10 basic rules for clients
TEN BASIC RULES FOR CLIENTS
RULE #1: I WILL ALWAYS TELL THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.
From the time of the Romans, it has been known, falsis in unum, falsis in omnibus (false in one thing, false in all). Telling the truth is so important, that in Model Pattern Jury Instruction 1:3: WITNESS TESTIMONY CONSIDERATION, Jurors are instructed as follows:
You are the sole judges of whether testimony should be believed. In making this decision, you may apply your own common sense and everyday experiences. In determining whether a witness should be believed, you should carefully judge all the testimony and evidence and the circumstances under which each witness has testified. Among the factors that you should consider are the following:
i.the witness’ behavior on the stand and way of testifying;
ii.the witness’ opportunity to see or hear the things about which testimony was given;
iii.the accuracy of the witness’ memory;
iv.did the witness have a motive not to tell the truth?;
v.does the witness have an interest in the outcome of the case?;
vi.was the witness’ testimony consistent?;
vii.was the witness’ testimony supported or contradicted by other evidence?; and
viii.whether and the extent to which the witness’ testimony in the court differed from the statements made
by the witness on any previous occasion.
You need not believe any witness even though the testimony is uncontradicted. You may believe all, part, or none of the testimony of any witness.
Always, Always, Always tell the truth.
RULE #2: I WILL ALWAYS TELL MY ATTORNEY THE WHOLE STORY AND NOT JUST WHAT I THINK HE SHOULD HEAR
RULE #3: NEVER GUESS
RULE #4: GET THE STORY OUT AND ANSWER THE QUESTION
RULE #5: YOUR ATTORNEY IS YOUR BEST FRIEND, TRUST HIM/HER
RULE #6: STAY OUT OF TROUBLE
RULE #7: BE ON TIME
If you have a court appearance at 9:00 AM, do not arrive at 9:00 AM or later. Arrive in your attorney’s office at least 45 minutes to one hour in advance of trial unless you are instructed otherwise. Never be late for access periods, appointments, or meetings with Court Officials. They make a really big deal of promptness.
RULE #8: RESPECT THE COURT, YOURSELF, AND YOUR ATTORNEY
See Rule #7 above. Arrive for Court promptly and appropriately dressed. Do not wear jeans, T-shirts, sandals, exposed mid-riff blouses, suggestive or dirty clothing, or anything else that would give the Court the opportunity to question your judgment. While in Court, respect the Judge, Clerks, Bailiffs, Sheriffs, and opposing parties and Counsel. Despite what the Judge may say or do, he/she is the Judge, and you want something from that Judge. Act and speak accordingly.
RULE #9: IDENTIFY AND WRITE DOWN WHAT YOU EXPECT FROM YOUR ATTORNEY
RULE #10: BE HONEST ABOUT YOUR FINANCIAL RESOURCES
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