The legal field is like a vast, deep blue sea full of complex problems that require even more elaborate solutions. In short, not everyone was born to be in it. The long answer is, read those volumes upon volumes of law books and you’ll find out.

But there are few things more entertaining than having the legal pros share their experience in the big court game. One Reddit user decided to curb everyone’s curiosity and pose the question “Lawyers of Reddit, what was your 'Hold It!' moment where you knew you would win?” on r/AskReddit.

The question got 74.9k upvotes and 10.6k comments with people from the legal field sharing their incredible trial, defense, and prosecution stories that all led to the moment of cracking the case. So get your seat closer, sit back, and let’s see what lawyers had to say.

#1

Lawyer-Win-Moments Not as a lawyer, but a defendant. I was a concierge and named in a lawsuit against the building by an unlicensed realtor who was barred from entry after headbutting me while he was wearing a bike helmet. He was representing himself in court.

He cross examines me over how I had barred him from entry and had some preamble about the vendetta I had against him. Then asked me to repeat what I said when I asked him to leave the building.

I responded, "I'm sorry, was that before or after you hit me?"

He immediately answered, "After I hit you." Took him a minute but his face fell pretty far after he caught on to what he just admitted.

Case dismissed.

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Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Haha :D

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#2

Lawyer-Win-Moments Very abbreviated - I was prosecuting a convenience store owner for luring a young girl, who regularly came into the store, back to a part of the store to grope/fondle and kiss her (child enticement). It was the only section of the store without surveillance camera coverage. They were in the back room for about two minutes and seventeen seconds, per the timestamp on the videos. Of the many arguments the defense put on, one was there was no way there was enough time for anything to happen. In my rebuttal on closing, I asked the jury to imagine what could happen in the room in that amount of time, and I asked them to all close their eyes while I timed out 2 minutes and 17 seconds on my watch, in silence. After about 60 seconds two of the jurors started crying. Knew it was going to be guilty right then.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I dread the day I am called for jury duty, especially in such awful cases. These jurors only had to imagine what could happen in that time, this poor girl and millions of other people have had to physically experience something like that.

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#3

Lawyer-Win-Moments My friend was defending a guy who was asleep in the backseat of his car while intoxicated and a NYS Trooper arrested him. On the stand, the trooper testified that he visually saw 'the key in the ignition.' My friend gave him like three chances to walk it back. 'Are you sure, trooper, that you actually saw the key in the ignition?' He said yes. And then my buddy dropped the hammer, 'You are aware that my client drives a Toyota Prius?

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

I am guessing the Toyota Prius doesn’t have an ignition, otherwise I don’t get it.

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Bored Panda talked to Reddit user u/prince-surprised-pat, who came up with the question “Lawyers of Reddit, what was your 'HOLD IT!' moment where you knew you would win?” to post on r/AskReddit. u/prince-surprised-pat’s post now has 75k upvotes and 10.7k comments.

“My partner and I are playing a lawyer couple in a table role-playing game called Vampire the Masquerade. Being that I would be playing as a vampire lawyer, I needed to know what actual lawyers did, namely the really interesting part.”

The Redditor said that “I wanted to hear real-life stories of when real lawyers looked at their desk and just went 'oh my god' and suddenly had all the pieces of evidence they needed to disprove their opponent.”

#4

Lawyer-Win-Moments My brother went to court to gain some custody rights of his daughter. Ex-wife says he shouldn't be allowed to be alone with the daughter cuz he looks at porn. The judge, who happened to be a woman, laughed and said, "honey, if every man who looked at porn wasn't allowed to see their children then there would be no child with a daddy in this world".

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Bill
Community Member
1 month ago

Women make up the #2 demographic for watching porn.

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#5

Lawyer-Win-Moments Not a lawyer, but I'm currently in a custody battle. Mother is saying I can't be trusted because I've been refusing to take our child to the therapist. The therapist testified I couldn't bring our child in because therapy must have both parents' consent, and mother has retracted consent.

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El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

The thing I always wonder about custody/access battles is, wouldn't you want the best for your own child? Some parents seem not to. Not just talking about therapy or whatever, you'd think they would want their kid to have contact with the non custodial parent too to smooth over the loss they'll feel. But maybe it's just me..

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#6

I'm not a lawyer, but I took my old landlord to court when I was in college. They stole my security deposit over bulls**t: They claimed I "trashed" the place, not knowing that I took pictures and video when I moved in and out. Their "evidence" was a VHS quality recording of going through a perfectly clean apartment in better condition than it was when I moved in, but then they opened up the top of the stove and found a single piece of elbow macaroni under it, holding it up triumphantly. That was the crux of their "defense", the judge was not amused and I got all my money back plus my lawyer fees and the filing fee. She then fought against her own lawyer to avoid paying him. As**ole. Edit: Any time you move into a place, take pictures, take video, make notes about any damage. When you move out, do the same thing along with noting any repairs you made. Pretty hard to argue against solid evidence. Protect yourself.

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Francis
Community Member
1 month ago

in switzerland you and the landlord (or somebody from the property management) go through the house/flat before you move in and look very detailed to it and write down everything (e. g. damages at doors etc.) and when you move out you do the same. so both parties are save

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They were playing another goofy Nintendo game where you play a lawyer and put the evidence together. “To win the case, you shout 'hold it!' and the music would kick up and you wow the jury and the judge,” u/prince-surprised-pat said.

In reality, the Redditor knew nothing about the legal field and wanted to find out. Their favorite response was the BWW story. “A man was arrested for DUI. The police officer swore under oath that he was not in the bar (Buffalo Wild Wings, btw) and that he had pulled the man over when he was driving. But the lawyer had gone to the BWW and got the interior and exterior CCTV tapes! And I could just imagine (though I imagine it’s poor court etiquette) the lawyer just saying 'HOLD IT!'”

#7

Man I’m always too late but I’ve got a good one. When I was interning at the criminal court for a judge I observed a pre-trial hearing for a murder case. The defendant allegedly murdered his grandmother because she wouldn’t give him money, then stuffed her in a closet and called a hooker for sex in the bed right next to the closet. Horrifying stuff.

During the hearing the defendant’s lawyer, prosecutor, and judge went through some typical procedures, then the judge asked the defendant if he had anything to add. The defendant smugly said yes, actually, I don’t think I’m mentally fit to stand trial according to article x under the criminal procedure.

The judge let him finish, looked him dead in the eye, and said: “The fact that you just told me this shows you’re perfectly fit to stand trial.”

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mysty
Community Member
1 month ago

sometimes life would be a lot easier if you shut up

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#8

Not a lawyer but got robbed at gun point in my home. Long story short, he would have gone to prison anyway but the kicker is that the shoes he wore to court were the same shoes he stole from my house. Judge asked if I wanted them back. I said yes. Judge made him take them off in court and walk back in socks. Donated the shoes, it was more about the principle.

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Tiny Dynamine
Community Member
1 month ago

I'm laughing at his humiliation.

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#9

Lawyer-Win-Moments Obligatory, not mine but my Moms story. She was fighting for custody on behalf of the father, trying to prove that the kids were living in subpar conditions with their drug addict mother in spite of the ample child support provided. It was a tough case because courts are so hesitant to pull kids away from their moms. Then the mom burst out that she had been feeding the kids cat food as proof that she wouldn’t let them starve. Needless to say, the judge didn’t take that as a good reason for the kids to stay with their Mom.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago (edited)

I reckon there should be some sort of study done to have cases like this but the parents were anonymous so the judge doesn’t know which one is the mother and which one is the father. And do the whole process that way using live feed with black out screens and voice changers etc to keep the anonymity. Maybe then the judge will base their findings only on what is said, done etc and not basing it on the archaic ideals that kids should stay with their mothers. Just because you are a mother, doesn’t mean you are the most suitable in having most or full custody.

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#10

I was an attorney for an insurance company defending a lawsuit where the plaintiffs were two girls who claimed they were irreparably harmed and their lives would never be the same because severe back injuries kept them from being active. They forgot to set their Instagram accounts to private and the accounts were full of pictures of them riding jet skis, dancing, and pictures of them at the gym. The underage drinking pictures were just icing on the cake.

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Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

Dumbasses

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#11

Lawyer-Win-Moments At a termination of parental rights proceeding:

State: Ma’am, when was the last time you used illegal substances?

Witness/bio mother: I used meth this morning before I came to court

She is no longer a legal parent to that child.

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Yugan Talovich
Community Member
1 month ago

Well, she's honest!

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#12

I had a ton of these when I used to do Family Law. Off the top of my head: my client's husband was alleging she had been high and nude in public. As I'm crossing him I get him to admit that she was in fact changing out of her bathing suit at the beach and covered by a towel at all times. He says: "well, she was naked...under the towel," I come back with: "just like you're naked under your clothes right now?" Even the judge chuckled.

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Leo Domitrix
Community Member
1 month ago

Yes, but was she *high*? There are places where nudity or partial nudity at a beach isn't a big deal.

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#13

Lawyer-Win-Moments A thief robbed someone's houses in the winter in Colorado, and all the police had to do was follow the footsteps back to his house where he was hanging out with the stolen items and a small amount of drugs and a sh**ty handgun. Idiot.

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Steve Barnett
Community Member
1 month ago

Obviously never watched The Shining.

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#14

Lawyer-Win-Moments Parent termination case I was prosecuting. Dad went on how he has changed his life around and worked the AA program. Asked him what step he was on, and he proudly proclaimed 3. Asked him what step three is, he had no idea. Then asked him step two was. Again, no idea.

Parental rights terminated.

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

Poor kid, hope he is in a loving home and happy.

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#15

Not exactly a “knew you would win” moment, but I got a hidden shout out from a federal judge in a ruling that I consider to be one of the high points of my career. Here’s what happened. Before a hearing for an emergency injunction against USDA, I was watching the hearing before mine (a trademark infringement case). At the end of that hearing, the judge accidentally used a pun, and could not stop laughing. She was literally crying. I decided at that moment I was going to intentionally use a pun in my hearing. I did—I accused USDA of engaging in a “shell game” by illegally diverting some federal funds to an egg industry trade group. The judge called me on it, but laughed heartily. My client won (the judge threatened to put the Secretary of Agriculture in jail). A major newspaper reporting on the case said the judge “winced” at my puns but agreed with my arguments. False! When the written ruling was issued, the last sentence said that an injunction was issued against USDA’s use of the funds for “any plans they may be hatching”. Undeniable shout out.

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Some Cool Guy
Community Member
1 month ago

Congrats for stopping their fowl plans

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#16

Lawyer-Win-Moments I knew the cops beat up my client and framed him. They described a knife in his possession that “caused them to fear for their safety.” Oddly, they never seized it. We won the criminal case and filed a civil rights case. While deposing one, he described the knife in detail. No more than three minutes later, he slipped up and claimed his partner told him my guy had a knife, but he never saw it himself.

I told him, “that’s not what you just said,” and saw him panic. His lawyer panicked too and asked to see me outside. When we got in the hallway, I withdrew my settlement demand, and the case settled for a substantially larger amount within 45 minutes.

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Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

Good. While not all cops are horrible people, it's the job of internal audits and courts to weed out the bad ones that suck at their job. Turning a blind eye and hiding behind a police union thinking all cops are great and none of them are ever wrong is beyond ignorance. Every job has it's shitty workers, even law enforcement.

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#17

We had some huge issues with a landlord (trying to enter without letting us know beforehand, not answering to fix issues, very aggressive when talking with us) when he decided to sell the place.

He didn't check with us about the visits and just showed up randomly with potential buyers. We told him to get lost, he eventually left but called us the same evening to threaten us. We sent emails to remind him of our rights as tenants and he answered by threatening us some more, IN AN EMAIL.

We eventually end up in small issues court (not from the US, don't know the name) and he fabricates a story about how we are terrible tenants and we try to discourage buyers.

We just showed the judge the emails as well as the open complaint to the police we filled a few days earlier, the judge couldn't believe it and gave him a formal warning, gave us 3 free months of rent.

In the end the guy just used a real estate company to sell the place, all went smoothly and we still live there with lovely landlords that aren't completely bonkers

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Kori K. Warriner
Community Member
1 month ago

Small claims court is the American term I think you were looking for.

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#18

My client was riding his motorcycle on a relatively calm street when this guy exited his garage, without looking, and run over him. In deposition, the guy brought a witness that was with him on the passenger seat. The whole time, the witness maintained that my client was driving too fast and that there was no time to brake the car. I asked him the same question a few times in different ways, making him tell the story again. In the fourth telling, he, already a bit frustrated, let it slip: “- Look, I’ve already told you. We were exiting the garage and, as soon as I lifted up from getting my cellphone on the car’s carpet-” “- Wait. So you didn’t even see the crash?” There was no coming back from that.

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I'm a makeup addict
Community Member
1 month ago

yeah- how could you have seen the crash if you were too busy looking at your phone??

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#19

Lawyer-Win-Moments My mom hit a guy on a bike with her car in a parking lot. She claimed he hit her (she also wanted to counter sue the cyclist for scaring her) in her deposition she started every sentence with “when I hit him...”

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Karin Jansen
Community Member
1 month ago

Dude. Sound like your mom sucks. Why did she want to claim the cyclist hit her if that wasn't true?

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#20

Lawyer-Win-Moments “Your honor, I have screenshots.”

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Foxxy (The Original)
Community Member
1 month ago

NOOO, not the screen shots.

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#21

I trapped a defendant pretty badly one time. He testified in a deposition that he had a green arrow for his left turn, and that my client ran the red. Unfortunately for him, the additional turn lane arrow was installed two months after the wreck.

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Blue
Community Member
1 month ago

And in this moment, he knew he f****d up

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#22

Not a lawyer, but we had no evidence that the woman who slammed into my stopped car going 85mph was drunk...until she indignantly admitted it on tape in her deposition.

She busted into my deposition and demanded she go first because I was a “lying bitch”. She excitedly told my lawyer that the police report was wrong because it said she was coming from the movie theatre when she was actually coming from her friends bar.

“Did you have anything to drink at your friends bar?” “Of course.” “How many drinks” “I dunno, they just keep my glass full.” “Did you take any medicine that day?” “Methodone and low blood pressure medicine.” “I see.”

The cops had refused to breathalyzer her at the scene because her husband was a firefighter that they knew personally. They told her to go home, sober up, and go to the hospital later. I heard the whole thing but had no proof until she handed it to me. They settled same day.

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Bob Belcher
Community Member
1 month ago

At 85mph hitting a stopped vehicle how is she alive?

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#23

Lawyer-Win-Moments When I compared the scanned copy of the deed provided by the other side's lawyers to the original my client eventually got around to providing.

The scanned copy provided by the other side had a witness signature. The original did not.

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Hans
Community Member
1 month ago

Wow...this is a criminal act, isn't it?

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#24

I was reviewing the transcript of an interview with a child. The child made incriminating statements against my client. At one point, when discussing the allegations, the child used an odd word, but I didn't think much of it.

A few days later, I was watching a video of the child interacting with their grandmother (who hates my client) from about a week before that interview. The grandmother used the exact same odd word in the exact context the child later used it. At that moment, it became clear that child had been coached. It was the first real "ah ha!" moment of my career.

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El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

Awful - this is commonplace but I still don't understand how people can live with themselves for using children as weapons..

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#25

They said, 'This document doesn't state our company's name, so we are not involved in the settlement.' I said, 'Line 4 specifically lists the company as the defendant, and then the company is referenced to in lines 13, 27, and 33.' I swear, if you read the documents, you're a better lawyer than 90% of the ones out there.

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Mademoiselle Nat
Community Member
1 month ago

All they had in their defence was "The document doesn't state our company's name, so we are not involved in the settlement"? Wow.

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#26

I’m a trial lawyer. I have a ton of these.

My favorite was probably a DUI where the cop was in a BWW with my client watching a fight. Like, the cop was standing at the bar in full uniform, then when my client walked by him to leave, followed him out.

Client was only actually going to his car to grab his phone charger because he was going home with the bartender (like, he hadn’t even closed his tab yet). Cop arrested him and charged him with DUI for opening his car door, then fabricated this story for his report about how client got in car, turned it on, and began to pull out of the space to leave the parking lot. He also denied being inside the BWW - on the stand, under oath, to my face.

Surprise! I talked to the bartender at BWW and got the security tape. It very clearly (like surprisingly good quality, don’t try to steal from a BWW btw) showed cop standing at the bar, watching my client walk out the front door, then follow him 30 seconds later. Parking lot cam also showed client barely touched the door handle before cop stopped him.

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DC
Community Member
1 month ago

BWW = ?

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#27

Not my case but my husband handled a paternity case pro se. His ex was trying to take basically full custody of their son and only give him visitation two days a month. Her reasoning was that he wasn’t involved, didn’t go to doctor appointments, didn’t take the kid to school, etc. My husband asked her, “When was the last time you told me about his doctor appointment?” She thought for a second and said “Never.” He asked “Would you have let me take him to school if I had asked?” Again she thought for a second and said “No.” Needless to say they got 50/50 time sharing with joint custody.

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El Dee
Community Member
1 month ago

Why do people want to cut their ex out of their child's life? It's their CHILD'S parent, it's THEY who suffer. Quoting Jimmy Carr, 'it's like keying your own motor'

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#28

Not a lawyer but I played one in small claims court. My lease had an exit clause that said if I fronted two months’ rent, they would work to lease my place and return anything unused. I checked with the office ahead of time, they ensured me there was a waiting list, so I gave them the two months and moved. They never returned a dime. I talked to the new tenant and confirmed they moved in a week later.

In court, the judge was commenting on how he didn’t see anything explicitly saying they would return any unused rent, even though that intent was stated to me a few times. Dumbo from the leasing office piped in with “your honor, in almost every case we can return some money, but in this case we didn’t have a tenant in the two months after he left.”

So she gave the case back to me and I presented the affidavit from the new tenant confirming the move in date. Judge awarded me double what they owed. Turns out leasing office dumbos 1 and 2 thought they could lie to me and “return” my excess rent money to themselves.

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Kelz
Community Member
1 month ago

That is one thing that you do not mess with....another mans/womans money. No sir.

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#29

At a restraining order trial it was essentially my client's word versus his, regarding a sexual assault. He did a good job dressing up and acting very appropriate during most of his testimony. But then he was asked a series of open-ended questions and he said something to the effect that, "She kept coming up on me with that f**king pussy" (allegedly during a lecture) and as soon as he said it a look came on his face and the judge's face and everyone knew the ruse of respectable young gentleman had failed. I won.

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Martha Meyer
Community Member
1 month ago

Ah yes, how dare this woman have genitals while talking to him!

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#30

Some guy was accused of something — I cannot remember what — but the judge let him free because there wasn’t enough evidence he had done it. Guy said, 'Thank you, judge, I’ll never do it again.'

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mysty
Community Member
1 month ago

poor choice of words

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