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Courtrooms are extremely serious environments where one of the fundamentals of our nation gets played out. Trial by jury, proving without a shadow of a doubt, and dropping last minute bombshells to the shocked faces of those jury members. Things get crazy when a verdict is on the line, and you never know where a case can go.


Reddit user, u/Theghost5678, wanted to hear about the craziness from the courtroom when they asked:

Lawyers of Reddit, what was the biggest plot twist you saw go down in a courtroom?

No, No, No, Shh, Not THAT Crime...

Giphy

These 2 friends were arrested for murder, but they thought it was for shoplifting. When they apologized for the crime, the sheriff thought they were admitting to the murder.

Thankfully, my beautiful fiancé has a family full of mechanics and knew that the tire marks left at the scene could not have come from the car the friends were driving. Case dismissed.

EmailioEstevez

Old Man Hair? That's Your Defense?

I did a misdemeanor trial for a guy who drove his motorcycle about 80 mph in a residential neighborhood, passed cars on the double yellow, yada yada. So, he was charged with reckless driving and driving while his license was revoked. Identity was the main issue because he managed to ditch his bike and run into the fields. Defendant has disclosed to me pretrial that he has an alibi. His friend (we'll call her "Nicole") will testify that she was actually the driver.

I get the cop on the stand and ask him if he had any way of identifying the driver. He says, well I saw that he had a mustache (among other things).

The trial results in a mistrial (unimportant to the story). So, we have to start over again.

3 days later we show up to pick a new jury. Defendant shows up clean shaven. He then gets on the stand and claims he can't grow facial hair. His attorney has the gull to argue in closing that "you know as you get older, sometimes you lose the ability to grow hair."

Brilliant-Badger

Expecting To Make A Grand Show

Not me but a friend's story.

A client came to his office and flat out told him they were putting on a show trial, and the client wanted my friend to represent him because of his military background. This person claimed that the case had to be 100% prepared to go to trial, but that it would be thrown out before that happened.

The defendant was accused of assault by a woman he claimed not to know. The case was prepared, court proceedings began, motions were filed, etc. This went on for months, and it really seemed like trial was inevitable.

Finally some attorney for the state, whom no one had heard of, and whose name was not written on any documents, barged into the courtroom. This attorney handed the judge a paper and the case was immediately thrown up without any real explanation.

I assume the defendant probably had some serious connections, but it still seems strange to me, and why they wanted an attorney with a military background was never clear.

fghnhff

Animals To The Rescue

Not me but my father who is a lawyer.

My sister was ticketed for having farm animals on her property.

Since the ticket is less than hiring a lawyer most people would just have to pay it and get on with their lives. But since her dad is a lawyer she could fight the ticket.

When the court date arrived the [prosecutor] thought he had a slam dunk case. He was shocked when he was asked what expert witness he had brought for the case.

Of course my sister is a large animal vet and counted as an expert in the field. My father read the local code, and found the exceptions that applied, and had his expert witness testify that the animals in question were defined as an exemption to what the code defined.

The case was dismissed by the judge after that.

coh_phd_who

Something To Bring Doubt Shadows

Oh, I've got one. I was doing an armed robbery trial, where we had the defendant's DNA linking him to the crime. Now, putting on DNA evidence is no small task; you have to put on every link in the chain, and I had to sweet talk 2 retired officers to come out of retirement to testify and a scientist who was carrying the Special Olympics torch on trial day.
And not only is it serious work to get all the evidence presented, but then you have to explain and argue the science. And it was my first time.

I felt like I had climbed Everest when I finally rested my case, and then the defense attorney turned to his client as though he was being told a secret and exclaimed dramatically: " oh you DO?! You have an IDENTICAL TWIN??!!"

I knew defendant had a brother... and that was it. The defense's case consisted of bringing in defendants little old mother who presented little old photograph of her 2 boys from when they were toddlers, dressed in matching pajamas and sitting on Santa's lap. That was the entire defense.

And it was enough for reasonable doubt.

I lost that one.

pinkandperjurous

Florida? You Don't Say?

A guy stole the little placard off the judge's bench that had the judge's name on it while the judge was away. When judge came back and called his case the guy insisted that the judge had no authority over him without the placard. This brilliant legal strategy did not work and he was arrested for contempt.

This was in Florida, if you couldn't guess.

stufff

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The Association for Psychological Science published a paper that reviewed some of the research:

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