Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Rule #3: "Never Lie to Anyone . . . Ever"

Contrary to public opinion defense lawyers are not compulsive liars (i.e., used car salesmen!) who will say anything to win a case. The bad ones might be, but not the good ones. While being a good criminal attorney often involves interpreting evidence differently than most people would initially, my work does not require . . . nor does it allow . . . me to lie under any circumstance. Everything I do as a defense lawyer requires integrity and requires I maintain my credibility with others. (see Rule #33: "Credibility is Everything")  Whether that be with the jury, judge, prosecutors, or the public. Trust is the lawyer's stock and trade and that means being honest with everyone, all the time. 

Often my work requires me to separate fact from speculation. It requires me to be a zealous advocate for the real people entrusted to my care. Sometimes I need to suppress evidence and argue that seemingly "incriminating" evidence is not incriminating at all. But lying is not part of that job description. Rather, out of respect for the law, the court, the prosecutor, and my client . . . my integrity and my honesty . . . are everything. 

So the Rule is never lie, to anyone, ever. We might need to parse our words as defense lawyers. But make sure those parsed words are still the truth. The lives of others depend upon it. 

1 comment:

Defence Lawyer Toronto said...

Crucially right suggestion. If you are working as a lawyer so you should keep this rule in your mind.