Can an attorney use old unrelated testimony from a case that I testified in 5 years before and pass it off as current testimony?
5 attorney answers
There is nothing wrong with using "prior inconsistent statements" to impeach litigants or witnesses. As long as it appears from all the documents that a litigant or a witness testified differently under oath in a prior proceeding on matters relevant to the issues being litigated now, there is no "fraud."
There is no "current" for "old" testimony. There is just prior testimony. The dates are easily exposed or revealed by reference to the source, and you say your lawyer pointed it out, so not much "fraud" going on there. That stated, beware of trying to become "co-counsel" as opposed to "client" in such cases as thats a quick way to alienate your lawyer and force them to withdraw. Too many cooks in the pot is an old adage for a reason.
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The "all attorneys lie" statement is nonsense. That being said, you need to get with an attorney in your area without delay. You may potentially have the basis for an appeal, for a motion in trial court (to address the fraud issue or to revisit the trial court's order), for disciplinary actions against the attorneys, for malpractice against your attorney, etc. You need to do this without delay. Find an attorney immediately and provide him or her with full and complete information about the details that you have sketched here.
Please feel free to inform your attorney that I (and many other attorneys) do not believe or contend that "all attorneys lie". Most attorneys uphold their oath and do not risk losing their license by making false statements to the court. If your attorney believes all attorneys lie (which means he/she lies), it is time for him or her to surrender his/her license and find a more suitable job (perhaps run for political office), before the bar takes his/her license for his/her efforts to lie to a court. If this case involves several million dollars of damages and you believe your current attorney has not properly represented your interests, you have the financial ability to hire another attorney willing to pursue your issue and fire your current attorney. Yes, you will have to pay for this initially, but if as you say, millions of dollars are at stake, the old adage applies: to make (or in this case preserve) money, you have to spend money). In this forum, all we can go by is what you state. We don't have access to the transcripts or how the testimony was presented to the court. I agree with my colleague that if an attorney referred to a transcript, it shows the date of that testimony and the court would be aware of when that testimony was presented. If, however, something was actually misrepresented to the court and has a material impact on the rulings of several courts, you should easily find an attorney wiling to present that issue to the courts, provided, of course, that you are willing to pay that attorney for his/her time. If your current attorney has made a mistake(s), (and again, without seeing the transcripts, we are only assuming your view of what has occurred is correct), he/she has professional and possibly financial responsibility for this error in judgment.
I hope you found this response to provide some help in your effort to resolve a legal issue. This response shall not be considered rendering legal advice but instead a general response to a general question. Avvo is a wonderful resource but nothing can substitute for an in-depth consultation face-to-face with a lawyer. The response shall not be deemed to create an attorney-client relationship, nor shall it create an obligation on the part of the attorney to respond to further inquiry from the questioner. The purpose of this forum is to provide general advice both for the person asking the question and others who might have similar questions.
not at all.....the transcript is dated and the context is bounded by the when, where, why and what case it was taken in.