Inappropriate affidavits

Some lawyers feel that it is appropriate to pepper affidavits with personal attacks and inflammatory language. That technique is misguided. Restrict the content of affidavits to statements the deponent can swear or affirm to be true, and that are necessary to deal with the legal issue. Your client might feel that her husband is a waste of space, who only cares about getting drunk, but that does not mean her affidavit in a custody dispute should state: “Reginald Smith is a worthless slob who loves the bottle more than he does his children!” The language in affidavits should be civil and factual.
Some areas of practice, such as family law, can sometimes lend themselves to inappropriate content in affidavits. This is related to the issue of emotional clients and lawyers failing to serve those clients in a professional manner. An affidavit is not a vehicle to spit venom in the most objectionable manner that you or your client can conjure. In addition, certain legal disputes require the parties to have some form of enduring relationship, and using improper language in an affidavit can harm the smooth operation of that relationship. If your client requires continued contact with a spouse regarding custody, exacerbating the situation through improper language is not in the best interest of the children, your client, or society. Your client does not have the right to demand that you produce uncivil affidavits and place them before the court.