Lawyers Break Down The Hardest Client They Ever Had To Defend In Court
Everyone is always looking for a lawyer. It can be difficult to find and settle on one; there are quite a few reasons why lawyers don't take certain cases. There could be no money to be made from your case, first and foremost. Other lawyers could have rejected the case or the statute of limitations could have expired. The case could just be weak.
This isn't to say that lawyers take open and shut casework, but they certainly don't want to take on clients who will make their lives more difficult, either.
After Redditor gallimimus asked the online community, "Lawyers of Reddit: Who was your hardest client to defend in court?" people shared their stories.
"One of my clients..."
One of my clients stabbed a McDonald's employee through the drive-thru window and when he was arrested they found four grams of powdered morphine in his sock.
"Had a woman..."
Had a woman charged with violating a no-contact order. The order said that she wasn't to come within 100 yards of her ex's house. Cops pull up to ex's house and she's standing in the front yard, waving her arms and screaming.
I was wracking my brain for something to argue to the jury as a reason to find her not guilty. Didn't really come up with much.
Workplace accident caused the death of a worker. I represented the company, defending against charges of negligence, various health and safety violations. The owner clearly didn't take safety seriously and constantly complained about how this was hurting his business.
"My hardest clients..."
I do family law. My hardest clients are the ones that low key alienate their children from an ex over personal feelings. They don't see it or why the behavior is a problem and they are usually very unlikeable people. Don't get me wrong, I have repped bad people who still manage to be likeable, but not these walnuts.
"And this was all after refusing..."
Got a DUI client who had kicked his trial date down by almost two years. Had a history of DUI but had cleaned up his act until this one.
His story: he was sitting in his car waiting for a ride when he got picked up, no keys in the ignition, talked to the cops by opening the door, no way he could have hoped to drive the thing.
Cops' story: keys were in the ignition and the window was down. No one disputing that he was wasted.
His case was winnable but for one thing - he couldn't close his damn trap shut on the stand. If I asked him the time, he told me where his watch was made and what the name of the clerk was who sold it to him. Classic mouth-diarrhea sufferer.
His friends were his other witnesses, and I couldn't have asked for better ones. The police were the prosecutor's witnesses, and I poked holes in their testimony left and right. The case was far from an airtight acquittal, but I had more than enough reasonable doubt to win...
...except for my client. Who revealed on the stand that it was his fourth DUI - when, as far as anyone on the jury was concerned, it was his first. Then he couldn't keep his story straight on how he talked to the cop - opening the window vs cracking the door (makes a difference because the key would have had to be in the ignition for the windows to roll down.) And if I tried to rein him in, he went off on another tangent.
And this was all after refusing to plead to a stipulated first offense, which would have been fines and traffic school - instead, he torpedoed his own case, got convicted, got something like 60 days in jail and a ton of costs, and I got frustratingly close to a win.
"One of the kids..."
Lawyer here. I don't normally do litigation, but as a pro bono project (and for some experience doing a different kind of law), I served as guardian ad litem for these two kids stuck in a high-conflict child custody dispute. "Guardian ad litem" basically means that the court-appointed me to represent the kids whose parents are fighting over them (this is oversimplifying slightly). In other words, I didn't represent either parent, but both parents wanted me on "their side" since my opinion of the case would be influential with the judge.
It was a complete s*** show. Both parents were low income, basically living off of various forms of government assistance. Each had several other kids with other partners. The mom said that the dad sold drugs and that both kids were conceived via assault (and the dad was recently out of prison for sexual assault); the dad said that the mom is a prostitute who neglected the kids (and there were various reports from the kids' school that corroborated this). One of the kids (the sister) was super cute, but the other (the brother) called his sister a hoe in open court and said he hated her.
Luckily the parents agreed to a joint custody arrangement before it went to trial. This experienced confirmed for me 1000% that I do not want to be a litigator, especially in family court.
"The guy who told the judge..."
The guy who told the judge he was going to strangle me in front of jury if he didn't remove me from his case.
Client showed up drunk for a preliminary hearing on DWI. Had him wait in hall, told the judge he was out there. I didn't mention he was drunk. Somehow convinced the judge to continue prelim based on the total creative concoction. If he'd come in the judge would have locked him up for public intoxication and been hot at DWI sentencing. Maybe the judge remembered his pre-bench days just gave us a break.
"In the end..."
I was defending in a DUI case where the guy argued that the reason there was alcohol in his blood is that the cops used alcoholic hand sanitizers when arresting him and the alcohol was on his skin where the needle went... due to the ethical code of the bar association, I had to ask several questions about this from an expert witness who had 20 yrs of medical experience, the witness kind of understood why I had to ask these insane questions; nonetheless I felt like a moron.
In the end, I could still get a better sentence than his plea deal.
"Clients who keep breaching..."
Clients who keep breaching their restraining orders or mutual no-contact orders. I'm a family lawyer, so I'm not defending them when they're charged for it, but those charges then mess with their careers or get brought up later when we're trying to figure out parenting.
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While school was everyone's favorite activity growing up, something that inevitably made the experience worse was an indignant teacher.
Occasionally a student might have a question the teacher can't answer, or they might know something the teacher doesn't. While it would make sense for the teacher to be the life-long learner they urge their students to be, and to address the new information, sometimes the new information leads to disaster.
Redditor VandyThrowaway21 asked:
"What's something an elementary school teacher told you that was totally incorrect?"
Plethora of Knowledge
"I got sent to the principal's office for using the word 'plethora.' The teacher thought it was a swear word. So did the principal."
"And yes, they looked it up. And there is some obscure, arcane definition that means a swelling of a body part. This, of course, is the only definition my teacher knew, not the extremely common one."
That's Not How That Works
"My fifth-grade teacher once said, 'The higher you go up on a mountain, the hotter it gets because you're getting closer to the sun.'"
Moon or Sun
"That the moon emits light, just like the sun. As a nerdy kid interested in space, I told her that it’s actually reflecting the light of the sun, but she did not believe me."
"That in a court of law, we are guilty until proven innocent. She confidently told us that multiple times, pretty sure she got it backwards."
"6th Grade Me: But what happens when you subtract a negative number from a negative number?"
"Teacher: You... can't do that."
"Teacher asked us to name as many types of bats as we could once, and I had a bit of an obsession, so I rattled off: Common pipistrelle, Greater horseshoe, Greater mouse-eared bat, and Vampire."
"I mentioned vampire last as I thought it would have an impact, and the class did not disappoint."
"But the teacher was forced to close off the discussion by claiming that Vampire Bats don't really exist. I then whipped out my bat book and held up the page, and got sent to the principal's office."
"YOU CANNOT WIN!"
Maybe in a Workday
"I had a primary school teacher ask the class how many hours were in a day. I proudly put up my hand and said '24.' She said no. So someone else said 12. She said no."
"Her answer was eight. There are eight hours in a day. I still don't know whether she was trying to ask about a work/school day, but asking eight-year-olds doesn't really clarify that, especially when she said in a day."
How Family Drama Starts
"That I couldn't have blue eyes if my mom had brown eyes. Thus began a lifelong obsession with genetics so I could prove her an absolute f**king fool."
"Bless my mom's single recessive gene she passed to me. I missed the blonde, but I'll take the blue eyes."
It's a Plane
"Middle school not elementary, but my sixth-grade science teacher told the class that sound travels faster than light because 'if a plane is flying overhead, you hear it before you see it!'"
Art is Personal
"That there was no such thing as a black flower. She put a big X through my painting."
"You will need to write in cursive once you get to middle school and beyond."
"Seventh-grade teachers explicitly prohibited kids turning essays in written in cursive. Don't think I ever saw it in high school, college, or throughout my career except from older people." - Leeroy74
A Wholesome Apology
"I had a teacher try to tell the class that Saturn, Neptune, and Uranus were the only planets known to have rings."
"I raised my hand and added that Jupiter had rings too, but that they were so faint they were hard to see."
"She vehemently denied it."
"When I politely (yes, really) told her that I had just seen it in a book, she gave me detention for trying to correct her in front of the class."
"The next day, before class began, she approached me with an encyclopedia opened to a page about Jupiter, and apologized."
"She told the class I was indeed right, and that it's important to listen and learn from people even when we think we are 100% right. One of the more wholesome moments I can remember from school in my youth."
Can't Get the Time Back
"When I was in kindergarten, we had a punishment system that was basically at recess, you had to stand along the fence at recess while the other kids played."
"A minor infraction was just like five minutes and then you could go. Something more was 10 minutes. And so on, including standing there the whole time. And you couldn’t talk while standing on the fence (even to the teacher especially to ask how much longer) or you’d have time added."
"One time I got five minutes for talking in class. But the teacher forgot and didn’t realize I was still there until the end of recess. And I couldn’t say anything because you couldn’t talk."
"And she apologized, but it is a bit like, you can’t get time back, even if you want to."
"I was a pre-service elementary teacher years ago, and our science instructor was teaching us how you can only see when there is light present. A large cohort of my classmates argued she was wrong because they could see when it was dark outside."
"The purpose of the lesson was to learn how students form misconceptions about scientific facts based on their personal observations of the natural world... flew over their heads a bit."
About Those Methods Classes...
"So I teach pre-service elementary teachers in their science methods class and as an astrophysicist, it baffles me how much my soon-to-be-teachers just don’t know about our world and just science in general."
"Like last semester, I had to convince several students that the moon was not a star. And since we can only spend one week on astronomy topics, I can guarantee that a few of them will forget and go back to thinking the moon is a star…"
These examples left making people shaking their heads, wondering what else might have been incorrect in the classroom.
But in most of these cases, the worst part was the teacher being unwilling to listen or to double-check their facts.
For closeted individuals, coming out is a rite of passage in life that LGBTQ+ people never signed up for.
Why is it that anyone who inherently identifies a certain way has to explain themselves to those who are confused and unwavering in their socialized ignorance?
Times have changed and while there have been advances made for LGBTQ+ people to find more acceptance and feel less like an "other," there are still many challenges to overcome.
Even with gay role models prevalent in pop culture, it can still be difficult for gay youth today to come out to a parent who chooses to live in the past and align themselves to antiquated ideals in society that prevents them from loving their child as they are.
But sometimes, the response after opening up to a parent in a vulnerable moment can prove that unconditional love is the best thing in the entire world.
Curious to hear about positive responses, Redditor Expert_Recover3061 asked:
"What's the best response to 'Dad, I think I'm gay'?"
Even those who aren't fathers can give the best response.
"In the 90s, when my girlfriend finally told her traditional Italian mom and grandma at 19, they sighed in unison and grandma said, 'oh thank baby Jesus, I was worried that I was going to have to tell you.'"
What Gran Said
“'I thought you were about to give me bad news! Don’t scare me like that!' - My granny when my uncle came out (in the ‘70’s!). She was decades ahead of her time…"
They're still parents.
The Rules Don't Change
"You still have to wear a condom."
Not The Only Outcome
"Pregnancy isn't the only STD."
Bracing For The Worst
"This was my literal response when my brother came out to me. He’d called me and said he had something urgent to tell me and it had to be face to face. I was a bus journey away and started to panic so I made him tell me over the phone."
“'I’m gay.' 'I know that! I thought someone had DIED.'"
"When I came out to my dad when I was 16 I thought he would disown me. He said: 'Son, If anyone ever hurts you for that, I’ll f'king kill them'. In that moment I realized that I had the best dad in the world."
These reactions raised eyebrows.
“'So that’s why you don’t like mushrooms'. At least that’s what my friends dad said to him when he came out. We still don’t know what he meant by that."
"One of my friends from high school was gay, and when he came out to his family his Dad literally didn’t look up from his newspaper & told him his sister didn’t need to tell him she was straight so why would he need to explain that he was gay? He’s known him his whole life and already knew that."
"It was cute because he was so worried."
These Redditors realized they had nothing to fear.
Cheers To That
"Well... My dad said 'I know... And I don't care. As long as you are happy, I'm also happy for you.' And then asked me if I wanted a beer or scotch to celebrate that I finally had the confidence to tell him."
The Best Parents
"Our son came out to us a month ago. We already suspected, so it wasn't a shock."
"When he told me I thanked him for telling me, told him that I loved him, then explained that who he wants to tell next and how he wants to tell them is 100% his choice and we will support him however he wants and needs. He gave us a list of people to tell, and by the end of the week he wanted everyone to know."
"Love and acknowledgement and support."
Most parents these days aren't given enough credit for being understanding–and also having good instincts about their closeted children–as the fear of being disowned weighs heavily on the mind of individuals who are apprehensive about coming out.
A friend of mine told me her 19-year-old son came out to her and her husband. They already suspected and were waiting on him to come out on his terms when he was ready.
Her husband had the best response.
"Son, I just hope I get to have the first dance with you at the wedding."
Everyone loves a good mystery or ghost story, particularly one with a massive twist regarding one of the main characters.
But surely, stories like this never happen in real life?
Such as finding yourself stuck on the side of the road, when a guardian angel of sorts comes and helps you, seemingly out of nowhere, then disappears just as mysteriously.
Or getting a call warning you about something which sounds far-fetched, then happens three weeks later?
Surely, these are the types of situations only found in the work of Shirley Jackson or Edgar Allen Poe.
Or are they?
"What's the most mysterious thing happened in your life that you can't find any explanation for?"
Mom Acting Weird
"My mum is a type 1 diabetic, has been since she was 11 years of age."
"When me and my little brother were very young, I was about 7 and he was 5 , I came into my mum's room to find she was acting extremely strange."
"She looked almost drunk, and wasn’t really responsive."
"I went to pick up her insulin needles to see if she would react to that and she didn’t."
"So I panicked and phoned my Nan who told me to put the phone down and dial 999."
"For some reason I was so frightened and confused I didn’t, and sent my little brother outside to get help while I tried to get my mum to respond to me."
"My brother came back in crying saying he couldn’t find anyone and then about five minuets later this woman just walked into my mum's bedroom, called me by my name, and my brothers, said she knew my mum and help is coming, she was calm, soft-spoken and had a warm feeling about her."
"I didn’t recognize this woman and neither did my brother."
"Shortly after the ambulance arrived and got my mum's sugar levels back up."
"And when I went to find the woman, she was gone."
"Like literally gone."
"When my mum came round I explained to her about this mysterious woman and what she looked like."
"And my mum had absolutely no idea who she was, and we never saw her again."
"If she didn’t help us my mum would have died eventually."
"Still gives me shivers now."- leeshouse90Portrait Of A Lady On Fire Neon Rated GIF by NEONGiphy
Psychic, or lucky?
"When I was around 18 a friend and I were traveling in Europe."
"We were walking along a pleasant, quiet street in Rome one day and saw an elderly homeless man sitting on the street."
"He said to us if he could guess our date of birth could we give him some money?"
"Of course we said ok."
"He did it! "
"He told us both our correct dates of birth!"
"Never met him before and never saw him again."- robertodurian
Some Unfinished Work, Maybe?
"I was at my mother in law's flat in Hungary."
"Fyi I don't speak Hungarian, so I couldn't be aware of any of this."
"I tend to go to bed later that my wife, and for the first couple of nights, I had trouble falling asleep because around midnight I could hear the neighbor upstairs."
"It's an old block of flats made under the communist era, walls are incredibly thin."
"Walk in high heels, which was very annoying."
"I could also hear little objects fall on the floor, and I told my wife it sounded like the plastic buttons you have on some clothes."
"She looked at me funny and told me her niece hated to sleep in that room because she was scared by the noises coming from upstairs."
"I said that was a bit exaggerated, and I thought it was until my wife told me the flat upstairs had been empty for the past at least 4 years."
"Neighbor died years before that, and guess what?"
"She was a tailor, always nicely dressed and wearing high heels."- mimzouHigh Heels Shoes GIF by Real Housewives Of CheshireGiphy
Gone Without A Trace
"When I was a kid, I participated in Big Brothers Big Sisters, which if you don't know what that is it's pretty much just a mentorship program in the US."
"I basically just hung out with this dude Chris for a couple hours a week."
"We'd go to the movies, out to eat, he'd help me with my homework, that kinda thing."
"One day, he tells me that he's going to Baltimore for a couple weeks and when I should expect him back."
"The day rolls around and I give him a call to see if he's back yet."
"A man whose voice I didn't recognize answered and I asked if Chris was there."
"He said no."
"I asked him when Chris would be back just kinda thinking it was someone staying at his house or watching his dogs or something."
"But he said that I had the wrong number, that he and his wife had lived there for years, and there was never a Chris there."
"I double checked in the phonebook to see if it was the right number which it was because I had it circled."
"I was confused so I just said sorry and hung up, and I never heard from Chris ever again."- theautomemoriesdoll
A Clever Distraction?
"When I was 10 or so I was staying at my grandma's over the summer break and we were having breakfast."
"We barely started eating when the phone rang."
"She left the dining room and I followed her thinking that maybe they were my parents calling."
"When we returned most of the food was gone."
"She asked me if I ate while she was on the phone and I said 'no'."
"There was no one else home and there were no pets."
"My grandma just shook it off saying we might have eaten more than she remembered but I am absolutely positive that I had at most two bites of my toast by the time the phone rang."- queenliz2frHungry Good Morning GIF by HBO MaxGiphy
"Every month around the 5th I get a letter with exactly 23 dollars."
"No note, no return address."
"I’ve asked family, relatives, friends, the two past occupants of this apartment."
"Nobody knows anything about it."
"It is not addressed to me, but to my unique postal address."
"The total is now exactly 1886, I have just stashed it all in a box."
"I do not want to spend it in case it is cursed."- Puzzleheaded_Ad928
A Comforting Sign
"My grandmother always loved roses and had them growing in her back yard."
"She died in a December and when we were gathered at her house for the funeral my father happened to look out the back window and saw a bright red rose had blossomed."
"It stood out brightly against the snow."
"He brought it in and put it in a vase on the kitchen table."
"We all left for the funeral and when we came back the rose was on the living room floor."
"No one had been in the house while we were gone."
"My father is the most hard-headed person alive but he was convinced it was his mothers way of telling him she was all right."- regular6drunk7
"We have a built in wardrobe in our bedroom."
"About a month ago our cat had managed to get herself inside and I must have closed the door."
"I heard her meowing and I opened the door and she jumped out and walked off."
"I closed the wardrobe door."
"Less than five minutes later I hear a meow in the wardrobe, I open the door and to my surprise, our cat jumps out again and walks off."
"My partner and I were both stunned as there is no way into the wardrobe with the doors closed."
"Neither of us have any idea how this happened."- TorthOrcCat Jumping GIFGiphy
"I had just picked up a coworker from her house heading to work.'
"We are just talking and chatting, "how'd your weekend go" type of stuff."
"We are maybe 5 miles away from her house, when all of a sudden, we realize we are in town pulling into works parking lot."
"We both kinda look at each other not sure what happened."
"We had gone near 20 miles in a blink of an eye."
"And what cemented this experience as something that I actually happened, and not just simply losing track of time, IS THE TIME!"
"It should have taken us almost half an hour to get to work."
"Instead the time from when I picked her up was 2:30."
"And the time when we got to the building was 2:40."
"There is no way in HELL!"
"We couldn't have gotten there that fast."
"From that point on we both called that experience the time when we Jumped, like from the movie Jumper."
"I have no explanation why."
"I'll also state, I don't believe in the paranormal or supernatural."
"So this experience is one of those things that makes me question my own sanity."- belac4862car dark GIFGiphy
There must be an explanation for these circumstances...
Even if it's not an explanation that will make any sense, otherworldly or not.
We've all made clumsy mistakes that we know could have been avoided had we used a little bit more good judgment and common sense.
Thankfully, these silly mistakes don't usually harm others or ourselves.
This is why it's hard to see people knowingly perform reckless or dangerous activities which they know might have serious consequences.
While we don't usually wish these people ill, we also have a hard time feeling bad for them, as they knew what they were getting themselves in for.
As some people might say, they "f*cked around and found out" or "play stupid games, win stupid prizes."
What is a great example of 'f*ck around and find out'"?
Never Be Afraid To Seek Help
"Hey remember how they said drugs can ruin your f*cking life?"
"Turns out that was true."- WowAPenguin
They Put Up Those Walls For A Reason
"People who die after going over the safety fence at zoo, or basically any safety fence."- Solid_Refrigerator16
They Can't Say They Weren't Warned...
"Those who go deep cave diving and ignore the warning signs."- somekindofmiraclecave GIFGiphy
Never Stand Behind Them...
"Jacka**es who come to the stables I ride at and act weird around horses."
"Those animals play no games."- clem82
Is It Really Worth It?
"Running of the Bulls in Spain."
"The videos each year of the people getting completely annihilated by the bulls is a great example."- getagrooving
Never Get Too Big For Your Britches...
"When I was young I boxed and eventually got into golden gloves."
"I got a few wins under my belt and said I wanted to fight someone legit, someone who would be a real challenge."
"An opportunity came up to fight someone very good, a guy who'd eventually win regional and state and later go pro."
"At this point I'd not lost or even been knocked down, so my confidence was high, that is until he knocked me the hell out very early in the fight and taught me that there are BIG differences in the different talent levels of fighting."-Redditepisode 2 boxing GIF by Archie ComicsGiphy
Sharks might be the least of your problems...
"Go swimming outside the flags in Australia."- d*ckflip1980
"When people were dressing up like clowns to scare people."
"It kinda stopped after one got shot."- BigMaraJeff2
Or With Anything Dangerous...
"Playing with electricity."- tlmega124Jack Nicholson Hair GIF by MOODMANGiphy
They Won't Harm You If You Won't Harm Them...
"People that approach wildlife in state parks."- Rider-of-Rohaan42
Best To Keep Hands And Feet Out Of Moving Vehicles...
"Your boss at the warehouse is constantly telling you to keep your feet within the confines of your vehicle, and not to hang them, and to stay clear when walking, because if you don't, a 6,000 pound+ vehicle impacting a fixed surface will turn your foot into spaghetti sauce."
"Do not f*ck around, ever, with industrial vehicles."
"Follow all guidelines, always."
"A powered ride-on pallet jack weighs as much as 2-3 small cars, when fully loaded."
"It will absolutely ruin you if you don't operate safely."- SpaceCorpse
Still Probably Best Not To Do It At All!
"My uncle was a high-profile defense attorney specializing in folks who were arrested for drug trafficking."
"The greatest advice he ever gave to me was, if you want to smuggle ANYTHING, you can do it one time."
"After that, you will be caught and you will be f*cked."- redoctober2021
Confusing On So Many Levels...
"Trying to armed rob a gun store."- VagabondTexan
You'd Think People Would Have Learned By Now...
"Taking Julius Caesar hostage."- EgoSenatuscaesar GIFGiphy
No One Is Invincible...
"Ye saying he can’t be dropped by Adidas, then immediately getting dropped by Adidas."- Admin_Untold
It's one thing to make a mistake after being a bit too hasty, and not giving something enough thought.
But if you end up in the ER after being urged not to do something, and well aware of what might happen, don't expect too many flowers...