Should you ever lie to your divorce attorney?
I don’t think it benefits a client to lie to his or her divorce attorney. I think it is a very big mistake that clients make. At the same time, while many clients routinely lie to their lawyers, thus putting their lawyers in bad predicaments in a courtroom situation, people accuse divorce attorneys of being liars. They don’t discuss the lies they routinely tell their lawyers.
That is not to say that there aren’t divorce lawyers who routinely lie themselves. But is that really fair to have this blanket indictment that divorce lawyers are liars? More correct is that divorce attorneys, in an effort to win their cases, accept even the most horrendous lies told to them by clients, as being truths, and then proceed to litigate cases based on the lies they’ve been sold – and maybe on occasion failed to alert the courts when they uncover that the client indeed has provided mendacious information.
Why do clients lie to their divorce attorneys? Because many mistakenly think it will help them win their case. Is this how it works? Will lying to your divorce lawyer help you win your case? No. Often, it helps you lose your case or lose credibility with the court. Don’t do it….
Now. Here’s another question: should divorce attorneys ever lie to their clients? And under what circumstances would that even be an issue? I think some lawyers may be tempted to lie to the client to make the client think they have a much better case than they really do, or that the lawyer will be able to achieve more in court than he or she can. I also think this is a mistake. I’ve always been of the school of thought that it is better to lower the client’s expectations than to make big promises that one cannot deliver. Underwhelm the client with your promises and overwhelm them with your results. Not vice versa. What do you think about this? Are you a lawyer or a lay person? Should either the client or the lawyer ever lie to each other? And under what circumstances?