The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (2023)

    RD.COM Humor

    The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (1)Lauren CahnUpdated: Jul. 27, 2021

      Lawyers actually have a lot of fun doing what they do, and I should know. I'm a lawyer. Check out these hilarious stories from lawyers and judges. You'll never look at a court of law the same way again!


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (2)autsawin uttisin/Shutterstock

      The “Hairy Hand”

      A young man named George had surgery to correct an ugly scar on his hand. The surgeon grafted skin from George’s chest onto his hand… except George had a hairy chest…so now he had a hairy hand as well. George sued the surgeon and was awarded “the difference in value between a 100 percent good hand… and a hairy hand.”


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (3)kvasilev/Shutterstock

      Poetic justice

      Judges have latitude when it comes to how they write their opinions and some run with it. For example, here’s how Justice Goldberg (a federal appeals court judge in Texas) began his 1986 opinion in the case of United States v. Batson:

      Some farmers from Gaines had a plan.
      It amounted to quite a big scam.
      But the payments for cotton
      began to smell rotten.
      T’was a mugging of poor Uncle Sam.

      Justice Goldberg keeps up the hilarity right until the very end, even as he breaks the bad news to the farmers: they’re still in big trouble.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (4)Paramount/Kobal/Shutterstock

      Party on, Garth

      “After an extreme close-up review of the record and excellent authorities, the court enters the following order.” So begins the opinion of Federal District Judge Paine in Noble v. Bradford Marine, a clear shout-out to the hilarious film, Wayne’s World. The first section is captioned, “Hurling Chunks.” The last: “A Schwing and a Miss.” In between, Judge Paine calls the defendant’s case “bogus” and “not worthy” and ultimately denies the defendant’s motion with a curt, “Party on.”


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      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (5)Still AB/Shutterstock

      The ole stiff shoes excuse

      More legal hilarity comes from Frank Caprio,Providence’s Chief Municipal Judgein Rhode Island and now the star of Caught in Providence, who, “judging” by the stories he recently shared with Reader’s Digest, has clearly has heard everything. For example, a man charged with speeding actually told Judge Caprio that he didn’t realize he was speeding because he was wearing a stiff, new pair of shoes and couldn’t feel how hard he was pressing on the gas. If you don’t laugh at these lawyer jokes, you might be held in contempt!


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (6)puhhha/Shutterstock


      Another man accused of speeding seemed really, well, anxious, as he stood before Judge Caprio. “Is there something you want to say?” Judge Caprio asked the man. “Actually, yes,” the man replied. “My wife and I are trying to have a baby, and she’s ovulating right now.”What could be said beyond, “Thank you for sharing”? Actually, these might just be the funniest lawyer jokes ever.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (7)Polarpx/Shutterstock

      The Heimlich “maneuver”

      Another man stood before Judge Caprio defending himself for having parked in a handicapped spot, despite not having a sticker or a visible handicap. The man claimed he’d meant to park for just a moment to go into a restaurant to bring his mother a glass of water (she was dehydrated, he explained). But when he was on his way out, he saw someone choking and felt obliged to administer the Heimlich maneuver. The only problem was when Judge Caprio asked him how one does the Heimlich maneuver, the man had not a clue. Guilty as charged!


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (8)Andrey Popov/Shutterstock

      Well, that was awkward

      In the “Only in Rhode Island,” category, Caprio tells Reader’s Digest that everyone knows everyone in the tiny New England state, and sometimes it gets super awkward. For example, one time a guy came in for a hearing on a parking ticket. So far so good… until his lawyer showed up. The lawyer, who was the husband of the defendant’s ex-wife, was also the former governor of Rhode Island. Spoiler alert: it turned out the parking ticket was issued in error, so everyone went home happy (except the police officer who wrote the ticket).


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (9)StepanPopov/Shutterstock

      “The dumpster made me do it”

      Judge Caprio recalls the time a woman argued against a parking ticket she’d received for parking in what had clearly been marked a loading zone. Not only was the sign clear on that, but the woman said she typically parked legally in an adjacent spot.

      “So why not park legally this time?” the judge asked.

      “Because a dumpster parked in that spot. So I took the spot the dumpster should have taken.”

      She had to, hm? She also had to pay her parking ticket…obviously. Here are some smart tips for fighting parking tickets.


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      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (10)Africa Studio/Shutterstock

      Sparkling wit

      Speaking of funny judges, Judge Rosemarie Aquilina had us in tears when she told us about an exotic dancer who, having pleaded guilty on a drug charge, was sentenced to wearing an ankle monitor. Just a few days after sentencing, however, the woman was back in the courtroom, seeking an exception because the ankle monitor was kind of “ruining her vibe” at the strip club. In response, Judge Aquilina offered a veritable Solomon-esque solution: “Bedazzle that thing to match your outfits. Motion denied.”


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (11)Mitch M/Shutterstock

      Up the down hairdo

      Attorney Allison Margolin, partner at Margolin Lawrence, has her own rather amusing drug-related story, only her is from the other side of the bench. “I was defending a criminal client on a drug charge,” she tells Reader’s Digest, “and I smelled pot in the courtroom.” Weirded out, she kept looking around trying to determine where it was coming from. She even looked in her own purse to see if her client had used her as a “mule.” No dice… until Margolin got home and took down her hair. “My client had stuck a joint in my up-do,” she realized.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (12)anselmus/Shutterstock

      The “end” of a promising career

      Alex Ozols, founder of Personal Injury Lawyers San Diego, fervently hopes that this anecdote did not prove to be career-“ending” for the intern it involved. “I was working in criminal law and had a case where a man had set up cameras to watch women go to the bathroom,” he tells Reader’s Digest, “and oh, by the way, what he really liked was to watch them making…Number 2.” The D.A. provided Ozols and his team with videos, which went to an intern to review. “Poor kid had to watch four hours of bowel movements,” Ozols explains. Hopefully, the story had a happy “ending.”


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (13)Chompoo Suriyo/Shutterstock

      The Ex Files

      Jonathan Rosenfeld, founder of Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers, tells Reader’s Digest, “I get a ridiculous amount of correspondence from people wanting to sue their exes for allegedly giving them STDs.”Oh? Do tell, Counselor.“I always tell them it’s difficult to prove they contracted it from a specific person, and their response is almost inevitably to send me a photo of the affected area.” As if that would establish the connection!?


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (14)Kwangmoozaa/Shutterstock

      There’s a difference between an actuary and a psychic

      When Arkady Frekhtman, founding partner of Frekhtman & Associates, had a personal injury case involving an injured young man, winning a big judgment hinged on the young man having a life expectancy of 87. So Frekhtman called in an actuarial expert. When all was said and done (and won), the client asked to be put in touch with the expert. Why? Because he wanted to know exactly when he would die and how… as if the expert were a psychic and not an actuary.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (15)BATMANV/Shutterstock

      Against attorney advice

      Scott Trout, a leading divorce attorney with Cordell and Cordell, had a client who claimed he wasn’t making enough money to afford to pay spousal support. The thing was, the guy was a CEO of a big company and clearly could afford it. Nevertheless, the guy insisted on making the claim, and the day of the trial, he came to court dressed in dirty work clothes and testified he worked as a landscaper and barely made ends meet mowing lawns for a living.

      It did not go well. Find out the 38 dumbest criminals of all time.

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      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (16)Suphaksorn Thongwongboot/Shutterstock

      Nothing like getting a Christmas delivery from a gang member

      Sheryl A. Sanford, a partner atBlack Marjieh & Sanford LLP,has done quite a bit of criminal defense, which has led to some rather funny scenarios. For example, she once received a Christmas card with a puppy dog…from a Bloods gang member. Another time, she received an urgent message from a prisoner at Rikers. The only problem? He called himself “John Doe,” making it impossible for Sanford to call back.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (17)Igor Dutina/Shutterstock

      Is a gourmet lunch an inalienable right?

      Sanford’s partner atBMS, Lisa J. Black, has had some pretty out-there exchanges with her criminal defense clients as well. “This one guy thought the Department of Corrections was trying to turn him into a cyborg. Another came to me claiming the jail was violating his Constitutional rights by serving bologna sandwiches for lunch.” Here are the unluckiest criminals we’ve ever seen.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (18)Michal Chmurski/Shutterstock

      There’s performing, and then there’s “performing”

      Personal injury attorneyByron Brownetells Reader’s Digest of a woman who’d been injured in an accident and claimed she could no longer perform at work. While it may be true that there were some activities she could no longer perform, a private investigator unearthed a treasure trove of professional adult films the woman had shot since the accident, proving there’s performing, and then there’s performing, and this woman was performing just fine, apparently.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (19)Mike Flippo/Shutterstock

      Feeling bullish

      James Gray Robinson, a third generation trial attorney and self-proclaimed “cattle enthusiast,” was once hired by an insurance company to defend a farmer who was being sued for rear-ending a vehicle…with a bull, thus putting a whole new meaning to the notion of rear-ending.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (20)Juergen Faelchle/Shutterstock

      He really tied one on

      Attorney David Reischer, founder of once had a client who was not into wearing business clothing. Not even business casual. This doesn’t always go over so well with judges, so Reischer tried to convince the man to at least wear a tie. Just this once. The client obliged…he showed up the next day wearing a huge clown tie! Find out the dumbest laws in every state.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (21)Copter Pixel/Shutterstock

      Ever hear the one about the voir dire?

      Voir dire, the process of jury selection, isn’t always “funny,” but here’s an exception. “I always ask the jury pool if they know of my law firm,” explains Adam Funk, a partner at the Potts Law Firm. This one time, an elderly woman raised her hand and volunteered she’d worked there as a secretary, albeit decades ago.”

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      That shouldn’t be a problem, Funk thought, but still had to ask if the long-ago job would in any way impact her ability to be impartial with Funk representing the firm.

      “Well, I know your boss, and he’s a real jerk,” the woman said sweetly.

      Juror, dismissed. Don’t miss the weird laws you probably break all the time.


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (22)Himchenko.E/Shutterstock

      A family affair

      Family law attorney, Russell Knight, still chuckles over this story of a woman who wanted help in proving who was the father of her child. What should have been a no-brainer, unfortunately, was a bit more complicated. Turned out, the child was the result of a one-night stand. The problem, however, wasn’t that she couldn’t locate the father. The problem was she could.

      “Do you know any of his relatives,” Knight asked her.

      “I know his brother.”

      “OK, how do you know his brother?”

      “He’s my husband.”


      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (23)jazz3311/Shutterstock

      The “I Love Lucy” defense

      Randolph Rice, founder of Baltimore’s Rice Law Firm, always appreciated slapstick comedy but never thought it would turn up in a case he was trying. “I was defending a woman on criminal charges, trying hard to convince the judge to sympathize with her, when the woman went to pour herself a glass of water from the pitcher on the defense table,” Rice tells us. “As she poured, the pitcher’s lid fell off… sending water everywhere.” At least the judge had a good laugh! Next, find out the strangest law in every state.

      Originally Published: October 10, 2018

      The 22 Funniest Court Cases of All Time (24)

      Lauren Cahn

      Lauren Cahn is a New York-based writer whose work has appeared regularly on Reader's Digest, The Huffington Post, and a variety of other publications since 2008. She covers life and style, popular culture, law, religion, health, fitness, yoga, entertaining and entertainment. Lauren is also an author of crime fiction; her first full-length manuscript, The Trust Game, was short-listed for the 2017 CLUE Award for emerging talent in the genre of suspense fiction.


      How do I find the result of a court case UK? ›

      The Case Tracker allows users to search for information on applications or appeals in the Court of Appeal, Civil Division. Users are also able to search for information on applications or appeals heard in the last 31 days.

      What was the biggest court case in history? ›

      These are the 7 famous Supreme Court cases that have defined a nation.
      • Marbury v. Madison.
      • Dred Scott v. Sandford.
      • Brown v. Board of Education.
      • Mapp v. Ohio.
      • Gideon v. Wainwright.
      • Miranda v. Arizona.
      • Roe v. Wade.
      16 Jul 2021

      What are people in a courtroom called? ›

      Key figures in a courtroom trial are the judge, a court reporter (in superior court), a clerk, and a bailiff. Other central people are the attorneys, the plaintiff, the defendant, witnesses, court interpreters, and jurors.

      What was the most important Supreme Court decision? ›

      Landmark United States Supreme Court Cases
      • Dred Scott v. Sandford (1857) ...
      • Schenck v. United States (1919) ...
      • Brown v. Board of Education (1954) ...
      • Gideon v. Wainwright (1963) ...
      • Miranda v. Arizona (1966) ...
      • Tinker v. Des Moines (1969) ...
      • Roe v. Wade (1973) ...
      • Regents of the University of California v. Bakke(1978)

      What crimes get 3 years in jail UK? ›

      seven years' imprisonment for a third Class A drug trafficking offence. three years for a third domestic burglary. five years for certain firearms offences. six months for a second offence of possessing a weapon.

      Can you find out what sentence someone got UK? ›

      The verdict

      If you are a victim or witness in the case and have left the court before the trial has ended and would like to know the outcome of the case, you can contact the person who asked you to come to court. They will be able to give you the information on the sentence.

      What was the first Supreme Court case? ›

      The first cases reached the Supreme Court during its second year, and the Justices handed down their first opinion on August 3, 1791 in the case of West v. Barnes.

      What is Lady Justice? ›

      Lady Justice is based on the Greek goddess Themis − honored as clear-sighted − and the Roman goddess Justicia − honored as representing the virtue of justice. She is blindfolded because justice is unbiased and should not be based on a person's appearance or other outside influences.

      Can you sue the Supreme Court? ›

      Judicial immunity is a form of sovereign immunity, which protects judges and others employed by the judiciary from liability resulting from their judicial actions. Though judges have immunity from lawsuit, in constitutional democracies judicial misconduct or bad personal behaviour is not completely protected.

      Are UK court cases public record? ›

      For the first time, the retention and preservation of judgments from courts and tribunals in England and Wales is guaranteed under primary legislation, as is the right for the public to obtain access to these documents.

      Can you read court transcripts online UK? ›

      Hearings at the Administrative Court and Appeals Courts

      You may be able to find a free transcript online at The National Archives. If you cannot find it, fill in form EX107 and send it to the court.

      How do I find court records for free UK? ›

      One of the best ways to search for court records is online starting with the UK National Archives. There are different databases that are going to allow you to access the information you are seeking. For instance, there are Old Baily trial records that you can view online from 1674 to 1913.

      Are court sentences public Record UK? ›

      Under English Law it is a general principle that criminal court proceedings for adults should be held openly and in public. The verdict and sentence are normally given out in open court and so are in the public domain.


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