"I was contacted by a couple who had paid for a trip to see the midnight sun in Northern Norway. They wanted to sue the travel agency when they found out it was the same sun as always. I had to explain that there's only a single sun and that they can't sue a travel agency for selling a midnight sun trip"
"I once had a client who wanted to declare bankruptcy. I explained he needed to have his tax returns for the past few years filed in order to do so. He said he hadn't filed taxes in 20 years because 'It ain't none of the government's business how much money I make'"
"In my state, we have this thing called Victim's Compensation. An oversimplification of how it works goes as follows: If you are the victim of a crime, and suffer some form of injury (e.g. psychological, physical, etc.) you can apply for a payment from state funds. If you are the perpetrator of one of those crimes (e.g. an assault, robbery, pedophilia, etc.) an order can be made for you to pay the state back an amount relating to that victim's compensation. I had a client who felt the process of being convicted for assaulting his relatives, and having to pay victims compensation back to the state was arduous... and in return, he should be receiving victim's compensation from the state....so that was fun to explain"
"Well from the other side, I once missed a court date and assumed that had put me in even deeper legal trouble. My lawyer then had to explain to me that dodging his calls to avoid being arrested was just dumb and the exact wrong course of action"
"I recently had a call from a guy who found out that Long John Silver's was microwaving his baked shrimp combo. He wanted to eat there for every meal for a year and then sue them for false advertising. He changed his mind when I suggested that he would probably die of a heart attack before reaching his one year goal"
"I had a client once who was in trouble for stealing sample medications from a hospital. We got security footage from the DA as part of the evidence and when it came down we watched it together. The camera was literally 10 ft away in a well-lit room and we watched her shovel prescription samples into a garbage bag and walk off. After it was done she turned to me and asked if I thought she was going to be able to get off... I said no"
"I sat in on a case once where the plaintiff's lawyer had to explain to her that it wasn't a slip and fall if she brought the baby oil with her in a squeeze bottle and applied it to the floor herself. The woman then began to act like she didn't speak or understand English after. It was bizarre"
"I watched a Florida Supreme Court appeal over a murder case. The guy killed several people with a baseball bat and wanted his sentence mitigated because he had PTSD. He claimed he had PTSD from experiencing the murder he committed. The court had to explain to him that a mental issue acquired while committing a crime cannot mitigate the crime you committed"
"I once had to explain to a client that he could, in fact, fire an employee for (1) stealing significant sums of money from the safe, (2) pulling a gun on a co-worker who questioned these activities, and (3) waving said gun in a customer's face moments later, all of which were on camera"
"Not a client per se, but a victim. I had to explain what the word 'ejaculate' meant. The defense attorney asked if the defendant ejaculated and she said 'no'. On redirect, I explained that the word meant something came out of his penis, and she said 'Oh, then yes.' Not the brightest person I've ever met"
"When I was a legal intern at a criminal defender's law office, we had a client who was charged with murder. We explained to the client not to make any phone calls saying anything incriminating because it will be recorded. Where prisoners can use the phone there is a GIANT SIGN that says 'PHONE CALLS WILL BE RECORDED'. On top of that, before you are able to call there is an automated recording that tells you that all calls are being recorded and monitored (unless it is to your attorney, which are covered by privilege). Client made a call to his girlfriend that evening asking her to hide the gun"
"By far and away the strangest thing I have ever had to explain to a client is how to use an elevator. Our court room was on the fourth floor, and she needed to take an elevator to get there. I had to describe how you get in, push the '4' and then get out when the lights above shows she's on floor 4. Yeah. The dumbest legal thing I've had to explain is that you can't terminate your parental rights voluntarily and then request visitation with that child"
"That he hadn't really won a 20 million euro European super lottery from Australia that he'd never entered and that it was a good thing that his family, his bank, and his church wouldn't lend him the $2000 they said they needed to verify his identity (on top of the several hundred he'd already sent them) and that yes, his priest was right it was a scam.
This was during a clinic at a free community legal center. The poor guy had limited English and only $20 left in his bank account and he really did not want to let go of the 20 million euro dream. His priest had sent him to us for advice because he wasn't having any luck talking sense into the old guy himself and thought lawyers might help"
"I work on appeals, which means I spend more time with the law than with real people, but the law has some gems, like this dude, who really happened: At the police station, the arresting officer advised defendant, both orally and with a consent form, of his constitutional rights pursuant to Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436, 86 S.Ct. 1602, 16 L.Ed.2d 694 (1966). Defendant refused to sign the consent form and stated that he would 'never' waive his rights.
At the same time, however, he asked the arresting officer whether he could speak to him 'man to man'. At this point, a detective with the Task Force entered the room with the evidence of the drugs gathered from the inventory search of the Corvette and advised the defendant of the charges that would be filed against him. To this, defendant responded, 'You think this is big time. This ain't s---.' The detective then asked the defendant whether he was willing to provide them any information, and defendant responded that if he were released with his drugs in his possession that night, he would call the police occasionally with information on certain persons he felt needed to be off the streets.
The detective then started to leave the booking area, and defendant said, 'And I want my s--- back'. When the detective asked him whether he was referring to the drugs discovered in the Corvette, defendant responded that he was. File that under, 'You should definitely exercise that right to remain silent'"
"Represented a client charged with statutory rape who had a large number of...'explanations' for the various evidence in his case that I had to explain would not be a good idea to testify to or argue to the jury:
The KY Jelly you purchased with the kid at Walmart was not for applying to an undiagnosed skin condition on your chest The hundreds of pages of internet chat logs prior to traveling hundreds of miles to meet the kid, consisting of repeated explicit sexual overtures, emotional manipulation, lies about your age and wealth, and specific plans for how you would remove him from his parents home were not 'meaningless banter.' The fact that you had an active prescription for Viagra does not mean you are 'asexual'
The semen matching your DNA did not find its way into the rectum of the 13 year old boy because of your medical condition that results in 'leakage' and the fact that when you are staying in a hotel room, you do not lift the toilet seat when you urinate, which must have resulted in in the material being deposited on the seat and transferred to the boy when he sat on the seat You were not the victim, taken advantage of by the hypersexual teenager for whom you were you merely trying to provide innocent 'emotional support'
I had to explain all of these things (and others) many times. I'm not sure he ever actually believed any of them"
"I once had to explain what a maiden name was, they had no idea. Similarly, with a different client, I tried to explain why they needed to fill out the intake questionnaire. I was explaining that I need information such as their name, address, and date of birth in order to draft paperwork. Their response: 'Why do I have to do this!? What did I even hire you for!? You're useless! If I have to do all this work I might as well represent myself.' They were super pissed and stomped out the front door. Sorry, I don't magically know your date of birth. As for the maiden name, it was a very small country town. This person was most definitely a native English speaker. As for the questionnaire, someone asked why we don't just ask for a driver's license. The questionnaire was about 2 or 3 pages long and also needed other information such as any previous names, Social Security Number, children's names, etc"
"I had a mediation last week with a client on a really crappy case and managed to settle for a decent amount. I then explained to the plaintiff her share of the settlement after 'paying the bill'. She was confused so I explained that I was speaking about our fee and expenses. She got upset because we were taking her money. I had to explain what a contingency contract was and how we were compensated for our services. The conversation took a turn for the absurd when I had to explain I did not work for free"
"Estate Attorney. There's no reading of the will! At no point will you and all your relatives be called to my office to sit and watch a video/ or have me tell you how it's going to go. (Unless you want to pay me $500 in which case I'll gladly use my reading skills to read aloud the will that you've brought to my office.)
Contrary to what you might think I do not, in fact, have a copy of Grandma's will. I did not write it and you don't know if she had one. You have to dig through Grandma's hoarder house, or again at $350/hr. I'll do it for you. Tupperware is not worth fighting over. I'll take your money and laugh all the way to the bank.
Your brother didn't 'steal' your mother's things. He moved her in with him when your dad died because you live 3 states away. The stuff that was in his house is not now 'half yours' because your mom lived there. It was his and it's still his. You are not entitled to his flatscreen because 'mom used it and you have a sentimental attachment'. ETA: So for the Tupperware and the flatscreen these are issues that come up once I've taken these people as clients and have actually moved through most of the representation. Then they fall out with brother/sister/stepmom (the evil stepmother is real in probate) and they decide that Tupperware is the hill they're going to die on. It's one of those situations that if you walk in for a consult about mom's Tupperware I'm referring you to someone else. If I'm already 12 hours into the estate, I'll stand in court and argue for a fair disposal of the Tupperware. Also, the VAST majority of probate cases aren't this entertaining. Everyone gets along, papers get signed, stuff is filed, and the estate is closed. But it's always the weird ones that make for good cocktail party stories. As a tangent my favorite story is the divorce attorney who was handling a 20 something's 3rd divorce. Turns out s/he didn't believe in sex before marriage so s/he was marrying and divorcing every person s/he dated and wanted to have sex with. That one blew my mind"
"I worked in bankruptcy in Canada for many years. Company going under but director can't physically sign until Monday and doesn't want staff to know because half is family. We allow him to stay open for the weekend with one stipulation: only cash and carry sales because he can't take deposits as he will not be ordering items. It is illegal to take money when you know you won't provide the goods. Instructs staff, who obey. Monday morning he opens at 8 and takes cash and credit deposits for three hours until the trustee shows up with the documents. Tip of the iceberg of sh-tshow for that file, 'You only said the weekend so I operated as business as usual this morning and took a few thousand in orders'"
"Not a lawyer, but a 'friend' of my dad once tried to sue him. Why? Because his dad (the friend's) had died and since my dad was like a father to his friend, he should give him money every month just like his dad did when he was alive. Apparently, the lawyer just said, 'That's not how it works'"
"I work IT for a law firm. I was called in to set up some equipment during a client meeting. The client wanted to project her laptop's screen on the law firm's projector. They continued their meeting while I was getting everything up and running. The client was adamant about suing her ex for a $13 charge at a grocery store he made on a shared credit card. The attorney told her to drop it and, in the time it took her to even tell the story of the $13 charge, she had spent more than $13 in attorney's fees. I left after the five minutes I was needed for, but I was later told that this conversation lasted an entire hour"
"My ex-husband's lawyer had to explain to him that hearsay doesn't mean someone heard him say it.
My ex was arrested for felony domestic battery against me after he called 911 and threatened to kill me.
He thought his threats were inadmissible because someone heard him say them; ergo, hearsay"
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