Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2017
    Posts
    18

    Default Can a Lawyer Write an Affidavit for Someone and Have Them Sign It

    My question involves civil rights in the State of: North Carolina

    Hi guys! Simple question here - I'm a defendant in a civil case. The lawyer of the plaintiff emailed a witness with a fully written affidavit and asked her to sign it. The witness refused because it was false and forwarded the email to me.

    Plaintiff's attorney has produced signed affidavits from other parties that all read identically, so I am convinced he wrote them all, and now I have email evidence that he tried to do the same with one of the parties related to the case.

    Are the attorney's actions legal?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,746

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Write an Affidavit for Someone and Have Them Sign It

    Sure they are legal. He wrote the events as he thought happened. 1 out of 3 don't agree.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    15,183

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Write an Affidavit for Someone and Have Them Sign It

    Quote Quoting PayrolGuy
    View Post
    Sure they are legal. He wrote the events as he thought happened. 1 out of 3 don't agree.
    I am not sure that I agree. It doesn't sound very ethical to me. I can understand interviewing a witness and then maybe making some small errors when putting it in writing for a signature, but completely writing it without doing so, when its completely false, seems very unethical to me.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,746

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Write an Affidavit for Someone and Have Them Sign It

    If the affidavits were from the same interview or belief of the facts it might be lazy to simply duplicate them but not unethical. It isn't like there is any sign of the people were being forced to sign them.

    There is also no sign that the attorney tried to hide the fact that they were identical.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2018
    Posts
    1,168

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Write an Affidavit for Someone and Have Them Sign It

    Quote Quoting BobStanley
    View Post
    Are the attorney's actions legal?
    Absolutely. I've prepared hundreds of affidavits for witnesses to sign. How do you expect an affidavit to be prepared otherwise? It would be a terrible practice for a lawyer to expect a witness to prepare his/her own affidavit. If the lawyer prepares an affidavit that contains information that isn't accurate, then the witness should inform the lawyer of that and not sign it. That's exactly what happened, right? The lawyer can then revise the affidavit or choose to obtain no affidavit. What would make you think this might not be legal?

    Quote Quoting llworking
    View Post
    I am not sure that I agree. It doesn't sound very ethical to me. I can understand interviewing a witness and then maybe making some small errors when putting it in writing for a signature, but completely writing it without doing so, when its completely false, seems very unethical to me.
    You're inventing facts here. You don't know that the lawyer in question didn't first interview the witness, and the OP did not say the affidavit was "completely false." The OP wrote that "it was false," but we have no way of knowing what that means because we don't know what the affidavit said or what the witness disagreed with. And, by the way, there's nothing unethical about a lawyer drafting an affidavit for a witness the lawyer has not interviewed. I've done that a ton as well. As I noted above, if the witness doesn't agree, then he/she simply declines to sign.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    23,852

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Write an Affidavit for Someone and Have Them Sign It

    Nor is the fact that a single witness said the statement is false, proof that it actually IS false.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    7,147

    Default Re: Can a Lawyer Write an Affidavit for Someone and Have Them Sign It

    Quote Quoting BobStanley
    View Post
    Are the attorney's actions legal?
    It's both legal and ethical so long as the attorney is writing the facts as he understands the the attesting to know them. It is quite common for a lawyer to interview the person to understand his or her understanding of the matter and write it down in a clear fashion for the attesting party to then review and sign. The attorney should ensure the person knows to inform the attorney of any errors or omissions in the statement so they can be corrected before the person signs the affidavit. Lawyers do this because affidavits, if simply written by the attesting parties themselves are often a mess and do not clearly convey the important points that need to be made. It's unethical to present as fact anything that did not happen and the lawyer should not attempt to do that. But it is perfectly fine for the lawyer to write up what the facts are in a clear, coherent, and persuasive manner to help make the points he or she is trying to put forth.

    1. Sponsored Links
       

Similar Threads

  1. Evidence: How to Write an Affidavit
    By SarahJaney in forum Civil Procedure
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-21-2018, 10:19 PM
  2. Disciplinary Issues: Can an Employee Get a Copy of a Write-Up After Refusing to Sign It
    By valeri in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-24-2016, 08:24 AM
  3. Custody and Visitation Issues: How to Write an Affidavit and What to Include
    By KuntryMamma in forum Child Custody, Support and Visitation
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 04-23-2013, 09:59 PM
  4. Getting Fired: Fired After Refusing to Sign a Disciplinary Write-Up
    By Jenny1780 in forum Employment and Labor
    Replies: 14
    Last Post: 07-27-2010, 02:28 PM
  5. Ticket Errors: Officer Did Not Sign or Write His Badge No. on Ticket
    By snuggles25 in forum Moving Violations, Parking and Traffic Tickets
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 03-31-2010, 01:48 PM
 
 
Sponsored Links

Legal Help, Information and Resources