Professional Responsibility

Lying Clients

  1. A lawyer shall not knowingly:
    1. make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal or fail to correct a false statement of material fact or law previously made to the tribunal by the lawyer;
    2. fail to disclose to the tribunal legal authority in the controlling jurisdiction known to the lawyer to be directly adverse to the position of the client and not disclosed by opposing counsel; or
    3. offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer, has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence, other than the testimony of a defendant in a criminal matter, that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.
  2. A lawyer who represents a client in an adjudicative proceeding and who knows that a person intends to engage, is engaging or has engaged in criminal or fraudulent conduct related to the proceeding shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.
  3. The duties stated in paragraphs (a) and (b) continue to the conclusion of the proceeding, and apply even if compliance requires disclosure of information otherwise protected by Rule 1.6.
  4. In an ex parte proceeding, a lawyer shall inform the tribunal of all material facts known to the lawyer that will enable the tribunal to make an informed decision, whether or not the facts are adverse.

You must disclose any legal authority known to be adverse to your position. Rule 3.3(a)(2).

You can never let a client or witness perjure himself. If you are only reasonably sure but do not know that he intends to lie, you may or may not let him testify, unless it is a criminal trial. In a criminal trial, you must always let him testify unless you know he intends to lie. Rule 3.3(a)(3).

If your client or witness does commit perjury, you must disclose it to the court. Rule 3.3(a)(3).

This duty extends to the conclusion of the case. Rule 3.3(c).

A lawyer has knowledge if he can infer the facts.