Thursday, December 29, 2005

Story of a greedy lawyer

I wonder if this is a true story or was it fabricated for
some laughs. Anyway, the story goes like this....

A Charlotte, North Carolina lawyer purchased a box of very
rare and expensive cigars and then insured them against fire,
among other things.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these
great cigars and without yet having made even his first
premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed claim against
the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series
of small fires." The insurance company refused to pay, citing the
obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal

The lawyer sued. and WON!

In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance
company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated
nevertheless, that the lawyer "held a policy from the company
in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and
also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without
defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire" and was
obligated to pay the claim.

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the
insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the
lawyer for his loss of the cigars lost in the "fires".


After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him
arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim
and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the
lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property
and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This is a true story and was the First Place winner in the recent
Criminal Lawyers Award Contest.


  1. Aiyo, Lawyers Joke.

    I tot u are on my side...

    But damn funny lah...

  2. Right on! That'll teach the lawyer not to be overly kiasu with law manipulation. 24 being the number of cigars in the box?

  3. Robin, I thought so too. Nice twist at the end, yeah?

    Agus, not sure about that. We'll need to check that out.

    This story reminds me of a case sometime back. A new shopping complex was conned big time when the management was sued for turning away a shoplot owner who signed up as in a woodwork business. It turned out they were in the coffin business and of course it didn't go well to have such a shop in a shopping complex. They were asked to pack up and the management had to pay them.

  4. I think the coffin story is an urban myth as i heard the same story when I first started work in KL donkey years ago ... and the shopping center then was the new yow chuan or something like that opposite ampang complex where this supposedly con job took place.

    Nice lawyer story! Come over to my side liaow ...

  5. I've heard this story before. I'm not sure whether it's an urban myth or not, but remember: the U.S. is the country where a woman successfully sued McDonalds for $2 million because she spilled a cup of coffee on herself.

    Of course, the U.S. Supreme Court, in all its wisdom, later overturned the case, saying, "Your carelessness is not McDonalds' responsibility." Amen.

  6. FH2o, MM, thank you for the additional information. Interesting.

  7. Yes, frivolous cases of outlandish results---read about the Mcdonald coffee case here:

    Another interesting case is when a parent sue Mcdonald over his son's obesity.

  8. Robin, thanks. Money is such a motivator. Lawyers too. Oops!

  9. d'oh! I just checked it on Snopes.

    Sometimes I hate Snopes!

    I see Robin was first with the sad truth though.

    The other time I hated Snopes was when I found out the the kakayer rolling after being wiped out by a leaping orca was actually a Japanese Powerade commercial. $#*@!!! That would've been so cool if it was real!

  10. Snopes, two sides to a coin, I guess.

    About that commercial, I don't think I'd like to be that kayaker. No way!