Wednesday, March 27, 2013

How much does lying in the courtroom cost?

Writing in the Wall Street Journal, attorney Matthew Lifflander examines the costs of perjury to the American economy, and concludes that it is a multi-billion dollar problem.  Here's Lifflander:
For several years, I have made a habit of asking personal-injury trial lawyers about their actual experience with perjury or fraudulent documents in litigation. The consistent answer: At least 25% of cases, though some insist that the perjury and fraud rate goes as high as 50%.
Health-care fraud and personal injury claims are two areas rampant with perjury problems.  Why is it so common? According to Lifflander, because it's basically not prosecuted:
Why are fraud and perjury so rampant? Because prosecutors are reluctant to devote limited resources to prosecutions, which most often arise in commercial cases. Lawyers in civil cases who bring likely perjury cases to a district attorney rarely make much headway. Prosecuting criminals whose transgressions are more dramatic is understandably more appealing.
A nice aspect of Lifflander's article is that he provides several suggestions for dealing with this nationwide legal and economic, problem.  This is an interesting article and worth your time. Find it here.