10 Real Excuses Lawyers and Litigants Give for Being Late to Court

March 31, 2015 Updated: July 18, 2015

Participating attorneys have an opportunity each week to poke fun at themselves, laugh at their colleagues, weigh-in on a hot topic, or reveal a personal secret. The ABA (American Bar Association) Journal posts a question on their website each week called the  “Question of the Week.”

Last week’s question was, “What’s the most outlandish excuse you’ve heard someone give for being late to court?”

Attorneys from New York to Texas revealed excuses their colleagues and clients have given to the court for arriving late—they were careful not to reveal their own personal stories of excuses.  

1. My father was buried in the wrong grave so I have to travel out of state to handle it.

2. My grown daughter has H1N1 and I need to travel to the city where she lives to take care of her.

3. I have a detached retina.

4. My dog attacked my cat, and if I didn’t take the cat to the vet, my wife would kill me.

5. There was a cow blocking the road.


6. I couldn’t find my tie.

7. I went to the wrong court.

8. I just had to go to the gym.

9. My round hairbrush got stuck in my hair when I was getting ready.

10. What? Court never starts on time. 


*Image of court via Shutterstock.