I'm gonna be real, the only things I know about being a lawyer are from watching Better Call Saul. And Always Sunny, but specifically for learning about bird law. But if there's anything I do know about the courtroom, it's that the weirdest laws can be pulled out of thin air to drastically change a case's verdict.
Lawyer up, my dudes. Here are some of the strangest courtroom stories. Thejoms asked:
Lawyers/Solictors, what is the strangest or oddest law that's won a case for you?
We’re about to learn about some very niche laws. Buckle up.
That’s one way to not go bankrupt.
“I had a client with a serious medical problem that cost her her job, and she was preparing to file bankruptcy on the medical bills and credit card debts.
Thing was, she had like $15,000 socked away and didn't tell me. It was all that was left of her life savings. Before we filed her case she gave it to her mom for safe keeping. What she didn't know is that she could have kept the money through the bankruptcy… but giving it away beforehand is a no-no.
I had to tell the court when I found out, and when this happens the court gets the right to sue the mom for the $15,000. The thing is, the mom's debt to her daughter's bankruptcy court? Also dischargeable in bankruptcy. So the mom filed bankruptcy too, and they got to keep the money after all.”
Nice work.episode 5 book GIFGiphy
“I got a pro bono client's removal by USCIS cancelled. He had a low-level drug possession conviction from the early 1980s. During that brief period, the active ingredient of Imodium was illegal under state law but not federal law. So I successfully argued that they couldn't prove it wasn't a conviction for possession of a substance that was federally legal at the time, and as such was not subject to removal. The argument worked and my guy went back to his business and his family."
This is the best story I’ve ever read.
“The weirdest case I have ever dealt with was *Joly v Palletier, *  O.J. No. 1728 (S.C.J).
I did some research for this case when I was a law student.
Some background: this was at a time when the Ontario Court of Appeal had held that, if there were any factual matters in dispute, a case could not be dismissed on summary judgment. That is not the case today - it was discovered that this position basically ruined summary judgment as a useful process - but it was at the time. In such a motion, all facts alleged by he plaintiff would be assumed to be true …
What happened was this: a man sued, among others, the College of Dental Surgeons - for "persecuting him" and interfering in his ability to live as a "generic Martian". The plaintiff claimed he had been cloned from space debris NASA found in the 1960s. He claimed he had a genetic test to prove this, but it had been falsified by the CIA as part of the conspiracy against him.
Well, naturally, this claim raises the concern that the plaintiff was bonkers, but there was no evidence (aside from his bizarre claims) of that.
In court, the case was decided on two alternate grounds - first on the boring grounds that the case was patently frivolous and vexatious because it was absurd.
However, it was also decided on the more entertaining basis of standing. Justice Epstein held that only a "person" could commence an action in Ontario. The Rules of Civil Procedure define a "person" to be either a human being, or a corporation. The plaintiff's whole case was based on him being a Martian. If he was not a Martian, his case had no merit. If he was a Martian, he lacked standing to commence a lawsuit in Ontario!
In short, we now have precedent that Martians cannot sue in Ontario.”
Now THAT’S a loophole.
“I had a case where a guy was charged for running a red light. The thing is, he had been sitting at the lights for 5 minutes and it hadn't changed. The wording of the specific section under which he was charged related to stop signs and traffic lights and referred to them as ‘traffic regulation devices’. I successfully argued that as the traffic light wasn't changing, it wasn't regulating traffic and he got off. I couldn't believe it when the judge ruled in my favour, neither could the police prosecutor!”
These lawyers really took the phrase “lawyer up” seriously. They know their sh*t.
But why would you fax that to a law firm?90s thumbs up GIFGiphy
“47 U.S.C. 227(b) (restrictions on use of automated telephone equipment)
Law student working at law-firm. We have a fax machine that gets tons of spam faxes.
Our chief partner has a vendetta against spam, and he uses it to give us practice in researching and writing petitions. So we catalog each fax, send replies to take us off the list, document everything and wait for them to fax us again. Then we follow up with a FCC complaint and demand letter. A couple times this has ended up with the person getting mad and sending us retaliatory faxes (black sheets of paper).
If they stop sending we don't do anything, but we've gone to small claims a couple time, and gotten $500 per page a couple times.
We also got someone trying to sell drugs thru fax but we just turned that over to the police.”
People Share The Scariest Thing They've Ever Experienced While Home Alone | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
This is a weird one.
“There was a case here in Hawaii that got thrown out like this. Someone got pulled over because the police saw she had way too many passengers in the car. Then they noticed she was drunk. Open and shut case. Well, apparently in Hawaii, there's no law defining the maximum number of passengers in a private vehicle, so the issue was that all the extra passengers weren't wearing seatbelts. Well, this failed also, because the law only says that every available seatbelt needs to be in use. If you have six passengers and only five seatbelts, there's nothing at all illegal about the sixth being unrestrained.
So, since there was no probable cause to pull her over in the first place, even though she was indefensibly drunk, the whole thing got thrown out. Hawaii has some very counterintuitive laws. If your truck has seats installed in the bed, your passengers must be buckled up. If not, they can just party back there, while anyone in the cab unbuckled would get you a major ticket. People regularly ride down the freeway in truck beds while sitting in lawn chairs.”
This lawyer understood the assignment.
“I won a case where the defendant (New York City) tried to exploit a really stupid law, which I was able to use to win the case. This was a slip and fall case where my client had tripped on a piece of broken sidewalk outside of the Natural History Museum and shattered her arm and wrist. The law is that a property owner is responsible for the sidewalk directly outside of their property, the theory being even if they can't fix it, the have a duty to warn people about hazards and mark the area off.
The museum was owned by the city. There's another concept called sovereign immunity, which is that governments can't be sued without their consent. So the city had passed a very, very stupid law that they would be exempted from the rule that they can't be sued for sidewalk injuries unless you can show they were on notice of hazard. Meaning, you would have to show that you informed the Secretary of State/Governor/Mayor etc. of the exact specific crack in the sidewalk before the injury occurs, and you had to do so in writing with ample time for the city to remedy it (180 days in advance IIRC). Under normal circumstances, this is impossible because no one anticipates tripping on the sidewalk 180 days in advance with the foresight to write a letter to the mayor about that specific crack.
Luckily, someone did have that foresight, and there was a non-profit called Big Apple Maps which would go around the city and with maps of government property and record with insane specificity each and every crack in the side walk, pothole, protrusion, and other hazard, and then publish these maps while serving copies on the government, with the express purpose of combatting sovereign immunity defenses in slip and fall cases against the government. I got ahold of one of these maps and visited the site, and I was able to take pictures of the section of the sidewalk where my client fell, and you could see newly placed concrete over the area in the exact position indicated on the map, showing where the sidewalk had been repaired after my client slipped.
Basically, the government's attorney brought up the sovereign immunity defense and outlined all of the stupid steps I would have needed to go through to overcome their motion to dismiss. My response was "oh you mean this?" and gave them the map.
The long arm of the law apparently extends very, very far, to some very weird places.
Get that big check.hand it over GIF by ObamaGiphy
“Early in my career I had a fairly minor case in which my client's neighbor cut down a bunch of shrubs and small trees bordering their properties because they blocked his view. This really irritated my client as he wanted his privacy.
Now, the monetary damages were actually not that much and this was looking like a case that really couldn't be economically litigated for what the client could afford. However, in researching the issue I found a rather obscure law that provides for attorneys' fees to a winning Plaintiff when a Defendant has willfully damaged the "border" foliage of a "ranch" or "farm." In looking up the definition of these terms I realized that my client's property actually qualified for the statute as he used his land for growing a variety of produce for market.
Once attorneys' fees were on the table the other side quickly caved and wrote a big check to cover the damages.”
A lucky turn of events.
“Over 10 years ago, I had been at fault for rearending someone else. I had no insurance and my license had expired. I don't think I need to mention that I was in a very destitute, low place in life, struggling with almost every conceivable aspect of living.
The cop was very kind as we talked, but wrote me a ticket for it all. One was kind of a fix-it ticket about my suspended license. I sorted that out in the days after and nothing came of that ticket. The cop had mentioned that he HAD to write the insurance ticket, but to take it into court and get it lowered.
I was desperate to try and get my $800 insurance ticket lowered because I couldn't afford something like that. So I took the cop's advice.
I went in to traffic court weeks later and when it was my time to chat with the judge in front of everyone there, the judge looked at the ticket, stopped me and said, "I would like to use Mr. Southseattle's case as an example to the gallery." I almost died. He went on, "this is a court of law, but it is also a court of fairness. It seems as if the officer didn't write the date of the incident in the ticket. I can't hold Mr. Southseattle accountable to this."
My jaw dropped. I stood there. The judge told me I was free to go twice before it registered.
I'm pretty sure that cop deliberately didn't write the date on that ticket. Thanks, officer.”
Another lucky one.
“In 2016, prison inmate John Modie was charged with escaping from the prison in which he was incarcerated, which is a crime in Ohio. The prosecution, however, failed to establish that the Hocking Correctional Facility (and therefore the crime) was located within the court's jurisdiction of Hocking County, as all witnesses potentially able to offer testimony on the prison's location had gone home for the day, and, incredibly, no one remaining could provide references allowing the court to take judicial notice of the prison's location. The charges against Modie were dismissed, and he was allowed to... return to prison to serve his sentence (but at least without additional charges concerning his alleged escape).”
These next few clients truly got lucky with the lawyers they chose.
Oops.GIF by Paramount MoviesGiphy
“Not my story but one of my teacher's stories. He was taking attendance and someone was absent, but the other students told him that the kid was in another classroom finishing his test, so the teacher marked him as present. Turns out the kid skipped that class and was robbing a gas station nearby.
When he gets arrested and goes to court, they look at the records and see that the kid was marked as present in class during the time of the robbery. Because he was marked present in class, the kid won the case even though there was clear security camera footage showing him robbing the store.”
“I won a case based on the declared dead statute in Montana. The case turned on whether a missing person was legally dead or not-insurance pay outs, essentially. Plaintiff tried to have him declared legally dead, but the statute required more than 3 years since last contact (unless there was evidence otherwise). It hadn't been 3 years yet, so the missing guy wasn't legally dead yet, and the group I represented was no longer on the hook to pay out death benefits (for another 2 years).
This is one of the reasons I left this particular practice--fighting over benefits that you will have to pay eventually felt scummy to me.”
“Okay, the statute says consumers have standing to make a claim for improper debt collection.
A consumer is defined as a ‘natural person who owes or allegedly owes a debt.’
If you file bankruptcy your personal obligation for the debt is discharged (i.e. you can't be sued for the debt). But if the debt is secured (like a car loan or mortgage) if the debt isn't paid, you can lose the property in foreclosure.
So, if you had your debt discharged in bankruptcy you do not owe a debt and therefore do not have standing under the statute, even though practically speaking you still have to pay the debt to make sure you're not kicked out of your house. I won, but at the end of the day, this feels like a loophole in the statute.”
The best birthday present you can get.bart simpson GIFGiphy
“This just reminded me that I have something relevant. When I was 17 I was really into doing beer runs with friends (stealing is bad!) and finally, after more than a year of these at various grocery stores and gas stations, someone follows me out and calls in my license plate number. Hilarity ensues because I'm driving my dad's car, they show up at my house, they direct them to the friend's house I'm at, cops crash our party, lots of tickets given out. I was severely grounded until my Juvenile Court case in one month.
Between the incident and the court date, I turned 18.
I showed up to the building on time and saw all of the kids involved and their parents. I was actually the first called in. They very quickly told me that I'd be seeing a parole officer around a hallway, which was scary.
My parents and I sat down and she flat-out said that because I was an adult, they couldn't try me in juvenile court. I was asked to pay $60 and that was that. None of the kids involved talk to me to this day (I'm 35) as they had to do alcohol awareness classes and ~150 hours of community service and it created a huge rift which, to be fair, is for the best, as they were mega hooligans and I don't need that.”
This is wild.
“NAL but personal experience.
NJ:2C 2-4 "Ignorance and Mistake*
I was living in New Jersey when my car insurance lapsed. It was a banking error that resulted in the premium not being paid.
I got a notice from my insurance that my insurance was cancelled and that they would be notifying the state. The same day I got on the phone with the insurance and corrected the mistake and got a new policy.
The day after that I was driving to work and pulled over. They told me my license was suspended, ticketed me and maybe wait until someone came to pick up my car or they were going to tow it.
Two days later I noticed from the DMV shows up at my door saying that my license was suspended after the received notice that I had no insurance on my car. That I would have to take a new policy and bring it down to the DMV to have reinstated.
When I went to court to fight the tickets, I argue with the judge that the postmark of the DMV notice was the same day as my ticket and I couldn't have known that my license was suspended. That I had reinstated my insurance by that time.
I had made a mistake by driving being ignorant my license was suspended and did not have "Mens Rea"., Citing the NJ:2C 2-4 permanent statute.
The judge tossed the original tickets and reduced it to failure to produce documentation at a traffic stop.”
The lawyers in these stories are truly good at what they do. Find the right one, and you’ll get a nice, hefty settlement check.
There’s a reason why these folks go to school for eight years. Seriously.
It's amazing what the legalities are from place to place. I live in New England, and in Connecticut, passengers are allowed to drink alcohol in the car, as long as they aren't driving. Weed isn't legal there, but open containers in the car? Totally fine. At least we have something to look forward to as we cross the border.
There are some truly strange laws depending on where you go. Here is a list of the weirdest ones.
Did you know that murder is allowed in certain instances, depending on where you go? Talk about scary.
I’m sure no one will test these laws.
Not sure how much of it is true. But apparently if the Swedes cross the border by walking over the ice given its frozen over, (which it hasn't in like more than 100 years) we are allowed to kill them.
The exact gates they have to be within are defined but I don't remember what they are.
Dying is illegal in France.Kate Mckinnon Snl GIF by Saturday Night LiveGiphy
Oh boy. France has some history and a love of regulation. Perfect mix for absurd laws. Quick examples:
It's still technically mandatory to have hay at home in case the king's horse is nearby and needs some... Horses have been a pretty rare sight, let alone kings.
A mayor made it illegal to die in his town. The initial problem was an overcrowded cemetery, but he kinda reached the wrong solution.
This probably isn’t enforced anymore.
There is a medieval law here that has never been repealed: all males over the age of 14 are required by law to practice longbow for at least two hours per week.
Some of these laws are so silly, they make you wonder what event happened that put them in place.
I think everyone has done this.
"Forbidden to pee in the ocean". I live in Portugal.
'Like a piss in the ocean' is literally a euphemism for something not mattering. What's the problem?
Tigers are fine, though.film history GIF by DiggGiphy
It's illegal to bring a lion to the movies.
Somebody better have a conversation with MGM.
You can't carry a salmon suspiciously.
"No officer, I was going to eat it later"
"Seems suspicious you were carrying it around in public. I'm gonna have to take you in for questioning."
What is the backstory here?
It's illegal to sleep on top of a refrigerator outdoors here.
I know this is Pennsylvania, but I forget the exact reasoning, but I think it has something to do with homeless people.
These next few laws will definitely make you question these towns’ legitimacy when it comes to lawmaking.
Poor raccoons.raccoon stealing GIFGiphy
In Virginia, it's illegal to "hunt or kill any wild bird or wild animal, including any nuisance species" on Sundays. However, it is permissible to kill raccoons.
Best Excuses For Late Assignments That Were Actually True | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
How the heck is this enforced?
I don't know if this is still a thing anymore, but in Texas it used to be illegal to own more than six dildos.
It's illegal to own any at all in Alabama unless the owner has a letter from a doctor claiming a legitimate medical need.
Granted, most of these laws were written a very long time ago. But it makes you wonder, what the heck were these original lawmakers doing? And what event happened that needed these laws to be enforced at all?
If some of these laws don't make you want to be a criminal, then I don't know what will
Not every law is actually serviceable.
Sometimes, laws are just sort of oddly arbitrary and outdated. In Massachusetts, until very recently, if three women were on a lease together, the dwelling would be considered a brothel.
In other places, the laws just clearly exist because somebody did something dumb: such as hair dryers being required to list a warning on their packaging that says "do not use while sleeping."
What weird laws do you know about?
Here were some of those answers.
Not Trespassing Apparently
In Missouri it used to be illegal to have oral sex. When I was a teenager this couple (Married 11 years) was actually jailed for it. A neighbor had just walked into their house, caught them then called the police.
Later I found out that it was to deter gay people. How stupid can folks be?
Scotland has three court verdicts: Not Guilty, Guilty, and "not proven". The third basically means "we know you likely did it, but we can't actually prove it."
We Love Our Dairy
It's illegal to serve margarine at restaurants unless customers explicitly ask for it.
Violators face up to $500 fines, and 3 months behind bars. Subsequent offenses can get you up to a $1,000 fine and a year in jail.
This Somehow Wasn't The USA
Lol I don't live there anymore, (I moved recently because of the coronavirus), nor was I actually from the country, but it was recent made illegal to say the words 'corona' 'coronavirus' 'COVID-19'.
The whole country was pretty messed up. . . I'm happy to have left. It was the last flight out the country and it had to be chartered. . .
When Being Awkward Was Illegal
Ireland had another one for a while where 2 kids under the age of consent could have sex, but if they attempted to have sex and failed/didn't go through with it, it was a crime. Wasn't ever enforced or anything, was just one of those technicalities people figured out and had a laugh at
You can't act suspiciously with a salmon.
The phrasing is "Handling Salmon in Suspicious Circumstances." That means, if your salmon was likely to have been poached you can go to jail even if you didn't poach it yourself. The UK is a small island you can't let everyone there go and poach wildlife or there won't be any left.
How Do You Even Get Penalized For This
Not on the mainland, but on the Norwegian archipelago Svalbard it is illegal to die. If you are dying you must be flown over to the mainland to die there, or you'll break the law.
I think you're also not legally allowed to stay (or arrive/disembark) if you are sick, or require medical attention beyond superficial treatment. For some reason it's unfeasible to set up a permanent treatment facility for all the 2600 people there.
God Save The Queen
The Criminal Code of Canada is very protective of the Queen.
Acts intended to alarm Her Majesty or break public peace
49 Every one who wilfully, in the presence of Her Majesty,
(a) does an act with intent to alarm Her Majesty or to break the public peace, or
(b) does an act that is intended or is likely to cause bodily harm to Her Majesty,
is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
Selling defective stores to Her Majesty
418 (1) Every one who knowingly sells or delivers defective stores to Her Majesty or commits fraud in connection with the sale, lease or delivery of stores to Her Majesty or the manufacture of stores for Her Majesty is guilty of an indictable offence and liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding fourteen years.
He Was Just Being A Jerk
When my friends and I were 15 we bought some cheap kites at the dollar store and decided to take them with us downtown (we live in Chicago) and fly them. We started trying to fly them by the Art Institute/Millennium Park when we got stopped by a cop. He told us that kites were not allowed to be flown anywhere in the downtown area and if he saw us doing it again he would give us a $250 citation. It seemed kind of weird since both Millennium and Grant park, along with other smaller parks, were in the downtown area, but we didn't argue.
Years later I found out that it actually was an obscure law, but a law that was repealed in the 1970s. So, we were fine flying our kites and that cop just didn't like us having fun.
And Finally, Good Ole 'Murica
- Vermont banned banning clotheslines
- You can't throw rocks at trains in Wisconsin or force people to get microchipped
- Blasphemy is illegal in Michigan as is being drunk on a train
- You cannot make fake drugs in Arizona
- Dogs can't hunt big game in California
- No biting while boxing in Utah and the same state does not allow happy hour sales
- Swearing at sports events is illegal in Massachusetts (I wonder why all Red Sox, Celtics, Bruins, and Patriots fans aren't constantly taken into custody) and EMTs cannot help dogs there either
- Can't use false names at hotels in New Hampshire
- Pretending to be religious figures in Alabama is illegal as is playing dominoes on Sunday
- Severance, Colorado just made throwing snowballs legal in 2019
- To hold public office in Texas, you must believe...in something. Texas also does not allow you to sell your eyes
- Bingo games cannot last more than 5 hrs in North Carolina
- You cannot sniff glue with the intent of getting high in Indiana
- Biting a person's arm off is illegal in Rhode Island
- Adultery is illegal in New York
- Teachers in Tennessee cannot speak to students about hand-holding
- Dance halls cannot be close to cemeteries in South Carolina and they cannot be open on Sunday
- Alcohol sales can be illegal during hurricanes in Florida and it is illegal to corrupt public morals in the same state and doors must open outward in public buildings (makes sense)
- You cannot use x-rays for shoe fittings in Washington (which used to be common)
- You cannot hold a fish and firearm at the same time in Wyoming
- R rated movies cannot be played in drive-in theaters in Delaware and you can forget about selling your dog's hair there too
- You cannot live on a boat for more than 30 days in Georgia
- Southington, Connecticut has a ban on silly string
- Derby, Kansas has made hitting a vending machine illegal and screeching your tires too
- Hawaii doesn't allow billboards
- Everett, Washington only allows hypnotizing indoors
- Enfield, New Hampshire doesn't allow hunting in cemeteries
- If you have an STD, you cannot get married in Nebraska
- All tanning beds in Iowa must have warning signs (not a bad thing)
- You cannot lie down on a sidewalk in Reno, Nevada
- You cannot leave your car door open too long in Oregon nor throw your urine out of a vehicle either
- You cannot molest butterflies in Pacific Grove, California
- Farmers cannot sell pickles at farmers markets in Connecticut
- You cannot wear a bulletproof vest while committing a crime in New Jersey
The law and the police are a particularly touchy subject right now. The police are under nationwide scrutiny for abusing their power.
But there are ways to avoid encounters with the police in day-to-day life. And then there are ways to draw attention to yourself like a neon sign. Some folks have trouble turning that sign off.
Here were some of those answers.
Shouldn't You Be Able To Answer This?
Me, picking up my younger brother from elementary school (at the request of our parents) when I was 17 and asking his teacher "How do you know I'm actually authorized to collect this child? Is there a list or something?"
Police Abusing Power
In 05 I had a buddy I worked with. He was walking home after work. He passed by some kids who were smoking weed. He didn't think anything about it. Couple minutes later cop hits his siren and tells him to stop.
Buddy stopped the cop told him to empty his pockets. Buddy smokes cigs and had a lighter and pack of smokes on him. Cops cuffs him. Apparently the cops busted the kids smoking weed he passed. They said they got if from my buddy to try and get out of trouble. The cop considered the lighter drug paraphernalia. My buddy had to get a lawyer and go through 6months of court hearings and 10days in jail before a judge tossed the case. Lost his job apartment. Really f**ked him over.
Telling On Yourself
Knew a guy who was chatting with a friendly cop outside a local supermarket. Just for fun he asked the cop to look him up on his computer. Turns out he had a warrant, apparently for an unpaid ticket he didn't know about. The cop was really apologetic, but said "I gotta take you in." My friend spent a few hours at the jail before coming home.
Aaaand You're Arrested
Guy was driving around smoking weed with three friends in the car (windows shut) and saw some emergency vehicles at the entrance to an apartment complex his other buddy lived in. So, what does he do? Drives right over there to a line waiting to get into the parking lot. He can clearly see there's a police officer talking to every driver so as to only let in people who live there. Instead of turning around, he pulls up to the officer who promptly asks him to roll down his window...
A Saga On A Tail Light
A friend of mine got pulled over for having a burnt-out tail light. He was given a "fix-it ticket" -- if he provided proof of getting the bulb replaced within a certain time period, the violation would be torn up.
He didn't do it. A while later, he got pulled over again. This time, he had a bench warrant for his arrest over the ticket he never fixed or paid, so he spent a few hours in a holding cell while waiting for his wife to arrive. They paid the ticket, a penalty for not paying the ticket on time, and court costs. He also got his car impounded.
He went to the impound lot to get his car back, but he arrived ten minutes after the lot closed. There was nothing he could do... he had to let it sit there another day, accruing an additional $50 in fees -- on top of the $200 or it was already going to cost him.
When all was said and done, he ended up with many hundreds of dollars in penalties, and a lot of time wasted, all because he didn't replace a $5 bulb in his car. The kicker was that he had the bulb the whole time, even when the first officer pulled him over! He just didn't have a screwdriver, nor did he take the time to go buy one for $2 from Walmart or Home Depot or something and just fix the stupid car.
A DUI On A Silver Platter
A guy I know got a DUI in a McDonalds parking lot. He got into a belligerent argument with the worker through the intercom, and then insisted on eating his food in the parking lot after being threatened by the manager to call the cops. He really set that one up on a silver platter for the arresting officer.
A Sure Way To "Neon Sign"
A relative posted photos of themselves holding restricted firearms on FB along with a death threat to a neighbor that allegedly tried something inappropriate with their daughter.
Never threaten someone before you do something and definitely dont post your intentions on social media.
Probably Didn't Sit Well
Guy I worked with took it a little far at a work function. Saw an ambulance across the street, hopped in, locked all the doors then started playing with the sirens and loud speaker. The company President bailed him out.
The 90s had a different set of rules for work events.
Drunk People Telling On Themselves Part Two
Some dude crashed into the car of a friend of mine while he was still just parking there. It was totally the dudes fault.
My friend just wanted to go ahead and wanted to exchange contact info for insurance and just go on with his day.
But this dude is completely furious and insists to call the cops and make a scene there. He calls the cops. The cops show up and it turns out this dude is completely drunk.
It still boggles my mind how stupid this dude was. Losing his driver license and needing to pay all the damage out of his pocket because of this.
Don't Record Yourself
I know of someone who had a dash cam fitted. They did 90mph in a residential area and crashed, seriously injuring a passenger. The dash cam was used as evidence of how ridiculously fast they were going and he ended up doing a jail sentence. He probably wouldn't have gone to jail if his own dash cam didn't incriminate him (although I think he would probably still have lost his license or something, just not jail time.) Doing 3 times the speed limit is dumb but doing it whilst recording yourself is even dumber.
Just because we incessantly watch reruns of Law & Order: SVU and Blue Bloods doesn't make us law enforcement officials. I no more want a public defender trained by Annalise Keating than I want a surgeon trained by Meredith Grey. For some reason we all think we're well versed enough in justice that we know better than the officials. But oh the amount we are wrong. We'll argue until we're blue in the face without ever cracking a law book..... or a neighborhood watch pamphlet. Hence the problem.Redditor u/IfItQuackedLikeADuck wanted the lawyers of the web to inform us about all the things we DON'T know about the law by asking... Lawyers, What's a law that isn't real that normal people insist exists?
In the UK, people often claim that if an item is listed for sale in a shop then the shop legally has to sell it to you at that price. This is not true at all as the shop doesn't have to sell you anything at any price.
Often as a gesture of goodwill shops will honor erroneous prices, but they are under absolutely no obligation to do so. HereForTheTurnips_
That commercial use of a photograph means selling the photograph.
Commercial use means that there is an implied endorsement. You can take and sell photos of Eric Clapton all day long. Put that same photo in an advertisement for a certain guitar without a release and you can be sued. xaclewtunu
"reading of the will"
Probate attorney here. I've had many people ask me when the "reading of the will" is going to take place. I explain to them that only happens in movies. But one of these days I am going to have one, and hire a mysterious blonde wearing a veil to sit in the corner quietly.
Then I'll tell everyone that she inherits everything. Provided, of course, that she must adopt the decedent's cute but troublemaking six year old child no one knew about. Or she can spend the night in a haunted house. Her choice. SpaceFaceAce
Lie to Me.
Re my father who is a lawyer: "Policeman cannot lie to you."
This is false. They can and they do.
There's so many replies that I cannot even find some of the ones I'd like to respond to so I want to leave a general note for those who have asked for a reference:
Frazier vs Cupp is the Supreme Court ruling that "affirmed the legality of deceptive interrogation tactics" in 1969. The ruling is still active. LoveOfficialxx
People that think it's illegal to be video taped in a public space. RmeMSG
I saw someone on next door complaining about "my reasonable right to privacy in a public place," when someone was shaming 20 people standing together waiting for take out. Sorry that's the opposite of how it works. khaominer
"Sovereign citizen" stuff. I feel like enough folks have claimed to be sovereign citizens that it's become normal. But no, generally you can't declare yourself exempt from the laws in effect where you are. Alleline
Not quite on point:
A lot of people don't understand that co-signing a loan means that you are on the hook for the loan as much as the other person. The car gets repoed and then they are shocked that their wages are getting garnished.
Co-signing is not you saying you think your friend is a cool dude who is good for it; you are saying you will pay for it if they don't. And they want you on the hook because they think there is a good chance the main applicant is a deadbeat. Basically, don't cosign anything for anybody. notrexhudler
As a former lawyer (UK), I lost count of the amount of people that thought jaywalking was a crime.
Unless it's a road that specifically states 'no pedestrians' or a motorway, no such offense exists here.
Edit: to clarify I'm talking about it not being a crime in the UK, it may well be elsewhere (Australia, USA, Germany and others). brevity_is_hard
Fighting words is not a defense to battery. It just means that the government can prosecute face to face insults likely to lead to a breach of the peace.
ETA: Not to say that provocation defenses don't exist dependent on jurisdiction, but "fighting words" in the US refers to an exception to the 1st Amendment.
You can go 10 over the speed limit. My dad thought this was true as he was new to the country and quickly found out by a speeding ticket that it was not.
Edit: I'm now realizing that this is may vary from state to state and county to county. For my case, South Florida generally tolerates 10 over but is still technically illegal. loopywalker
An arrest isn't magically invalidated if the police don't read you your rights on the spot.
There could be a whole thread of just misconceptions people have from watching Cop TV. Auntie_Hero
Miranda rights protect you from self incrimination when being questioned by the police for a crime.
It doesn't mean they have to Miranda you the second you get arrested. If you aren't questioned then it doesn't apply.
People also think it's illegal not to let them make a phone call after being arrested. candaceelise
It's just surveying....
It's a law that exists but widely misunderstood is the concept of Entrapment. If the police put a Bait vehicle in a high crime area, that is NOT entrapment. If the police are watching a bar known to over-serve to see if there are impaired drivers at the end of the night that is NOT entrapment.
Entrapment only occurs when a Gov agent suggests committing a crime that you were not otherwise going to commit. Dinothegreen
In my country some people believe they can 'press charges' against someone.
You can't. You report a crime and the police decide if they are taking it further. It's not up to you whether charges are brought, you may want charges brought but the police drop the case.
Alternatively you can refuse to 'press charges' and the police can bring a case anyway. It's harder without the victim or witness cooperation but they still can.
You do have a right to civil cases of course but when people say 'press charges' they believe they can do this via the police. Reddit
In the UK, it's not illegal to park on someone else's drive(way). It's classified as trespassing, a civil offense, not criminal, which means the police can't do anything.
This particularly surprises people as many think that they have exclusive rights to the parking outside their house as well. TannedCroissant
It's actually not illegal anywhere in the United States to discuss wages or form/join a union, contrary to what many employers may claim. I also strongly recommend you do both to protect yourself and your colleagues from being taken advantage of. Ninjachibi117
No laws against driving barefoot. LaserBeamsCattleProd
Mandatory addition: In the US. In Germany, while appropriate footwear is not directly required, you can be found at fault if your choice of footwear or lack thereof leads to your inability to avert an accident. TheReddective
16 & Up!
In the UK that it is illegal to drink under the age of 18.
You can buy alcohol with a meal at 16 (beer, wine, cider) and you are not breaking any laws if you give your child some alcohol in the privacy of your own home and they are over the age of 5.
"watch out for that bus!"
Paralegal: A lot of people think that the law requires you to be a good, decent person.
If I'm sitting on a bench and see a blind person about to walk into the path of a bus, it's completely legal for me (in the United States) to remain silent, take my cell phone out, and take a video of his death. It's even legal for me to profit from the video. I'd be a monster for doing it, but there's no law imposing a duty on me to tell this stranger, "watch out for that bus!" NoBlueKoolAid
Negligent motorcycle driver forced me to hit him from behind with my car.
I was young and naive at the time, never been in an accident until then, guy makes me sign a paper that says that the accident is my fault because i hit from behind and wanted compensation.
I explained the situation to my dad, and he concluded that the guy was obstructing normal traffic and i had no option but to hit him from behind in the particular circumstance.
The guy ended up taking us to court, showed the judge the piece of paper that i signed, i explained that I signed it under duress and that he explained that "by law whoever hits from behind is responsible for the accident."
Judge looked him in the eye and asked him if thats true, he said yes, then she asked him to point out which law states that, he just shut the hell up. Reddit
It's federal law in the US that a plain clothes or undercover police officer HAS to identify themselves as law enforcement if asked. No, it's not the law, and they can tell you whatever the heck they want. doctor-rumack
Do you have something to confess to George? Text "Secrets" or "" to +1 (310) 299-9390 to talk to him about it.