News

Don't Laugh, but a Lawyer's Pants Caught Fire in Court

Published On 03/09/2017 Published On 03/09/2017
Lawyer's pants catch on fire
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When you hear schoolyard rhymes, you don't expect them to come to life. Not even a college student would leave pease porridge in a pot for nine days. Also, who eats pease porridge?

While no one is impugning his character or honesty, one Miami lawyer's pants did actually catch fire in court Wednesday. Stephen Gutierrez, a 28-year-old defense lawyer, was giving closing arguments when smoke began billowing from his right pocket. Even worse, this happened during an arson trial in which he was arguing his client's car spontaneously combusted, according to the Miami Herald.

It's a situation that feels so removed from reality it would be less surprising to discover it was a viral marketing scheme announcing the release of Jim Carrey's Liar Liar 2.

After the lawyer's pants caught fire, he justifiably bolted from the courtroom, according to the report. Gutierrez said the fire's source was a faulty e-cigarette in his pocket. Thankfully, no one, including the lawyer, was harmed. Gutierrez was able to continue the trial with "a singed pocket."

After things settled, he insisted it wasn't a staged defense to prove a point about spontaneous combustion. That's good because it would have been a major miscalculation to think that example would ring louder than the "liar, liar, pants on fire" rhyme playing in the head of observers. Nonetheless, the Herald reports police and prosecutors are investigating the incident, saying "officers seized several frayed e-cigarette batteries as evidence."

One observer, with a penchant for understatement, told the Herald, "It was surreal."

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Dustin Nelson is a News Writer with Thrillist. He believes that monkeys do indeed always look. Follow him @dlukenelson.

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