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I always ask clients to tell the truth. However, preparing clients to be truthful often makes me uncomfortable because it’s not uncommon for a client to react as though I were accusing him or her of being less than honest. Please know that I believe that most folks strive to be truthful.
There is a popular myth that lawyers and law firms exist to win at any cost including integrity. That philosophy doesn’t pan out as well in real life as it does on TV.
One of our injury attorneys, Adam Gee wrote a recent blog post The Importance of Telling Your Attorney the Truth about a case that went south after it was determined that his client was not telling the truth. It happens every now and then that a case will swirl down the toilet because the client didn’t tell the truth.
The average Judge has probably listened to testimony day in and day out for years. He or she will pick up on inconsistencies. A statement made on cross examination that would likely be brought out on direct examination, if it were truthful, will stick out like a sore thumb to opposing counsel.
The best possible outcome can only be achieved when our clients are completely truthful about the facts of their case. The truth is the way to go because: it’s the right thing to do; it works better; and, if nothing else, it’s sure easier to remember: )
Thanks for reading,
Eric L. Johnson
Ziff, Weiermiller, Hayden & Mustico, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel: (607) 733-8866
Fax: (607) 732-6062
Toll Free: 1-800-943-3529