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Rhode Island Divorce Tip: Accept the fact that Witnesses Lie!

Whether in a Rhode Island Divorce Case or any other family court proceeding it is perhaps one of the hardest things for a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney to do.  What is it?  It is explaining to your client that he or she lost his divorce or family law case because witnesses got up on the witness stand, swore an oath to tell the truth and then lied to the detriment of your client.

Like it or not, there are all too many people, including spouses, ex-spouses and family members who will wear to tell the truth by an oath that means nothing to them.  Then the witness  for whatever the underlying reason will testify to whatever promotes either his or her personal interest or the interest of the family member or friend they have appeared on behalf of.

As a Rhode Island Divorce Attorney it becomes it difficult task to be synical and advise a client that there is every possibility that the opposing party will call to the stand witnesses that may lie on the record of the court or creatively omit the truth regarding an event in such a fashion that critical information is omitted for the judge's consideration.  In most instances, the deceptions of witnesses are to the surprise of the client and even more so to the surprise of the attorney.

In the vast majority of cases, witness lies are such that cross-examination is often ineffective to factually disprove the false statements to the court because the false statements relate to a conversation containing an admission that never occurred or an event with no one present to confirm or deny the accuracy of the event or statement other than your client.  It then becomes a matter of the family court judge determining who is telling the truth and who isn't.  Usually there aren't frequent inconsistencies in the testimony so the end result may come down to whether your client's truthful testimony or the testimony of other witnesses who may be lying are better actors and more convincing to the judge.

When you are in a divorce or family law proceeding clients need to understand and accept that witnesses can and do lie to further their own interests and there may be little or nothing your family law attorney can do about it.


Authored By:

  Christopher A. Pearsall, Esquire
70 Dogwood Drive, Suite 304
West Warwick, RI 02893

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