Lawyers give their best advice based on what the client tells them. Based on what the “facts” are can significantly impact not only the outcome, but also the advice given.
Routinely, clients have denied certain conduct and based upon those assertion, advice is given. Then, the other side files a pleading alleging the very conduct. Many times I have called opposing counsel and asked that they provide the proof, as it may well change my advice.
When you lie to your lawyer it impacts your case. It impacts the advice given. It impacts the strategy of the case. It also impacts what your lawyer believes from you thereafter. AND, it can also impact the outcome of your case.
So, did you lie to your attorney about a material, critical part of your case? Did that lie effect the advice given and strategy used? Did that lie come back to bite you in the tail (and could have been minimized had you just told the truth)? So, think long and hard about lying to your attorney – – and don’t do it.
Matthew Thompson is a civil litigation attorney and knows the adage of if your lips are moving you’re lying, but still wants to believe the clients.
Tip of the day: When testifying, do NOT lie. Also, do NOT lie to the FBI.
Lying in Court is perjury, not smart and causes you to lose credibility with the Judge. Lying to your lawyer results in frivolous matters being filed, tried and ultimately can open you up to sanctions of the Court. Lying to the FBI gets you indicted.
noun: lie; plural noun: lies
an intentionally false statement.
untruth, falsehood, fib, fabrication, deception, piece of fiction, falsification
If you aren’t sure what the truth is then just say so. Don’t lie.
Occasionally, lawyers are in Court to give testimony. They are called as witnesses just as a party might be. Usually, the Court waives the requirement of administering the Oath.
While done as a courtesy, it does not reduce the lawyer’s obligation to be truthful. Lawyers, upon being licensed and admitted to the practice of law are under oath and have a duty to be truthful with the Court in all pleadings, appearances and interactions in their role as a lawyer with the Court.
Lawyers are not only subject to the same potential penalties for perjury, but are also subject to Bar Association discipline if lying to the Court, or otherwise violating Rules of Professional Conduct.
Your lawyer should be familiar with these rules and at least know that they exist.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and reminds Lawyers, you have to tell the truth too.