The legal system is based on everyone, lawyers and litigants alike, telling the truth. Litigants take oaths to tell the truth. Lawyers take oaths to tell the truth and to uphold a code of ethics which directs lawyers to show “candor to the tribunal” and not make misrepresentations. Lying is never acceptable.
In 2004, a book called “The Cheating Culture” was published, where the author posited that stress from economic inequality has corroded moral values resulting in a “winner take all” philosophy such that people cheat, i.e., lie in all areas of life—sports, business, law, academics, journalism, entertainment and medicine. What is upsetting about this book and events which continue to catch our attention with the 24-hour news cycle, is that lying can be seen as a way to use the legal system to one’s advantage to “get it over” on the other side.
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