Has the Law Made Liars of Us All?


The premise of this article is that in the law and in the practice of law there are numerous occasions when there appears to be little regard for the truth; that as television has devoted more and more time to programming about law and courts, the public has been exposed to and infected by this attitude toward truth; that society may have abandoned morality in favor of legality and that this may have contributed to the epidemic of corporate and accounting frauds of the past decade.

The article examines cases which demonstrate the lack of regard for the truth in the law and in the rules of procedure; materials published by the National Conference of Bar Presidents noting an absence of regard for truth in the profession and compares modern legal texts, which contain little mention of such values with older texts where they were emphasized.

The article concludes with a few suggestions, that if the public is going to follow the example of the law, might enable the law to set a better example.


Law and Society

Date of this Version

September 2004