Lies, Damned Lies and "Alternative Facts" Breakout #1

Thursday, May 31 
(10:40am - 12:20pm)

Moderator: Bruce Green
Panelists: Ellen Brotman, Michael Flaherty, Nicole I. Hyland, Amanda Kates, Rebecca Roiphe

Everyone knows that lawyers are not allowed to lie -- to clients, courts or third parties. But once you get beyond deliberate false statements, the scope of the obligations relating to truth and integrity become less clear. What about reckless and negligent statements that are false? What about misleading statements and implications about the extent of your knowledge (e.g., "I don't know," when you do have some knowledge, and factual assertions for which you have no basis). What about omissions -- which are okay and which are impermissibly misleading? When is it okay to exploit someone else's misapprehension and when do you have to correct it? What about false and misleading statements where nobody is fooled (e.g., sellers' concessions)? What about misleading conduct in one's personal, rather than professional, capacity? And given the gray areas, how should lawyers be sanctioned for impermissible deceit that does not involve an outright, boldfaced lie?

Through a series of hypotheticals, this program will explore the issues of attorney candor, the parameters of what constitutes a misrepresentation, and the consequences for violating one’s duty of candor.


  1. Bibliography
  2. Lies Damned Lies 042718
  3. Program Summary

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