Document Type


Publication Date



Moral philosopher Sissela Bok defines a lie as "any intentionally deceptive message which is stated." She defines deception more broadly, as encompassing "messages meant to mislead [others] ... through gesture, through disguise, by means of action or inaction, even through silence." This broader category of deception is the subject of study here. This Article will examine overt misstatements and deliberate omissions or failures to disclose information. The determining factor in identifying deception is the lawyer's intent. If the lawyer intends to deceive a client, he or she may accomplish this by telling a lie or by withholding information. Deception by omission and by commission are morally identical: the purpose and the consequences are the same.



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.