The Case Of The Soiled Shorts
“A friend of mine who is a lawyer gives legal counsel and will occasionally take on cases free of charge for prisoners. He had an inmate that wanted to sue the prison because the food they where serving was causing him to leave skid marks in his underwear. Now, this guy saved his underwear with the skid marks in them as evidence and brought them to my friend. My buddy turned the case down and told the guy that he just didn’t think it was a solid case against the prison. The guy hired a different lawyer and sued the prison and freaking won!”
He Did The Crime But Couldn’t Do The Time
“I had a client who was on his, I don’t know, fourth drinking and driving charge or something crazy. He came to court reeking of drinks every time and this was his ‘sentencing day.’
I cannot tell you how many times it was made clear he was going to walk out of the courtroom in handcuffs through the back door and do his jail sentence. He came to court, surprisingly sober, and I reiterated what I have told him about 20 times.
He got all crazy and jittery and said, ‘NO! I can’t go to jail, I will lose my job! Isn’t there some work-release thing?’ (There is, but not for this stuff.)
But, to humor him, I said, ‘I will go ask the judge.’
I don’t know if the judge was hammered that day or out of her mind, but she agreed that he could get work release from jail (it was a 6-month sentence) which made no freaking sense to me and I am not sure she understood what she was agreeing to. Anyway, I gladly ran back out into the lobby to tell him the good news.
Yup. He was gone. His girlfriend tried calling him, I tried, too. The idiot is now serving 8 months in jail, lost his job, no work-release and man, what an idiot.”
The World’s Worst Scam Artist
“I’m not a lawyer, but I’ve worked in the field. Best one I know of was a guy claiming neck/back/shoulder injury from a car accident. He claimed that his wife had to provide care 24 hours a day and should be compensated as well. This included (according to him) dates that we could prove she was out of state, dates she was employed elsewhere, and the day she gave birth to their child (and the weeks before and after).
Also, we had video/pictures from various social media of him doing all kinds of things he claimed to be incapable of. He said he can’t lift his right arm past the shoulder, or rotate his head to look up? We got pictures of him welding the underbody of a car on a rack above his head. He said he can’t lift more than 25 pounds? Video of him tossing his daughter in the air.
The best, though, was when he arrived at a deposition. He showed up alone (though he claimed he can’t drive) jogged across the street to a party store, then returned to the car, put on a neck brace and some contraption for his back, grabbed his cane and heads into the office. I was standing out front chatting with our investigator. About 30 feet from the entrance, he noticed us. The investigator was still shooting pictures. He eventually lost, but not before three different lawyers quit on him.”
“Stupidest person I ever defended? Without a doubt ‘Danny’ (not his/her real name). Danny was caught on CCTV committing two burglaries on two separate occasions within the same week at the same location. Danny’s DNA was found at the scene, Danny left his clothes at the scene.
Danny’s explanation was that he had gone to the address and had not taken anything (explaining his clothing and DNA). When confronted with the CCTV from the first occasion, Danny stated that it did show him, but that there was no burglary committed (Danny couldn’t find anything worth stealing).
Ok, so we have a situation where Danny accepts presence and accepts that the person on the CCTV on day 1 is Danny.
Danny is shown the second CCTV footage which shows the exact same person, in exactly the same clothes (including the item left at the scene), clearly committing a burglary. The CCTV clearly shows the face, and clearly, irrefutably shows that it is the same person as before and is someone who is either Danny or their identical twin.
Danny’s explanation. ‘That’s not me.’ This made it all the way to trial. The lawyers had done their best, but Danny was literally too stupid to understand the difficulty with his case. At the end after a lengthy conference with Danny and his family (all of whom realized how ridiculous the case was), Danny saw sense and decided not to fight it.
It’s up there with the defendant who ran from a vehicle stop and was arrested. His reply to caution? ‘I don’t know nothing about no weapons!’ What weapons? Police were arresting him for something else. Whoops!”
Free Man Of The Land
“Public defender checking in. I had a client accused of driving with a suspended license. He wanted to advance the defense that the constitutional right to travel means that he doesn’t need a driver’s license at all. That’s not at all what that means, of course.”
At Least He Was A Considerate Driver
“I had a client who burgled his employer one evening and when the alarm went off, he took off on a high-speed chase through some city back streets with the police in hot pursuit.
The arresting officer told me in an amused manner that although he had his headlights turned off, every time he went around a corner, he put his turn signal on.
We’ll Figure Out The Legal Bits Later
“I currently have a corporate client that entered into a contract with another company. A few months later, the owner of this corporate client sent a Facebook message to the owner of the other company that said, ‘We are hereby terminating the contract and I will let you know the basis for doing so when my lawyers make that determination.’ Then he screen-shot that message and sent it to us.”
This Liar Was Too Stupid To Defend
“We once defended a guy who embezzled about $3,000,000 from his company. At no point in his illicit activities did he bother covering his tracks. He transferred company funds from his computer straight into his own personal bank account, he did it not only on company time but late at night, when security would have to register him going into the building to his office and cameras could tape him actually sitting down and transferring the funds.
The problem was that he was an absolute compulsive liar. He seemed to have thought that just denying everything would be enough to get him off the hook. He denied accessing his computer, he denied his signatures on the security ledger, he denied that the person on camera was him, even though it was clear as day that it really was him! He bought a Mini Cooper with the first amount of money he took and would drive to court with it, and deny it was his saying he borrowed it from his sister (who didn’t have one, didn’t speak to him, and the stupid car was registered to him anyway).
We dropped his case in the appeal, he was just too crazy and stupid to deal with.”
This Guy Doesn’t Get How Things Work
“A client in a discrimination case was seeking reinstatement in his school. He was wrongfully expelled. He didn’t want money or any type of compensation; he just wanted to be able to attend classes again.
When I told him that the case would require a small retainer (about $2,500) plus appearance fees, he said, ‘No – I’ll pay you on contingency.’
I then told him that he wasn’t suing for money – he was suing for reinstatement. There was no monetary award for his action – so my ‘contingent’ fee would be one-third of zero.
He then told me, ‘No – I mean, I’ll pay you your fee contingent on you winning.’ I told him that there were dozens of man-hours involved in bringing his case to court. It isn’t fair to pay me based on an outcome that had nothing to do with my hard work. His response? ‘Well, you better win then.’
It’s at this point that I texted my secretary with an SOS. Two minutes later, she came in like a winged angel and said to me, ‘Your brother is on the phone…from jail.’ That quickly ended the madness of No-paying, tough luck Chuck.”
Calling The Cops On Himself!
“I was a young prosecutor and had to handle the ‘jail chain,’ – basically people who can’t afford or have other problems that keep them from bonding out. These are your career criminal-types, who are just ready to plead guilty and get on with life.
There was a guy who was invited back by a fast-food co-worker to her place, so he took his ‘love-backpack’ with him and went to her house for some hook-up time. When he got there, it turned out the girl just wanted to hang out and there were tons of other people there. He started acting like a fool and they kicked him out, but he somehow got separated from his backpack and the people inside the house wouldn’t return it.
So he called the cops (duh). They showed up, got the backpack issue resolved and, just because they’re cops and want to ID everyone, asked for his and everyone else’s licenses and ran a warrant check on everyone. Our Romeo had outstanding warrants for his arrest when he called the cops to help him after he got friend-zoned.
While seated in the back of the police car, the guy went, ‘Officer, I have something to tell you.’
Cop: ‘Oh yeah, what’s that?’
Guy: ‘I have a nickel of weed in my left shoe.’
Gave him credit for the time he’d spent in jail and called it a day. Dude had been through enough.”
A True Moron
“I had a client who was sitting in his car doing angel dust. An officer came up to him and said, ‘How are you doing tonight?’
My client looked out the window and replied, ‘I’m pretty wasted up right now.’ There was still half a baggie of dust on the passenger seat in plain sight. My client failed to understand why he was arrested.”
This Guy Doesn’t Even Understand Basic Biology
“A client came in and said, ‘Someone has been robbing my checks for 15 years.’
He then showed me his paperwork. When I say paperwork, I mean crinkled, folded, balled up, garbage that I needed to decipher. When I got to his ‘checks’ (pay stubs) I said, ‘You have checks – you get paid. No one is robbing you.’
He bluntly said, ‘Someone named Stu is taking money out of my checks. I want to sue him.’
I look deeper and see nothing about he is talking about. Then, on one pay stub, I seeL ‘Deduction – SCU.’ It dawned on me immediately.
I said, ‘That’s not Stu -it’s an abbreviation for Support Collection Unit. They take money for child support.’
He looked at me blankly and said, ‘Child support? I ain’t got a child.’
As I started to ask my next question, he said, ‘I had a child. But that was a long time ago. Like 10 years.’
I said, ‘You have a ten-year-old child?’
‘In NY, you have to pay for them until their out of college. 22 years.’
He was flabbergasted. Moreso because he couldn’t sue ‘Stu’ than anything else.”
He Should Have Stopped While He Was Ahead
“My first ever ‘trial’ was as an intern. A guy had run a stop sign in front of a cop, who pulled him over and ticketed him. Instead of pleading guilty and paying the fine, the guy requested a trial.
I. Love. Petty. Trials. The pettier the better. It’s hilarious to me. So I was happy to be assigned to this case.
The officer arrived and we reviewed his dashcam footage, which showed the defendant not even feigning a stop. A few other interns happened by, watched the footage, and wanted to stay for the trial. The defendant walked in three minutes late and saw me sitting at the prosecution’s table flanked by about six interns, all in suits as well. He looked nervous.
He tried to argue that because a shopping mall (in a different city) didn’t have a stop sign for incoming traffic, this intersection also shouldn’t have had a stop sign. The layouts of both intersections weren’t even really similar. The judge said, ‘Sir, I’m not here to have a philosophical debate about civil engineering,’ before letting me lay out that there was a stop sign and that he did not stop for it. Easy win.”
Sued By The Only One NOT Injured
“Years ago, I worked for a garbage company. It was on a rainy Saturday and I was going to the dump. Up ahead, I saw all kinds of police cars and road flares. Turns out one of my buddies, Bobby, working for the company was also going to the dump and lost his brakes going down a hill.
He hit the intersection just as the light turned red against him, so he entered the intersection with his garbage truck going about 50mph. He plowed through eight cars before coming to rest on top of a relatively brand new Toyota. Fortunately, the guy driving the Toyota wasn’t even scratched. His seat broke and he laid flat in his seat with the front wheel of the truck inches from his face. It was a miracle he lived.
He didn’t sue.
The eight cars Bobby hit didn’t sue.
But one lady who witnessed the accident sued both the company and Bobby personally, claiming she was so traumatized by the event that it affected her dating life: whenever she went to have relations with her husband, she couldn’t go through with it. She claimed all she saw when her husband tried to hookup was a big garbage truck bearing down on her.
The judge threw it out and told her she was ‘ridiculous.'”
So Dumb It Cost Him 30 More Years In Jail
“I wasn’t the lawyer on this case, but I was interning for him and went to the trial. The client plead not guilty to the charge of burglary, despite my bosses advice.
How was he caught? After stealing all of $90 from the house, he ran out, but dropped his wallet, with his ID and Social Security card inside. The jury did not believe his ‘it wasn’t me’ defense. He got 40 years because of priors, the prosecutor had originally offered him 10. Listen to your attorney’s advice, criminals!”
His Negligence Suit Didn’t Go As Planned
“I didn’t go to court with this, the legal aid clinic I was at declined to take this guy’s case.
He was a roofer that got electrocuted when his ladder came into contact with a power line. City code mandated that lines be 10′ away from houses, and in this case, the line was 12′ away. But according to him, sometimes wind made the line sway and the swaying part came inside of 10′. Hence, negligence.
The roofer in question was unlicensed for any sort of construction work. At the time, he was wearing flip-flops and wasn’t wearing any sort of safety gear. He was using a ladder to get on top of a garage and then pulling up his ladder to reach a higher portion of the house. While swinging his ladder around on top of the roof, it came into contact with the line.
He wanted money for his injuries (in addition to the electric burns, he also had a concussion and cracked orbital from the fall), money for the work missed while healing, and money for the mp3 player destroyed by the shock.
The mp3 player stood out.”
Their “Strawman” Argument Didn’t Hold Much Weight
“I was clerking in a bankruptcy court and we had a case where the petitioners were a group of men that had a mix of ideologies between sovereign citizenship, the redemption movement, and strawman theory. They believed that an individual has two personas, one the real flesh and blood human being and the other, a separate legal personality or person (usually written in CAPITALS) who is the ‘strawman.’ The strawman is responsible for all their debts, liabilities, taxes and legal responsibilities belong to the strawman rather than the physical individual themselves. Also, when you’re born, the government puts $630,000 in an account for the ‘strawman’ and somehow you can write checks off that account using the UCC.
Basically, the petitiononers went into a Cadillac dealership and presented these strawman checks and demanded cars. The dealership called the police and they were arrested for fraud. Then the petitioners attempted to force the dealership into involuntary bankruptcy so they could get the cars. There were three petitioners and they all were representing themselves, so needless to say the motions were ridiculous and unintelligible.
And this was on my second day as a clerk.”
He Swore He Was Going Legit. He Wasn’t
“My cousin asked me to help with his expungement. I told him I didn’t want to get involved in providing legal services to family short of an emergency. He swore he had changed and just needed some help getting his record straightened out because it was holding him back. I gave him names of a few lawyers I know who do that work and have low fees. He was upset but accepted it. He wanted to expunge a conviction for carrying a weapon without a permit. Not a week after our conversation, he got pulled over for drinking and driving and had a weapon under his seat.”
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