A defense attorney's job isn't necessarily to prove a person is innocent. Sometimes people just aren't. In those cases, it's more a matter of making sure the person is getting a fair shot.
Sometimes, though, even that is impossible thanks to clients who just seem determined to mess things up for themselves.
One Reddit user asked:
And it turns out there's not a whole lot you can do when your client is really determined to ignore your advice, leave out key details, curse out a judge, or is just plain flat out guilty as sin and shows no remorse or ability to not flaunt that guilt.
It's interesting to hear what attorneys do in these situations, though. Proceed with caution, some of these responses do include mentions of rape, other violence, cruelty/harm to animals, drugs, and more.
A Volunteered Confession
My client gave a textbook perfect confession to a robbery the police had no leads on.
He had walked into the police station and told the front desk that he thought the cops were looking for him. He then volunteered that he and a friend robbed a gas station last week. Then, after police arrested and warned him (right to silence etc), and after he spoke at length with counsel (not me)...he repeated his confession in an audio/video statement. He wasn't forced or coerced. He hadn't been detained for an unreasonable time in cells first. They hadn't even interrogated him. But as a result of his confession, they were able to get a DNA warrant and matched him to blood swabbed at the scene.
And the best part? The police had no idea beforehand that it was him. My client and his friend had covered part of their faces, the surveillance video was horrible quality, and they had bear sprayed the store clerk (a 16 year old kid) immediately upon entering so the kid hadn't been able to provide the police with as description beyond "two males." And since he had no criminal record, he wasn't in the DNA database from previous crimes. He had just heard a rumour that police were investigating, and assumed they knew it was him.
I had to laugh when I got the police report and read all of this. I then focused on securing him as fair plea deal because he had no chance at an acquittal.
The Shaggy DefenseGiphy
I'm a criminal defense guy, so I have had plenty. Most infuriating one was a guy that got busted for selling rocks to a confidential informant.
The CI was wired for sound and video so the whole transaction is crystal clear. Plus the cops id'ed his car as the one that drove up the scene and he was stopped a couple of hours later with the buy money in his possession (serial numbers were recorded). He had three prior convictions for drug sales.
The prosecutor offered him five which was the mandatory minimum. He absolutely declined to even consider a plea, insisted on a jury trial, insisted on taking the stand and telling a ridiculous story about how it wasn't him in the video. There wasn't any doubt. It was absolutely him.
I felt like Lionel Hutz trying to string together a closing argument with a straight face. He got 20 years.
Sitting in court waiting and the case before ours at the time (theft) was going on much longer than it should have, Defense lawyer calls for a motion to dismiss, claiming lack of evidence. The judge says he will entertain said motion after lunch, hits gavel says court will reconvene at 1 pm, court dismissed. Defendant stands up and says loudly, "Told you i could get away with stealing that sh*t!"
He thought his case had been dismissed.
I had to try to defend a man who walked into a convenience store with a knife demanding money. He wore no mask, just his casual clothes, and walked through every aisle before he robbed it being spotted by every security camera in the store. After the robbery he ran back to the hotel he was staying at, also carrying an open back pack full of money and being seen by the hotel's security cameras in the process. He then went into his room, threw the bag on the floor and hid under a bed until police arrived.
I spent a long night thinking about it before passing the case to somebody else. Because I have no idea how to defend someone who has so much evidence against them.
A Tit Guy
My friend's mom was a defense lawyer for a hospital- her job was to represent doctors accused of malpractice or anything relating to doctor/patient interaction.
I forget all of the details, but she had one case where a female patient had accused a male doctor of assault. The claim was that the doctor groped the patient several times during a procedure.
Allegedly, the doctor had been coached to say that during a routine procedure, it's possible that he had inadvertently brushed up against the patients chest, and that if it happened, it was an unintentional consequence of following standard procedures.
So they get to the deposition, and I guess the first question the doctor gets is something along the lines of, "walk me through what happened" and the doctor says, "I don't know what you want me to say, man. I'm a tit guy. Always have been."
A Baby Attorney's Mistake
I had a client come in and spin me this yarn about how he owed all these child support arrears and the payments are killing him and could I file a petition to have the payment reduced. He spins this tale of his spouse alienating the children and that's why he never saw them. I filed the petition and the clerk called me aside one day and said I might want to review his actual divorce file, not just his child support file.
That was a wild ride. Orders of protection due to stalking, losing his visitation due to meth use, not making a single child support payment in 14 years. I do the best I can until he admits, on the stand, that he smokes a carton a week and drinks over a liter a day .... so that's over $200/week in cigarettes and liquor (and a little weed sometimes).
It did not go well. I was a baby attorney at the time and I could tell the judge wanted to tear me a new one for even filing this, but I was so beaten down by the end of the hearing that it would have been child abuse at that point.
A group of three young boys in my city drowned their neighbour's cat and recorded themselves doing it with their phones. The videos were copied by their friends and would inevitably be shown to the jury in court.
It was a case of the evidence speaking for itself. All I could really do was to argue for lighter punishment using their age as defense and the disastrous effect that group mentality can have on young people.
Trial Hasn't Even Started Yet
Young lad, bail hearing for weapons and drugs charges, had a decent shot at getting bail. Then he decided to give the judge the middle finger and told him to F off. Safe to say bail was denied. It'll be at least 4 months between that hearing and when trial starts...
A Secret Family
I had a family client whose ex wasn't letting him see his kid. So we were in court with him explaining how important parenting was to him, how much he loved being a father, etc.
After 45 minutes of this the mother says 'I don't know why he's saying this, he abandoned his other kids'.
Cue me who has never heard him mention having other kids. Turned out, yeah, 100% abandoned them. Has had no contact for years, never made any efforts.
Please give your lawyers important information especially if another party involved knows your secrets.
Being A Karen
My 1L summer I worked at a criminal defense firm and got tasked with watching all the police footage from our OWI (operating a vehicle while intoxicated) cases, my FAVORITE involved a woman (our client] calling police on some teens swimming at the apartment complexes indoor pool.
She claimed they were drinking, they clearly weren't. So, the cops ask them to try and keep it down and are about to be on their way when, for some insane reason, our client drives up to the community building (her apartment unit was across the street) like a bat out of hell.
You clearly see her almost hit an officer, then have the audacity to start yelling at them to do their job. . . You see where this is going right?
Homegirl was drunk. It was obvious from her entire demeanor. Also she left her home only wearing one shoe. She was legitimately in no risk of police conflict prior to this.... she definitely got an OWI. 🤷♀️ mind ya business folks.
Half A Bottle Of Vodka ... And Mom
I had a client come in for a DWI. She was about 40 and her mother came with her. She went into this story about her medications and how she wasn't drinking and she was framed by her ex that was the supervising sergeant of the officer who arrested her.
There was some difficulty getting the video from the prosecutors, but eventually we got it. Up to that point she had insisted on a trial. I took her (without her mom) to watch the video. She was wasted. Couldn't walk straight. Clearly intoxicated. Admitted on the video she drank half a bottle of vodka before driving.
I asked her if she thought we could convince the jury she wasn't intoxicated. She then agreed to take the reduction I had worked out for her (thankfully the prosecutor hadn't watched the video yet). Her mother was furious with me. I told her it was the clients decision; not mine or the moms.
Client eventually reached out to thank me for not showing the video to her mom. Weird relationship.
A Klepto ClientGiphy
Late night closing on a multimillion dollar deal. This was about 120 billable hours into my week (worst week of my career). Client came into our office to sign the papers and finish the negotiation. We finally got the deal signed up around 2 in the morning with the bankers set to initiate wires when businesses opened.
As the client was leaving, he took a decorative vase from the front desk of the firm on his way to the elevators. I was finishing up documents and didn't see it happen. Earlier in the week he'd been talking about taking some of our office chairs because they were nice and he was paying the bills anyway.
Long story short, client was a kleptomaniac and it cost the partner on the deal about $20k out of his own pocket because his client was stealing random items from our office.
Payment Up Front
I'm an employment lawyer. I was representing the guy accused of sexual harassment. He did it. It went poorly for him. I made sure I got paid up front.
My Brother's Stalker
I'm pretty sure the lawyer who served the girl who sued my brother had that same question for her.
My brother started dating the girl right after he and his first fiancé called things off. From the get-go this new girl was bat-sht. He brought her home to hang out and she burst into my room without warning to introduce herself and tried to hang out with me.
She told my brother she wanted him to get me, our mom, and our step-dad together downstairs so we could all meet and play board games. She found our dad and stepmom on Facebook and friended them. She was the weirdest clingy girl I've ever seen. My brother wasn't looking for that kind of relationship so he ended it with her.
This girl proceeded to fck with our house, his car, his friends, she started making calls to the local police saying she'd seen criminal mischief happening and she thought it was my brother. After months of trying to ignore her and hoping she'd go away it didn't work.
My brother came home and found her sitting on our porch with this other girl. Apparently they were in a relationship and they wanted my brother to have sex with them and get them pregnant so they could have kids. My brother snapped after months of stalking and basically threatened her with violence if she didn't leave him the hell alone.
A few weeks later he got served to show in court to determine an order of protection against him filed by that girl. He didn't bring a lawyer and he didn't expect her to have one.
Anyway, her lawyer started talking about how my brother had threatened his client and she felt like she was in danger and how my brother deserved to be locked up. She also tried to have him banned from being near the local elementary schools, for reasons unknown to us.
My brother was entitled to call witnesses so he called our mother, me, our stepdad, and the three friends. Each of us detailed the months of stalking and property destruction. Then my brother presented the photos he had of everything she'd done, the screenshots of messages sent to him, to me, to our relatives, on cellphone and social media.
Based on the look on her lawyer's face she hadn't mentioned (and had probably lied about it) she'd instigated everything. My brother was given an order of protection against her, that she ended up breaking a few weeks later. She moved away after she was released from county jail and last I heard she sells her body for drugs and money.
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.
Sometimes you just don't have any money and you have to make it work. I learned how to make the most out of bargains at the grocery store and know how to make food that is hearty and will last more than a day or two. Beans and rice are your friends, by the way. You'd be surprised by how many delicious meals you can make with just these two basic ingredients.
Being poor requires you to be creative.
Penny pinching is an art, as we were so deftly reminded after Redditor naranja_cheese asked the online community,
"What is the most penny pinching you've ever done?"
"I used to steal..."
"I used to steal half-used rolls of tp when I was a janitor. Lived off white rice and Worcestershire sauce for months. Got a job as a cook & always saved a few scraps while plating people's food so I would have something to eat without paying for a meal. Also worked at a butcher shop& would take home bones to roast and make a stew with. I can share hundreds of things like this."
"I worked part-time..."
"I worked part-time in school, but was pretty broke. I wasn't being paid until the following day, and I needed soy sauce for my extra super tasty stir fry. I literally had negative funds in my account. So I went to the grocery store, grabbed a sushi tray, threw a ton of packets of soy sauce in my pocket (they don't charge you for these), wandered a bit, pretended I changed my mind, and left."
"While at the grocery store..."
"While at the grocery store, putting back that pack of chicken breast that cost $2.98 for the other pack of chicken breast that cost $2.95."
"Things were insanely tight..."
"Used to make my own laundry detergent during a time when we had relocated and our prior home had not sold so we had rent on top of a mortgage for 18 months. Things were insanely tight in those days, to say the least."
I definitely know what this is like.
"I took some cedar boards..."
"I had no money for Christmas gifts. I only had enough to pay rent. I took some cedar boards in the backyard, cut them, burnt them a little black as I had no money to finish them. Then I passed them off as cutting boards."
"One Friday night..."
"One Friday night in college, my two buddies and I had a grand total of $3 to our names. I bought a box of Mac 'n Cheese, a can(!) of escargot, and three Lil' Debbie Star Crunches. We had a full meal with starch, protein, and dessert."
"I lived on pasta..."
"When I was at university my entire budget was less than £40 a week. I lived on pasta and stolen sauce packets from the Students Union. The cafeteria ladies would always take pity on me at closing time and give me free burgers."
"I lost my job..."
"I lost my job and lived in a $1400/month apartment where electricity (which included heat) and internet were ludicrously expensive. $400-450 a month in the winter because the building was an old mill with huge windows and no insulation. Fortunately, gas and water were free."
"I only turned on my lights when I had to, turned off the heat entirely, and heated my apartment by boiling a huge pot of water on the gas stove 24 hours a day and going to the business center to use the free DSL connection to apply for jobs. I ate rice with frozen vegetables and spices for three months."
"It sucked, but I got by."
Hopefully things are much better now.
"If I ate fast food..."
"If I ate fast food or takeout food, I would ask for extra sauce packets or garnishes that they give out for free. I would stock up on them, use them when I cook instead of buying the stuff from the store. For example, a $1 box of pasta, a clove of garlic, and 2-3 ramekins of parm cheese, half ramekin of chili flakes, and a pinch of Italian herbs I got from a pizza place makes a quick meal."
"My local mall..."
"My local mall used to do paid surveys, you'd watch a video or try some new soda or whatever and they'd give you a couple of dollars. Then I'd use that to buy a meal."
Sometimes you've just gotta do what you've gotta do. It's not easy.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments below!
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Now, this isn't going to be a long, "Let's all pile on how bad the internet is and only think about the good ol' days when the rocks were soft and we could only communicate using cans with string."
People old enough to remember life pre-Internet, what are some less obvious things you miss about that time?
Many habits we used to possess were made completely irrelevant thanks to the internet. Not that we didn't enjoy doing them, we just started asking ourselves, "What's the point?"
Completely Devoid Of Technological Interference
"Leaving home and just being gone for the day. No cell phones. If there were cameras, it was really different. You used them to take pictures of things or had people take pictures of you. But there was no social media to preoccupy your mind. It was just doing something. And whoever you were with, was who you were with."
No One Needs 24 Hours Of Nonsense
"News only being on at 6pm. That was it. Now we have 6 hours of local news and 24 hours of cable news. Not being bombarded all day with "news." And when you saw "Breaking News" on the screen you knew something serious went down."
You Mean We Actually Have To Go?
"It used to be a lot harder to bail on things. You'd have to call the person at home and tell them yourself, or at least leave a message if you wanted to be risky. Typically if you were gonna bail you'd give at least 24 hours notice. Nowadays people can let you know they're bailing last second since you're always reachable."
"RSVPing mattered. If you said you were going to be there, you made sure to be there. None of this facebook invites that everyone blows off without any form of social repercussions. If you said you were going to go and didn't go, you were the a--hole and everyone knew it."
You can get almost anything on the internet. Almost. Still no sign of real working Lightsabers anywhere out there, but the internet has eliminated many of our purchasing practices.
Just In Time For The Holidays!
"The Sears catalog. That was how I found out about all the cool new toys."
"Catalogs in general, for me. Before the internet made mindless browsing of stuff you didn't need ~really~ easy to do, we still liked doing this without having to drive to the mall. The solution? Sign your mom up for those cool seed catalogs, those not safe to browse at the office gag gift catalogs and then everything in between. That stuff was really nice to have when you grew up somewhere that was not even cable ready."
1 Good Song Out Of 15
"When you bought new music you just had to hope it was good. The single might be popular but otherwise unless someone had it you just bought it and hoped for the best."
"There was so much excitement to going to a cd store to buy an album that you only knew one song of or the band/artist name and just listening to that entire cd over and over again picking out which tracks were your favorite while still learning every lyric to all the songs on the album.
Building a cd collection was also fun."
Talk About The "Immediate Gratification" Generation, Huh?
"The instant win bottle caps / candy / chocolate bar wrappers where you could turn them back into the store and immediately get a free one. Now it's just codes you have to register on their website so they can get your info, i don't even bother anymore."
Finally, there's these activities, to difficult to explain to anyone who wasn't there. How do you get someone to understand that not having a supercomputer in your pocket at all hours of the day radically changed your life?
Keeping It In Front Of You
"I miss having an attention span of more than three seconds"
"It's so weird. I can only vaguely remember what it feels like to not have a smartphone and to be alone and think.
Wondering what my friends are doing and if they'd like to do something on the weekend. We'd have to talk during lunch break at school and plan it...
Trying to find the answer to a math problem... Having to figure it out by re-reading the problem and explanations 5 times."
There Used To Be A Time When You Couldn't Play Everything
"Not being overwhelmed by choice.
Don't get me wrong, having nearly every form of media downloadable is great, but back in the day, i rented a video game and i played that video game as much as i could.
Now, its hard to give it more than 2 seconds before i try one of the 20,000 games i have access to.
New game plus used to be cool. Now, I'm happy if just beat the game"
Floundering. Just A Little.
"My formative years were the 1980s. I remember like yesterday going to study in Paris my junior year of college. I got off the plane with no cell phone, no internet, a Let's Go Paris book, and just a hostel address written on a piece of paper I'd stuck in a French dictionary. I did not know a single person in all of France.
I had $500 of cash stuck in a money belt. The belt was tight and sweaty but that money had to last me for at least a month until I could find a part-time job with my lousy French. My "credit card" was my father's credit card numbers written down on a piece of paper. He told me I could only use it to buy a plane ticket home in an emergency.
I remember standing in the airport and having this powerful emotion of being 21 years old, scared sh-tless, but in absolutely completely control of my own destiny. There was absolutely nobody who could come rushing to my aid if I needed it. I was 100% on my own.
I'm actually very thankful for that experience. I found the hostel. I found a job. I made friends. I learned French. I made it all on my own which was just a big boost in life confidence.
I have no doubt if I'd had a cell phone I would've called my parents on Day 2, told them it was too hard, and been on the next plane home. But I had no other choice but to succeed."
We can never go back. Not really, anyway. The only way is to keep going forward, be aware of the effect the internet has on us, and do our best to not let it take away the things that really matter in our lives.
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Look, unless you enjoy cooking, no one likes spending time in the kitchen longer than they have to in order to whip up something mediocre to eat.
Ordering food or, for the time being, enjoying a socially distanced lunch at an establishment is convenient, but it can take a toll on your wallet.
So what options are there?
Fortunately, there are plenty of them that do not involve nuking a frozen entree.
"What's your go-to under 5 minute meal?"
These dinner selections are super sufficient.
A Loaded Course
"Two hotdogs and a side of judgement from my fiancé"
In Case You Didn't Know
"Quesadilla. super quick and easy to make and there's a ton of ingredients that you can add without much effort that will make it even better."
"Ramen and an egg, but not the traditional way."
- "Boil roughly half an inch of water (we want just enough water to boil the noodles, with very little water left over when it's done boiling)."
- "Smash up the ramen noodles, while still in the package (optional but cooks MUCH faster)."
- "Open the package and remove the seasoning."
- "Dump the noodles in."
- "While boiling, crack an egg and whisk in a small bowl."
- "Noodles should be done and almost all the water should be gone, if not strain out some.
- Remove from the heat."
- "Slowly pour in the egg while mixing very quickly, try not to let the egg touch the pan."
- "Mix as much of the seasoning packet as you like (I prefer 1/2 - 3/4 because I usually add a salty component at the end.)"
- "Add to bowl and top with some chives, thinly sliced, ripped up ham/salami and/or parsley. Leftover bacon or pancetta are fantastic crunchy components to dial up the texture."
"Easy, fast and checks so many of the 'munchie' boxes for me."
Don't Underestimate Soups
"Tomato soup and add tortellini. I like the spinach ones from Trader Joe's and Progreso creamy tomato with basil. It's bomb and it really makes a decent meal."
For people in a rush, these tasty snacks would suffice.
Goes Well With Veggies And Cheese
"Hummus is such an underrated food. It goes well with a lot of veggies and breads and chips or heck even cheese. All the time I hear hummus being listed as one of those weird, gross foods when its actually an amazing snack, or a meal if done correctly. It's not really unhealthy, either, especially if eaten with veggies (celery and carrots go great with hummus)."
Ready In Seconds
"All I do is get a paper towel, and put 5 Oreos on it."
"Then go back and get the whole package."
Peanut Butter Fantasies
"Peanut butter sandwich."
"If I'm feeling extra froggy I'll add nutella to the peanut butter and honey sandwich and put it in the microwave for 30 seconds. Goes down about as well as a popeye's biscuit though."
"It's like cheating the system. You eat sweets and call it healthy."
Start your day without all the hassle of a fancy breakfast.
Put It In A Bowl
"Oatmeal or cereal."
"Cereal is definitely underrated as a meal outside of the breakfast dynamic."
"A very simple recipe my grandma prepared for me when i was a kid."
"It's basically scrambled eggs...but before adding the egg she would cook sweetcorn (from a can) with a little bit of butter, add the eggs and then when the eggs were almost ready, add small cubes of cheese and cook for a minute or until the cheese start to melt (she was using fontal, but any swiss or white cheddar will do). Just a little black pepper and salt."
"Takes 5 minutes to do but it's absolutely delicious, fill you up, not so unhealthy and I feel my late grandma with me."
'I tried variations with chives or spring onions, paprika or other stuff. Still good but nothing as good as a simple "uova strapazzate con mais e formaggio.'"
I consider yogurt a healthy snack/lunch option.
I like having a bowl of non-fat plain Greek yogurt with raspberries, blueberries, sprinkled with granola and drizzled with honey.
It's packed with nutrients and gives me a nice boost of energy.
Yogurt also makes for a perfect chip dip. I sprinkle some onion soup mix and stir in the mixture. Who knew quick and easy food prep could be so delicious?
We all like to assume that a big old scar has an amazing, hardcore story behind it: maybe a valiant fight or some life threatening-escape.
But despite what Hollywood would have us think, that is so rarely the case.
Usually, some kind of bizarre accident leaves us with the biggest scar of our life. There's no action movie story behind it, just a careful mixture of foolishness and bad luck.
Clearly not put off by some gruesome anecdotes, Redditor fluffybear45 asked:
"People with scars, how did you get them?"
For many, it was the wild antics of childhood that left them slightly maimed. With many years now separating the Redditor from the event, these were pretty hilarious.
Out of Nowhere!
"I was playing on a swing and then my leg got stuck in barbed wire." -- Soviet_God-Emperor
"I feel like we missed a couple steps here, or your local park had some serious issues." -- Henfrid
"Yo that went from 0 to 100 real fast" -- IHaveButt
"2nd grade, defective slip-n-slide." -- AdmiralAkbar1
"I'm pretty sure the general design of the slip'n'slide was defective. Those stakes weren't covered originally, so you had to be straight down the middle of the slide or else....." -- Q-burt
"Could you refer to this incident in a gravely voice while staring into the middle distance, pausing only to shudder and sip your scotch?" -- CaptValentine
That's Why You Need an Axe Yard
"My dad hit me with an axe (bladed side) in the face. Stupid 10 yo me just had to look over his shoulder while he was hammering in herrings for our tent."
Others talked about freak accidents that came not from the stupidity of childhood, but the bad luck of mistakes made as an adult.
Bad Conditions for Practice
"Dad gave me a folding knife for Christmas"
"I read online that you could flick it open with one hand"
"So I practiced it, after my hands were greasy from eating a burger"
Take Your Pick
"Multiple long scars on my back are from falling onto a old soviet steel welcome mat ( i dont know how to describe it in english but its meant to wipe dirt of your shoes with triangle shaped steel beams."
"Medium sized one on my forearm is from a barbed wire fence, another one next to it is from a motorcycle accident and one on the base on my thumb is from a cars hood slipping and cutting me."
One Heck Of a Fall
" 'This one is from a skateboard, this one was a truck accident, and this one was a fire hydrant.' "
" 'Oh really? I bet each one has a very unique story.' "
" 'Not really, I skateboarded off of a truck into a fire hydrant.' "
Last, some people talked about the medical procedures that left them with the big gash. These stories had some ninth grade words and not nearly as much stupidity.
"A rare auto immune disorder called pyoderma gangrenosum twice... Don't google If you don't like gore... I had to have daily wound care and high doses of medical steroids"
"My intestines telescoped on themselves 8" scar on my belly." -- Anom8675309
"I never wanted to see the words 'intestines' and 'telescoped' together. Ouch." -- LadySygerrik
"I was born 2 months premature. I wasn't born with an esophagus so drs. cut my stomach open and used parts of my colon or intestines and created a new one for me. I have a huge scar on my neck and my stomach is one big scar. Also had a stomach feeding tube for quite a bit and heart surgery at 2 days old."
"I love science. I wouldn't have experienced life if it hadn't been for advances in medical science."
So if you've been sitting on an embarrassing backstory for one of your scars, feel free to share. You're hardly alone.
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