How to deal with liars

We all deal with them.  Folks who have zero compunction about lying.  And, if you confront them about it, guess what?  They’ll lie more, blame you, or further complicate the matter.  So what do you do?

Document the file.  And this can be done in a variety of ways.  For lawyers, we document the file as part of our procedure to solidify facts and agreements.  It is almost second nature for us.

Documenting the file can be as simple as sending an email that memorializes the events, what was discussed, agreed to, or what just occurred.  In litigation, documenting the file and corresponding with adverse parties aids in keeping all of the parties on the same page and helps deter people from backsliding to old positions.

Documenting the file can also be as simple as keeping a personal journal where you jot down notes.  Depending on when and how these notes are kept, the notes may even be admissible evidence should your version of the event come into question.  In some instances where there is an actual file, draft a memo to yourself, print it and date it – sign it.  It may sound antiquated, but in situations where I’ve thought to myself, hmm, I better make a special note of this, I sure am glad that there is a memo in the file.

Finally, strike a balance.  For me, I’ve found that I can generally trust the professionals I work with on a regular basis.  My clients, I trust them.  If I didn’t, they wouldn’t be my clients.  However, when my intuition has told me, hey… there’s something off with this person’s story, I will generally begin to document significant events or conversations.

If you feel like you’re dealing with a person who is getting a little loose with facts or stories, do yourself a favor, document the file.  If you land in litigation, you’ll be happy you did.


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