There is a reason why the TV show Law & Order has endured for 20 seasons and has spawned various spin-offs. People love court drama.
"Lawyers of Reddit, what is the most f'ked up case that you have fought or seen?"The court room is now open. Brace yourselves
Some people should never be parents.
"A woman was alone with her baby after her husband got deployed. This was not long after the baby was born. Then the baby passed away, and the body had some strange bruising. The mother insisted the baby crawled out of her sight and fell down the stairs. The case ultimately got reassigned from our office, and the mother was pissed. She told the primary lawyer on the case that she had indeed killed the baby. She basically bragged about it, and she had zero remorse at all. Seeing the infant's autopsy photos was absolutely horrific."
"Dependency case where a single father dipped his toddler in boiling water because he was crying about some silly toddler thing. Kid was severely burned over his whole body. They were trying to re-unify them."
"Worse I've heard was a divorce case where both parties fought to NOT have the kids stay with them. It's so depressive to think about the children in that case."
Punishing A Teen
"IANAL, I work for one."
"We represented a family who tried to ruin a teenage boy's life. They fabricated police reports, falsely claimed he stole expensive electronics from them, and took their claims to the very uninterested school the boy attended. When cops tried to investigate, the family evaded the investigator and lied to him."
"Why do all this? The family's son was crushing on a girl they were hosting in their home. She chose to date the boy in question over the son. All three kids were classmates."
"The boy got a hefty settlement from the family. This case was outside our typical areas of practice, but they came from a friend of the attorney."
These clients were innocent of their wild allegations.
Insult To Injury
"Represented a painter getting sued on a construction defect job. The painter was hired to paint building 2 and 3. He showed up for work, performed the work, and on his way home got into a terrible car accident leaving him paralyzed from the neck down."
"He was sued several years later for water intrusion defects related to buildings 7-9 (Which he didn't work on). Felt terrible for the guy."
"Client insisted on suing an employee who failed to show up to work which caused a contract to be cancelled."
"The employee didn't show up to work because he died."
Prank Gone Wrong
"Case told to me by another lawyer on one of my cases: two guys decided to give a marijuana laced brownie to their co-worker without telling him it marijuana in it... right before he started his shift... as a crane operator. It went predictably badly, resulted in an accident and even their union agreed the guys should be fired."
These cases involved criminals who have done unspeakable acts of horror.
The Lying Inmate
"In a pro bono program, I was assigned to handle the request of an inmate to be released after serving 2/3rd of his sentence. When I read his file, I discovered that he was convicted for kidnapping a woman, tying her to the right front wheel of his jeep and torturing her to death with some sort of home made flamethrower. When I went to see the guy, he denied everything, and told me he was appealing the verdict (which legally was not possible anymore)."
"It was really weird sitting in a room with this guy, knowing what he was convicted of, and knowing that he'd been denying the conviction for almost 20 years."
"Needless to say, his request to be released early was denied."
"Edit: People have been asking questions about the sentence he got. He got life in prison, which makes you eligible for early release after ten years (first offence) or 14 years (recidive) in Belgium. The death penalty was abolished in 1996."
People Share Their Best 'Whoa, It Worked' Moments | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"A sociopath in a psych ward making suicide pacts with vulnerable people and never following through. Charged with murder, determined he was too out of his mind to be accountable. Gonna be in an asylum for the next two decades unless something major changes within the case."
"Not a lawyer, but used to work in a law firm. One attorney told me about a case he was trying where the defendant was up for animal abuse charges."
"What did he do? Well, he and his wife were going through a nasty divorce and he had moved out and started living with a friend. One weekend, he knew his wife and kids were away, so he got hammered and decided to go f'k up the house. This dude totally trashed it. But the worst part, he took his kids new kitten and placed it in the microwave & turned it on. He left it there for them to find."
"F'king disgusting psycho."
We could use a bit of levity.
The following will provide just that. Not all cases are gloom and doom.
"I'm here to provide comedic relief!"
"My buddy is an attorney and was working on a case against some company that was dumping pollution in a large, local body of water that had a direct opening to the ocean."
"He gets a letter from an incredibly concerned local dude. He wrote this LONG LETTER begging my buddy's team to do all they can to win the case against the polluting company for the sake of the... mermaids that were living in that local body of water."
"He had seen them often guys. He had been trying to befriend them for quite a while now and was concerned for their well-being and for the possibility that they would move out to the ocean to find a cleaner home if the company kept dumping pollution into their area. I wish I could find that pic of part of the letter."
"In case you are as concerned as he was, fear not! My buddy's team won the case and that company is no longer dumping their waste in that body of water"
"My uncle lawyer helped a relative with a traffic ticket. Relative was conspiracy nut and wanted to take it to court to 'reveal the lies.' Uncle just paid the fine and told her she won."
Wayward Ice Cream Particle
"Not really f*cked up, but amusing: my dad won a case against Baskin Robins 30 years ago, because his client chipped her tooth on a pistachio shell while eating pistachio ice cream. No warning label. I don't remember the settlement amount, but it was hefty."
While most TV courtroom dramas are fiction, they can be inspired by actual events.
Certain episodes from programs like How To Get Away With Murder, The Good Wife, and all the Law & Order shows can pull from real-life news headlines and be overly dramatized for our entertainment.
However, it is very unfortunate that some of the most horrendous acts carried out by human beings in the real world are not a manifestation of a writer's imagination.
I may sound a bit ghoulish and a little bitter and pessimistic, but I do love a good dramatic ending to a love story. If it has to end let it go out big.
Perhaps that is why some of my favorite shows are daytime dramas or primetime soap operas. Divorce runs rampant in those sources of entertainment and it's enthralling to watch.
Love can be eternal but it can also wither into a cesspool of seething hate and despair. And it's always fascinating to get to the root of how it all unravels.
The ones to discuss these aspects of love with are the ones with a front row seat to the finish.
Redditor u/KarysMR wanted the lawyers out there to tell us some tales about how low some couples can go when the love story is over, by asking:
Lawyers of Reddit, what is the pettiest reason you've ever seen for divorce?
Being a divorce lawyer has go to be an entertaining career. I hope they all keep a journal, because any and all details could make for fascinating television. You change the names to protect the innocent or guilty.
Crumbs...cookie monster eating GIF by University of CaliforniaGiphy
"My father-in-law and mother-in-law's breaking point was when he threw a breadcrumb at her from across the kitchen. The divorce took 4 years to settle."
"A client and his wife came in regarding a real estate transaction. At the end of the consultation, the client casually stated that he would like to divorce his wife. I was stunned, the wife started crying, the client started rubbing his wife's shoulder and told her that everything would be okay. That was an awkward few minutes."
A Bad Lift
"The weirdest I've ever seen is a coworker of mine. His wife saw a picture of him at a pool when he was in high school and really athletic. Toned, muscular, tan and so on. Over the 10 year after high school he stopped lifting and lost his muscle tone and just became skinny."
"She told him she wanted him to get back to working out because she really liked the way he once looked and he said it was something he missed doing and agreed to get a gym membership. He was going to the gym four days a week but was only really working out for two of them."
"On the days he didn't work out he would sit in the sauna to get sweaty, watch Netflix and then go home. When she asked about him going to the gym and accidentally let it slip that he was fudging workouts twice a week. She apparently found that to be a deal breaker and filed for divorce."
"I had a client who with his wife were into a computer game like the Sims only more x rated, I think it was called Second Life, where you have an avatar and can interact with other people's avatars. He suspected his wife of, through her avatar, hijinks and made his own avatar to stalk her in the game. Sure enough her avatar was doing the dirty with some dude's avatar. That was it for my client."
Oh Hell NoPop Tv No GIF by Schitt's CreekGiphy
"The husband kept putting wet/used towel on their bed."
See these stories keep me sane when I feel lonely. Who in the world needs this kind of madness? This is why I say love can never be fully trusted.
And wet towels on my bed? You're out!
Oh SachaSacha Baron Cohen Thumbs Up GIF by Amazon Prime VideoGiphy
"Pam Anderson and Kid Rock simply put 'Borat' as the reason for their divorce. I'd say thats gotta be up there."
"Wife wanted divorce like 2 months into marriage because the husband would squeeze the toothpaste from the top and not bottom. She claims to have told him a million times over to stop. Would have been easier to get 2 tubes of toothpaste I thought."
People Share Which Social Norms Absolutely Baffle Them | George Takei’s Oh Myyy
"My wife and I had been using the same toothpaste tube for I dunno 20 years or something. Recently, we had two tubes because I accidentally bought the wrong one. No big, I said she can use the good one and I'll use the crappy one. So after about a week of this, I notice my toothpaste was gross. The opening was half clogged and there was run off into the cap. I had to scrap the crust off just to get to the fresh toothpaste. Next week, same thing. Gross."
"Turns out my wife had been maintaining the toothpaste tube correctly for years! I had no idea that I dispensed paste in a sloppy stupid way. So I asked my wife how to use a freakin' toothpaste tube. Lol... I think I got it mostly right by the time my crappy toothpaste ran out and it was time to go back to shared paste. 😂"
"Nobody ever believes me about this one, but it's true. A man wanted a divorce from his wife because - and he gave this example as the "last straw" - his wife ate those nasty pumpkin Halloween candies, like candy corn but pumpkin shaped. He had been looking forward to them all day and when he got home, she had eaten them all. He snapped. Swear on my life this story is true."
"Definitely the fridge Story!! A woman filed for divorce because her husband would eat everything he can find in their fridge whenever the wife was out for work. So she came back to a basically empty fridge each night. He also cheated on her but she was less angry about that. The fridge was what pushed her to the point she wanted a divorce."
Plan for 5...real housewives of orange county divorce GIFGiphy
"I'm a lawyer but not that kind. However, my brother's 4th wife divorced him because she found out the ring he'd used was originally his 3rd wife's. They deserved each other."
Got to BK!
"Not a lawyer- but apparently my brother divorced his wife when McDonald's forgot to put bbq sauce in with her chicken nuggets at the drive through and she asked him to go back and get some. He didn't and then I guess she started smashing up food and throwing it at him/out the window... so yeah. McDonalds how could you ruin a marriage 😅..."
The Good China
"My Mom's coworker divorced over dishes in the dishwasher. The wife would get so frustrated over the husband (coworker) not rinsing dishes before he loads them in the dishwasher. To compromise, they bought a super nice, top of the line dishwasher. Solves the problem, right? She yelled about the dishes that night. He filed for divorce the next day."
Never Florida!Looney Tunes Florida GIFGiphy
"I once had clients who got a divorce because she wanted to buy a condo in Naples, Fl. The petty part of the story is that combined their lawyer fees would have bought a very nice condo on the water in Naples."
For the tots...
"My aunt used to work as a divorce lawyer. The worst one was a couple fighting over a hamster (of which took so long the thing died before they were settled). She said it was a bargaining chip to win favor from their children. At that rate just buy another hamster!"
"My ex was like this. Basically gave him everything just so I could leave him. He took most of the money and assets but I got away from him. Yay. Then he blew all his money and abandoned the kids. Seriously struggled to cope with 100% care and cost but wouldn't change it bc I have my kids and they have me. Still, was very hard to come to terms with the injustice. Sigh."
"A woman came in wanting to divorce her husband. He had just gotten a new job and a pretty big raise. It turned out that this new job of his also required that he work from home but he was working in an office before. She was having an affair with their next-door neighbor and him being home more meant that she couldn't cheat on her husband easily. That was definitely a twist. I was expecting something like him being the one having the affair but nope!"
Told you so...
"Not divorced, but annulled on their wedding day. I've told the story a few times on Reddit, so long-story-short-time: She told him several hundred times that if he smashed the cake in her face at the reception, it was over. He did it, she walked out and had it annulled the next day. This was over 30 years ago, btw."
"Someone's husband insisted on bringing their mother to their honey moon. That's when the wife realized his mother was still breastfeeding him. I don't think it was a petty divorce but I think the man is petty. He also made his mom go to court with him, my guess, he was thirsty."
in my face...snow wtf GIF by Robert E BlackmonGiphy
"Dandruff. Wife didn't like that the husbands dandruff would flow into her face when riding a motorbike."
"The husband could only eat hoagies if they were nailed to a table. So they mostly ate at home where it was ok for him to damage a table. But once time during a roadtrip stopped at a deli. He had the nailgun with him and nailed the hoagie to the table so he could eat. So she divorced him after the vacation."
Ah love, so splendid, so pure. So insane. I'll always hope for a happy ending, but will always stay vigilant and try to not freak about the small things. Maybe that's the key to a happy ending?
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Objection! Much like WebMD, everyone should not use the internet for a for the legal equivalent. If you need legal representation, then put some pennies together and get some, or do the only research you should, find free legal aide. Too many people are trusting people they'll never see for life matters that are too important. Once and awhile some lawyers take a look to see what's being thrown about and most of it is problematic.
Redditor u/NoodlesTheKitty wanted to hear from employees of the court about the times they couldn't believe what they were hearing and seeing by asking.... Lawyers of Reddit - what is the worst advice you've seen on r/legal advice?
Different Place... Different Troubles....Lawyer GIF by memecandyGiphy
I'm a lawyer and the biggest mistake I see people make is assuming the law is the same everywhere. There is a reason we need to be licensed in every state to practice there. Furthermore, if it's not your specific area of expertise, a general knowledge of the law is probably not enough.
In Bad Faith
Not r/legaladvice but r/exmormon for legal advice. I remember the time someone was mentioning they were gearing up for a divorce but didn't have enough money to retain an attorney for the proceedings. Someone on the sub gave them the advice that they should get consultations with all of the top divorce attorneys in the region. The reasoning was that if the attorney has consulted with one side in a case that they are obligated to not be able to represent the other side. They wanted the spouse to also not have access to an attorney.
Comes out later that OP actually took that advice & consulted with 30 divorce attorneys. None were able to take the case so spouse has a hard time hiring one. Eventually the spouse & attorney found the thread on reddit and were able to tie the account back to OP.
Judge not only rules totally in favor of the spouse but OP was also ordered to pay part of the attorneys fees due to abuse of process, acting in bad faith, etc which made things more expensive for her.
"not a lawyer"
In a thread asking about the legality of physically assaulting people who don't wear masks in public (Big surprise, its still assault) the general consensus was "Feeling strongly enough about something means laws don't matter."
I tend to notice its common on reddit to have this weird, psychotic power fantasy going on where you can respond to minor rudeness with immediate and overwhelming violence and be applauded for it while doing so.
A lot of advice in r/legaladvice from "not a lawyer" types seems to advocate blatantly illegal and often violent behavior in reprisal to some pretty minor slights. The mod team is pretty good at taking down these types of comments, but you still see a lot of them.
Looking....Looking Jim Carrey GIF by Golden GlobesGiphy
The only half decent advice I've ever seen come from that sub was what kind of lawyer you need to look for. It's safest to assume that everyone else is a cop or a maroon.
It was regarding a noncompete or some kind of employment contract. All of the advice in the thread, including from quality contributor flared posters, was saying "looks like you're stuck, it's a contract and you agreed to it, consider it a life lesson."
With 2 minutes of research I found an appellate case directly on point from the relevant jurisdiction saying "employers can't enforce this contractual clause because it's against public policy." Meaning that everyone else giving advice in the thread was correct generally, but 100% wrong for the OP.
Lexis/westlaw searches (the way lawyers research the law) are obscenely expensive, so I don't expect anyone in r/legaladvice to be doing them out-of-pocket to help internet randos. But I found it with google. Either way, if you're posting there giving advice half-cocked, not knowing the full facts or law, I feel like you're violating your ethical obligations as an attorney.
I'm a lawyer. So much of it is straight up garbage. It's pretty clearly full of folks googling away. The best answers are often downvoted lol. I followed legal advice for a few days or something and bounced as fast as possible.
Don't rely on Reddit if you need advice.
I'm not a lawyer but I really enjoyed the person talking about my state's Great Ponds law. The question was asking what to do about people trespassing on OP's boat ramp at their summer cabin. According this poster, the Great Ponds law says there needs to be access, so therefore OP is out of luck. In reality, the law says that the town must provide public access to lakes or ponds over a certain size, not that you can just walk through anybody's property to get there.
Basicsviola davis side eye GIF by ABC NetworkGiphy
In my opinion, there are only three actual pieces of advice from that sub.
- Call the police
- Get a lawyer
- You're screwed. MooKids
Have a Nice Life
I'm not a lawyer, but I used to browse r/legaladvice. A year or two ago, there was a girl who was looking for options to prevent her parents from taking her back to the ancestral third-world country for a year for "school" or something. The post was chock-full of red flags; from the context it seemed pretty likely that the actual reason was far more sinister (I don't remember the specifics, but it seemed likely she would be married off, and in any case would not be returning to the USA at any point).
As I recall, she seemed reluctant to leave her friends for "a year" and didn't look forward to the trip, but she seemed oblivious that there might be something worse in store. Specifics aside, everyone was justifiably scared for her.
Nobody had any particularly useful legal advice, because it turns out there's not really anything illegal about leaving the country with your minor/dependent child with a good cover story, and her few preemptive legal options would have required more money and freedom than she had.
People did, however, have a lot of practical advice. Things like, "under no circumstances should you get on the plane," "talk to a teacher ASAP," "if you can't avoid going to the airport, pocket something that'll earn you a private interview with security and tell them you're being trafficked," etc. Again, I don't remember all the specifics, and maybe not all the advice was useful. But some of it was stuff the girl probably needed to read.
The comments section got ripped apart by the mods. It was just a graveyard of deleted posts followed by "This comment has been removed because it does not contain any legal advice." And the post itself was removed later with a short note to the effect that "this is not something we can help you with, have a nice life."
I get it, a sub has rules to keep the conversation focused, and you don't want to get in the habit of making exceptions, or the rules no longer mean anything. But those rules are enforced by people, not robots, and sometimes a rule-breaking comment could literally save a life. Have a little empathy.
I unsubscribed that day. I hope the girl is okay.
You Never KnowLaw Lawyer GIF by GIPHY Studios OriginalsGiphy
For people unaware there are no qualifications to be a contributor on r/LegalAdvice. So you could be getting responses from actual qualified lawyers or it could be a 15 yr old repeating garbage they heard on the internet.
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Lawyers Share The Most Incriminating Evidence They Ever Found That They Couldn't Actually Use In Court
Every time I watch Law & Order: SVU I scream at the television when a judge throws out a piece of vital evidence. When they give a "reason" I'm like... that makes no sense. How can evidence be disqualified? It's evidence! Imagine how much more frustrating it is to learn that that happens in real life. I'm stunned. Can you imagine being the lawyer or client when you discover the smoking gun, the linchpin to the whole case is something that can't be used? Ridiculous.
Redditor u/shortbus79 wanted the lawyers of the net to share with us some stories of frustration by asking.... Prosecuting Attorneys of Reddit, what is the most incriminating evidence you've found but couldn't use?
Cycle ProofPenn Badgley Joe Goldberg GIF by YOUGiphy
My bike was stolen, but then returned 3 days later splattered in blood including several complete clear fingerprints (I kid you not).
I called police and they couldn't run the prints because the "thief" was another tenant in my building and the bike was taken from a building on our property.
Lawyer, but not a prosecutor. A buddy shared an old story about this dude who was caught on video (hidden camera) receiving bribe money. Thing is, the footage wasn't authenticated properly. Dude was ultimately acquitted.
I heard this could happen, I'm not clear on the exact laws surrounding it, and I don't live in the US so it could be different for them, but I did hear that there are only certain video file types that are admissible because they can't be modified and returned to the same type. Doesn't make it a completely infallible system, and other video files are likely acceptable within reason, although they're not necessarily counted as solid evidence.
Not a prosecutor, but I remember reading about a case where a black man (I'll just call him Joe) was arrested for a murder he hadn't committed. After spending numerous years in prison, people began looking into his case because he had said the entire time he had not committed any crime.
The investigators began to find that many of the eye witness testimony was questionable to say the least and there were numerous errors the police department had made when filing the case which then called into question other evidence that had been originally presented at the first trial.
Basically at this point the investigators believed there was enough evidence to convince a court that Joe was wrongfully convicted due to numerous errors by law enforcement and the fact that many of the original "eye witnesses" later admitted they were either too far away or had an obstructed view to see who actual perp was.
However, there was ONE witness that truly believed they had seen the Joe commit the crime despite all of the errors and other eye witnesses mentioned above.
The Joe went to court several times to try and get out of prison on basis of bad evidence etc., but this one eye witness was so passionate when questioned that every single time the jury sided with the witness and Joe stayed in prison.
So despite the overwhelming evidence that Joe was wrongly convicted, and that all but one eye witness TESTIFIED that they couldn't really be sure they had seen Joe commit the crime, one eye witness was what kept him in prison. Not really incriminating evidence, but overwhelming evidence he was innocent yet the jury kept siding with one eye witness.
I can't remember if Joe ever got out, but even still, he'd been behind bars for decades at that point. If anyone can find the actual case, please link it below.
Hidden Treasuretreasure chest GIF by Archie ComicsGiphy
Not a prosecutor but my wife's mom opened a letter showing her husband was hiding crap loads of money (they were going through a divorce) unfortunately because she had opened the letter addressed to someone else she couldn't use it.
Not a prosecutor. But my parents were horribly abusive. Like to the point what when I was 4 days old, CPS tried to get my mother to give me up for adoption because they already had so many complaints about what they were doing to my 2 older sisters. But it didn't work out. 6 years later, they were taken before the court for child abuse and neglect. My older sisters gave testimony (I couldn't for various reasons), CPS presented their reports. Multiple complaints from neighbors, teachers, doctors, and my own grandmother. But the idiot of a judge refused to commit my parents because my mother didn't confess that my father did abuse us.
Instead they were let go and we were sent into foster care. From then on though CPS would take every child they had. All 6 of them. Fast forward almost 20 years and my mother is arrested and charged with felony child abuse with children 10 and 11. She only served 3 months because "it was all her new husbands fault". As soon as she got out, CPS immediately tried putting the girls back with her even though they knew she had a track record of abuse but it was from another state so it didn't count.
I had this issue where my flat was broken into when I was a kid, they took everything and the worst part was we knew who it was and even asked if they took our PS1 and TV, (I was like 6 and this was many years ago) turns out they did and police couldn't do anything because of "no evidence."
I'm a lawyer but not a prosecutor but I eat lunch and talk to other lawyers. Here is my story. There's a murder of a college girl in my town. It goes cold. Sadly, cops do what cops do, charge some random black guy that worked at the complex the murdered girl lived at. His trial is a hung jury once and second a mistrial.
Well, while he's awaiting trial for the third time, police are serving an arrest warrant on a totally unrelated person and in that dude's home they find some creepy ass shrine to dead girl. Wasn't a relative or anything. He just had tons of pictures of her on his wall. They couldn't use that and had no proof he was the real killer. Black guy's chargers were dropped. Nobody was ever convicted of her murder.
Jury Dutynervous court GIF by South Park Giphy
Jury Nullification. Never let any attorney know that you know what that entails, if selected for jury duty.
Po Po Issues
Anything the police mess up and then gets suppressed. If the police violate your constitutional rights, the evidence will be suppressed from court. I've had confessions suppressed. Physical DNA suppressed. That always sucks to tell a victim their assailant is going free because of lazy police work.
The Evidence Says....Bill Cosby GIFGiphy
As a defense attorney, I've had tons of cases where I have got evidence of my client's clear guilt suppressed because the government violated their rights.
I have no regrets. Pounds of drugs. Weapons. Videos. Confessions. DNA. All suppressed. Get your evidence legally or stop wasting the people's money, at my client's expense.
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Why is it the two professionals we all tend to fib to most are our doctors and lawyers? These are the two people that need our truths the most, so that they can assist us in our dire situations. Maybe its shame or just pain stupidity? We as clients tend to be our own worst enemies, which makes our life and death situations that much more exhausting and arduous to overcome. Lawyers will tell you.... never have a surprise waiting for them! But do people listen? Read on to find out....Redditor u/1CarefulOwner-NotMe was hoping lawyers reading along in the world would share some out their tales about certain clients by asking.... Solicitors/Lawyers; Whats the worst case of 'You should have mentioned this sooner' you've experienced?
The 44jim carrey attorney GIFGiphy
My client was badly hurt in a car accident and promised me he was never hurt in one before.
He was actually "hurt" in 44 prior accidents, all of which he filed claims for, which is how I found out when the mediator showed me the defense's ISO report. The freaking look on my client's face. LMAO.
You just forgot?
Co-suspect was defended by another lawyer, who argued in his closing arguments that there should've been a police lineup during the investigation, since the suspects were brought into the station when the victim was still there.
Client turns to me and says that there had been a lineup and they were not identified. This was about 30 minutes after the alleged robbery. Nothing in the file suggests a negative police lineup. We do trials based on written statements by police, they are hardly ever in court to testify.
I mention what my client said in my closing arguments, the prosecutor's mouth drops and she becomes pale, hearing is suspended for further investigations.
Couple of weeks later, police officers are testifying in shame that they forgot to finish the report on the police lineup. Prosecutors case is thrown out for irreparable harm to the trial.
Listen to Jesus
Had a client charged with being a Convicted Felon in Possession of a handgun. She had been in a car that had gotten into a shootout on the interstate (in the middle of the night in a rural area at least). She was the passenger and her car pulled into the state trooper post in the county I practiced in. Her car was shot to hell so it was obvious something happened, but there was a gun in the car, she had a 30 year old felony theft conviction, so she was charged. She had some crazy story for what happened but it was obvious that it was a drug deal gone wrong, however that didn't matter for her charge really.
The discovery was really light, the driver of her car wasn't a convicted felon, and it didn't appear the state police had investigated the fact there was another car obviously shooting at my client even though the genesis of the shootout was just up the road in that same post's jurisdiction. Short of it was she had some legitimate defenses.
I had met with her multiple times, discussed her case in depth, and was preparing for trial. About two weeks from trial in passing she mentioned that a state trooper had interviewed her at the state police post, which was annoying because at this point the case was 7 or 8 months old.
So I look through the discovery again, don't see anything, but file a motion asking for any recordings of interviews. Sure enough the prosecutor was sitting on it, which is shady as hell, unethical, and common practice for that prosecutor office. I get the interview and all of four minutes in she tells the cop not only did she know the gun was in the car, but that she had been the one shooting. That pretty much killed every defense I had.
We had a come to Jesus talk the next day and she took her offer which was the minimum of five years to serve.
On Cameravintage 80s GIFGiphy
A person involved in a motor cycle accident, who sustained legitimate but not serious injuries, cctv showed the incident, they were very much not at fault.
They decided this was their big payday, claimed they could barely walk, had ptsd, serious back trouble, would never work again, the whole 9 yards.
They neglected to tell their lawyer they had been (i) working a manual labour job (ii) riding motorcycles again (iii) did a bungee jump.
All of which we caught on video/they documented via social media. They did not get the multi million pound settlement payment they expected and were pursued for fraud. It was a fun phone call after we sent the tape full of evidence.
Not Enough $$$
Had a guy with a DUI. Asked about any criminal history, he said no. So I started the paperwork for ARD for him (it's a first time offense program that seals the record and drops the charges once completed).
Get to the courthouse, talk to the DA, find out the guy had another DUI a year prior. Also was on probation from the first one still.
His excuse for not telling me was the first DUI was made up and he wasn't intoxicated, but pled guilty anyway. Unfortunately I ended up representing him for both bases, did not get paid nearly enough for the crap I went through, but I did manage to keep him out of jail so he could take care of his elderly mother. Made him give up his vehicles though.
Learned while my client was on the stand that she had "a little bit of a drug problem." She disclosed immediately after that she was going to fail the drug test the judge ordered because she had been a daily meth user for years. She was stunningly gorgeous, had held the same job for over 25 years, and was a rockstar mom to a kid with special needs. Unlike 90% of my clients, she was always on time, responsive, and did everything I asked.
To date the only high functioning meth user I've met. But heck that hearing would have gone quite differently had she mentioned that to me beforehand.
FYI, most of the time we can deal with bad facts. At the very least we can give you the advice you need to hear. But there isn't much I can do with surprise facts in the middle of a trial.
I'm sorry, other children?
I had a client on a family matter, we were in court and I was going on about how being a father was the most important thing in the world to him and his ex pipes up and says 'well, he never sees his other children!'
I'm sorry, other children?
That being said, many clients leave out embarrassing things until they get called out on them. Please tell your lawyers all the facts. We've literally heard everything and really don't care. Just let me prepare to explain that your weekend habits of drugs and sex dungeons doesn't effect your ability to parent.
Where to Begin?oh come on jim carrey GIFGiphy
As a solicitor, one of the most annoying things I've had happen was, after an hour-long consultation with an older couple about changing the husband's will, the wife hands me a letter from his doctor which says the husband has dementia and does not have capacity to sign medical documents.
Like, you didn't think that was a good place to start?
"that's not me"
Ok, here we go. defending a lady in a simple neighbor dispute. neighbors said she assaulted them with a hose and threatened their kids, case was pretty weak bc my client was an old lady and she adamantly denied everything. anyways, it's just a small evidentiary hearing in front of the judge so there was no discovery ahead of time or anything like that. anyways, my client is on the stand, come to find out they have video footage of her smearing dog poop on their house.
Then printing out photos of their kids and writing racial slurs on them (family was Jewish), and covering her house with racist signs (like, papering her entire house). needless to say my jaw dropped. client then perjured herself on the stand-they play a video where it's obviously her, but she repeats "that's not me" over and over. most painful court moment of my life.
Show me the Money!!money run GIF by Juan BillyGiphy
Divorce client came into my lobby one morning, panicked. She starts screaming about how the money was missing.
What money? I asked her. Apparently her and her soon to be ex didn't believe in banks, as they kept a suitcase with close to $100k in a safe in their bedroom closet. One morning she saw the safe was open and the money was all gone.
Y'all have no idea how hard it is to trace and prove the existence of that much money in loose 100s, 50s, and 20s is. Cost her several grand in fees alone for how much work went into finding it. When if she had just told us about it we could have placed it into a trust account pending the divorce.
Rest my Case
Spent several hours zealously arguing that my client was severely disabled and couldn't work due to a back injury. It was so bad that the poor dude couldn't even sit in a chair throughout the entire proceedings. Rest my case. Opposing counsel calls in a DEC representative who proceeds to produce record after record of my client's deer hunting activities. He sat in a tree, in freezing weather, for many hours, shot and killed multiple deer, and transported their carcasses out of the woods all on his own. SMH.
is it real?
In-house attorney here but I interned for a judge at our court of common pleas during law school. There was a case of a guy that asked two early 20 girls a ride from the mall to a gas station. He told them he would pay them cash for the trip.
During that trip, he sat in the back seat and had advised that he had a pellet gun that closely resembled a hand gun. He said he had only pulled it out to show the girls but never did anything further. That had been his testimony during all the proceedings.
He willingly takes the stand and the prosecutor is questioning him about the gun and how he handled it. This dude willingly admits that he held it to the passengers temple threatening to shoot her with what she believed to be a real gun. He also corrected the prosecutor during questioning telling him that he never stated it wasn't a real hand gun.
That jury verdict came about as fast as one could.
Not SorrySeason 4 Episode 21 GIF by The SimpsonsGiphy
Special Ed case. School district was supposed to be providing services to the child in the home.
Clients told us the school district had never sent anyone to provide the services, they hadn't heard from anyone in the district about scheduling, etc. Brought this up during a pre-hearing conference with judge and opposing counsel. After the conference, opposing counsel sends me pages of affidavits and documentation of all the times the school district employees went to the house and were refused entry by my clients for various reasons (or clients just didn't answer the door when they were clearly home). Clients had no explanation about why they lied to me. They fired us shortly after and I was not sad.
My cousin was the moron client. He and his second wife are divorcing and she wants full custody of the kids, no visitation, just lots of child support. He's willing to a 50-50 split (at first) and finds an attorney for the case. They're going over everything when he casually mentions how the mom drugs them literally every night so they sleep and she can go out to the bars while he works the night shift. Cousin thought this was his smoking gun to beat her in the custody battle.
Attorney had to explain that, no you can't tell this to the judge or that you've known she's been doing this for years. You'll both lose the kids and they'll go to state custody. Both of them are petty incompetent and as you can imagine we don't interact with that side of the family much (this has all been retold to me by other relatives. So don't worry, cps WAS informed of all of this, I do not know the out come yet, I'd have to ask).
All she had to do....
There was a temporary order of protection in place, and we went to court on the lengthier Order of Protection. I talked strategy with my client the night before, but unbeknownst to me she reconciled with her abusive dirtbag baby daddy. I had 3 OP hearings that morning, and did not get a chance to talk to her until ~3 minutes beforehand.
We had the wrong judge. I knew as soon as she told me she was going to be arrested for violating the temporary order.
Sure enough, they both got a week of jail and I had to watch their 3 week old child for a few minutes before a bailiff carted her off to God knows where.
They both got fired for missing a week of work. They couldn't get the kid out of the system. Evicted, homeless, the whole nine yards. All she had to do was tell me they got back together. All she had to do.
Oh KarenKaren Intensifies GIF by MOODMANGiphy
Paralegal for insurance defense. One of my first cases, I was completing discovery with a very young client (barely 18). She claimed the city bus rear ended her when she was slowing to make a turn.
Then he got out of the bus yelling at her and screaming expletives. We submitted these responses. We come to find out months later there is actually video on the city bus (of course) of her trying to make an illegal u-turn and ramming herself into the side of the bus. Then SHE got out of the car and started screaming at the bus driver, who stayed silent in his bus. The video also caught her on her phone. Not the smartest person I've met.
"mention it sooner"
With some clients, "mention it sooner" means "I never mention anything that might hurt my case." Like the case I recently had where I sued an electrical contractor based on their assertion that they had paid the guy to replace a box and he had left them with half their lights not working. What they didn't tell me is that they had an illegally installed secondary box doglegged off the first box that was controlling those lights and he had to disconnect that box because it presented a massive danger and code violation. Then they didn't want to pay him to correct the second box.
I've have plenty of cases some important fact was left out. That's why when I take notes from a client, I have them sign at the bottom that I did not leave anything out.
I had a persistent felony offender early in my career who told me this sob story about how she had lost her baby and it drove her back into drugs and breaking the law. I asked her about it during sentencing. The prosecutor gets up and he is familiar with her. He leads with "Are you still using the baby you killed 14 years ago as a crutch for your bad decisions?"
Criminal defense (Canada). Talked to a client in cells. Said that she was hanging out at her baby daddy's and then, as she was leaving, the cops came and harassed her, so she resisted, and that is why she is in jail.
Turns out she was getting aggressive with him and he kept trying to get away from her. He ended up calling the police. While he was on the phone with the police she starts beating him up. The police hear this and immediately respond.
She was trying to flee the scene after beating her man up while he was on the phone with the cops because he was attempting to passively solve the issue, but she wouldn't leave. Luckily she has no record, but, man, I felt bamboozled. I learned a healthy dose of skepticism whenever people told me things from there on out.
Ya gotta love it.
"Love Child"my cousin vinny GIF by 20th Century Fox Home EntertainmentGiphy
My father was handling a case of his friends family, about a property that this friend and his brothers and sister inherited. Horrible mess as you can imagine, deeply conflicted family.
After few years on one of the court hearing one brother mentioned a name, that never appeared during the entire lawsuit. Turns out there was one more brother, that they all decided to not mention, because he was "a black sheep" of the family. Years of tiring work went down the drain. From what I understand my father (who was doing it all for free, because he "owed him") got into argument with this friend,they never spoke to each other again and guy found a new lawyer.