A 40-something New York lawyer claiming to be 29 raised the suspicion of a London law firm clerk, causing the unravelling of an elaborate construct of lies that underpinned her admission to the English bar. She is now on trial in New York for forgery. Read the details in the New York Times and ABA Journal. You might want to follow up on this cautionary tale with "Is Lying Bad for Us? at The Atlantic, which suggests that the guilt of lying is bad for your health. The piece defines lying broadly to include a habit encountered regularly in legal circles -- pretending to know something rather than saying "I don't know." Evidence that lying is toxic:
One recent study laid the groundwork of a case for honesty by suggesting that liars are less healthy. Researchers at the University of Notre Dame followed 110 people over a period of ten weeks. Half of the participants were asked to stop lying over this period of time, and the other half were not. Both groups took weekly polygraph tests to determine how many times they had lied in the previous week. Those who were able to reduce by three the number of lies they told had four fewer mental health complaints (such as feeling tense) and three fewer physical health complaints (such as headaches) than those who did not.