There has been so much stigma attached to being a lawyer. I can hear my wife telling me, “Stop arguing with me like a lawyer.” Really I think the biggest stigma associated with being a trial lawyer is that lawyer’s lie and hide the truth. In fact I remember having a conversation recently where a friend laughingly said, “You’re a liar, I mean lawyer. Oh well, same difference.” I suppose some lawyers probably deserve that type of comment.
I however, was always taught growing up to be honest. If you make a mistake, own up to it. Do not lie about it or try to hide it.
As I started to grow as a lawyer, I realized keeping these values helped me stand apart from the attorney who choose to hide the truth. In several recent trials, I immediately asked my client’s about negative facts early on. I told them to tell the jury about X, Y, or Z even though it may not have been the best facts for the case. I could tell the jury appreciated our honesty. When it came time for the defense, the jury was upset they did not have the same candor as we did. Trials are only about honesty and credibility. It is so important to trust juries with the complete truth, as we need to trust our loved ones with the complete truth. In trial, you have two sides battling and the judge or jury gets to pick one. I have found in trial, as in life, honesty is rewarded.