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Lawyers Confess The Dumbest Things Clients Have Done To Ruin Their Own Case

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Wesley Tingey on Unsplash

Reddit user Sunieta25 asked: 'Lawyers of Reddit, what is the dumbest thing your client has done to ruin a case?'

Some people can be their own worst enemy.

Whether it's a lack of impulse control or just making really bad choices, the consequences can even have legal ramifications.

Reddit user Sunieta25 asked:

"Lawyers of Reddit, what is the dumbest thing your client has done to ruin a case?"

Social Media

"Workers compensation claim, guy falls down at work and claims he injured many different body parts (shoulder, knees, back)."

"We tell him to stay off social media. No problem, he doesn't use social media."

"At trial, he tells the Judge he used to be a Spin Class Instructor, but since the accident, he cannot teach classes anymore. Welp..turns out, he continued to teach these classes after his injury."

"This was proven by the HOURS of surveillance the Insurance company did, showing him teaching and vigourously riding in Spin class. How did the Insurance company know he was still an active instructor?"

"The guy posted his Full Teaching Schedule on his Facebook page. His potentially very lucrative claim, was quickly changed to a fraud claim against him."

~ Youasking

Escape Attempt

"Client added 9 years to a short sentence."

"He got like a year or 2 for being involved in a drag race that the other guy crashed and severely injured someone else."

"Then towards the end of his short prison term he tried to escape, got 9 more years for prison escape!"

~ 50yoWhiteGuy

The Company You Keep

"The mother's new boyfriend cussed out the judge because the father's lawyer dug up his criminal past."

"The mother had just testified that the new boyfriend was a wonderful person and she trusted him completely. And also that he had spent many nights with her and the child and that he babysat for her when she worked."

"She didn't get custody."

~ bradmajors69

Social Media 2: Electric Boogaloo

"The man claimed Workers’ Compensation and threw the kitchen sink at us, meaning he basically listed just over half of his body parts on the claim petition stating that he injured each one."

"He was full of sh*t and my firm knew it. Anyways, we were going to trial and the day before we ran one more social media search."

"This absolute f*cking moron posted a video of him winning a breakdance competition that was only a few months after the alleged work incident. Never saw a quicker dismissal in my life."

~ TellSpectrumNo

Confessions Count

"Friend of mine was a latent print analyst. Going to get prints of a suspect arrested for breaking into a home to rob it."

"While she’s getting the ink and paper set up, suspect shouts, 'whaddya need the prints for? She looked right at me when I kicked in the door!'."

~ FjordReject

Not How That Works

"Once had a convicted criminal explain to me how their murder charge should be overturned because the victim didn't die at the scene of the crime."

"The victim died at the hospital. Therefore, the defendant couldn't be charged with anything more than attempted murder."

~ notreallylucy

Disorder In The Court

"Around 1990 there was a guy on trial for armed robbery. He pled not guilty."

"A witness on the stand identified the defendant."

"The defendant jumped to his feet and roared, 'I should have blown your head off when I had the chance…' pauses, thinks, adds, 'if I had been the one who robbed you'."

~ Yugan-Dali

Crime Couture

"I was on a jury, and the defendant showed up in court on day 1 wearing the same exact outfit as the 'unknown suspect' in the video of the crime."

"It took only a few seconds before the judge immediately called a stoppage.

"All lawyers went into the back with the judge and they came out like 7 minutes later and announced the defendant had taken a plea deal."


~ bclinger

Battery Of A Different Kind

"One client of ours baffles me to this day. He had multiple cases, including aggravated battery and drug possession."

"At the insistence of dude’s family, we moved heaven and earth getting him a bond, so that he could get out of jail and live with said family until the case was over. The whole process took weeks."

"Less than a day after getting out, he was caught stealing $16 worth of batteries from Target. Bond revoked."

"To be fair, the line between stupidity and compulsion is blurred with this one."

~ bigblindmax

The Disability Is In The Details

"I used to review disability claims so I often worked with clients who had lawyers."

"A man whose attorney had instructed him to not speak with us directly—a very smart, very basic recommendation—called me up to rant, angrily, that his lawyer was wrong. He COULD shop for groceries and mow the lawn and do all sorts of house work JUST FINE, thank you."

"Now I had seen this man’s medical records. There’s no way he was doing all of this without difficulty. So I probed a little further."

"He could shop for groceries… as long as he used a mobility scooter and had his wife carry things in the house. He could mow the lawn… if he used a riding mower and took a lengthy break every 10 minutes or so."

"He could do house work… which was limited to wiping down counters and folding—but not carrying—laundry. I called his attorney and gave them a quick update as soon as he and I hung up."

"I approved his claim, but that man is so damn lucky he got someone who was willing to take an extra 15 minutes with him."

~ gwart_

Mourning Period

"Wrongful death lawsuit where a man’s wife was killed. Easy money."

"They were about to settle until the other side found his pictures online from a club a week after his wife died getting a lap dance wearing a shirt that said ‘I ❤️ MILFs’."

"Apparently they didn’t think he had much pain and suffering anymore."

~ potatocross

Liquid Lunch

"Client returns to court drunk after lunch adjournment."

"Falls asleep, and his head drops right into the side of the witness box, whereupon he proceeds to snore. Loudly."

~ j-manz

Wrong Target

"I had gotten a guy a pretty great deal on a serious theft charge. Prior to it being entered, he ended up picked up by the sheriff's office for violating conditions of bond."

"How did he violate? The Sheriff alleged that he used the banking information OF THE SHERIFF'S OFFICE to pass fake checks."

"This meant that in the new charge, the sheriff's office was the victim."

"Needless to say, the deal vanished."

~ gr33nm4n

No Impulse Control

"I was in a courtroom watching injunctions (restraining orders) play out."

"One case the woman was there, but the man was in prison so he was calling in. After deciding on an agreement, the guy asked if he could make a statement."

"At the end of his statement, he said 'and tell {the woman} to go f*ck herself'."

"He got an additional 6 months of prison. The guy asked to make another statement after getting a tongue lashing from the judge."

"And he did it again—telling her to go f*ck herself. And got another 6 months."

"Imagine losing a year of your life because you couldn't shut up for 5 minutes."

~ revolutionPanda

Have you ever heard of a client being their own worst enemy?

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