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Advanced CLE

WebCredenza 2024 Ethical issues when you have a dishonest client

Total Credits: 1.2 MCLE, 1.2 Ethics, 0.0 Kansas Credit, 0.0 Kansas Ethics

Practice Area:



One of the dangers of practicing law is that, now and again, you get a dishonest client. Your client may be misleading you – and others – about the facts of their case, either through silence or affirmative misstatements. Or they may be telling you one thing and others something else different. You may discover proof of the dishonesty or just suspect it. Client dishonesty raises many ethical issues. What must you do to ensure your client is telling you the truth? What if you discover a client is lying to a court or tribunal? Are you allowed to disclose the dishonesty despite the duty of client confidentiality? Are there degrees of client dishonesty – some acceptable, others not? This program will provide you with a guide to the substantial ethical issues when client dishonesty is discovered or suspected. 

  • Tension between the duty of confidentiality and the duty to be honest in communications.
  • Determining whether a client is lying – active v. passive, fact v. opinion, affirmative statements v. silence.
  • Unknowing attorney representations on basis of client dishonesty.
  • Duties of disclosure and to whom – the tribunal, third parties?
  • Mandatory and permissive withdrawals from a case, including “noisy” withdrawals.
  • Discovery of dishonesty in closed matters.

Opinions and positions stated by presenters of MoBarCLE programs are those of the presenters and not necessarily those of The Missouri Bar. This program is intended as information for lawyers in Missouri, in conjunction with other research they deem necessary, in the exercise of their independent judgment.


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