Not being truthful to your attorney is one of the dumbest things you can do as a client. The attorney’s job is to help you solve your problem.
Obtaining all relevant information, both good and bad, is critical to do that job.Attorney-client privilege allows the most sensitive discussion with the attorney to remain confidential. If the client does not feel comfortable disclosing sensitive information, then they should find another attorney.
Over the years, I have seen or been involved in situations where the client not telling the truth to the attorney has resulted in the client destroying his or her case. Here are examples:
1. The client testifies to no prior low-back treatment or complaint. Prior medical records disclose low-back treatment with several medical providers. However, the treatment was over 10 years ago. The client could have easily explained this away as 10 years of a pain-free low back just by telling the truth.
2. The client testifies he has no prior felony criminal record. There was a felony conviction almost 10 years ago. If the attorney knew of the conviction, a motion could have been filed in court to exclude discussion of the conviction. Instead, the jury heard how the client was a liar about the conviction and therefore, was probably lying about the accident and his injuries.
3. The client fails to tell attorney he does not believe in filing tax returns. In deposition, client is forced to admit not filing 10 years of tax returns. Lying to the federal government is a criminal offense and paints the client as a liar in all matters.
Telling your attorney the truth is in your self-interest to achieve the best possible result. Help your attorney use his skills to help you.