All professions have their ups and downs, their perks and the things about what they do that isn’t so great. I have to imagine maybe the fact that you never know what sort of client is going to walk through the door and put their life in your hands next.
These lawyers are going to let us live vicariously through them, and thank goodness – here are 17 totally messed-up cases they represented.
Some of these are super disturbing. You’ve been warned.
17. Bit of a downer.
My first trial case was about a 26 year old who was arrested for possession of drug paraphernalia, but after spending two weeks in jail they rushed her to the hospital where she died.
Turns out she had a heart valve infection and told them about it day one, but they wrote her off as a druggie and that she was just faking her symptoms.
She had two kids. And we lost the case because the defense made the entire case about her drug use and argued that she did it to herself.
16. No way, no how.
Dependency case where a single father dipped his toddler in boiling water because he was crying about some silly toddler thing.
Kid was severely burned over his whole body. They were trying to re-unify them.
15. They won the case.
My buddy is an attorney and was working on a case against some company that was dumping pollution in a large, local body of water that had a direct opening to the ocean.
He gets a letter from an incredibly concerned local dude. He wrote this LONG ASS LETTER begging my buddy’s team to do all they can to win the case against the polluting company for the sake of the…mermaids that were living in that local body of water.
He had seen them often guys. He had been trying to befriend them for quite a while now and was concerned for their well-being and for the possibility that they would move out to the ocean to find a cleaner home if the company kept dumping pollution into their area. I wish I could find that pic of part of the letter.
In case you are as concerned as he was, fear not! My buddy’s team won the case and that company is no longer dumping their waste in that body of water
14. I guess you can sue for anything.
Represented a painter getting sued on a construction defect job.
The painter was hired to paint building 2 and 3.
He showed up for work, performed the work, and on his way home got into a terrible car accident leaving him paralyzed from the neck down.
He was sued several years later for water intrusion defects related to buildings 7-9 (Which he didn’t work on).
Felt terrible for the guy.
13. Things ended badly.
Case told to me by another lawyer on one of my cases: two guys decided to give a marijuana laced brownie to their co-worker without telling him it marijuana in it… right before he started his shift… as a crane operator. It went predictably badly, resulted in an accident and even their union agreed the guys should be fired.
12. Good luck with that.
Client insisted on suing an employee who failed to show up to work which caused a contract to be cancelled.
The employee didn’t show up to work because he died.
11. Not dramatized.
Not my case, but I was at the Frank Crowley courthouse in Dallas for work and had free time to watch some of the trial against Chris Duntsch (aka Dr Death).
I watched two of his victims come into court in wheelchairs, and a nurse testify about how me severed this patient’s spinal cord and basically walked out like he didn’t care.
The victims in wheelchairs were supposed to undergo an hour long procedure, go home for recovery, but instead woke up in the hospital paralyzed. Really fucked up case and a tragedy that he was allowed to keep bouncing around to different hospitals without repercussions.
Anyways, I haven’t seen the mini series yet, but my friend has and she was like “I’m sure they dramatized it, you know Hollywood.” I honestly don’t think you can dramatize that, at least based on the testimony I saw.
10. That seems pretty extreme.
In a pro bono program, I was assigned to handle the request of an inmate to be released after serving 2/3rd of his sentence. When I read his file, I discovered that he was convicted for kidnapping a woman, tying her to the right front wheel of his jeep and torturing her to death with some sort of home made flamethrower.
When I went to see the guy, he denied everything, and told me he was appealing the verdict (which legally was not possible anymore).
It was really weird sitting in a room with this guy, knowing what he was convicted of, and knowing that he’d been denying the conviction for almost 20 years.
Needless to say, his request to be released early was denied.
9. You’ve gotta have a warning label.
Not really f*cked up, but amusing: my dad won a case against Baskin Robins 30 years ago, because his client chipped her tooth on a pistachio shell while eating pistachio ice cream.
No warning label. I don’t remember the settlement amount, but it was hefty.
8. They should make sure he stays alone.
A sociopath in a psych ward making suicide pacts with vulnerable people and never following through.
Charged with murder, determined he was too out of his mind to be accountable.
Gonna be in an asylum for the next two decades unless something major changes within the case
7. Definitely the worst thing.
A woman was alone with her baby after her husband got deployed. This was not long after the baby was born. Then the baby passed away, and the body had some strange bruising. The mother insisted the baby crawled out of her sight and fell down the stairs.
The case ultimately got reassigned from our office, and the mother was pissed. She told the primary lawyer on the case that she had indeed killed the baby.
She basically bragged about it, and she had zero remorse at all. Seeing the infant’s autopsy photos was absolutely horrific.
6. It makes you sick.
Guy made a porno starring himself and his own eight year old daughter.
Confessed everything in a mirandized interview.
Screamed at me because the best deal I could get him was out by his 70s. I hope he dies before his release date.
5. This surely qualifies as strange.
A reasonably successful businessman had died, leaving a will in which he left all his business assets to his wife, on the condition that she destroy everything. Inventory, parts, records, office equipment, all of it. If she refused, everything was to be given to the Hemlock Society, an organization in the States somewhere that advocates for the assisted suicide.
Shortly after making the will, he committed suicide, having arranged for his death to be video recorded and the recording to be emailed to his wife and kids automatically. The lawyer didn’t say what the method of suicide was, but did say that it was traumatic for all who received the video, unsurprisingly.
The lawyer sought, and received, a consent order to amend the will to delete the destruction condition. He had the agreement of the Hemlock Society, which wanted nothing to do with a donation understand those conditions.
4. Smart man.
My uncle lawyer helped a relative with a traffic ticket. Relative was conspiracy nut and wanted to take it to court to “reveal the lies.”
Uncle just paid the fine and told her she won.
3. You’re supposed to secure that stuff to the wall, Sir.
The plaintiff pulled the drawers out of a dresser and climbed up them to look for hemorrhoids in the mirror.
Dresser fell on them and they sued the manufacturer.
2. The kids are not ok.
Worse I’ve heard was a divorce case where both parties fought to NOT have the kids stay with them.
It’s so depressive to think about the children in that case.
1. This is insane.
We represented a family who tried to ruin a teenage boy’s life. They fabricated police reports, falsely claimed he stole expensive electronics from them, and took their claims to the very uninterested school the boy attended. When cops tried to investigate, the family evaded the investigator and lied to him.
Why do all this? The family’s son was crushing on a girl they were hosting in their home. She chose to date the boy in question over the son. All three kids were classmates.
The boy got a hefty settlement from the family. This case was outside our typical areas of practice, but they came from a friend of the attorney.
I could read stories like this all day, honestly.
If you’re a lawyer, share yours in the comments!