Thursday, September 17, 2020

Truth - How It Is Supposed To Work

Lawyers are not supposed to lie in court nor allow their clients to lie if they know they are not telling the truth. In fact, lawyers are obligated to inform the court if they know their client is lying. That is supposed to be how it works as this article states. Sadly, as the facts in my case demonstrate, that is simply not the case. Lawyers are so rarely held accountable for lying in court (in Minnesota a lawyer has never been disciplined for lying in family court) let alone allowing their clients to lie that there is essentially zero risk to lying in court. Furthermore there is a huge incentive to lie as it wins cases, especially when the opposing side is honest. It is all about money. 

How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? When his lips are moving.

That may be a joke, but many believe it. They believe that lawyers will do or say anything that will help their client win.

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

Lies in Court

Modern Law has a brief but interesting article on lying by litigants in family court. It is a bit optimistic in that it assumes that judges will make the right decision which in my case was simply not true. 

If you can relate to these questions, there are four things you need to know:

  1. Yes, if the opposing party has lied under oath, they have committed perjury, which is a crime;
  2. Family court is separate from criminal court, to be charged with perjury, a prosecutor has to take an interest in the case;
  3. I have never heard of a party to a family law case being charged with perjury;
  4. It still matters.

Unfortunately nothing is said about lawyers lying in court. Which reminds me of the old joke:

        How can you tell when a lawyer is lying? When his lips are moving.

Thursday, September 3, 2020

Did You Know...

 

A bit of interesting trivia I ran across. Originally in the United States divorces were granted by legislators not the courts. In the case of Washington D.C. it was the U.S. Congress who had to determine whether to grant the divorce or not. Gradually the power to grant a divorce was transferred to the courts and by 1886 it was mandated that only courts could grant divorces.

While the power was still vested with the legislatures, divorce notices often appeared in the papers

Interestingly some of the notices express a clear intent that the debts of the person who left will not be paid by the abandoned spouse. 

BURNHILL, John & Elizabeth: Whereas Elizabeth Burnhill, my wife, hath eloped from my bed and board, and living an adulteress with another man, this is to forewarn all persons whatever from trusting her on my account, as I will pay none of her debts, and I mean to apply to the next General Assembly of Maryland for an act of divorce. (Signed and dated) John Burnhill, Prince Georges County, MD, March 17, 1809 [Notice in the National Intelligencer, Wash, DC, April 12, 1809.]

HOWARD, Jesse and Amelia. All persons are hereby forbidden to trust Amelia Low (late my wife Amelia Howard) on my account, we having been divorced by mutual consent, as the law directs, and I will pay no debts of her contracting. (Signed and dated) Jesse Howard, May 4, 1819. [Notice in the National Intelligencer, Wash, DC, May 6, 1819.]