Do Female Lawyers Lie More Than Men?

According to a new study, when it comes to negotiating, female lawyers may be less moral than their male counterparts. But according to the study, a really high number of lawyers, both sexes, would be willing to engage in a fraudulent settlement negotiation scheme . . . if asked to do so by their client. So it is a bad day for lawyers all around.

In a survey of  more than 700 practicing lawyers, Art Hinshaw and Jess K. Alberts asked participants whether or not they’d be willing to engage in a fraudulent negotiation scheme. In the first instance  - which required the lawyers to assume they would lie for their client if asked about his injuries – men and women responded in pretty much the same way. But as the problem became more detailed the men showed themselves less willing to participate in the lesser sin of omitting the main information from the settlement discussion only if they were not asked about it. If asked, more men than women said they’d be willing to tell the truth.

The hypothetical situation was:

“A plaintiff  is infected by his former girlfriend with the fatal “DONS virus.” Just as settlement negotiations were about to begin, the attorneys were told their client had just revealed to them that he wasn’t infected after all. His first test had been a “false positive.” His second test showed him to be DONS-free.

Despite the good news, the client remains angry because he had been grappling with the death sentence on many different levels, including quitting his job and selling or giving away his belongings.  As a result, he wants to punish his former girlfriend for her reckless behavior. To do so, he asks his attorney . . . to refrain from revealing the fact that he is DONS-free during the settlement negotiation.”

This is where women scored less well than men. They were willing to not bring up the fact that their client wasn’t sick unless specifically asked. According to experts this could be because the foundation of women’s negotiation motivations ”emphasizes responding to others’ needs and supports the belief that one should not turn away from someone in need,” while men focus more on reciprocity and respect.

Well it is not good if a female lawyer lies but the reasoning behind it is understandable. Again it sounds like when are letting their emotions get the best of them in negotiations but unlike when you are asking for more money, lawyers are supposed to be establishing justice.

Photo:  liveostockimages/Shutterstock.com

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