Don’t lie beyond your intellectual capacity…

One of my colleagues in chambers had a case recently where the employer claimed to have completed and issued a proforma written warning in mid-2007. The employee claimed never to have seen the document before the tribunal proceedings.

So how wonderful to arrive at the hearing of the claim, get the original document in the employer’s witness’s hands and say:

  • Did you complete this form in June 2007 Mr Smith?
  • Yes.
  • Certain?
  • Yes.
  • You didn’t fill it in afterwards?
  • Certainly not.
  • You’ll see Mr Smith that there’s some tippex on the original pre-printed date on the proforma, and you’ve written 2007.
  • Er, yes.
  • Could you just hold the document up to the light and tell me what year is pre-printed on the form?
  • [pause] 2008
  • Would you like to rethink your answer to my question on when you filled the form in?
  • Erm, I guess I could have printed a lot of 2008 forms in advance.
  • But you didn’t did you?
  • Well, no.

Surely a candidate for a litigation version of the Darwin Awards. If you’re going to perpetrate a fraud, forgery, or even just a bit of a fib, at least think it through first.

The same can be said of Lucille Hester of Dallas, who has a letter she claims to have been given in 1999 by her half-brother who died in 2002. Such a shame the letter is typed in Calibri, invented in 2003 specifically to be the default font in Office 2007, not released until 2006. Read the news report here.

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