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Mr. Jones, have you ever been convicted of a crime? "Oh no, never been convicted of a
crime. "Are you sure? "Yes, I'm sure." Let me share with you how telling a little fib
can destroy your entire case and make you look like a total liar. Would you like to
learn what this is about? Come join me as I share with you this great information. Hi.
I'm Gerry Oginski. I'm a New York medical malpractice and personal injury trial attorney
practicing law here in the state of New York. Did you know that telling a little fib -- telling
a little contradiction, a little white lie -- cannot only destroy your entire case but
can make you out to look like a real big liar? Let me share with you how this might come
about. During your pre-trial testimony in a medical malpractice case, in a car accident
case or even an accident case, you're asked this innocuous question: Mr. Jones, have you
ever been convicted of a crime? And you're thinking in the back of your mind what does
this have to do with my medical malpractice or my accident case? And you say, "No. I've
never been convicted of a crime." Never believing that the defense is going to do an investigation
to look into your background. And you say, "No. Never been convicted of a crime." And
so now the defense attorney moves on and he doesn't have any information at that moment
to contradict you. But now as the case moves on and goes to trial, the defense attorney
is going to do extensive investigation to determine what your background is as well
as whether or not you have anything in your past -- anything in your history -- to show
that you contradicted something that you testified to during the course of your litigation. So
if it turns out that you have been convicted in the past, now here's how this is going
to be used at trial. You're on the witness stand. You've now testified. And now the defense
has an opportunity to cross-examine you. Mr. Jones, have you ever been convicted of a crime?
"No, I haven't." Because remember, you're thinking back wait a second this has nothing
to do with my case. I'm going to stick to my story. "No, I haven't." Really? You've
never been convicted of a crime? "No, I haven't." Ever? "No." You've never plead guilty to any
crime? "No, I have not." Mr. Jones, six years ago did you reside at this address? "Yes."
And in fact, isn't it true you plead guilty to the following crime? "No, I did not." Really?
Your Honor, I offer this document into evidence. I ask the court to take judicial notice that
Mr. Jones not only was convicted but plead guilty to this crime. Now the mere fact that
he was convicted has nothing to do with the key issues involved in this case. What does
it have to do with? It has to do with your credibility. And if you have destroyed your
credibility by telling one little inconsistency, by telling one little lie, the defense will
now use that later on to show that you are a total liar. The judge will give the jury
an instruction and say "Ladies and gentlemen, if you find that a witness has testified falsely
about one thing -- no matter whether it's small or large -- you are entitled to disregard
all of their testimony." So why do I share this great information with you? I share it
with you just to give you an insight and an understanding into what goes on in the litigation
process and what happens if you tell one little fib, one little lie, how it can make you out
to be a total liar and destroy your entire case. You know, I recognize you have questions
or concerns about your own particular matter. And if your matter happened here in New York
and you do have legal questions, what I encourage you to do is pick up the phone and call me.
I can answer your legal questions. This is something that I do every single day and I
welcome your call. You can reach me at 516-487-8207 or by email at Gerry@Oginski-law.com. That's
it for today's quick video. I'm Gerry Oginski, have a wonderful day!