It's the Lawyers' Fault.....

June 28, 2011
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Here's a typical client's excuse: Felon blames his lawyers.

Invariably, no one wants to accept responsibility for their own wrongdoing. Here's a guy who plead guilty for bribing a congressman, among his many woes. As he sits in jail, his excuse is that he didn't read the plea agreement he signed, just before he was sent to jail to serve the agreed upon sentence - he wants us to believe he thought he was just going to get a slap on the wrist and go about his business, and the lawyers didn't explain it to him properly. He claims that the only reason he was sent to jail was that he wouldn't name the other congressmen he'd bribed. I like that story, and it's certainly funnier than "the lawyers made me do it."

Last week I watched as a former client testified in court that he wasn't at fault for putting his girlfriend down as his spouse on his income tax forms. He "relied on the professional," his accountant, to put her income on the form someplace and it wasn't his fault she was listed as his spouse. The other testimony was that he'd said that "The judge will certainly understand that I was just trying to save money." He claimed she wasn't his wife when she wanted support and some of his earnings - the judge agreed she wasn't his wife, but entitled to the same rights as a wife because he had claimed her as such for years - year after year, in fact, until he was done with her.