The Truth Matters: How Fabricating Documents Can Kill A Case
No matter how knowledgeable or skillful your lawyer may be, he or she (like the rest of us) works with what you, as the client, provide. That means that your lawyer will take the good facts you provide, along with the bad, and then give the best advice possible under the circumstances.
Along with a duty of loyalty to you, as the client, your lawyer also has a duty of candor to the Court. This means that your lawyer must always maintain vigilance and ensure that he, as the advocate, and you, as the client, provide truthful and honest testimony (along with authentic documentary evidence) to the Court.
Many people forget that litigation involves presenting a story to the finder of fact. Be it a judge or a jury, your lawyer presents your version of events, your story, to the ultimate party (or parties) responsible for deciding whether you are granted the relief you seek or not. Nothing can kill a case faster than a lack of credibility. And nothing can create a lack of credibility faster than perjurious testimony or fake documents.
It is important in a day and age where the judicial process is attacked from multiple sides to remember that the truth does matter. And it matters most to your judge or jury.
In a recent case, the Schwartz & Salivar Legal Team was successful in bringing to light the efforts of an opposing party to fabricate documents, mid-litigation, to support what otherwise appeared to be a set of unsupportable claims. The attached Motions (and the fabricated documents identified therein) demonstrate what lengths parties sometimes will go to in order to “win at all costs.” And the attached Order demonstrates the lengths the Court will sometimes go to in order to protect the judicial process, and to ensure that parties who willfully fabricate documents and provide perjurious testimony do not reap the benefit of their misdoings.
Though this result was not one that is typically commonplace in the litigation arena, it does show that actions have consequences, our Courts do not take dishonesty lightly, and the truth still very much matters.