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Can Lawyers Practice Without Lying?

To lie is a sin whether big or small, white or black. Can there be any lawyer on earth without lie?

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A lawyer cannot lie outright due to running afoul of his professional responsibilities.

For example, if I was representing a client that’s on trial for murder and he was caught at the murder scene with the weapon in his hand, do you think I should just throw in the towel?

What you have to understand is that a defense lawyer cannot prove the prosecutor’s case. It is up to the prosecutor to explain the circumstantial evidence found on my client and it is my sworn duty as a defense attorney to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors or try to get the evidence thrown out. Prosecutors and defense attorneys are adversaries with divergent ultimate goals.

You have to understand that if everybody including the prosecutor and the defense attorneys plays their part zealously, on average, the truth will prevail.

Here in the US, if your client confesses to you, you cannot put him on the stand knowing that he will perjure himself. The best thing you can do is to explain to your client from the outset about the ground rules and tell him to keep his incriminating statements to himself.

The forgoing reasons are why I can never practice criminal or family law, because in real life, the good guys don’t always win and even if they win, they still hurt.

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I have read and diciphered most comments posted and i have to place my comment as i just cant ignore this one. I am a lawyer and i am tired of the old saying "lawyers are liers".

From my perception of the noble profession and practice of same by myself and fellow lawyers, i would add that there isnt much lying involved as much as representing a client whom you owe a fiduciary relationship to. We have the ethics of our profession that must be dutifully followed as failure could lead to being disbarred from the profession.

We should be appreciated by the lay people and not branded as liers but seen instead as the modern day robin hood with unwavered loyalty to our clients and course in general.

For those invovled in coporate practice,there is no room for lies as you represent the interest of your coporate client. The thing is law isnt all about litigation,but most lay people narrow down the practice and relate lawyers solely to litigators. Even the litigators have a due process of law that they must follow in each individual case and we most not forget the issue of Judicial precedent.

Lets face it, the legal profession cannot be overemphasised and is not about lying as people authomatically assume.

We are not liers but soldiers in the temple of justice.

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Although it has been a common issue that it is not possible for lawyers not to lie.But one thing is certain , and is that if Lawyer has been your callings i.e it is your second calling then you will always have your way and as well make money.Apart from this, the fear of is the altmost thing.My friend it is possible to be a lawyer and not lie,in as much the following conditions are met

1 there must be a reason of you studing it

2 you must be Godfearing person

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Litigation is a game. One of its rules is 'lie in the best way so as to win'.

In the field, we don't see it as lying. Those are the gimmicks of the legal practice. Besides, how would you say we are lying when all we do is to use the stipulations (provisions) of the law to assist people like you out of your mess? The legislators make provisions for the law, we use these provisions. No lawyer has ever won a GOOD case outside the confines of the statutes. What I think is that most of you who are calling your bluffs here are novices. What you don't know will forever remain enigmatic to you. So, that's the fact.

We don't lie. Point of correction. Besides, why do u think you pay lawyers? So that they can lie for you? This is hilarious! Please house, drop that notion. It is wrong.

One house!!!

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Lying is an art a lot of people spend a lifetime perfecting it, people lie; lawyers, presidents, doctors, engineers, artisans, lecturers, hairdressers, carpenters, politicians, bank executives i could go on and on, so why pick on lawyers: fact is- the law is an Bottom, a big one, lawyers worth their salt ride on it-they necessarily need not tell lies, if u understand the ways laws are made, they are fashioned so they can be twisted and turned upside down, inside out. The lawyer has none else to work with execpt these laws so he becomes a "lier". Frankly the law puts us into a lot of things u really dont have to do all that twisting and lieing to break even as a lawyer, there are also strict rules of professional conduct lawyers have to conform with. The lying game is common to everybody and not only lawyers, stop picking on the lawyers.

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Dear all,

Well maybe to the rescue. I am a Lawyer and what i would say is that most of the answers are not based on personal experiences but on hearsay. Lawyers when in court cannot tell a lie because it would amount to perjury. Lawyers try to swerve justice on their part. They use statutes, precedents & case law to back up peculiar facts which they stand to prove in court.

There is jurisprudential saying that the Law is what it is and not what it ought to be . A layman would under this notion think that i ought to rescue a baby crawling to the pool, but what is ,is that i can choose not to because i am not under any obligation to do so. Least i forgot, an opinion is that criminal lawyers lie, well the points above mentioned should help debunk that notion.

Please, this forum should help us know in depth some things that are not clear and i hope i have tried. I am open to other comments.

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why is it about lagos alone and is this a mixture of topics or what?!

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Why is Lagos so filthy.DOES THE GOVERNMENT FUNCTION?

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not every lawyer is a liar,in every profession there are saints and sinners. the legal profession has ethics and if someone does anything contrary to the ethics, you can always report the person to the Bar assosciation for disciplinary action to be taken .

I however believe you are talking about loopholes in the law that lawyers exploit to favour their clients at the expense of the truth.

I In Nigeria you do not gather evidence through scientific means, everything is crude . when a crime occurs the police etc use beatings and torture to extract confessionswhich most times are not true.how does an accused prove that rhe evidence obtained was through extra legal means.the burden of proof lies on the accused.

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Well, take it or leave it, law is a proffession and you dont call them liars for defending their client. afterall law is all about defence. and if you are accused of doing something,you need a defence and thats where the lawyers come in. i no talk say defence is lying ooo, but atleast be a good defender and see where it would lead you.

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Everybody lies....lawyers are just too good at it and well trained for it....living in truthful world is boring. Actually it depends on what we classify as lies? Anything not factual is considered a lie....so there's a little truth in everything and a little lie in everything. Lawyers are there to do all they are EMPOWERED to do and win your case (get u out of jail, win u money etc) The point is how far off the FACTS will a lawyer stray in order to win his/her case? And by the way Prosecutors 'lie' because they too are lawyers representing the government....and we all know how far the govt will go in order to proctect its image... **cough** Bush **cough** The U.S. justice relies on the "reasonable doubt" policy which should really be called "reasonable lie"....as long as my lawyer can prove my innocence within a reasonable lie, then I'm a free man.

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Sometimes lawyers fall under the pressures of their corrupt superiors, and will either choose to go dishonesty or honesty. There are lawyers who are doing things that are unjust; however, it starts with the judge that is overseeing the case and trickles down to the lawyer, and on down to the person being charged.

Ex: Knows of a case where the defendant paid everyone off in order to stay out of jail...........the judge and the lawyers took the bribe and are still in their said positions. Makes you wonder, huh? Have seen the same scenario with a less financially stable person, and that person was convicted.

There are also lawyers who try to feel their clients to see which side of the fence they are on so that they can present their case based on what the client has agreed to in terms of facts or lies.

Ex: Knows of a case where the lawyer basically got the defendant off by reversing the scenario and providing false evidence through unethical witnesses

There are lawyers who do underhanded stuff that will benefit their clients.

Ex: A lawyer made a practice of doing things to benefit his clients that was not ethical. Well, after years of doing this he was finally caught up with. His license was suspended for some years; however, they did allow him to get them back and practice law under very strict guidelines and a warning.

Now, do know that this type of behavior is among a select few.

I applaud those lawyers who take pride in their careers and uphold their ethical standards regardless of what they might be faced with on a daily basis.

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A lawyer can practise without lying..but the laywer should have something else going on in his or her life just incase..I know cerebrity lawyers due to their straight forwardness and truth....but u gotta have back up finance so that when u fall hmmm

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A lawyer simply applies the laws to the facts available, to exonerate his client. Remember the lawyer was never a party to the situation that gave rise to the case. A lawyer is not a truth-seeker. That job is for either the judge or the jury. A lawyer who is not comfortable applying the laws to the facts presented, in favour of his clients may excuse himself from the case. However, society will not allow a lawyer to provide information obtained in his capacity as an attorney against his client. This ensures a more reliable justice system. This is law and not religion. A lot of you will agree with me that we should uphold both values but keep them separate.

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Here are some examples:

In the US, there are lawyers called Ambulance chasers.  As an accident victim, they advice you on ways to win big by claiming whiplash, even though the victim came out of the accident without a scratch.  What is the lawyer's motive here?  Well, he gets a cut (sometimes up to 60%).  Is that lying?

A guy commits murder.  Lawyer claims insanity.  Is that lying?

No all cases are this clear-cut.  However, if we consider the fact that a lawyer's primary concern is a win for his obviously guilty client, we can say lawyers are liars, or truth benders.

There is something called attorney client privilege.  Why is this privilege even needed?  Is the lawyer hiding something?  A lie perhaps?  Well, it's needed to prevent investigators from uncovering the truth from lawyers.

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if a lawyer knows his clients is guilty he could be disbarred for putting him on the stand to say otherwise?

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haha after of an hr of arguin with lawyer dad we have come to the conclusion that lawyers will will see that they have a chance of makin the case to their favor, but it will be built upon a lie.

HAHA WHAT U THINK I GET THE ARGUIN GENE FROM MY DAD.

I KNOW HE MUST BE BAFFLED

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OH BTW MANIPULATING IS THE FANCY WORD FOR LYING. ITS LYING FOR PPLZ DAT DONT KNO ENUF ENGLISH HENCE DA TOPIC.

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my dad is a lawyer who does his work honestly(hez dat kinda man who is honest) to prove dat the man wouldnt let me get aphone from some guy cuz its not registered in my own name.

but truth of the matter is MOST LAWYERS LIE, so a guy kills someone right. and hes arrest and charged with first degree murder. he gets a lawyer that helps rich pplz. the lawyer knoz his guilty. the man says hez guilty and cant afford to go to jail. - (first lie, he knowz his guilty n represents him)but therez 45%chancee to prove he is guilty but bein a good lawyer he works his way. uses what the law says n shite n and when they do the verdict thizzle he says not guilty-(second lie) and thru the process of sayin his not guilty and doin all da courtroom tingz hez probably told more lies than i have in my whole life. and datz how it goes for many liars.

HOW DO YOU KNOW A LAWYER IS LYING?

WHEN HE OPENES HIS MOUTH(EXCEPTION OF MA DAD)

HOW DO U SAVE A DROWNIN LAWYER?

YOU DONT, JUZ BRING HIM UP AND TIE A HUGE BRICK TO THE END OF HIS LEG AND PUSH HIM BACK IN (OF COURSE EXCEPTION OF DEAREST DAD)

alrite pplz holla at me to leave your im sure very interestin comments

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...even when the accused tells u confidentially that he killed the prosecutors daughter?

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We dont lie. ..we only manipulate our cases to suit the course of justice.

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This question becomes an issue as a result of a lay-man's perception of law. Permit to give some elementary instnces. There is a presumption that every one is innocent until proved guilty. To prove a person guilty, you have to prove beyond reasonable doubt. Now in criminal law, you must prove two things to secure a convition; the physical act and the intention.

To a lay man if a driver incidentally knocks down a pedestrian,the conclusion is that he is guilty of murder. However a lawyer will point out that there was no intention to kill. Is that a lie? Put yourself in the postion of the driver. Did you intend to kill when you leave your house?

I will commend to members the following quotation from Oputa JSC; 'Justice is not a one-way traffic. There must be justice for the accused, justice for the society and of course justice for the victim.

Law is a nobel profession. No Lie.Nothing but the truth.

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Is any one here familiar with ethics? i dont think lieing has anything to do with lawyering. i am not a lawyer, but i think laywers operate within certain parameters set by the law. i can't imagine a client asking a lawyer for representation, and the lawyer, after hearing his statement says, " sorry i can't defend you because you are a thief or whatever.." it is the respomsibilities of lawyers to try defend their clients and keep their information confidential. that is what the law says.

its like asking which is better, law or morals? perhaps there is an answer to that.

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THEY LIE MATUREDLY

U KNOW WHAT THEY CALL OFFICIAL OR TECHNICAL LIE

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Deception? That's still not quite right. I'm seeing all of these accusations but I'm not getting any type of example.

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lawyers practices more of deception than lying

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Again, tell me an instance in which this happened. You can't say with-holding truth as much as only asserting relevant information. Also, exaggeration is a form of lying.

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I want to take the gsat and go to law school. I was always under the impression that Lawyers rarely need to lie because they are experts in manipulating language and words.

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thanks vexx. im a lawyer and i can tell you lying is a rarity. of course it exists, but its not the norm and its punished if found

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Vostel,

I thank you for that. Excellent post.

V

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I don't know where this impression that lawyers lie in order to represent their clients comes from. I am soon to be licensed as an attorney in the U.S., and I can tell you that since the first day I entered law school to the days I worked as an intern at the public defender's office to now that I am an associate at a big law firm, the importance of adhering to an ethical code of conduct has been ingrained in me and now guides my practice.

In order to be licensed in any U.S jurisdiction an attorney has to take a professional ethics exam that is separate from the bar exam. In addition, one of the most tested areas in the bar exam (at least in CA's bar exam) is an professional responsibility. Not only is lying wrong, an attorney can be disbarred, subject to monetary sanctions, and sued for malpractice for telling alie. A lawyer has an absolute professional duty not to knowingly tell a lie to his client, the court, the jury, or to anyone in his or her professional capacity. A lawyer has a duty to not take a case if taking the case means the lawyer has to lie in order to win for the client.

Now this does not mean that an attorney cannot zealosuly represent his/her client. First, there are two sides to every story. An attoreny has a duty to tell his client's story in the best possible light. So an attorney may carefuly select the facts to present about his clients so that his client's story is sympathetic to the court or jury, but cannot change the facts or misrepresent the facts. An attorney cannot profess that his client is innocent or anything along those lines that can be construed as a lie. Rather, the attorney professes that the other side has not met their burden of proof or has not established a case against his client. This is not saying my client did not do it. it is is saying, whether or not my client did it, the court of law requires the other side to prove their case against my client.

Additionally, beleive it or not, there are tons of lawyers that are not litigators (court or trial lawyers) and are thus not always in an aderversarial role. transactional lawyers and the like have no incentive to lie because they must coorporate with the other and be on the same level with them in order to close a deal. And if a lawyer does not close a deal for his client, he does not get return business. So, the deals or transactional lawyer (i.e, corporate lawyer) has a strong incentive to be fair.

forgive the spelling and grammatical errors, i typed this in a hurry. I'm off to my lunch break!

P.S, a very interesting post, will show it to my colleagues at the law firm for their insight!

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It's almost impossible for them to operate without lying

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Explain.  Name instances, was it directly with you or something you've heard?  Where are you located?  What kind of attorney's are you talking about as in, what area of law?

Please provide me with an example in which you knew a lawyer was lying and under what circumstances. Also, how was it that you knew this and did not report it to his/her supervisor to have his license to practice yanked.

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In dealing with these attorneys I have faith that an attorney can practice law without lying. They do it all day. In my dealings with the prosecution, privacy, freedom of information, contracts and acquisitions, labor/employment, and construction lawyers that make up my office, I can fully and boldly state that that these fine men and women practice law with the utmost integrity. I only wish you knew them. Undecided

I have, however, seen a lot of criminal justice attorney's stretch the truth. See, also I think it's because whether these guys win or lose they still get paid the same amount. Other attorney's who only make money if the client wins are more prone to look for loop holes in the law. That's still not considered lying but they look for the easy way out.

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My judgement is biased cos l've never meet a lawyer who doesn't lie. So, it is impossible for one to practice law with some lying. Oh let's not call it Lies, it's just twisting the truth and put in another way, and of course it's part of the profession.

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It is better that way.

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That's alright. We shall agree to disagree.

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There is no technique to separate lies from lawyers.

Apology Vexxy.

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Thank you my dear sister (delarontus) nobody in this forum is talking sense except Delaroutus she answer all the question

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Please, por la amor de dios, stop with the lawyers are liars until you give good examples of what you mean. As far as I'm concerned, nobody has yet to give any good statements backing up these sentiments. That being the case, arguments are currently invalid. What do you mean lawyer's are liars? Like I said, everyone lies. It doesn't stop you from doing what you do? Why is it a problem that people who become lawyers lie too? Personally, I would be more affronted by politicians and presidents lying than lawyers. . but that's Nigerians for you.

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To get a precise answer for this, I think that someone should check out the statistics. Something like how many lawyers out of 100 speaks the truth? I'm almost sure that number will not exceed 30 and that's not a good one. So my question is...... Why should we study something that leaves us with no other option but lying most of the time?

Lawyers in the house, pls don't get me wrong cos I still have much love for u all.

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As for the 4 years of working intricately with attorney's the only lie I've heard was from a defense attorney who was trying to cover his bum. It did nothing in the way of swaying the verdict of the trial.

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personally, i think almost everyone who has posted here has been watching too much matlock or something, i for one think that real law as practised, is a lot less far-fetched than as you guys imagine it to be.

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well, I don't know about Nigeria but in the united states there is the idea the everyone is entitled to be represented. I'm sure that in Nigeria, if I was reasonably powerful, rich, and smart, I could set something up where you would think that a person commited a crime that they actually didn't. Also, in the US, it is presumed that everyone is Innocent until proven Guilty. Also, they must be proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Furthermore, the means in which they are found guilty must be just, fair, and correct. If the police beat someone to get a confession, that "loophole" cannot be allowed to exist. If the prosecution does something that has some issues on how legal it is or how much it conforms to the law, we should allow them to continue using it so we can jail people we "think" are criminals? There is a limit to how far you can trust a person in power to do their job justly. That is why we have so many checks and balances - police, prosecutors, lawyers, legislators, judges, and the general populace - we are the final check because ultimately we will decide in which direction we want things to go - if we care enough and can stop fighting each other to do so.

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Hit the nail on the head!. I disagree!! The nail is bent.

Truth is, not all lawyers are liars but most [b]criminal law[/b]yers are. They merely use loopholes within the law to create a false impression of the reality.

An armed robber comes to u to defend him. Despite seein d overwhelming evidence and hearing his confession, you still agree to represent him. U get to court and plead "not guilty". For heaven's sake what r u trying to do. No matter how diplomatic u are. A LIE is still a LIE. There's no such thing as a good lie.

The truth is a lot of lawyers know that the client committed the crime but still go ahead to defend him. All u hear in the court room is "Not Guilty". I see them as liars and that wicked cos u pervert the justice u r supposed to uphold.

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Delarontus thumbs up you hit the nail on the Head!

Its only the uninformed who make such statements

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It is widely believed that lawyers are liars which is a lie in itself.

The notion that lawyers lie is predicated on the misconception of facts which in most cases are hidden from most people. The only one who can determine the truth or otherwise of a particular situation is God who is omnipresent and sees all.

Be that as it may, since God cannot visit the earth and speak to everybody on who is lying and saying the truth at a particular point in time, lawyers are trained to maintain law and order and instil the concept of justice in human relations. They do this by using evidence be it circumstantial or documentary to guide them therefore there is a tendency for some people to say that a lawyer is lying even when the truth is obvious.

The fact is that between you and I who were not present at the time of the event, one of us must still decide the innocent and guilty or victim.

However, technicalities of law tilt the scale of justice sometimes and that is why we have appeals.

Lawyers are not liars, they are only working within the established rules and regulations stipulated by the people.

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there is nobody on this earth without a lie. not even you Mr. OP.

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Umm. . all this talk about lawyers lying. . . give me an example. what do you mean by lawyers lie? Kids lie too.

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It would also depend on what, exactly, you practice.

Prosecutors do not worry about "money, money, money" seeing as though they work for the government and already have a set salary.

Also, there is contract law, environmental law, family court law, social services law, free law clinics. Attorney's practicing in these fields make money but not all lie in order to win. The facts speak for themselves.

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