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16 People Describe a Moment They Knew They Were Going to Win a Legal Case

It seems like every time you watch a movie or a television show that features lawyers or a legal case, there’s always an OMG WAIT! moment when the smartest person in the room (usually our protagonist) realizes the case is in the bag.

Does that happen in real life?

According to these 16 people, it sometimes definitely does!

16. When you know you know.

When I practiced insurance defense. Was handed a file to take over of a slip and fall. Guy tripped on a hose, tore his acl. The partner had taken the guys depo already so I read the transcript.

I’m a Michigan football fan, watched every game for 20 years. This guy testified he was the starting safety for a certain rival for certain years. Also that he graduated with a double major that doesn’t exist at that school.

I immediately knew this was false. Partner didn’t understand. Dug deeper, lied about so much stuff unrelated to the fall for no reason. Eventually found high school records from football injuries of head trauma, knee injuries, oh and a slip and fall injury a few months after ours. He also testified he rehabbed an ACL surgery after 1 month.

Motion for fraud on the Court filed, immediately settled.

15. Well that’s just silly.

Not a lawyer but got robbed at gun point in my home. Long story short, he would have gone to prison anyway but the kicker is that the shoes he wore to court were the same shoes he stole from my house. Judge asked if I wanted them back.

I said yes. Judge made him take them off in court and walk back in socks. Donated the shoes, it was more about the principle.

14. Funny how that works.

Not a lawyer, but I’m currently in a custody battle. Mother is saying I can’t be trusted because I’ve been refusing to take our child to the therapist.

The therapist testified I couldn’t bring our child in because therapy must have both parents’ consent, and mother has retracted consent.

13. Oopsie.

I had a client charged with battery.

The alleged victim didn’t really support the prosecution’s case and in any event was reluctant to testify.

They still had another witness though, and she said that my client was hitting the alleged victim, so it wasn’t looking great.

The prosecutor and I were talking before court started, hanging out by the courtroom doors, when the witness walked in. She looked right at my client (who was sitting not five feet from me), then scanned the room and said “where is [client name]?”

The prosecutor and I looked at each other for a minute, and then he said he needed to check on something. When I saw him a few minutes later, he told me he was dismissing the case

12. Oh, the drama.

Very abbreviated- I was prosecuting a convenience store owner for luring a young girl, who regularly came into the store, back to a part of the store to grope/fondle and kiss her (child enticement). It was the only section of the store without surveillance camera coverage. They were in the back room for about two minutes and seventeen seconds, per the timestamp on the videos.

Of the many arguments the defense put on, one was there was no way there was enough time for anything to happen. In my rebuttal on closing, I asked the jury to imagine what could happen in the room in that amount of time, and I asked them to all close their eyes while I timed out 2 minutes and 17 seconds on my watch, in silence. After about 60 seconds two of the jurors started crying. Knew it was going to be guilty right then.

11. Good on ya.

I was testifying for the defense; a young man had been arrested for assaulting a police officer, allegedly throwing bottles during some unrest in Oakland following the verdict in the trial for the cop who shot Oscar Grant in the back on the BART platform. I had been there filming stuff, caught his arrest on video and his brother found my footage on youtube and asked me to testify. I had only seen bottles being thrown from this one corner of a parking lot, from behind me, with the bottles flying over my shoulder. The defendant was in a group in front of me.

On the stand, the prosecutor seemed to think I knew the defendant and was there basically committing perjury on his behalf. I explained why I had been there that night, that I had never seen this guy before, hadn’t been coached by the defense, and hadn’t been paid other than a small amount for my travel and time. Finally, exasperated after much back and forth, the prosecutor says, “Well if you don’t know the defendant then why are you here testifying for him?” I thought for a moment and said, “I guess I just wouldn’t want an innocent man to get convicted for a crime he didn’t commit.”

He got visibly flustered and quickly moved on, trying to insinuate that if I didn’t know him, how would I have known to be looking in his direction to see whether he was throwing things, and I tried explaining that if you’re looking at a group of random people, and one of them throws something you will naturally fixate your attention on that person. But because nobody in that group threw anything, there was nothing to notice in the first place; it looked like the police just grabbed him at random.

They rested, the defense attorney bought me lunch down the street and then he got a call from his colleague that the jury took all of 10 minutes to return a “not guilty” verdict on the assault charge. They said my response was legendary though, and that no attorney should ever ask a question they don’t already know the answer to. This guy just seemed to have a narrative about a prior relationship to the defendant that he assumed was accurate, and was trying to call my credibility into question.

10. When they just blurt it out.

I worked on a case involving defective processors. In discovery we got emails from the defendant’s engineers that had worked on the processors. They were in an Asian country but the emails were in English because they were going to US executives. One of the more senior engineers basically laid out the exact defect we were suing over, explaining what the problem was and why it was their fault, and finishing with “this is big problem, we ship CRAP to customer!”

Needless to say we hit them over the head with that in mediation, and they settled shortly after.

9. Cheaters never prosper.

We had some huge issues with a landlord (trying to enter without letting us know beforehand, not answering to fix issues, very aggressive when talking with us) when he decided to sell the place.

He didn’t check with us about the visits and just showed up randomly with potential buyers. We told him to get lost, he eventually left but called us the same evening to threaten us. We sent emails to remind him of our rights as tenants and he answered by threatening us some more, IN AN EMAIL.

We eventually end up in small issues court (not from the US, don’t know the name) and he fabricates a story about how we are terrible tenants and we try to discourage buyers.

We just showed the judge the emails as well as the open complaint to the police we filled a few days earlier, the judge couldn’t believe it and gave him a formal warning, gave us 3 free months of rent.

In the end the guy just used a real estate company to sell the place, all went smoothly and we still live there with lovely landlords that aren’t completely bonkers

8. Bless her heart.

My mom hit a guy on a bike with her car in a parking lot.

She claimed he hit her (she also wanted to counter sue the cyclist for scaring her) in her deposition she started every sentence with “when I hit him…”

7. The whole place went silent.

My client was riding his motorcycle on a relatively calm street when this guy exited his garage, without looking, and run over him. In deposition, the guy brought a witness that was with him on the passenger seat. The whole time, the witness maintained that my client was driving too fast and that there was no time to brake the car.

I asked him the same question a few times in different ways, making him tell the story again. In the fourth telling, he, already a bit frustrated, let it slip: “- Look, I’ve already told you. We were exiting the garage and, as soon as I lifted up from getting my cellphone on the car’s carpet-” “

Wait. So you didn’t even see the crash?” There was no coming back from that.

6. Well that’s awkward.

When I compared the scanned copy of the deed provided by the other side’s lawyers to the original my client eventually got around to providing.

The scanned copy provided by the other side had a witness signature. The original did not.

5. That’s definitely not right.

When the petitioners attorney called me my brothers name when I was on the stand.

My brother is a sh*tbag and I Dont associate with him anymore, but dude has a lengthy criminal history and it pops up on traffic stops occasionally. So I was in court over custody of my oldest and her moms attorney was trying to paint me as a hypocrite for being an addict.

I denied it all on the stand and he said “Now James I must remind you that you are under oath and by denying this you are committing perjury”. I stared him dead in the face and said “My name is Bill, James is my brother.”

Even the judge laughed at him and the only reason we didn’t bring it up sooner (we knew he submitted it as evidence but had no idea why) was because I really wanted to know what he was up to with it all.

4. What in the heck is wrong with people?!

Obligatory, not mine but my Moms story. She was fighting for custody on behalf of the father, trying to prove that the kids were living in subpar conditions with their drug addict mother in spite of the ample child support provided. It was a tough case because courts are so hesitant to pull kids away from their moms.

Then the mom burst out that she had been feeding the kids cat food as proof that she wouldn’t let them starve. Needless to say, the judge didn’t take that as a good reason for the kids to stay with their Mom.

3. I mean Google, sir.

Parent termination case I was prosecuting. Dad went on how he has changed his life around and worked the AA program. Asked him what step he was on, and he proudly proclaimed 3. Asked him what step three is, he had no idea. Then asked him step two was. Again, no idea.

Parental rights terminated.

2. That was quick.

Sued a former employer for $3500 in unpaid wages. It was a slam dunk (had a letter stating what my salary would be vs. paystubs that were less) IMO so I didn’t bother getting a lawyer to save on fees. Turns out the company thought they could.try the same strategy. I show up to court and the manager of the local office is there with an affidavit from the CEO saying he’s allowed to represent the company in court…the judge asks him “are you an attorney?” …”no, just an employee”

A company can’t have pro se representation. Judge immediately ruled in my favor.

1. Not the brightest bulb.

It was my third month of practice. I was in family law at the time. Representing mom in a petition for a restraining order against boyfriend/dad.

At issue in the broader case was child visitation, custody, support etc. but today’s hearing was just on the RO. We had pretty good facts but it was mostly based on testimony of the parties. My client was way more reputable as a witness so I was feeling confident.

10 minutes before the hearing, my client shows up. I give her a last minute prep on what to expect and then she says “I’m glad I’m going through with this. I can’t deal with it any more and he’s just getting worse. To top it off, he left me a drunken, ranting voicemail on Saturday.”

“You have your phone with you?”

“Yes.”

We play the voicemail and it’s a full two minutes of ex-boyfriend screaming sh*t like “I should have f*cking killed you when we were together.” “You were always such a b*tch.” “I hope you burn to death in a fire.”

I didn’t have time to ask her why the f**k she hadn’t said anything to me about the voicemail before the bailiff called our case. We sit, the judge asks if either side has additional evidence, and I ask for permission to play the voicemail. Ex boyfriend, who didn’t have an attorney, didn’t object, so I played the whole nasty two minute rant in open court.

Judge goes “We’re going to take a brief recess before I issue my ruling. If the parties want to meet and confer in the hall, they are welcome to.”

Boyfriend knew he was f**ked. We settled the whole damn case then and there. My client got her wish list in terms of custody, supervised visitation, child support, plus the restraining order, to boot.

These are fascinating, don’t you think?

If you’re a lawyer, tell us more fun stories in the comments! We want to hear from you!

Thanks, fam!