Should We Allow Our Clients to Tell Us the “Whole Truth?”

Tactics are required to control the flow of information from the client. It has to be done by the defence attorney.


The selection of the right defence attorney is a matter of great concern. Ward Davison and James Gill had written an informative article in the Texas Bar Journal.The main weakness is the nature of the advice specially on how to start the attorney/client relationship on the right manner. An experienced criminal defense attorney might have a different way of learning about the prospect’s criminal charges during the interview process.

Davison and Gill advised the prospective client to avoid the hiding of any information from the attorney with whom they were discussing. However, from a tactical point of view, it is hardly a requirement to speak out the whole truth at one go. Most often it is found that the client is not aware of the truth unless it is mentioned before. In the same way, a defense lawyer who allows their  client to testify is treading on unethical ground.


Our approach is to find out only the need to quote a fair price for the legal services. Clients often want to tell us “everything.” But here is where the experience of the defense attorney begins to bear the fruit of success. Most times we want our client to be well furnished with the law and the prosecution’s facts before the discussion of the truth. The bottom line is that we cannot poison a potential winning legal or factual issue by having the client commit to a set of facts before knowing how the prosecution can be proved guilty.


To the contrary, helping the client take the right decision is part of our responsibility. Helping them understand the law and facts before committing to their story can be the difference between failure and burning the prosecution’s feet on the fire of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Good luck.

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