Funny Court Cases

Stein v. Willow Beach/Colorado River Recreation Association Los Angeles County Municipal Court, Case No. SB94C02433 (1994)

I'm OK, and So Am I.  An attorney representing himself in a case for recovery of his fees had his case dismissed because he failed to appear for a scheduled court hearing. He subsequently filed a motion requesting relief from the judgment of dismissal based upon the theory that it wouldn't be fair to penalize the client for the mistakes of his attorney. Defendants filed their opposition to the motion, which included the following excerpt:

"Uniquely, Plaintiff herein, an attorney litigating in pro se, is alleging that he has caused his client (himself) irreparable harm for which he should not be made to bear the mistakes of his attorney (also himself). Defendants, jokingly, have dubbed this the 'Sybil' defense."

Avista Management v. Wausau Underwriters Insurance U.S. Dist. Court Mid. Dist. Fla. (June 6, 2006)

Rock, Paper, Scissors - I Win!  In a case where a hotel investment firm sued an insurance company for allegedly not paying an insurance claim fast enough after Hurricane Charley, attorneys for the parties seemed at odds with each other from the get-go. When it came down to where to depose a witness, the attorneys would do no better. Not being able to select a location between themselves, the court was asked to intervene. U.S. District Judge Gregory A. Presnell was not amused. After chastising the attorneys for not being able to agree on even the most simplest of things, Judge Presnell issued his written ruling:

"[T]he Court will fashion a new form of alternative dispute resolution, to wit: at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, June 30, 2006, counsel shall convene at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If counsel cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the [Courthouse]. Each lawyer shall be entitled to be accompanied by one paralegal who shall act as an attendant and witness. At that time and location, counsel shall engage in one (1) game of 'rock, paper, scissors.' The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location for the 30(b)(6) deposition to be held somewhere in Hillsborough County during the period July 11-12, 2006."

** The two lawyers met on June 7, 2006, a day later, and agreed to the location for the deposition, making the game unnecessary. For fear of being held in contempt of court, defense counsel filed a motion asking the judge to call the game off. Plaintiff's counsel joined in the motion. The judge vacated his previous ruling with the following, "With civility restored (at least for now), it is ordered that the motion is granted."

Normally, humor is not found in the Court Room. Although the above does demonstrate humor, there is little humor when a person has been injured as a result of a collision, hit by a truck, hurt in a building or otherwise injured.  You need a lawyer who understands the pain and suffering that go with injuries and wrongful death cases.  When injured or you have lost a loved one, we can help you through those difficult times with Big Firm Representation and Small Firm Caring.

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