QUORA QUESTION: WHAT'S THE FUNNIEST COURT CASE YOU'VE SEEN?
It’s a tie:
 I defended a guy once on a robbery charge. The clerk in the convenience store hit the silent alarm, but the police didn’t take it too seriously because that particular store was always accidentally tripping the alarm. Officer Friendly came strolling into the store while the two robbers were standing there holding guns on the cashier, who had just put a brown paper bag full of money on the counter.
“Are y’all having a robbery here?” Officer Friendly asked. Nobody said anything. Just then the pay phone on the wall rang. Robber A pocketed his pistol, walked over, and answered it. The Police Station was calling to see if there was really a robbery occurring. Robber A told the dispatcher to hold the line.
“It’s for you,” he told Officer Friendly. Officer Friendly walked over to the payphone and stood with his back to the robbers. While he was telling the dispatcher it was a false alarm, Robber A was slipping out of the store, getting into the getaway vehicle, and driving off. Robber B was just standing there with his gun in his hand, immobilized by the intellectual challenge of deciding what to do.
When Officer Friendly got off the phone and turned around, he began to figure out that he really had a robbery in progress. His clues were: the frightened look on the clerk’s face, the bag of money on the counter, and the gun in Robber B’s hand, all of which he had seen but not understood when he first walked into the store.
Having at last detected a crime, Officer Friendly swung into action and arrested my client without incident.
Because my client never touched the bag of money I was able to get the charge reduced to attempted robbery, which at that time only carried five years—a much lesser penalty than the life sentence he would have gotten for a robbery conviction.
 Then there was the attempted robbery case where my client walked up to the grocery store cashier who was checking out a line of customers. He stuck his hand in his pocket, announced that he had a gun, and said nobody would get hurt if they handed the contents of the cash register over to him.
“Yeah, right,” replied the cashier, and she kept on checking out customers. The bag boy was equally impressed. He kept on bagging groceries. My client was persistent. He repeated over and over that he was serious, he did have a gun, and they better fork over the money. The clerk and bag boy kept on checking out customers.
It wasn’t long before he got somebody to take him seriously. As his demands grew louder, he finally attracted the attention of the butcher in the back of the store. The butcher armed himself, marched up to the front of the store, and began firing at my client. Deciding that now would be a good time to leave, my client fled the store in a hale of bullets. The butcher chased him around the store firing at him until his gun ran dry, and my client escaped on foot.
On cross-examination of the clerk and bag boy, I had the jury slapping their knees laughing. The judge threw the case out when I moved for a directed verdict of not guilty. This upset my client greatly, and as the jury was filing out of the courtroom he was on his feet loudly demanding that the judge had to let him testify so he could clear his good name.
I had heard his story and was certain that the last thing he wanted was to be cross-examined by the prosecutor. His story drained all the humor from the situation and made him look guilty as home-made sin. I finally got him to shut up, and he left the courtroom fuming over the denial of his right to testify.