Should you lie to your attorney?

Some people tell the truth, some people fib, and some just straight out lie. I believe that most people do not intent to fib or lie, they simply “remember” events or facts that are most favorable to them, or they “forget” those facts or events that would put them in a bad light. I also notice that some people simply have a need to be liked, so they fib just a little to make themselves look like a better person. They may exaggerate a good act, or omit a bad one.

There are clients who lie thinking that if his or her lawyer knows too much he or she will not like that client, or will not believe in the case and will not provide good representation. Truth be told, I do not have to like my client to provide effective representation; and in order for me to believe in his or her case, I want to know ALL the facts. Not to sound cheesy, I want to know the good, the bad, and the ugly.  

The earlier I know of a weakness in a case, the sooner I can work on developing a good defense against that weakness. A fully informed lawyer who has been told the whole truth, is also better equipped to spot and analyze other potential problems in a case, and can determine what legal strategies to employ and what legal strategies to avoid.

In order for your attorney to do the best and most effective work he or she will need all of the information you have. Remember that YOUR COMMUNICATION IS PRIVILEGED. A communication between a client and attorney is privileged and confidential, and as such, you do not have to worry about disclosure by your attorney. YOUR ATTORNEY CAN’T OVERCOME WEAKNESSES HE OR SHE DOESN’T KNOW ABOUT. The reason you hire an attorney is to obtain his or her legal advice and knowledge. An attorney is trained to recognize which facts and issues matter, you are not. An attorney can spot a weakness in your case, and possibly can turn that weakness into strength. However, in order to properly analyze your case, an attorney needs to be informed.

I ask my clients to be honest with me.  I hate being kept in the dark and I do not appreciate “surprises,” especially if the surprise comes at a time when it is too late for me to do anything about it (like during a trial). Ultimately, it is your decision just how much information to disclose to your attorney, but keep in mind that in representing you your attorney will rely on the provided information. If you lie or omit relevant facts, you may be putting yourself at a disadvantage.

About teperlaw

I am an attorney practicing family law, immigration and wills and estate planning. You can find out more about me and my firm by visiting my website at: 106 W. Franklin Ave. Pennington, NJ 08534 (609) 737-3030
This entry was posted in General Law Related Musings. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Should you lie to your attorney?

  1. Gopinath Sundharam says:

    Nice article.

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