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Byline: Emilie Lounsberry
Of course lawyers lie.
They're trained to gild the lily, manipulate the facts, pick apart a sentence to the point where the truth seems to get lost in a maze of twisted verbiage.
That's the view, legal experts say, of a jaded public with no more expectation of candor from lawyers now than Sir Thomas More had in 1516 when he called them a "sort of people whose profession it is to disguise matters."
Last week, an Arkansas Supreme Court committee delivered a stinging assessment of President Clinton's truthfulness when it concluded that he should be disbarred for denying a sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky in a 1998 sworn deposition.
The recommendation quickly triggered debate in the legal community and has focused renewed attention on how the American legal system grapples these days with lawyers who cross the line from advocacy to arrogance by lying under oath.
"I personally believe that lying under oath is one of the most serious things you can do," said John T. Berry, director of the Center of Professionalism at the University of Florida's Levin College of Law. "The heart and soul of our profession is about representing the …