You must resist the temptation to stick your head in the sand, cover-up or lie about your mistakes. Face the music, take your medicine and confess all…it is the best approach
We all make mistakes; its how we deal with them that builds character
As the proverb goes, “to err is human”. That is a simple statement. But it is a beautiful summary of the conundrum we can face.
We all make mistakes. In every walk of life, people make errors daily. Sometimes multiple times in a day.
I have certainly learnt a great deal from my mistakes. A mistake stays with you. You can mull it over repeatedly. Whilst this can seem tortuous, I feel that such navel-gazing is beneficial. It is good to question a mistake. Ask yourself what you could have done differently. Consider the learning points. Most of all when you make a mistake, the best option is, to be honest. The mistake can usually be addressed if you act quickly. Even if it cannot be addressed, at least its effect can be mitigated.
When lawyers make mistakes there can be serious consequences. Of course, we are not doctors dealing with real life and death situations. But lawyers have fiduciary duties to their clients and the court, to be honest, and to act in their client’s best interests.
Scorched earth policy? Do not burn the evidence
This week, The Law Society’s Gazette magazine published a story about a lawyer who made a big mistake. In a moment of panic realising that she and her client had missed an employment tribunal hearing, she tried to bury the evidence. She threw the two tribunal notices, confirming the date of the hearing, into the locked confidential wastepaper bin.
We all make mistakes, but I have to say that is a shocker. I do have some sympathy with the lawyer. We have all felt that gut-wrenching dread when you discover a mistake. I have been there myself; you cannot breathe, your face goes red, your body heats up, and your heart is racing. You are not thinking clearly. It is…