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Legal counsel knowingly lying for the accused

  • 07-04-2022 3:43pm
    #1
    Registered Users Posts: 1,108 ✭✭✭


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    Post edited by Viscount Aggro on


Comments

  • Registered Users Posts: 9,978 ✭✭✭Caranica


    Case in the Irish times today where a solicitor knowingly "witnessed" a forged signature. €30k out of pocket, might be a small portion of what he got paid!




  • Posts: 0 [Deleted User]


    Is it a solicitor or a barrister ("legal counsel") because there is a big difference?



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    In this regard, there is no difference. Neither solicitors nor barristers may mislead the court on behalf of their clients.



  • Registered Users Posts: 2,344 ✭✭✭NUTLEY BOY


    Ideally, there should not be public commentary in respect of a criminal case currently at hearing as such matters are sub judice until finally disposed of.

    No back-seat moderation from me but IMHO this thread should be killed.



  • Registered Users Posts: 453 ✭✭feelings


    I was about to post a similar question with regards a divorce case. Where the other sides legal team has made a number of false statements 1) to a judge 2) in legal correspondence that is tantamount to slander.

    In most cases the correspondence would use terminology such as "led to believe that..." "instructed by our client that..." etc.

    Can legal representatives be pulled up on these lies?



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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,168 ✭✭✭Thinkingaboutit


    I for was told specifically by a solicitor on a matter that she could never utter anything untrue or intentionally misleading. Obviously there are forms of words such as mentioned by feelings which cover the less scrupulous.



  • Registered Users Posts: 40,011 ✭✭✭✭ohnonotgmail


    if a barrister or solicitor repeats something that a client told them that they are not in a position to verify does that make it a lie?



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus


    If counsel was instructed by their client to that effect, then where's the lie?

    There's a pretty important principle at play here, which is that you're entitled to have your guilt or innocence, your legal rights and obligations, determined by a court. That means your lawyer doesn't get to censor what you say to the court. He can advise you about whether it is wise to say X or Y, and if he knows - knows, not suspects or assumes - that X or Y is false he can (and should) decline to put it to the court and if necessary withdraw from the case. But, short of that, he's gotta put what you tell him to the court.



  • Registered Users Posts: 453 ✭✭feelings


    Counsel would have known the statements made were not true.



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus




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  • Registered Users Posts: 453 ✭✭feelings


    I do wish to post specifics but it would be a kin to.. counsel is presented with a photo of a green apple (it very clearly is an apple) - in correspondence - "we are instructed by our client that this is a banana"



  • Administrators, Entertainment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,689 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭hullaballoo


    Counsel are experts on law not fruit - would have to call an independent pomologist to establish whether it is an apple or a banana.

    😀



  • Registered Users Posts: 453 ✭✭feelings


    LOL. Ah you know what I mean. I cannot post specifics of the case but their counsel has knowingly made statements in correspondence that cannot be true. However, as I mentioned, they are using language like "we are informed by our client that X..." etc.



  • Registered Users Posts: 40,011 ✭✭✭✭ohnonotgmail


    if they are quoting their client then how is it a lie?



  • Administrators, Entertainment Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 18,689 Admin ✭✭✭✭✭hullaballoo


    I do know yes, I was just attempting to use humour to highlight the point. Counsel very often don't know as a matter of fact whether what they've been told by their client is true or not.

    I know the apple/banana thing is an oversimplification but to continue with the example... If my client is say a greengrocer and shows me a photo of what looks like a green apple but instructs me that it's in fact a banana, as counsel what do I do with those instructions? I don't know it's an apple, I just very strongly suspect it is an apple. My client is better qualified, as a greengrocer, to say whether it's an apple or a banana. I can seek clarification but if my client insists it's a banana, those are my instructions.

    It's not the role of counsel to give evidence either. If there's a dispute about whether it's an apple or a banana, all counsel can do is say their client's position is it's a banana and try and adduce evidence of the facts. If you have 2 parties, 1 swearing blind it's an apple and the other swearing blind it's a banana, something has to break the deadlock. Cross-examination of the witnesses or an independent expert (pomologist) are options to establish the true position. But here the analogy is weak because (I presume) it can be objectively established whether the thing in question is an apple, a banana, or neither. In most cases, an evidential dispute can't be resolved so neatly because it might center around something impermanent like a conversation between the 2 parties without other witnesses. Or it might be a matter of opinion or degree etc.

    But the main point really is that the lawyer doesn't know as a matter of fact that it's an apple and can therefore only relay that they are instructed it is a banana.



  • Registered Users Posts: 25,742 ✭✭✭✭Peregrinus




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