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, , , | Legal | October 24, 2019

(I get a call on my office phone which I immediately know is a scammer, as the caller is asking about what type of printer model we have so they can send us toner. Our IT department handles this task, so our true supplier would never call us directly to ask for this information.)

Scammer: “Hi. This is [Scammer] from [Toner Company I’ve never heard of], and we’re ready to ship you your next set of toner cartridges; I just need to verify the brand and model of your printer.”

Me: *playing along* “Oh, I’m glad you called; we’re almost out of toner! One second while I go take a look at the printer. Give me a minute; it’s located at the other end of the corridor.”

Scammer: “Sure thing.”

(I put the call on hold, go about my work for about five minutes, and then pick the phone up again.)

Me: “Okay, sorry about the delay. It’s a Casio ID-10-T.”

Scammer: “Okay, so that’s a Casio ID-10-T, correct?”

Me: “That’s right!”

Scammer: *thinking out loud as he’s presumably entering it into his PC* “So, let’s see–” *sound of typing* ”That’s a Casio–” *more typing* “ID-10-T. Hmm, that doesn’t come up. Let me try entering it again.”

Me: *trying desperately to suppress my laughter*

Scammer: “A Casio ID-10-T. Oh, that’s funny; that makes the word ‘idiot.’”

Me: “Yup, it certainly does, you idiot!”

Scammer: “Wait, you stupid…”

Me: *click*

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The Beautiful Age Of The Camera Phone

, , , , , | Legal | October 22, 2019

(My family uses a video app that allows the users to send short videos to each other. My grandma, especially, loves using it, because it allows her to send videos whenever she thinks of us, and she can rewatch videos we’ve sent when she feels lonely. I am in my car in the parking lot of my local store, having just finished watching my grandma’s latest video. I am preparing to record my own response when my car jolts with a loud crunch. I glance out the back and see that another car came into the neighboring stall at too wide of an angle and hit my side. I get out and walk around, phone in hand, just in time to see them pull away and start speeding off down the row. I quickly hit the record button and turn my phone around to capture the video of their car and license plate, stepping out to keep it in view, so I can have a record when I contact the police. Evidently, the driver sees me, because they slam to a stop and then quickly reverse back down the row, swerving close enough to risk clipping the parked cars as they do so. They roll down the passenger window as they get to me.)

Driver: *shrieking at the top of her lungs* “I DO NOT CONSENT! I DO NOT CONSENT!”

Me: “I didn’t consent to you hitting my car, and you still did!”

Driver: “TURN THAT OFF! I DO NOT CONSENT!”

(She got out of her car just as my video hit the time limit, so I started another and kept recording as she tried to run around the car to grab my phone. I dodged around my car, and we circled a bit before I managed to jump into my driver’s seat and closed the door. I’d managed to get a shot of the damage to the side of my car as we were circling, and so I finished that video and started calling the police. The lady was banging on my door and pulling at the handle while I did so, and my grandma and my mom were both sending me texts asking what the heck the videos I’d just shared were about. Long story short, the lady sped off before the police got there, I was able to give my account, and we were able to figure out how I could share the video evidence with them. I managed to calm down both my mom and my grandma, but for weeks afterward, my grandma would end all of her videos reminding us to “watch out for loonies in cars.”)

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Sheriff Of Nothing-ham

, , , , | Legal | October 20, 2019

(My grandma, like many senior citizens — and others — gets lots of spam phone calls. She’s fairly sharp and skeptical of just about everyone, so she’s found a great way to make scammers hang up immediately. She also is retired and has plenty of time on her hands. She doesn’t often answer unknown numbers, but occasionally, she’s in a good mood.)

Robot: “Your social security number has been suspended. Press one to speak to a representative.”

(My grandma presses one.)

Scammer: *goes into a spiel about what’s supposedly going on with her social security number*

Grandma: *in an excellent, very dramatic, “worried elderly woman” voice* “Oh, no! That sounds terrible!”

Scammer: “Yes, but fortunately, we can help–”

Grandma: “Now, hold on. Let me grab my husband; he’s the county sheriff.”

Scammer: *click*

(My grandma is divorced and lives on her own in a retirement community. Joke’s on them!)

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The Law Applies To Everyone Except Me

, , | Legal | October 18, 2019

(I work as a legal assistant for a small civil litigation firm while in law school. Part of my job is to help clients answer “interrogatories,” i.e. official questions submitted by opposing counsel aimed at gathering potential evidence. Many of these questions can be quite complicated, but there are plenty of simple ones such as, “Please provide your previous addresses,” or, “Have you ever been a party to a lawsuit before?” In general, we forward the entire question list with instructions to the client to answer what they can and then return the list. I then revise their answers to what is legally relevant to the case, put in objections, and help with the remaining questions. These instructions also say, in big, bold letters in extra-large type, “YOU ARE LEGALLY OBLIGATED UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS TO THE BEST OF YOUR ABILITY.” More often than not, the list is returned almost entirely blank, leading to exchanges such as these. An exchange from a landlord/tenant dispute:)

Me: “So, you’ve never lived anywhere else?”

Client #1: “Nope.”

Me: “But you’ve changed your address with us twice.”

Client #1: “Oh, well, then, put those in.”

Me: “Okay, I can do that. Do you have any addresses from before we started working on your case?”

Client #1: “Well, yeah, but I don’t remember them.”

Me: “Do you have any records that you can consult? Past bills, maybe?”

Client #1: “I guess. That’s a lot of work to go through them, though. Can’t I just not answer that one?”

Me: “No. No, you cannot.”

(Another exchange:)

Me: “I see your medical provider information is left blank. We need to fill this in.”

Client #2: “No.”

Me: “No?”

Client #2: “I don’t want them talking to my doctor. That’s not their business. Why are they asking for that?”

Me: “You’re claiming you were injured. They have to know who treated you so that they can get medical records related to the injury, because that is potentially evidence.”

Client #2: “What do you mean, my medical records are evidence?!”

(Another common exchange:)

Me: “This says you’ve never been involved in any other lawsuits. As I recall, you had a divorce a couple of years back, right?”

Client #3: “Oh, yeah. It was a huge mess. It took ages for our lawyers to iron that out. The judge got tired of hearing from us!” *laughs*

Me: “Okay, that counts as a lawsuit, so we’re going to need the information for that.”

Client #3: “Wait, that counts?”

(Yet another exchange:)

Me: *discussing a form with all of her information clearly filled in* “Why didn’t you sign the form we sent you?”

Client #4: “I didn’t think that applied to me.”

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Might Have To Reschedule Again If You Don’t Stop Interrupting!

, , , | Legal | October 16, 2019

(I work as an attorney. There are strict rules about when and how parties to a lawsuit can communicate with the judge handling it. Essentially, no attorney or client can speak directly to the judge while their lawsuit is pending without the presence or consent of the attorney for the other side, and it cannot be done outside of a hearing or a meeting either called by the judge or scheduled with proper notice given to all parties. Notice requirements have their own set of rules, too. Time and again I have had to explain this to clients who, for reasons I do not understand, seem to think that attorneys can just call up the judge directly to discuss their case. This exchange takes the cake, however:)

Me: “Hi there! I’m just reaching out to let you know that the hearing has been rescheduled for [date]; we will be sending–”

Client: *interrupting* WHAT?! Why was it rescheduled!?!

Me: “Well, the court had to reschedule it. So, we will be–”

Client: *interrupting again* “Why? Why did the court reschedule? Tell me why.”

Me: “The clerk did not see fit to provide us with a reason, so it could be any number of things, really. We will–”

Client: *interrupting a third time* “What did the judge say?”

Me: “Excuse me?”

Client: “WHAT. DID. THE. JUDGE. SAY?”

Me: “The judge didn’t say anything; his clerk was the one who informed us of the schedule change, but–”

Client: *interrupting* Why didn’t you ask the judge?! Why didn’t you take this up with him?!”

Me: “Well, actually, we can’t, because–”

Client: *interrupting* “Oh, you ‘can’t.’ I see. You just ‘can’t.’” *I can hear the air quotes she’s using.* “This is unacceptable. You call the judge. You call the judge right now and you get him to un-reschedule.”

Me: “I’m afraid I am unable to do that. You see–”

Client: *interrupting* “Enough! Stop saying you can’t. You can call the judge, and you will, because that is what I’m paying you to do.”

Me: “Ma’am, it would be illegal for us to do so.”

Client: “What?”

Me: “The court rules say that attorneys can not speak directly to a judge about a lawsuit on the judge’s docket while that suit is pending.”

Client: “Bulls***. Where does it say that?”

Me: *cites a long string of court rules* “This is done to protect all parties from having unfair access to the judge. You wouldn’t want opposing counsel to be able to do that, would you?”

Client: “Well, no, I suppose not…”

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