Annoyed Lawyers Admit The Dumbest Cases They Ever Had To Take
_People will drag people into court for anything these days. It isn't as glamorous as 'Ally McBeal' or 'How to Get Away With Murder' but it can sure be just as crazy. What one will do or say to stay out of jail or grab a few coins is astonishing. _
Redditor _boopbaboop asked the barristers of the Reddit realm what were some of the most ridiculous cases or stories they witnessed. _
COMPUTERS ARE FROM MARS, PHONES FROM VEVUS.
My father is a patent attorney, and when I was around 14 he told me about a guy who wanted to patent the IPhone 3 because "aliens" had given him the design for it. My father told him that if the aliens originally designed then they were the ones that had to patent it, not him.
LET THE MAN HAVE HIS SANDWICH.
I'm a prosecutor, so I don't get hired to represent anyone (I work for the government) but I do have discretion over how the prosecution progresses (i.e. deciding to proceed, deciding what to offer in the event of a plea bargain, deciding to withdraw the charges, etc.) I had a case a few months ago where a man was charged with shoplifting. Turned out he was 70 years old, had absolutely no criminal record, and had shoplifted a SANDWICH which he ate politely in the store. He honestly thought he had paid for it. I was so angry that he was ever charged in the first place. When I saw him in court, he was absolutely terrified. I withdrew the charges and wished him well. I have no idea how it progressed that far.
WHICH 'STU' ARE YOU REFERRING TOO?
I had a client come in saying that he "needed to sue Stu for robbing all his checks." When I asked him if Stu had a last name, he said no. When I asked him if he knew any Stu, he said no. When I asked him what proof he had that Stu was robbing him, he showed me all of his pay stubs.
There were clear, monthly deductions by "SCU". As soon as I saw it, I knew. I asked "Do you have children?" He said yes.
I then told him "Your Stu is the SCU - the Support Collection Unit. They take money out of your check to pay for your child."
He left the office insisting that we needed to find Stu.
STUPID IS AS STUPID DOES.
I did insurance defense for a long time, including insurance fraud investigations for insurance companies. You wouldn't believe how many people take a video inventory of their house only to have it "mysteriously" burn down the next day. You really can't fix stupid.
I'LL TAKE A SIDE OF FRIES WITH THAT WHOPPER!
Woman wanted me to sue McDonalds because their employees beat up her son. Who was trying to rob the place.
HAVE YOU NO MIRROR AT HOME?
When I was in law school I did the criminal defense clinic where we "help" a public defender. I say help because they just give you small cases to do by yourself.
I had a guy accused of shoplifting a yellow FUBU shirt. Guess what he wore to the trial? A GD yellow FUBU shirt. I asked the prosecutor to re-offer the plea deal, she did, and I convinced the guy to take community service and probation (if I remember correctly).
Our public defender system is tragically overworked and underfunded.
WHY IS THE DOOR LOCKED?
A lady in prison in my state tried to sue the state Department of Corrections for "holding her against her will".
Her lawyer wouldn't touch it.
SOMETIMES THOSE PENNIES ADD UP.
I had a teacher that worked for a major video game publisher (one of the top10 ones)
He told me that when people tried to sue them for small amounts due to some game being bad, they would just pay whatever the person wanted, it was cheaper than dealing with the country terrible justice system.
Except one day a guy sued them because a game was bad, he was a law student, self representing, and tried to throw the book at the company.
They decided to make a exception for this guy, they instead 'threw the book back' at him, the lawsuit kept escalating until both sides wasted lots of time and money...
Then as final stroke, they offered to settle in front of a judge. There in front of the judge... they put the price of the game on the table in cash, and told the guy to just take it and stop bothering them. The judge thought it was very fair, and told the guy that if he refused that settlement he would be fined. Guy was very unhappy... he spent like 5000 USD in bureaucracy and airplane fares to get 60 USD.
THE FELINE DEFENSE.
I'm a lawyer, but this happened to a friend of mine. He got engaged, and apparently this pissed off his ex-gf. The ex-gf sued him for custody of their two cats AND $500,000 for something like the lost value of the cats because she claimed they were service animals. Hint: they were not at all service animals.
SOME PEOPLE ARE BEYOND HELP.
Guy I know worked for the DPP and told me about a case where a guy was up on car theft charges, which is like 5 years max bit he was very likely to get a suspended sentence/probation as it was a first ever offense. The dummy though, thought it would be a good idea to go and intimidate the witness into not testifying. The witness called the cops and had CCTV footage of this, so he copped an extra charge with a 20 year max and there was no way in hell he was getting a suspended sentence or probation on that one.
NEVER DOUBT ALL THE HOCUS POCUS.
A lady once called asking us to sue her neighbors. They were using voodoo on her. Fortunately, she had psychic powers and thus knew what they were doing. I respectfully declined.
WHERE ARE MY BERRIES???!!!
Client wanted to sue because there were no strawberries in her fruit salad which she bought from a supermarket. Thankfully a secretary was able to screen the call. She asked if the package said it had strawberries, and the response was, "No, but I thought it would have." I don't know how these people manage to make it through life.
LOVE WHAT GOD GAVE YOU.
Without going into too many details -- had a guy that wanted to bring a class action against the company that made his underwear, because he was convinced his underwear was the reason he had a crooked (YOU KNOW). He assured us that as soon as the jury saw his (YOU KNOW), they'd side with him. No, we didn't take it.
CATS ARE SHIFTY!
I worked as a receptionist at a small personal injury firm and was the first line of defense against the more outlandish cases. One of the most ridiculous calls I took involved a woman wanting to sue her cat's veterinarian for malpractice because her cat scratched her, which in turn supposedly caused her liver to fail and a slew of other health problems to arise. She believed the vet was at fault because she was convinced the cat was carrying some obscure disease and the vet had failed to catch it.
It was my second day on the job, so I put her through to an attorney, not yet knowing what else to do with such a ridiculous situation. She got a firm "sorry, can't help ya" from our office, in part because we did not do malpractice, veterinary or otherwise, but also because she sounded like a one-way ticket to Crazy Town.
VICTIM TO YOUR OWN CAPERS? NOT OUR FAULT.
I am a personal injury lawyer in the UK. I took a call from a potential client that had fallen down the stairs in her own home. She had tripped over her own cat. She told me that she wanted to sue her local authority as her home was owned by the council and she was not allowed to keep pets as part of her lease.
She claimed that when the house was inspected she was not told to get rid of the cat. It was therefore the council's fault that she fell down the stairs.
We didn't take the case on.
I NEVER DID TRUST THAT MOUSE!
My mother said that at a law firm she used to work at many years ago they had received a call from a gentleman that wanted to file a lawsuit against Walt Disney. When asked why he was filing suit he claimed that the Disney characters were coming out of the TV and stealing food from his refrigerator. They told him they'd take the case for an advance fee of $100K and never heard back from him.
I LOVE VOLCANOES!!
A guy found a rock in the middle of Melbourne CBD that he believed came from an underground volcano therefore he discovered the volcano and he owned the volcano and that the Melbourne city council and indeed the Victorian government should pay him rent to live on top of his underground volcano.
No no I did not take on the case
KARAOKE TO KEEP THE CARPOOL FUN AND PAINLESS!!
Some times you have no choice but to take it.
I represented a guy who sold & leased cars. A woman worked for a company that let her drive a company van to work as part of a car pool effort. She'd keep the van at home and picked up fellow workers to go to work, then bring them back to their homes. One day going to work, she was stopped at a stop light. Some guy didn't stop in time and bumped into the van. She got out to look, she and the other guy agreed no damage, so each went on his/her way.
Later, a woman who as a passenger decided/discovered she was injured. Went to a lawyer. The lawyer sued the company, the driver, and every passenger in the van. The lawyer deposed each passenger, got the name of their auto insurance company, sent a demand letter for coverage. One of the passengers said, "I don't have a car. But my sister does." So they sued the sister. She said, "I don't have insurance because I lease the car, and they provide insurance." So the lawyer sued my client and sent a demand letter for insurance coverage.
NEVER GIVE UP ON PANCAKES!
One prospective client wanted me to sue Burger King for no longer serving pancakes.
GOD SHOULD BE MORE CLEAR WITH INSTRUCTIONS.
My dad is a public defender and he had to defend this guy that stole a cop car from the jail parking lot. He claimed that it was a gift from God and was intended for him.
Of course a police chase ensued and it went into the nearby highway (I-5 for those who know it). When he was finally pulled over about 5 minutes and 7 miles later, the guy got out of the car completely naked except for a pair of leather cowboy boots.
If any of you care my dad has had some other pretty legendary clients in his 25 years.