Lawyers Reveal When They Realized “My Client Is a Monster”


Lawyers have tough jobs. Especially ones who have to defend really terrible clients who they know have done some awful things.

In this AskReddit article, lawyers open up and reveal when they realized they were representing some really bad folks.

1. Shed no tears

“A lot of years ago I used to work as a solicitors representative (cases go to crown court, barrister deals and I am there for paperwork, additional stuff with client etc).

70 something year old man had been in jail for 15 years for an assault on a child.

Solicitor and barrister working on getting him released due to him getting clean reports from just about everyone.

Guards took him out of jail to a dentist and as he entered the waiting room he saw two children and ran straight at them. Guards stopped him.

3 weeks later at court I was the one that sat him down in a room to explain that no, this isn’t a hearing to release you. It is so you can be commited to a mental health secure facility for the rest of your life.

He didn’t take that well, I shed no tears.”

2. Scummy firm

“Not the client but my managing partner.

The client was a senile 90-year-old man. He wanted to sell land worth a little less than a billion dollars to some businessmen. Suffice to say there were many who wanted to take advantage of the situation. One such person, to my dismay, was our managing partner.

The partner wanted to insert a provision that would have effectively funneled about 60% of the proceeds solely to him. You could see how his eyes gleamed at the mere mention of money. The provision “got lost in the revisions.” I was doing the revisions.

I’m no longer part of that scummy firm.”

3. Disturbing

“I’m on the other side, but I’ve got a defendant who went to prison for starving three adopted children to the point that they needed weeks of hospitalization, then got out of prison and married a guy with children so that she could start starving them, too. Listening to her interview where she attempts to justify what she did to both sets of kids disturbed me more than any of the murder cases I’ve worked on.”

4. Creep

“We had a client try and enforce a post-employment restraint against a 19 year old receptionist after she quit and started working for a competitor. The reason? He wanted to “make her life hell” because she wouldn’t sleep with him, a creepy 57 year old man.

Him trying to sleep with her was the reason she quit. Unsurprisingly he didn’t take our advice to discontinue his claim and so we ended up sending him elsewhere.”

5. Unfit mother

“She tried to sell her baby. I found out during a hearing, in front of the judge.”

6. Terrifying

“I listened to a 911 call where the victim’s throat was slit while on the call by our client. I will never forget her gurgling and sounding like she was dying (somehow she ultimately lived through this) saying, “He killed me, he killed me.” “

7. Manipulation

“I’ll go ahead and say it. When I practiced family law and criminal defense, I trusted and believed my criminal defense clients 100x more than my divorce/custody clients. The worst monsters are the people who manipulate minor children for custody reasons. F*ck them. Luckily I’m out of that area of law, hopefully for good.”

8. What a story

“Had a divorce client, husband and father, who disowned his autistic son, tried to argue that he should get all of his wife’s retirement having not worked for 12 years, contacted me during the height of hurricane Sandy (he was in the Bronx and me in Manhattan) saying he wanted to hold his wife in contempt for not paying him that day while the storm slammed NYC, told me I was making a huge mistake getting married (my wedding date was November 3rd, 4 days after Sandy) saying that I was going to be miserable and regret it…. I could go on.

But, the worst was when, several months later, since his divorce was taking a long time, he sent death threat letters to myself and my wife saying that he had hired an “executor” to kill the two of us if his divorce wasn’t finalized in 60 days. Called the police and they said he left his premises one day earlier.

I heard nothing from him until February 2014 when he emailed me saying he needed a winter coat from his wife and could I help get it for him. Ironically, the divorce didn’t have to be completed because he killed himself before the judge signed the judgment of divorce.”

9. Time to quit

“My mom is a lawyer. This is the story about how she quit being a public defender.

When you are a public defender you don’t get to choose your cases. She got assigned a young man who, with the help of his gifriend, had gotten a kitten from a “free to a good home” ad in the paper. They then brought it home and gave it to their dog as a chew toy. I think they also filmed it.

So yeah.

She said she needed a shower after every meeting with him. Canceled her PD contract after the case concluded.”

10. This is awful

“I’ve done a lot of prison legal aid, and I could tell stories about child molesters that would turn you green, but instead I’ll turn you green a different way.

I had a kid (17) who was mildly cognitively disabled, due to brain trauma he sustained at the hands of his birth parents, who ended up with a really wonderful foster care family and thrived.

He was a popular kid in school, good athlete, got a girlfriend and invited her to meet up and be teenagers one night in a corn silo – which I guess is a thing that country kids do? I don’t know, this all comes from the pre-sentence investigation report I read before taking his case, but this girl met him at the silo and they were hanging out inside.

By his account, they were having a nice time and he was really enjoying himself, then for no particular reason, he picked up a 2×4 and bashed her skull in. He then used a combination of very crude farm implements (shovels, hoes) to chop her body up and bury it in the corn and went home like nothing had happened.

Hey, you asked.”

11. First week on the job

“The first week I started at my current criminal defense firm I was tasked with cataloging discovery from our client’s phone.

The phone had multiple (talking around 4,000) videos, photos, text exchanges with women under 16 (though not all of the girls’ ages were confirmed most, if not all, were under the legal age of consent and many were barely pubescent) naked and being prostituted over 1 year. He would lure these girls in exchange for drugs.

Nothing felt totally bizarre until I came across one video where he was clearly forcing himself upon a literal child who was so high on benzodiazepines (not willingly but rather forced) and choking her in the process. When our firm confronted him, he said he was in love with her and that’s why he did it.

He would also take these girls to hotels and make them have sex with one another while he taped, but nothing beat what I said above.

Pretty horrifying stuff for my first week on the job.”

12. Not happy

“I had a client who was accused of domestic violence. Essentially he threw his girlfriend out of a second story window. Now he’s got a terrible history but so do a lot of my clients and his attitude is a little entitled (also typical). But he also knows the deal and wants a plea deal.

So I’m not really prepared when he absolutely refuses the no jail offer from the state (keep in mind there were like 5 witnesses). Why? Because they wanted him to pay for her medical bills. Ok, an asshole but whatever not the worst.

What did it was his counteroffer.

“I ain’t paying that bitchs bills. Tell them I’ll pay for the window.”

Prosecutor was not happy.”

13. Scary

“The first and last family law case was assigned to me as a first year associate. My client broke his wife’s jaw, and said if they were home in Russia he would have killed her because he could pay his way out of prison there.”

14. A laundry list

“Criminal defense lawyer. I can name a few instances where I was just absolutely disgusted with my client. Caveat, these are mostly years ago when I was taking just any old case. I most practice white collar and federal now.

I won a DUI case because the government messed up on something right before trial was to begin. My client gives me a hug and COMPLETELY reeks of alcohol. He has driven to court. I took his keys and called his mother.

Client who was accused of molesting a 12 year old. He was mid 40s at the time and I had to shut him down real quick when he tried to tell me how the 12 year old was coming on to him.

I represented a woman for a grand theft charge. Left her in my office to get some things copied before she left. After she left, I realized my sunglasses and car keys were stolen. I tracked her down in the lobby and told her I was not going to represent her anymore and I would call the police if she didn’t empty her pockets in front of me and give me my things

I had a client who was released after 25 years in prison for MURDER and then the SAME day he beats up his prospective new landlord. He ended up getting another 10 years. He was unrepentant and laughed about how he hit the guy so hard his eye ball popped out. I thought, ‘this guy deserves to be in prison.’ Took the case to trial anyway and (shocker) lost and he got 10 (the max).

Client who pretended to be a doctor so he could sell steroids. According to the Gov, he had numerous clients who were made to believe that his steroids would cure their cancer. They paid him hundreds of thousands of dollars and some of them died. I just thought that was pure evil.”

15. Uggghhh

“My first internship in law school was at a matrimonial law firm in a very wealthy area, think millionaires and billionaires getting divorced.

One of the first cases I worked on involved the parents of a victim of a high-profile school shooting. The parents were divorced and had been prior to the death of the child, and were now battling over who would get the victim’s compensation fund money and the funds they received from a fundraiser they set up themselves on a GoFundMe-type site!

These were incredibly wealthy people fighting over what was literal chump change to them and asking the public to donate to them as if they needed it. They were so clearly exploiting the death of their child for money and to piss off the other parent, it was honestly one of the most disturbing things I have encountered, ever..”