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How to Correct Mistakes Without Making More

Some lawyers do wrong and act as if they've done no wrong.

And it's annoying to see manifestations of "fake-it-till-you-make-it" or "opposite world" where bad is good and good is bad. But it's really annoying when you try to do the right thing and it ends up hurting you.

So here are some ways to correct your mistakes without making more. There is no moral to this story, just redemption.

If It Doesn't Fit

"If it does not fit, you must acquit," said attorney Johnnie Cochran. Many believe it was one of the biggest lies in legal history, and that O.J. Simpson got away with it.

If death was a sentence, however, his lawyer didn't. A better epitaph could have read: "If it doesn't fit, quit."

In other words, stop making the same mistakes in your practice. Like the unknown ditch-digger said, the first thing to do when you are in a hole is to stop digging.

Confess Your Sins

Fortunately, there are no priests appointed to hear lawyer confessions. It would be a pretty boring job anyway because who would come?

In any case, ethics rules say lawyers must tell clients when they make material errors. If you didn't know this latest commandment, relax because it's not retro-active.

Still, don't make the mistake of not admitting mistakes to clients. It's usually best to fess up in person, especially since written confessions may be harder to live with.

Sin No More

Of course, it is better not to make mistakes in the first place. Not all clients are so forgiving.

Malpractice insurance can cover a multitude of sins. The State Bar and the courts will take care of the rest.

But if you stop making the same mistakes and act to correct them, you may find yourself in a better place at the end of the day.

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