Don’t lie to your attorney

Posted March 13, 2013 by Alex H. Morrow

In the last decade or so, I’ve noticed that many more people are willing to lie about most anything more quickly than they used to. I’m not sure why this has happened, unless it is tied to the overall degeneration of our society and its loss of a moral foundation. I’m guessing that too many people attach too much significance to matters that mean a lot of nothing, like…who is most likely to win “American Idol”…instead of attending to matters that should be significant like…protecting and projecting personal honor, contributing to society, becoming better educated, establishing the family wealth, and such. In other words, I’m afraid that Americans have ceased doing the things that make people healthy physically, spiritually, and mentally and they’re wasting their lives on tripe and that is resulting in many lower quality individuals to whom being dishonest comes more easily.

All that having been said, go ahead and lie about anything you want to anyone you want, it doesn’t much matter to me….unless, you are lying to me in a personal capacity or in my professional capacity as your attorney. If you want to alter your reality by lying about it instead of actually adjusting it through your personal actions, that is your life-style choice. It is one that will most certainly bring disaster, but, hey, it’s your life to lead as you please. But, when you are seeking my help as an attorney, or the help of any other attorney for that matter, lying about anything is one of the dumbest things you can do.

An attorney is generally tasked with unravelling some very sticky situation you’ve gotten yourself into. The task is already difficult enough most times, but it is only made more difficult if you lie to your attorney about the facts. Ask yourself, how is your attorney supposed to affect your reality successfully for you, so as to acheive a positive outcome, when the reality which you are portraying through lies does not even exist? Common sense should dictate that it is impossible to alter a fictitous reality since any effort of the attorney exerted to modify that fictitious reality is bound to be misdirected or is bound to be applied to a situation which is substantially different from that which the attorney believes he or she is seeking to affect, thereby rendering your attorney’s efforts on your behalf ineffective.

All of the above seems logical enough when spelled out, but I can’t tell you how many clients have caused me to misdirect my energy and talent, and to waste their money, because I’ve been sent in the wrong direction by their lies. It makes no sense, but maybe this is just one more example of illusory superiority impacting the behavior of people. (For more on illusory superiority, see my blog on avoiding jury trials, if possible.) The people who lie to their attorney must think they are smarter than their attorney and those people must also think they are smarter than everyone else around them, like prosecutors and judges. But, the sad truth is that the people that liars seek to deceive are routinely much smarter than the liars and the liars’ efforts at distorting reality generally fail miserably.

You need to understand that your attorney can only be effective for you if he or she is given the truth. Consider the following as one probable outcome of lying to your attorney. If you feed your attorney a lie and your attorney then speaks that lie to another person while trying to achieve a desired result for you, if the other person discovers the lie, then your attorney has lost credibility and you have irrevocably damaged your attorney’s ability to achieve the result you desire.

But, enough! Carry away from this rambling blog a simple directive. Don’t lie to your attorney. He or she must keep your communications confidential so you have no reason to lie. Be direct and truthful with your attorney.┬áThat will serve you best.