The defendant was a 20-something Black man in Chicago who was pulled over due to a “smell” of substances but was only charged with traffic violations. The entire case was dependent on this officer having been able to smell substances from outside the car. I should note, the search only turned up an old roach on the back floor. We came up with the perfect plan.

The lawyer on the case stuffed melted chocolates in her pocket before questioning the officer. She approached the witness and said something along the lines of “So you pulled him over because of the smell, how were you able to tell”? His response was “I just have an incredible sense of smell”. After about a minute the judge commented on the chocolate smell, but the trial continued.

Eventually, the lawyer asked the officer, “Do you smell anything now”? When he said no, the whole case got thrown out on the basis that he shouldn’t have been pulled over in the first place.


Legal Numbskulls factsShutterstock

16. Gone Fishin’

When I was in undergrad, I volunteered at a small civil firm. We had a divorced client who wanted full custody of the kids. They were already a problem client, but the best part was when they gave us extremely short notice that they would be unavailable for an entire MONTH. We had discovery deadlines and asked how we were supposed to contact them or gather any missing documents. The answer was utterly ridiculous.

They told us they would be BEAR HUNTING for the entire month and wouldn't be taking their cell phone because it was an "unplugged" trip. They then got frustrated with us when we explained it was a bad idea to go bear hunting instead of being available for deadlines and providing documents that were required for gaining custody of their children.

Nope, we would just have to work around bear hunting month, while simultaneously winning them custody. Okay.


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17. Poisoning The Well

I’m a lawyer. For some background, this is my best friend from college’s story. We call each other when are upset. Years ago, she'd gotten a post-grad certificate and had been working at the university and continued to work there after her certificate. Most people working there had contracts through the school year, but she had an at-will contract.

They terminated her mistakenly, believing the contract was over. I talked her through how to apply for unemployment. A few years ago, she was working in a job she really liked with a boss she didn't. One of the things that stuck out to me in her rants to me was how cheap he was. I understand that business owners have to keep an eye on costs and make unpopular decisions, but he did things like talk to a web designer, decide her fee was too much, and make his logo from ClipArt inspired by her design.

One evening, when I was still in law school, she called me upset because her boss had decided to eliminate her position. He'd offered her a couple months’ salary as severance. I made the appropriate noises and told her I'd hold her hand through unemployment again. That's when she dropped the bombshell. Despite working there two years 8-5 every weekday in the office, she was categorized as an "independent contractor”.

I told her that she didn't sound like an independent contractor at all. They controlled her hours and her office space, they listed her as an employee on the website, she couldn't hire someone to take over her tasks, etc. After taking a day or two to calm down, she decided to negotiate her severance package. She emailed to ask for three months and her anticipated bonus.

Her boss called her back and said he would only talk on the phone or in person. That made her realize the scam he was trying to pull. He didn't want to leave a paper trail and she should hire an attorney. Her attorney sent out a severance demand, saying something along the lines of "You offered her two months, we counter with six months plus half anticipated bonuses".

Two hours later, he received an email back. It basically said, "My offer has expired since she's retained an attorney”. Now, my friend's attorney had been representing her as a favor. He was a mostly retired of-counsel for a firm. He didn't expect anything out of the case. However, when he got that email back, he called her and said that he had never received such an insulting letter in his career.

He got my friend to file for an employee ethics violation from a time he had called her "too sensitive", just in hopes it would force him to retain counsel. It didn't. She lost her original unemployment hearing because her boss showed the contract where she had signed. I had (before she retained counsel) sent her a checklist for things to prove independent contracting, but as is typical for first-round unemployment hearings, they didn't listen.

She and her attorney appealed, and they did listen to the evidence this time and she got unemployment. But there was a dark, new development. One of my friend's former co-workers had suddenly decided he was no longer willing to give her a recommendation, and based on his tone, she thought it was because he feared for his job.

When my friend was interviewing after that, she didn't get a couple of offers she thought she should. She eventually heard through the grapevine that her former boss was trashing her to anyone who called. She thankfully landed a job, but she was considering suing that jerk.


Co-Worker Idiot factsShutterstock

18. Fathers In High Places

I saw this exchange go down over the summer while I was an intern at an Army court office. So I showed up to court one day to watch and assist with a court martial. About 10 minutes before trial was about to start, this teenage girl wanders into the courtroom and sits down in the gallery. The prosecutor goes over to her and starts to sternly question her.

Prosecutor: Why are you here? Who are you? Where are your parents? etc... Girl: (looking taken aback) I'm just here to see my dad in court today. Prosecutor: Oh, and who is that? Girl: Colonel Jones. (As in the Judge). Prosecutor: (cue nervous laughter) Ah, okay. By the way, my name is Captain Smith, the defense attorney. All of us watching this exchange collectively shake our heads.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

19. The Problem Client

I work as a police station advisor and litigator in the UK, so most of my work comes in from representing clients in officer interviews and, if they get charged, being the litigator for their case. So I represented this client, Mo, a few months ago. Immediately, something was off. He asked me to do some unethical things like delay or obfuscate an officer search of his property, but backpedaled when I refused.

I sternly told him I would have to withdraw if his instructions were going to be to impede an officer search on his house. Now, Mo was facing assault for stomping on his ex-wife’s head, in public, multiple times. He pleaded not guilty at his first appearance and had his trial date coming up in the magistrate’s court in a few weeks’ time.

The case was later allocated to me after my supervisor had to ease off some of her caseload. I got in touch with him to take instructions in relation to the prosecution witness statements. He started off okay with me, but after a few minutes just absolutely flew off the handle. So I've explained to Mo that I need to take a full set of instructions from him.

I take him through the witness statement and this just absolutely incensed him. He’s telling me nothing happened and why on Earth am I spreading lies and false information against his good name. His good name, but the way, with just the 30 prior convictions to it. This is still fairly fine, as I'm used to dealing with him and other clients with mental health issues.

I keep my calm and reassure him that this is just the prosecution evidence and that I'm representing him and will put forward whatever instructions he gives me. However, he needs to know what evidence they have and what they will be saying happened. He's convinced the only evidence is his ex-partner’s statement and that doesn't matter because she never attends court. But he’s not taking into account a crucial thing.

See, this time an ambulance driver was also at the scene and allegedly witnessed the incident and made the emergency call. So Mo goes off again and starts accusing me of spreading lies and that I don't know what I’m doing and he needs a more experienced solicitor to deal with his case. He starts shouting down the phone to put him through to my supervisor who represented him in the past.

He's getting pretty nasty at this point, calling me an idiot and every name under the sun, all because I tried to read this witness statement to him. At that point, I told him that if he is going to act like this to me I won't represent him and I won't continue to call. He calms down for a whole 10 seconds, apologizes and asks me to read the statement.

I get to the end of the first sentence when he starts screaming again. All about how he doesn’t have time for any of this and that I'm a dumb fool for spreading false information. Mo keeps demanding to speak to my supervisor, who is unavailable as she is in a three-hour conference with another client in a different building. He is not getting a hold of her.

So Mo tells me he's done with me and that he is going to a different solicitor if I'm going to keep annoying him. I had the perfect answer. This is absolute music to my ears at this point, after all, and I tell him he is absolutely free to do so! Not content at leaving me at that, Mo tells me that I'm lucky he wasn't in the office because he would knock me out and that next time he sees me he'll smack me in the jaw.

Given the fact he knows where the office is and he lives about a 10-minute walk away from us I'm not going to mess around when somebody with a long history starts threatening me, so I just said goodbye and hung up. My supervisor later rung him and told him we can't represent him if he threatens our staff. Wouldn’t you know it, he proceeded to berate and threaten her too.

So that's the story of how I got sacked by a client and threatened to be beaten up literally just for reading the witness statement to him in order to take his instructions. The whole building is now on lockdown and all staff are told to not let any non-staff in without them showing ID. If you ever feel like you miss out on the fun stories by not practicing in law, then keep in mind it's not all fun and games.


Crazy Tales From The LawPexels

20. Goodbye Forever, Bob

I took a Summer Associateship with a PI firm. Within a week of when I started, they hired a new paralegal. I'm going to call him Bob because I cannot remember his name and have no desire to do so. Despite my other issues with the firm, they were very good about making sure that the other law student and I did actual work—research, motion drafting.

Bob made some comments toward me that were borderline harassment. He never said anything beyond that he liked my outfit, but he said it in a way that made me a little uncomfortable. I never reported it because his comments on paper were normal, and if he tried anything, I would have happily beat him with my shoe.

After all, I “ruined” the vibe of a couple of parties in college when guys didn't take my initial "no" as an answer and I very loudly said that I did not consent while I pushed them away. Eventually, I noticed he wasn't around. I was delighted at was I discovered. One evening, I was chatting with some of the attorneys and employees when the owner referred to "Bob, the ex-employee and harasser".

While this clued me in that he had probably been more forward and less relenting with other women (I actually didn't have to interact with him very often), I wanted to know why he actually got fired. It turns out that we had received an offer from an insurance company. Bob thought it was unreasonable—I never worked on the case, so I can't opine as to its reasonableness.

However, instead of telling an attorney as he should have or forwarding the offer to the client as ethical rules require, he just sent back a letter saying “Heck no”. The next morning, the attorney got an email from Opposing Counsel essentially saying, "I'm pretty sure there is no way you authorized this letter". I think both attorneys knew perfectly well that the paralegal wrote it without authorization.


Crazy Tales From The LawPexels

21. No Can Do

This is my favorite story. Although I was not directly involved, I was present for this. The first firm I worked for had more offices than attorneys, since the owner of my firm and her husband owned the building. We leased out two offices to solo attorneys whom the owner knew. We provided the receptionist and some occasional light office services if we weren't too busy.

One of the attorneys was appointed counsel for a felony track. Basically, this meant that when the PD's office was overwhelmed or had too many conflicts with a defendant or otherwise could not be bothered with a case, she was paid to take it on. So, this attorney was expecting her first child. She and our firm spent about a month before the birth preparing for it.

She got some of her friends to cover all her active cases and gave us instructions for what to do if the court or a client wanted to contact her in the next six weeks. As anyone who has worked with a pregnant woman can attest to, there is nothing a client understands less than maternity leave. One of her clients, who had already been convicted and sentenced and therefore wasn't on our list of clients to redirect, called several times.

He was not put off by our replies that she was out for maternity leave for six weeks. He insisted that he believed she committed malpractice. We contacted her, and she agreed to speak to him. Luckily for those of us starved for drama, the attorney (for obvious reasons) was not going to give her client her cell number. Because the whole firm had been waiting for about a week to hear this story and we assumed it involved a gross misunderstanding of the law, we were delighted to know that the receptionist had to be the go-between for the client and the attorney.

The conversation went something like this: Client: I believe Attorney has committed malpractice. I've been learning about the law, and I learned about something called "dupple jeopardy”. Note: Our receptionist had been a competitive athlete in high school, had terrible spelling, and never went to a traditional high school. She still knew exactly what double jeopardy was.

Attorney: I am aware of that concept. Why does he think it applies in his case? Client: Well, it means I can't go behind bars for hitting the same witch twice. Attorney: [Moment of silence] (to the receptionist) I am literally breastfeeding my newborn and he interrupts me with this?! Receptionist: [to Client] I'm sorry, but that isn't something she can help you with at the moment.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

22. Love At First Sight

This is a story from a friend of mine. We were both public defenders with the same county a few years ago. At that time, there was a defendant whom we referred to as the "J-Pod bandit”. He was in the J-Pod of the incarceration facility and was the perfect combination of a wacky jailhouse lawyer, sovereign citizen, crazy person, and jerk.

He would write long letters on behalf of other clients, full of the random CAPITALIZATION, emphasis, "quotation marks", punctuation (!!!), and other nonsense you often see from such people. Neither of us represented him, but he still managed to make things tough when he would advise our clients. Anyway, he was convicted and went away for a few years. He recently got out and has been pestering my friend to help him, even though she no longer works in that office, or does defense work. But here’s the kicker.

I asked her how he knew her name, since she had never represented him or even spoke to him. Apparently, she was in court for some hearing when the J-Pod bandit was also there. He said that she "seemed like she knew what she was doing" so he remembered her name and looked her up three years later for help. Note to self: Try not to look like I know what I'm doing in front of crazy people.


Dark Family Secrets factsPexels

23. The Truth Will Out

I'm a layperson aide in an ecclesiastical court and investigative body. Our jurisdiction consists of matters of ecclesiastical law—for those that define ecclesiastical as Christian only, ignore that and substitute with religious. Non-Christian here. The parties involved are either church institutions, clergy, or very specific laypeople like monastics.

For anonymity, I won't confirm or deny what religion as it'd narrow me down further. Anyway, this takes place in a regional court, which is our lowest level jurisdiction. I work in the court that covers the entire east coast. Often we see clergy who are accused in their respective state (or federal) jurisdiction. The same types of offenses are defined much different than in lay law.

So while the lay court finding may influence the way we go, it's far from the only determination. This trial was happening involving a clergyman who was the assistant minister of the temple involved. He was visiting a young lady who belonged to another temple, who was in the emergency department for a psychiatric concern.

It’s very common in my religion for clergy to visit hospitalized patients, including clergy from other temples. But this is where it gets thorny. She accused him of forcibly pinning her down, groping her, and attempting to do more. The authorities investigated and found the complaint was unfounded. He was found guilty of misdemeanor simple battery though for pushing her away.

He said she went for him. Again, we aren't Catholics, and this isn't something we see much. Our trial within the ecclesiastical court was for inappropriate conduct in office. We'd gone through all the preliminary stuff, he agreed to voluntary confinement in preliminary, everybody was sworn in, this was the big boy trial. We have a jury of 14—seven clerical officials and seven. Laypeople.

The court chamber was closed/private, jury was settled, we'd been through opening statements, and it was time for testimony. The defendant was sworn in. He testified on what he said happened originally, which was she went for him and he pushed her. The chief investigator (who is kind of like a prosecutor here) went through some questions regarding his career and background on cross.

These questions were answered just like they were in his statement in interrogation. Then the chief investigator asked if everything he stated in the interrogation was truthful. The wheels came off in a second. The defendant said no. The chief investigator asked if the testimony he just gave prior was true. Defendant said no again.

Th chief investigator asked what was untrue. The defendant immediately spilled the entire story and admitted to everything, in detail. His story also perfectly matched the details outlined in the accusations from the victim report. Now, the mood in these courts are always very serious in nature, testimony or examinations are never relaxed, but the mood shift that occurred was probably one of the biggest 180s I've seen in courts.

The leading judge dismissed the jury and ordered the building to be secured. Unlike the Catholic system, we don't do coverups and we do cooperate with the authorities. The judge had security call 9-1-1 and told the defendant that he (the judge) was effecting a citizen’s arrest permitted under the state law on suspicion of the charges.

He recommended the defendant cooperate and, if he didn't the judge and security would use physical force to keep him until the officers arrived. He said this all very matter-of-factly. Officers came and we pulled the tapes of the chamber during the trial. We (ancillary chamber staff) were told to leave the room. I have no idea what exactly happened, but other trials that day were canceled as the judge went to do all the paperwork.

The defendant was detained. I know nothing other than he was permanently barred from ministry hours later, excommunicated within the week, found guilty criminally under his state’s law, and sentenced to 15 years.


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24. Scamming The Spammer

At the firm I worked at, we had a strict policy that any fax that we couldn't identify went to the office manager. Even stuff that we thought was obviously junk, because you never know. We followed this policy to the letter until I saw some unusual faxes start to come across. Those I directed our staff to throw out. Eventually, I even violated policy further and called the sender.

Them: Good Morning JunkFaxCompany. Me: Hello, I'm calling from LawFirm. Our Fax number is XXX-XXX-XXXX. Them: Ah yes, what can I do for you? What offer are you interested in? Me: Not any offer. You're faxing stuff to us under the name of OldManagingPartner. Them: Yes, I see that. How can I help you? Me: I need you to stop faxing this stuff. He can't accept them.

Them: Has he moved on? Should we update our contact information? Me: You might say that. He passed. Them: He passed?! Me: Yes. In a plane crash in a prop plane to Montana a few years ago. A senior partner announced the news to everyone and made all the secretaries cry. He was a genuinely nice man. Them: Okay…Perhaps there is someone else there that would appreciate luxury services at a discounted price that you could deliver these too?

Me: Sir, let us reason together. First, I am required to deliver all incoming communications not addressed to a specific attorney to the office manager. She was a good friend of the OldManagingPartner. I doubt she'll appreciate seeing his name on the fax. Second, you realize that you're sending unsolicited faxes to a firm?

It’s possible the office manager will feel so offended by this that she may approach one of the attorneys here about filing a complaint against you. Or suing you. Or both. Third, I've decided to preclude situations one and two by throwing these faxes out. And I've directed my staff to do the same. Let's save each other some headaches and you just stop sending them.

Them:…We could simply change the name. Is there anyone else there that would have interest? Me: Click To my recollection they did stop sending these things.


Bizarre eventsShutterstock

25. Keep Your Mouth Shut

I summered at a Public Defender's office after my second year of law school. My first assignment was to do intake interviews and perform bail reduction hearings for defendants who couldn't make their initial bail. I try to make it clear that this hearing is limited to bail, the defendant's ties to the area and their likelihood of fleeing the jurisdiction.

I say that I'm only collecting this information and that a more in-depth interview will be done after the hearing. So this client, Ralph, doesn't want to hear that. Ralph's been accused of swinging a hammer at his ex-girlfriend’s new beau. Ralph believes he has an iron-clad defense. When he tells me his “defense” I nearly burst out laughing.

"They didn't find the hammer”. I tell him that we're doing a bail hearing and that we should talk about how he's lived in the county most of his life, he's got family and a job here. I don't want him talking about what happened that night or any alleged carpentry tools. The only words out of his mouth I want to hear are “Yes, your honor, no, your honor, and I will show up to all court dates, your honor”.

Ralph says that he understands, but he ends the conversation with “but they didn't find the hammer”. Three days later, we've got bail motions. The prosecutor stands up and reminds us all that Ralph's a violent person. I stand up and tell the court that Ralph's always made his court dates in the past, has a job, a family, and a place to stay in the county.

I also point out that the bail is at the top of the range of the state's guidelines. The judge is nodding with my argument, or fighting off narcolepsy. He then puts up his hand and speaks:

Judge: "Nicely argued, counselor. Short and to the point. I'll reduce the bail from $5,000 to $2,500, ten percent. You'll instruct your client to make his next court date and to stay away from the ex-girlfriend and current beau”?

Me: "Yes, your honor". I can see that Ralph wants to say something. So does the judge. Judge: "Does the defendant have anything to say”? I look over at Ralph. He's easily six inches taller than I am. I see that he's about to say something. Ralph is wearing state-issued sneakers, which are not substantial shoes. I am wearing nice heavy wingtips.

I bring the heel of my foot down on the top of Ralph's toes, hard. Ralph: "Man, they nev...OW”! Me: "Defendant has nothing to say at this time, your honor. Thank you". Ralph is glaring at me. The bailiff, smirking, takes him away.


Lawyers Screwed factsShutterstock

26. A Real Dummy Corporation

I’m a real estate lawyer. We had a client who was selling her home. She had lived there for maybe a decade and since she moved in, her neighbor had been the bane of her existence. The property was a semi-detached, so they shared a wall. He was a jerk and though I never got the full story, she had enough when he tried to do renovations without a permit.

His renovations would have involved their joint wall, so he needed her consent, which she wouldn't give because 1) he's a jerk and 2) he wouldn't get permits. Our client had to get the City involved but that was enough for her. So she lists the house and quickly gets a buyer. The buyer was some numbered company. Not being legally savvy, she doesn't really understand what that is.

But the offer was right and entrusts us to do the paperwork. We get the Agreement and the name of the buyer's lawyer and get to work. As part of our due diligence, we do a corporate search to get some info on the buyer. We immediately get a weird result. Our corporate search turns up nothing. As far as we can tell, the company doesn't exist.

Is it possible the numbered company was written incorrectly? It's possible the agents messed up the string of numbers in drafting the Agreement. That would be unusual but not impossible. We call up the buyer's lawyer to get the correct info on the company and he promises to get back to us. After a week of not hearing back, we contact the client and ask them to get in touch with their agent, who can then get in touch with the buyer's agent to get us details on the company.

Our client's agent does their thing and, like the lawyer, is getting nothing but silence. At this point, we know something is wrong and our client is getting nervous. It got truly bizarre. On what is supposed to be the closing day, we had still not heard anything from anyone. We have no choice but to hold the buyer in breach of the Agreement.

This is where my firm's involvement ends. We pass the file along to a litigation lawyer to take it from there. They arrange for the deposit to be seized. Our client has to list the property again and the litigation lawyer starts civil proceedings to sue for damages. We got the rest of the story from the litigation lawyer, and from the client when she finally does end up selling the property for real. It was a jaw-dropping revelation.

That jerk neighbor had wanted her adjoining property so he could do his renovations without having anyone complain to the City. So he put in a bid with a made-up "anonymous" corporation, a random string of numbers followed by Inc. His real estate agent was supposed to do their due diligence to confirm the corporation was real, but didn't and ended up getting in trouble for that.

His lawyer was also supposed to do their due diligence, and at least had the sense to say nothing rather than continue the charade. The neighbor lost his deposit and had to pay damages for the difference between his price and the price the property actually sold for. As I said, the client did end up selling for real. She was ticked that the neighbor caused all the extra hassle but was relieved that it was finally over.


Crazy Tales From The LawPexels

27. You Think You Know People

Decades ago, I had worked in the mail rooms of firms for about three years; insurance defense for all of the firms. I learned over time to always treat the attorneys with respect no matter the situation. Any of them could have gotten me fired merely by asking, and some of them where the most egocentric, narcissistic, thin-skinned people I've ever come across before or since.

You never knew what might set them off. I would routinely come across secretaries or paralegals that were on the verge of tears because of their attorney screaming at them about something or other. Except for a very select three I met over that time. They were genuinely nice people that I gradually let my hair down with over the years.

They treated the people around them like human beings. Then one day I was doing a copy job for one of "my" “nice” attorneys. It was a deposition that they took of the plaintiff in a harassment case. At this point, I had been doing copies for years and didn't pay any attention to the contents. I just wanted to make sure I copied all pages, both sides, got any notes in the margins, etc.

I was copying the results real quick. Suddenly a horrible passage jumped out at me. It engaged me to the point where I actually read a couple of pages. The below is not verbatim, but it's close. My Attorney: What did he say next? Plaintiff: He asked me if I had a nice butt. My Attorney: A nice butt? Plaintiff: Yes. My Attorney: What was your response?
Plaintiff: I didn't say anything, I just walked away. My Attorney: So you didn't verbally answer his question? Plaintiff: No. My Attorney: Well, do you have a nice butt? Plaintiff: What? My Attorney: Do you have a nice butt? Plaintiff: What? My Attorney: It's a simple question, do you think you have a nice butt? Plaintiff: What is that question? I don't get that question.

The exchange went on for a few more pages, where the attorney insisted that the plaintiff appraise the beauty of their buttocks, and the plaintiff refused. To this day I cannot reconcile the gentle and nice disposition of that man versus what I read in the copy job. He had graduated summa cum laude from one of the top law schools in the country, which normally was an indicator of a true jerk, but not him

He always came across as a sweet caring guy, even a little shy. Everybody liked him. But that deposition was like a horror show of indifference and subtle aggression. But that wasn’t the worst part. The next year I heard how another one of my attorneys more or less bullied a plaintiff into describing, in great detail, all sorts of garden variety mental health concerns she'd had over her life.

The plaintiff still "won" a settlement, but I was told the amount was for such a pittance the firm marked it as a clear win our books. A few months after that I heard how the last of "my" attorneys dismantled a mentally challenged plaintiff on the stand. She did it nicely and gently, but the plaintiff's case was destroyed while the plaintiff was emotionally devastated and completely confused about what had just happened.

Then the plaintiff's attorney, infuriated at how the plaintiff had just more or less lost their case, began beating her up on the stand. Towards the end the plaintiff asked if she could switch attorneys to "mine", the opposing counsel, which broke my attorney's heart. But she still kept aggressively arguing on behalf of our client. I just checked upon "my" attorneys almost 30 years after the fact.

The first guy I mentioned above is still doing insurance defense. He's now a partner at a fairly prominent local firm. The second guy I mentioned got cancer while I was working at the firm. He recovered into an even nicer and sweeter person and continued doing insurance defense for another 20 years before retiring. The last one confided to me shortly after the event I mentioned that she couldn't do this sort of thing anymore.

She quit the firm (she had just made partner) and left insurance defense. She works in local government now.


Dystopian Fiction factsPxHere

28. The Bottom Of The Barrel

I was approached and asked to be a character witness of someone who had committed a rather serious act and was looking at a lot of time behind bars. I’m not sure how he was walking around without chains after I eventually learned the details of what happened. I was also kind of surprised to be asked to be a character witness as I didn't know the guy, really.

We lived in the same barracks and ate at the same chow hall, but we worked in different sections in entirely separate disciplines. Then I discovered the sad reality. Apparently, he had already asked everyone who knew him to be a character witness and they turned him down. I didn't even know his first name. After some begging I finally agreed to do so with the caveat that I could only tell what I knew and had observed about him, which he was fine with.

I was not called, but rather they asked me to write a letter on his behalf. It consisted of "I've seen him at the barracks. He didn't cause trouble". "I've seen him at work, I don't know what he does, he didn't cause trouble". "We don't hang out or interact inside or outside of work and I know nothing of his character". I think his parents flew out for his court-martial.

He went behind bars. I kind of felt kind of bad for the guy.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

29. A Series Of Unfortunate Events

This was not my finest moment by far. Needless to say, this left me with some egg on my face and some not-too-kind accusations. A little background. I was an officer in a major city and was actively getting my butt kicked in SWAT training. This was six weeks of grueling non-stop punishment and physical activity in the height of summertime.

Well, as I'm sweating on the firing range, I get a reminder that I have a trial that day. This completely skipped my mind as I was mostly trying not to physically keel over and didn't commit my court calendar to memory. Long and short of it was that it was a firearm case. Foot pursuit, the suspect tossed the piece, I detained him.

Pretty basic case in the grand scheme of things. So I rush to court, which takes me about 45 minutes from the location we were conducting training. It was a mess from the very beginning. I received no trial prep whatsoever. No pre-trial conference with prosecutors, no reviewing of paperwork, nothing. The attorney is panicking and rushing to get me on the stand.

I show up wearing tactical SWAT attire and most definitely not court-appropriate. So one of the first questions they ask is if I can identify the defendant. Now, I was sure I could. But...mental and physical exhaustion, months since arrest, and no preparation can wreak havoc. Seated in court was the defendant and two defense attorneys. All black males in their 30s, wearing glasses, with short hair, and well-dressed in suits.

I guess you can see where this is going, but I identified one of the defense attorneys as the defendant and caused quite the debacle. Maybe this was all a plan by some clever defense counsel, but most likely it was an epic error on behalf of an exhausted and unprepared officer.


Lawyers Share “I Rest My Case” FactsGetty Images

30. Just Trying To Help Out

I was picking a jury, and the defendant is sitting in the courtroom. Standard question: "Does anyone here know the defendant”? Old lady in the third row, sticks up her hand. "I know that guy! He's always in trouble for this sort of thing”! Your Honor, we're going to need a fresh panel....


Lawyers' Shocking Cases factsShutterstock

31. Some People Never Learn

A few years ago, I had a client who sold his car (actually two cars at different times) and in both cases agreed with the buyer that the buyer would be in charge of changing the owner information on the car license. He only found out that both the buyers never did those changes when his bank account was seized for unpaid car taxes.

No written contract, but the car and all its documents in possession of the buyers. In the end, he had to pay the taxes but at least was able to deregister the cars so they wouldn't generate new taxes. After a long time without hearing anything from this client, he called me earlier this year. Apparently, he had just sold his most recent car without a written contract.

The buyer promised to change the owner’s information on the car license, so he gave him all the car documents, but now he received a notice from the tax agency because of unpaid car taxes...


Legal Numbskulls factsPexels

32. Mad With Passion

It was a custody battle, and the dad is trying to get joint custody. It's granted. He's about to have his first weekend with the kids. Mom is not having it in the slightest. The case almost literally exploded. As in, the mom successfully hired a hit man to take out the guy. In the aftermath, Grandma (the dad's mom) attempts to get guardianship of the kids.

It's discovered that Mom conspired to have Grandma offed, too. Mom is brought before the judge for her hearing. She is sobbing “BUT I’M THEIR MOTHER”. Judge isn't having it. "You're their mother. So”? The woman stops crying almost immediately. She’s still behind bars.


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33. Absolutely Loco

I worked as a deputy circuit clerk in an extremely busy office in a major city. There were A TON of wild, crazy, insane, sad, and downright tragic things I saw in my time there, but this is one of the stranger stories. One day at about 4 pm, a woman comes into the office to file a restraining order against the father of one of her children.

Accompanying her is her toddler, in a stroller. She comes to the window, receives a blank petition to be completed along with instructions on how to fill it out, and takes it out into a corner of our lobby to fill it out. Just a few minutes later, one of the security guards comes up to the door of our locked section of the office and knocks to be buzzed in. What unfolds was utterly bizarre.

She is holding an empty Four Loko can and holds it up for myself and the other clerk manning with window with me to see. "Do you guys know what this is”? she asks, something of a smirk on her face. The clerk sat next to me doesn't know—bless her heart, she's a sweet but innocent lady, and this job has exposed her to a lot of new things in our crazy world.

"Yeah, that stuff is pretty wild, where'd you find that”? I asked. This was back when they had the original recipe of Four Loko, back when it was fuel for a power blackout. "Someone going through security said they saw that lady in the lobby putting it in her baby's bottle, I went to the trash can and pulled it out. I saw her toss it in right before she went through the metal detectors," the guard responded.

She’s now realizing that this lady very well likely put the Four Loko in the baby's bottle. I walked to the back part of the office where my supervisor sat, brought the guard with me, and explained the situation. She, of course, was horrified, even given the bizarre things we saw daily. I went down the back passageway to go down to the security station where a few county officers were always on duty.

I explained the situation to our favorite guard who loved responding to the semi-frequent fist-fights in our lobby. He rolled his eyes and followed me up into the lobby of our office, where he asked the woman if he could speak with her for a bit regarding the order of protection she was filing (a lie). The guard that was in our office accompanied him as they took the woman and her kid into one of the counseling rooms provided for the victim advocates to speak with litigants.

Maybe a half hour later, the original guard came in and updated us on the situation. It somehow got weirder. The woman admitted to putting it in her baby's bottle, but initially claimed that she thought it was an energy drink. Um, who puts an energy drink into a baby's bottle!? But then the officer pointed out that she would have had to produce her ID to purchase this drink.

He also said that the convenience store where she said she bought it would almost certainly have surveillance footage of her purchasing it. At that point, she opened up and said that yes, she knew it was an alcoholic beverage, she just wanted "the little jerk to shut up" while she did her business. She also admitted that she was "tired of the little jerk” and wanted his dad to come from Arkansas to take him away.

The mom went across the street to the justice center and the boy went to a foster home that night.


These Neighbors Are MonstersShutterstock

34. That Took A Turn

Now, this courthouse in particular was plagued by a reoccurring problem I haven’t encountered at any other judiciary locations: spoof calls. Spoof calls are when a caller makes it look like they’re calling from [X] when they’re really calling from [Y]. In this case, it was a scam call. Always went the same: targets were elderly folks, getting calls from a grandson who was in a car accident, detained, and needed money to post bail.

Some of these folks would try and call back the same number that left them the message. And once they got the automated system saying they reached “such and such courthouse”, they (understandably) freaked out and assumed the call was legit. I took a call from an older woman who had received one of those calls. While she didn’t provide any of her financial information, she was a bit concerned.

She actually did have a grandson who had prior run-ins with the law. While she was skeptical about this call being legit, she did want to check and make sure her grandson wasn’t in trouble. She said she would have felt extremely guilty if she brushed this off and it turned out to be a real problem her grandson got into. I get his info and start punching it into our database, looking for anything at the municipal, county, or state level.

While searching, I did my best to console her, to reassure her that she did the right thing by checking before giving out any personal information. Lo and behold, my searches yielded no results. I let her know and she thanked me for putting her at ease. She wanted to speak to my supervisor afterward, to let her know that I was especially kind and helpful and should be commended.

My supervisor wasn’t at her desk at the time, so I told the woman that I could put her through to my supervisor’s voicemail and she could leave a message. No. She was insistent on directly speaking to her. Said she would wait on hold until whenever she got back. And as she said that was when my supervisor walked back into the office.

So I informed her about what was going on and connected her to the woman. It took a twist. About 15 or so minutes later, my supervisor ends the call. I thought it was weird. That seemed like way too long a conversation just to say that an employee was really pleasant and helpful. Well, it turns out very little—if any—of the conversation had anything to do with me or the spoof call that started this whole thing.

She basically opened up to my supervisor and told her about her life. She was a psychic or medium (I forget which). She had her own podcast. We looked her up and found it on iHeartRadio. Still don’t know what prompted her to share her life story like that.


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35. Getting Greedy

Paralegal here with your friendly reminder to not post on social media when you have a case pending. I worked for a workers’ comp lawyer. We had a car mechanic who had injured his hand pretty badly with a pneumatic tool. The company was okay initially with the injury, but he also developed an addiction to his pain medication.

He also had pain compartment syndrome, where you have chronic pain in a different area than the injury itself, usually caused by injured nerves. Those two things the company didn’t like, which is where we came in and the fight to get stuff covered and whatnot ensued. After winning most of it, we were in talks for settlement.

However, in our state, the company is required to offer employment (and make up the difference in pay) if work is available that falls under the worker’s restrictions. They had him work the desk since he only needed one hand for it and he could stand fine. He didn’t want to do it but had to in order to keep collecting his benefits.

Lo and behold, while working he slipped and twisted his knee. Now I saw his medical records. He legit twisted his knee. But he made a fatal mistake. Although it was real, he played it up because he did not want to work the desk and dragged it out. This is not new or unique and would not have been a problem usually...but then suddenly the company stopped settlement negotiations.

Fine, my lawyer was awesome and just wanted to help people so he just continued maintenance on the first case while preparing the knee one in case it went south. Like I said, the guy was playing it up and wanted all of these extra things. The big one was an ice maker. He was supposed to ice the knee a couple of times a day and argued his freezer wouldn’t make enough ice.

He may have actually asked for a new freezer. Anyway, the company did buy and deliver an ice maker to his apartment. Then we got discovery on the knee case. Now see, we always send out a standard “Don’t talk about your case to anyone and not on social media. Also refrain from doing any physical activities outside the home as you may be observed”.

We sent it out to him on the first case but not the second and I guess he forgot. They hired a private investigator. He didn’t have to work hard. There was some nothing shots of him doing very light outside work…but his Facebook was a gold mine. Rock climbing vacation. There were also several posts of him bragging about the settlement he was going to get and a nice shot of him under his car working on it “while getting paid by the company” at his home.

The kicker? He was selling the ice maker on Facebook marketplace as “never been used”! Needless to say, no settlement for him and he lost his job permanently. He still got the original injury covered since that had already been decided. We conceded the second injury but had a heck of a time getting him to at least return the money he got for the icemaker.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

36. Missed Connections

In Spain, we have a law profession called "procurador". Their function is quite difficult to explain without going into too much detail, but basically they are the representatives of the parties before the court. They sign the pleadings and submissions together with the lawyers and receive notifications from the courts in the name of their clients.

It is common for each lawyer to work with two to four "procuradores" in case one has a conflict of interest or is on medical leave, etc. And finding one you can trust—which is important—is more complicated than it seems. About 10 years ago, the small firm I worked for at the time was looking for a new "procurador". Clients with a higher buying power were coming in so we decided to try one of the better-known and more expensive ones.

One of his conditions was that he would do the notifications by fax. We thought he was a bit old school, as he relied more on proof of delivery of the fax than he would get in email. But still, no problem: we acquired a virtual fax machine service, which converts the incoming fax to email and the outgoing fax from email. This worked quite well for some time.

He was one of the most reliable and professional "procuradores" I have ever worked with. Until the day the whole story came to light. One day we got a call from his office asking if we were OK with being exceptionally notified by email instead of fax. They had changed their virtual fax service provider and were having trouble with the new service.

It turned out that the custom of notification by fax was because the older lawyers were demanding it that way and this guy simply thought it was a peculiarity of lawyers and that we all wanted to be notified by fax. He had long since stopped using a fax machine and changed to a virtual fax service only for the lawyers he worked with.

That was the last time I sent or received a fax, physical or virtual.


Mall Santa Experiences factsShutterstock

37. Court Karens Exist Too

I’m a paralegal at a small-medium size firm in east London, we specialize in family law. I do basically any odd jobs that the solicitors and fee earners need doing. I also work in the central office and have a phone connected to the switchboard, meaning I speak to clients as the first point of contact very often. Names and such are changed for obvious reasons.

One day, the phone starts to ring. Me: Good morning, Nelson and Murdock how can I help? Lady: I NEED TO SPEAK TO ANDREW TATE (a solicitor at our firm) Me: Ok and what do you need to talk to him about? Lady: ANDREEEWWW TATE Me: Yes I heard, but what is it regarding? Lady: Can you hear me? HELLOOO Me: Yes, hi, I can hear. What do you need to talk to him about?

Lady: My son Me: Ok and who are you? Lady: Mrs Murphy Me: Okay, Mrs Murphy and why are you calling on your son's behalf? Important: We have to obey data protection rules, so we can’t just talk to nosy parents. They either need prior permission from the client or the client must be a minor, otherwise we won't even confirm we act for them in the first place.

Lady: I'M HIS MOTHER Me: Yes, but why isn't your son calling us? Lady: But I'm his MOTHER. ANDREWWW Me: Ok. What is your son's name? Lady: TAAAATEE Me: Yes I know you want to speak to him. But what is your son's name? Lady: Danny Me: Danny Murphy? Lady: Well God, obviously Me: Okay well how— Lady: HE'S SIXTEEN I DON'T HAVE TIME FOR THIS

Me: Wonderful, well, let me find Andrew. Please stay on the line. At this point I go to transfer her to the solicitor, quite relieved that her son is a minor and I don’t have to deal with her anymore. After about 90 seconds of ringing the line, it became evident he was still on the way to the office. As I go to drop his line to take Satan's details, I notice her line isn't there anymore.

She had hung up. But I was so far from done with her. Not 10 seconds later the phone rang again. Me: Good morning, Nelson and Murdock, can I help? Lady: OH FOR CHRIST’S SAKE. Not you again. Me: Hello Mrs Murphy. Lady: ANDREEEEEWWWWWW TAAAAAAAAATE Me: Yes I know… Lady: ANDRREEEEWWW Me: Please don't interrupt… Lady: TAAAAAAAAAATE

Me: Are you finished? Lady: what? Me: If you would like to listen I'm trying to tell you he is unavailable at the moment. Lady: Well, why? Me: He's not in the office yet. He's due in anytime now. Lady: God this is ridiculous. Me: I can take your name and number and ask him to contact you ASAP if you'd like? Or put you through to his voicemail to leave a message.

Lady: Yes Me: Which one? Lady: Are you stupid? Let me speak to a supervisor Me: Well, he's not in yet but I can try to connect you to his mobile Lady: IS ANYONE ELSE BLOODY THERE Me: Well, it’s me and my two colleagues in the office at the moment, would you like to be passed over? Lady: Well who can help? MAYBE A SUPERVIIIISSSOOOOOOOR

Me: There isn't a supervisor here I'm afraid. Lady: I just need a solicitor Me: Well, what do you need to discuss? Lady: NOT YOU. You're not qualified Me: Qualified for what? Lady: ANDREEEWWW TAAAAAATE. At this point, I'm obviously biting my tongue, very frustrated, and want to get rid of a woman who's just being rude and a total Karen.

Me: Look I'll pass on the message okay? Does he have your number? Lady: NO YOU IDIOT. IF YOU LISTEN I'll give it to you. Me: If it’s the number you’re calling from I can see it. Lady: Good. (Hangs up) I've been in this job six months now and have dealt with officers who harass female football players, a man who has been an addict since he was seven years old, and countless Uber drivers who feel up their passengers. And just about everything in between. She was definitely the worst of them all.


Phone Calls Gone WrongShutterstock

38. You Can Have It All

At my old firm, we had a partner I'll call Mych Stevens. So, during my third year there she got pregnant. She captured roughly her normal amount of billable hours right up until she gave birth. She was out for five days. Then she was back at her desk and on pace again for a good year. The other attorneys, almost uniformly male, were in awe of this.

They thought it showed spectacular dedication to the firm and was worthy of high praise. There was also a slight undercurrent that this demonstrated that women didn't have to let childbirth get in the way of billable hours. More or less, women attorneys could be just as productive as men, if they put their mind to it. It was just a matter of willpower.

I just checked out her CV and she was on a fair number of boards right up until she gave birth, took a break for several years, and is now on even more boards. So I suppose she did slow down a little. In any case, this made a strong impression on me at the time. Then I got married and watched my wife give birth to two kids that I then helped feed/bathe/change/burp/etc.

It made a different impression on me after that.


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39. It Runs In The Family

I was in the middle of picking a jury in a case. The judge is going through the standard list of questions before handing it off to us. "Does anyone here have a relative who's been charged with a felony”? Old man raises his hand. "Sir”? "My relatives are a bunch of darn criminals! They've been behind bars for everything from moonshinin' to grave robbin'“!

Glares around at the rest of the jury choices, who have started to giggle. "IT AIN'T FUNNY”! Thank you, sir, may he be excused for cause?


Legal NumbskullsShutterstock

40. Going Off The Deep End

I was a plaintiff during a lawsuit, and had to get deposed along with two other members of my family. The defense lawyer was a very sour gentleman. To put it kindly, he looked a lot like a bulldog chewing on a wasp. Despite our lawyer’s objections, he asked long questions that had almost nothing to do with the case at hand. Just slimy.

After deposing me for three hours, I was getting tired. He kept making snarky remarks and trying to rattle my cage. Things like condescendingly asking me to spell words ("since I'm such an educated individual") or what certain terms meant—again, nothing remotely germane to the case and I was by no means presenting myself as an expert. Finally, things came to a head.

Defense Lawyer: On the morning of January 5th, you spoke to someone on the phone. Did they identify themselves? Me: No. Defense Lawyer: Did you ask for a name? Me: No. Defense Lawyer: Can you describe them? Me: Well, I believe it was a woman. Defense: Can you offer any other description? Me: Not really. It appeared to be a female voice.

The defense lawyer started to showboat a bit here. Defense: Were they black, white, Hispanic? Me: I don't know. Defense: Tall or short? Me: I don't know. Defense: Fat or thin? By this point, he was leaning over the table and I was half out of my seat. We were practically shouting at each other. Finally, exasperated, I replied. Me: I CAN'T POSSIBLY OFFER YOU A PHYSICAL DESCRIPTION OF SOMEONE I SPOKE TO OVER THE FREAKING PHONE.

There was an embarrassed silence on his end for a few seconds, and our lawyer took me outside to calm down for a minute.


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41. Don’t Make The Guy In The Wig Mad

This happened in the Sunshine Magistrates Court in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It should be noted that each state in Australia has only one police force in it. There are no separate forces for county, city, town, or highway. So it was at the start of the trial, and there was an unusual number of officers in the courtroom. This one guy was bought up from the holding cells in handcuffs.

The Magistrate directed one of the officers to remove the defendant’s handcuffs. What happened next was unprecedented. The officer flat-out refused to do so. The Magistrate sat back and had a think about this. He then apologized to the defendant and had him return to the cells. He then returned to Chambers for a while…but he eventually got his revenge.

Not too long after, the Magistrate had the Commissioner attend his courtroom and, in open court, made him read out an apology.


Teacher Confiscated FactsShutterstock

42. It’s Nice To Be Rich

I don't know if this client was actually a rich Saudi prince, but it's a nickname we gave him around the office after this story. He was rich and he was a Saudi. Anyway, it happens rarely in real estate—the law I work in—that people buy their homes in cash. That is to say, they buy it without getting a mortgage. But it happens. Some people have a lot of savings.

Others, like this guy, are just really rich. This client's plan was to mortgage one of his other properties to pay his purchase of this one. He was also going out of town for a month and would miss the closing date. This would normally be an issue because we usually don't get mortgage instructions until closer to closing, but since he wasn't getting a mortgage, it was no big deal.

We had him come in to sign the documents a month before closing and sent him on his way. The one issue was that he didn't get his stuff together in time to get the funds to us but he assured us that his financial adviser was handling it. Since we still had a month before closing, we didn't make a huge deal about it. I ended up regretting this so badly.

Once a week leading up to closing, I would send him a polite email asking him when we could get the funds. His response was always that he was working on it. After two weeks, we started to get a bit nervous. At this point, the lawyer on the file got him to give us his financial adviser's contact info and we got in touch. At this point, it all fell apart.

It turns out that our client had misunderstood what his financial adviser had told him. She had actually told him that since he didn't have the cash on hand and was going to have to mortgage one of his other many properties, he should put the mortgage on this one. She then contacts the client and tells him the same. We sigh internally and ask for mortgage instructions.

The financial adviser was actually nice about the whole situation. The client, she was telling us, honestly has no clue about money issues like this. So we get instructed, prepare our documents and email them to the client. The client is in France at the moment. We tell him to get to a notary, any notary, and have them signed. But...he's in France at the moment.

And apparently, in France, you can't just see a notary. You have to book an appointment for something as simple as notarizing documents. Every single one he went to would not even open their doors to him. He emails us and asks what he should do. We tell him to cross the Channel and get to the UK, another common law country.

He should have no problem finding a notary there. I can’t believe what he actually did. For some reason, this was too complicated for him. So instead of taking the easy route we suggested, his solution instead was to get on a plane and fly back to Canada. He walks into our office without an appointment, which ticks us off, but we sign him up.

He then gets back on a plane to France. He honestly thought it was a better idea to fly to Canada, take a 30-minute cab ride from the airport to our office, have a 10-minute meeting, take a 30-minute cab ride back to the airport and fly back to France than it was to try to find a notary in the UK. The deal closes fine. The guy gets his home. We were all just astounded by this client.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

43. Cough It Up

I graduated college in 2009 at the height of the recession. I've known I wanted to be a lawyer since I was quite young (there are lawyers in the family), so after graduating, I started looking for positions in law firms. I found a listing for an entry-level paralegal and got the position. It was my first "real" job; I'd worked in summer camps and babysat and tutored, but I'd never had an office job.

After I'd been working there for about a month, they decided to let me do one of their replevin actions. For those not in the field, and even for many who are, "replevin" is the fancy (French) word for "repossession”. Basically, when you buy a car from a dealership and get it financed, they generally sell the note to someone else who services the loan.

We were the contracted counsel for a loan servicing company, our client. Before we go further, I want to say that this particular company was really ethical and easy to work with. They didn't start suits until you were at least six months behind on your payments, and usually not until nine months to a year out. They never requested back payments or attorneys' fees if the car was surrendered or repossessed.

If you contacted them after being served and explained that your financial circumstances had changed, they were willing to work out payment plans. I know a lot of loan servicing companies are scummy, but this one wasn't. However, I knew nothing about the company or their cases at this time. The general procedure was pretty formulaic.

Draft a form Complaint with the information about the vehicle, the buyer, and the loan; draft a Motion for an Order to Show Cause; draft the Writ of Repossession so the car can be taken back. We received a case from the company, and the law clerk was supposed to train me on these types of cases. When she told me about drafting the Complaint, the OSC, and the Writ at the same time, I asked what happened if they filed a Reply.

The law clerk said, "They never do". Oh, young me, if only you knew. You never would have asked that. A couple of weeks after service of the Complaint, we do indeed receive back a handwritten Reply. Defendant, in addition to showing a fundamental misunderstanding of what Doe Defendant and Roe Corporations were, claims that he had paid off the vehicle in full a couple of years before.

We have the client review their records and the Defendant's exhibits, and we think we've solved the misunderstanding. It turns out that the original loan servicing company for the vehicle is no longer in existence, and the loans were bought out by our client. The original servicing company sent out a postcard saying that they shouldn't receive any more payments to them and our client was now servicing the loans.

We sent a letter to the Defendant explaining what had happened, but he doubled down. He sent back a copy of a letter ostensibly from our client stating that the loan had been paid in full. However, there were two major problems with this. One, that was not the form letter our client used when the loan had been paid off. Two, the font in the message was a bit different from the address and signature block.

If you looked very closely, you could see faint lines from where the Defendant had altered a message, either by gluing or taping his message over the original or changing it on the computer. We got authorization from our client to move forward with litigation at an hourly rate. Our jurisdiction had mandatory court-annexed arbitration, so it went in front of an arbitrator about nine months after we filed.

Our client was well aware that they would likely spend more litigating this than they would recover, but they didn't want to get the reputation of settling whenever there was litigation.

We prevailed in arbitration, and the Defendant was ordered to surrender his vehicle. When our client picked it up, they said there was paint everywhere and the cost to clean it was more than they could sell it for.


Crazy Tales From The LawPexels

44. Order In The Court

This happened when I was a law student. One day, I'm sitting in court in the front row, waiting to be introduced to the judge by my supervising attorney, who has other business in front of the judge. I'm reviewing my case files for hearings this afternoon, so I'm not paying attention. I hear my name called by my supervising attorney.

He's gesturing at me. I look to my right and see a very old woman. I decide to not ask her to move, so I stand up and vault over the bar. Wrong move. I get lectured by the judge and my supervising attorney in open court. I hang my head. The nice older woman just says, "I'd have moved". Thanks for telling me that now, lady!


Rest My Case factsShutterstock

45. You’ve Got No Power Here

The public defender's office never lacks for crazy clients, but sovereign citizens are a breed apart. For one, they're almost always fun-crazy, as opposed to sad-crazy or scary-crazy. Since entertainment value is a major fringe benefit of the job, this counts for a lot. Secondly, their type of insanity is not an actual recognized mental illness, which means instead of quickly being found incompetent to stand trial and sent off to the loony bin, they get to continue their shenanigans throughout the entire trial process.

And they always go to trial, because taking a plea would mean consenting to the jurisdiction of the court. So this one guy’s case began when he lost a frivolous civil lawsuit, and he then filed a lien against both the judge and opposing counsel. At his arraignment, he refused to acknowledge the court, enter a plea, or say whether or not he wanted a public defender. But it only escalated from there.

He then tried to make a citizen's arrest on the prosecutor, for which he himself got detained by court security and sent behind bars. After a couple of days in there, he mellowed out somewhat and was released based on his promise to behave himself, which he largely has, except for filing numerous nonsense filings. The one motion he filed which had any substance was to fire his public defender and represent himself.

When this was taken up in court, he refused to use the word "understand" in response to any of the judge's questions, stating instead that he "comprehended" the dangers of self-representation and wanted to do it anyway. Our office is now stuck as advisory counsel. He was in court today, too. While there, he accidentally said that he "understood" something before correcting himself to "I comprehend".

I wonder if he'll look back at that slip of the tongue after he's convicted and convince himself that that was the fatal error whereby he accidentally contracted with the court and submitted to the jurisdiction. He now has a firm trial date set. I'll bring the popcorn. I suppose I should note for the record that he’s not my client, which is why I find him so entertaining.

If I had to represent any of these kinds of people myself, I would probably be tearing my hair out.


Rest My Case factsShutterstock

46. Money Matters

I lived at an apartment for quite a few years with no major issues, always paying rent on time and the correct amount. We received a rent increase just before our second year, but never received one for our third year so we continued to pay the amount that it was raised to in the previous year. We never received any communication from the property management company to indicate that they were expecting more.

Last year, they sent us a rental increase notice, but the amount was much higher than the allowed maximum. So of course we reach out to the company and our superintendent. They say they "don't have the time to investigate this" and never give me an update on what we should do. Out of good faith, I offer to pay the max increase amount allowed based on the rent I was previously paying.

They never said that wouldn't work so we went ahead with that. Five months later we (and other tenants in the building) got a nasty letter in the mail from a new property manager. This was the first time we even found out we had a new one. The letter said that we owed around $400 because we were in rental arrears, and if we didn't pay right away then they would pursue eviction.

We called them up and tried to explain that we never got any previous rental increase and that we tried to work things out. They denied this and said that "they had the previous increase letters in our file and that proves that it was delivered". Long story short, after many emails back and forth outlining our rights and refusing to pay this random balance we put in our notice and moved.

We never received our interest on our last month's rent deposit for the last two years, nor did we get our overpayment back for the five months of the attempted settlement. We sent the new property manager an email asking for the overpayment funds ($150) back as well as the interested earned on the deposit ($50). They refused and offered a settlement of $100 with "no admission of fault".

This wasn't even enough to cover the amount we overpaid. So now we've filed with the rental housing authority in our city and requested the maximum amount that we can, which is around $3,000. It will probably be many months until we get to take them to court, but if only they would be reasonable with giving us the refund that we asked for they wouldn't be maybe losing 15x that amount, plus maybe more from the other tenants that will be filing.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

47. Sweating The Small Stuff

I recently started a job as a judiciary clerk, working with divorce cases. I knew they could be bad and the people involved bitter beyond belief but my god, some of the things I've seen and heard...and it's only been a few months! This is a story I heard today from one of the judges. This was a bad divorce. There was too much bad blood between the former couple for whatever reason.

This left them unwilling to solve small issues between themselves. It got to ridiculous proportions. The judge is tasked with deciding how many bedtime stories they could each read their child. Yup...So the judge orders that they're allowed one bedtime story each. The case continues and this issue is not brought up again until one parent files an order to show cause.

A quick explanation of an order to show cause: It's considered for an emergent hearing, which, time permitting, is scheduled to be heard the same day. You're only supposed to file one if someone's health or livelihood is in imminent danger, and swift action is required in order to keep that person safe. The pair are brought before the judge.

"They read an extra bedtime story to our daughter”! "Yeah, well you read a really long one to her, and mine were two short picture books”! The judge didn't specify if whoever filed it got the reliefs they requested, but simply shared it as a cautionary tale of sorts. If you can't decide between yourselves, a judge can and will decide for you.

But do you really want a stranger deciding how you parent because you can't sit down and talk things out?


Petty divorceShutterstock

48. Gone Girl

I was just 16 at the time. I had many friends who I only knew first names of. I didn’t always hang out with the best crowd, so we all kept it to first names only. Anyway, this girl and I were out driving around town and I had to stop to get gas. My car stuck out like a sore thumb at the time. What I didn’t know is she had run away from her father so there was a bolo out for her. But that wasn’t the all.

See, her dad knew my car. An officer came out of the 7-11 as I was filling up at and gets in his car to move it in front of my car. I was extremely confused about this as at that moment I was doing nothing wrong. He turns his lights on and gets out of the car. I finish fueling as he’s walking over and hang up the nozzle. Before I can say a word, he tells me to keep my hands in front of me and answer his questions or else.

Now this was before everyone had cell phones or car phones or anything like that, so there was still a pay phone on the side of the building. I’m 16, scared, have no idea what’s going on and unable to call anyone to help me. He very aggressively comes up to me, gets less than 6 inches from me and asked sternly who my passenger in the vehicle was.

I gave him her nickname, which was just a shorter version of her first name. But then he asks the million-dollar question I can’t answer. He wants her last name and I tell him I don’t know it. He totally thinks I’m lying. At this point, two more patrol cars pull up and surround my car. One comes to the back of my car to stand behind me and one goes to the passenger door to ask my friend to get out.

I’m starting to panic as I still have no idea what the heck is going on. The officer in front of me starts yelling at me that I have to know her last name, who doesn’t know their friend’s last name and I am interfering with his investigation. I tell him again, this time on the verge of tears, what I call her and that I don’t know her last name, I really don’t.

I know where she lives and goes to school. I add that her full name is Melissa but everyone calls her Lissa for short. He kept badgering me for what seemed like forever for her last name, bringing me to tears and threatening me, before the officer behind me pulls him aside to talk. When they step back over the first officer is angry but says nothing to me.

The second officer asks for my ID and all my information. I have to get it out of the car, which he allows, and at that point, I see my friend in the back of the third patrol car. When I give my ID over, he hands it to the first officer who goes to his car to run all my info. I finally ask the second one what is going on and why are they doing this.

He tells me that she was a runaway and I could be charged with multiple counts for hiding her identity and driving her around. Now the first officer comes out and brings his ticket book and my ID out with him. He’s still angry and tells me he could have given me much more in charges but he is “only” citing me with interference with an officer.

He has me sign and tells me a court date. I looked at the second officer and ask him what’s going to happen to my friend. He tells me she will be returning to her father. I let him know that her father is horrible and I’ve seen the bruises on her, they need to look into that before they just hand her off. I had at that point regained my composure and was angry.

While I’m telling the second officer about her father the third car pulls away with my friend in the back. I ask the nicer officer if I can check to see if she got her purse from my car so he could take it to her. He said yes. She had left her purse, so I scribbled a note quickly saying I was sorry and pushed it down in her purse before giving it to the officer.

After they left the gas station attendant came out to see if I was okay and gave me a bottle of water. But that was just the start of the nightmare. Two months later I went to court and plead not guilty. I was assigned an attorney at that time. A year later, I get a call from the court-appointed attorney to come in and go over what happened.

I hadn’t seen my friend since she was taken away. She never came back to school or called me. I was also very pregnant at this point. There was a court date set for a month down the road and the attorney wanted to know my side of what happened. He had the officers’ write-up of the event but key points were inconsistent between officer one and officer two.

I told the attorney what I have written just now and got a very surprised look from him. He was not happy at all with how I had been treated. Other than some earlier speeding tickets, I had a clean record. I had already graduated high school and was set to start college classes while my classmates were still in high school. I had a full-time job and was a “role model” for all young adults starting a family.

He called and left a message for the DA to pass on the inconsistencies in the two reports and what I had said. I showed up for the court date and my attorney told me it had just been rescheduled because the DA hadn’t had time to look at everything. It was rescheduled for five weeks later and he would keep in touch. I got a call two days before the next court date telling me the charges were dropped.

So I never got my day in court but I gave my respect to my attorney. I don’t know exactly what he said to the DA but it all went away.


Entitled Parents FactsShutterstock

49. A Jury Of His Peers May Not Exist

I'm an intern on the misdemeanor docket at a public defender’s office. Today I had to go over reports with some clients and ask them if they want to plead not guilty or plead guilty or no contest to get a plea deal. A guy came in on assault, trespassing, and 3rd-degree larceny charges because he had allegedly entered a pizza place by his house that he was banned from going to and demanded to be sold a 2-liter bottle of Coke.

When the owner, who was ringing up another customer, refused, he attempted to grab cash from her hand as she was taking it from the customer. When he was unsuccessful, he grabbed the 2-liter bottle of Coke from the fridge and ran out without paying for it. This guy insisted he didn't do it and that it was all a lie designed by the owner. But he didn’t stop there.

I then showed him the surveillance camera, which showed him doing everything he was accused of. Still, he claimed it was faked somehow and insisted on going to a jury trial. I know it's a bad idea at this point, but I can't tell him that because I'm not a lawyer so I can't give advice. So I go and get my supervisor (the assistant public defender) so she can tell him what a bad idea it is.

He insisted on a jury trial after she spent 15 minutes trying to talk him out of it...yeah good luck with that one, public defender.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

50. Expert Testimony

I do a lot of insurance work and I try cases of all kinds, large and small. I had a small case, like $2,600, from where a contractor drove into a retaining wall at this lady's house and damaged it. He wouldn't fix it, and, after like eight months, the homeowner allowed her insurance company—my client—to have it fixed and send the bill to the contractor.

The contractor wouldn't pay though. There was lots of squabbling between my client and the contractor's insurance company. We had a trial to settle it. I brought our claims adjuster and the homeowner. The defense attorney brought the contractor and an adjuster from the contractor's insurance company. Everything goes fine with questioning the homeowner, who was a sweet, middle-aged woman.

She, like most people though, knows nothing about the finer points of masonry. Then, we get to my claims adjuster. He says, "Well, we paid $2,600 to have this fixed, but I'm not an expert on masonry". He also discussed how estimates on masonry were made. I sheepishly look at the defense attorney and say, "Your Honor, I move to qualify my witness as an expert".

The judge looks at me like I'm an idiot and denies my motion, of course. I ask a few more questions, and then I let my witness step down. I close my proof. Next, the contractor gets up on the stand. They go over what exactly happened with the retaining wall. Then, he testifies that he "knows for a fact" that the $2,600 invoice includes overhead and profit and accuses my client of "running a scam".

The judge strikes the answer. I look down at the estimate for repair. That’s when I knew I had him. It says, in bold print, "This amount does not include overhead or profit". I look at the invoice. It's the same amount as the estimate. On cross, I show the contractor the invoice. "Sir, this is a $2,600 invoice for repair, correct". "Yes".

I show him the estimate. "Sir, this is a $2,600 estimate for the same repairs, correct”? "Yes". "They're the same amount, correct”? "Yes". "Does the estimate say it does not include profit or overhead”? "Uh..." "Does it”? "Yes". "Didn't you just testify that you knew for a fact that the estimate included overhead”? "I don't know". "What don't you know”?

The contractor is furious and beats his hand on the stand. "It doesn't include overhead and profit, does it”? "I guess not". "But you said it did, right”? I pass the witness. Next, the defense attorney calls the contractor's insurance company's adjuster. He testifies about how much he thought it should cost, like $500. I cross-examine him.

"How did you make this estimate”? "I put the numbers into a computer program". "How do you know what numbers to put in”? "Uh..." "Are you a contractor”? "No". "Are you an expert in masonry”? "No". "Have you ever worked in construction”? "No". "And the computer programs spits out what you put in”? "Yes". "And you can just put in whatever numbers you want”?

"Yes." "And it makes an estimate based on the numbers you pick”? "Yes". "But you don't know anything about masonry”? "No". The adjuster just testified that he made up the estimate. The defense closes proof and the judge takes the matter under advisement.

My witnesses didn't really help establish the amount of damages much. The contractor lied and was discredited. The adjuster for the contractor admitted he just made everything up. We got $1,000 out of the trial. Less than half of what we sought but double what the defendant's argued it should be. It was a win in my book in the end.


Crazy Tales From The LawShutterstock

Sources: 1

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