By now, we all know the Legally Blonde-esque courtroom moment when a witness or defendant self-incriminates or makes a slip-up that proves they're guilty. Well, those moments — or similar situations where lawyers just knew they won — happen IRL. In fact, on Wednesday, Reddit user u/Weseleyalpha asked lawyers to share their stories.
Here are some times real-life lawyers knew they were about to win their case:
This fiery lie:
"Defendant on trial for arson of an occupied dwelling. I cross-examined him about statements he made to witnesses saying he was going to burn down the house. He claimed he was just, 'Singing the song, you know — burning down the house, burning down the house.'
I said, 'You mean the song by the Talking Heads?' He said, 'Yeah, that song; I remember because it had just come out!' He set the fire in 2015. I actually had to look up the proper citation for a recorded song for the appellate brief, which went as well for the defendant as the trial did. The Talking Heads, 'Burning Down the House' (Sire Records, 1983!).
He was lying about why he was saying he was going to 'burn down the house' is evidence of intent to conceal."
This partial juror:
"There was one juror who just had been clearly thoroughly annoyed with the other lawyer throughout the trial. When the verdict came back, that juror was holding the verdict, indicating he had been the foreman. At that moment I knew I had won."
This defendant's claim:
"When the defendant stuck to his 'two beers' story, and the expert blood alcohol witness said his BAC for his height/weight would’ve been 7.8 drinks."
This caught-in-a-lie moment:
"Custody battle. Mother is questioned about the fact the kids told their own children’s lawyers that mom smoked marijuana with them at 12–13 years old. She argues that the children are lying.
Same cross-examination, mom admits to 'smoking medicinally' (prior to any legalization, medicinal legal). When probed, she did not have a card, and when asked where she got her medicinal pot, she said, 'The local drugstore down the street.' At the time, medicinal marijuana was only available via online/mail order via a small handful of government control companies. Liar, liar pants on fire."—u/YYCStar
“When they said, 'I know the doctors tampered with my drug test! It should have been positive for a lot more than just meth!' I wish this was made up."
This last-ditch effort:
"He tried citing his own lawyer as an authority that the judge should defer to. The judge was not amused. I won."
This poor choice for an outfit:
"Client was charged with aggravated assault (five years possible) for kicking the shit out of a guy while wearing cowboy boots with those fancy steel ornamental tips on the boots. He wore the boots to his jury trial."
This slippery scammer:
"Personal injury case — woman said she slipped and fell outside of a nail salon because they hadn't swept up the wet leaves outside the door. In the mail one day, we got a disc — we put it in the computer, and right there is security cam footage of our client picking up the wet leaves, putting them on the sidewalk, and sitting down on them before calling for help."
And this slip-up:
"Dad alleged mom was doing all sorts of things and that he should have the kid. Dad's attorney grilled mom for about 20 minutes on texts she had sent claiming to sell her prescriptions. She wouldn't admit it. Dad's attorney moved on and eventually ended with, 'One more question. Where did you get the pills you were selling?' Mom responds without thinking, 'Oh, my doctor prescribed them.'"
This automobile assumption:
"I had parked my motorcycle in my driveway. The officer ordered me to remove it, and tried to levy fines for the violation. He went after my landlord and tried to get me evicted. Eventually, I got a lawyer and filed a complaint. When asked to point to the bylaw I was breaking, he did and even read it out, which basically read:
No parking or storing anything in a driveway other than an automobile.
He seriously thought a motorcycle wasn't an automobile because an automobile is a car." —devinple
This oblivious attorney:
"Custody case. Attorney stands up in this case and goes to the judge: 'My client has only been found guilty of child endangerment in (county next to us) and (county next to that). I see no reason that this court should hold that against him when it comes to custody of his children.'" —kithien
"Some guy was accused of something — I cannot remember what — but the judge spoke him free because there wasn’t enough evidence he had done it. Guy said, 'Thank you, judge; I’ll never do it again.'" —Belgian_friet
If you are a lawyer or witnessed one of those moments, tell us about it in the comments below!
Note: Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.