An email in our inbox this week unbelievably suggests, from a lawyer, that clients should start recording their meetings with legal representatives and scan them with the same lie detecting software used by some local authorities.
We found the idea so interesting we went out onto the streets of Glasgow for a few minutes and put the question "Do you think you should have or be able to have a recording of meetings with your solicitor ?
In a sample interview of ten people, all of them agreed they would benefit from having a recording of any meetings with lawyers.
One person who admitted they had problems with their lawyer over a land transaction said "Yes definitely, if I had the good sense to record the few meetings I had with my solicitor I would not have been facing the problems I have with him now and that useless La Society"
So, not much in the way of web references to members of the public who wish to record their meetings with lawyers - but you can see in the following how local authorities record and analyze the content of interviews with benefits claimants.
Given the Councils apparent success, you may like to try this for yourselves and see how truthful your legal representatives really are ... or even politicians for that !
You may find difficulty in getting hold of some of this "voice risk analysis" software, but a quick scan of google will turn up this : Nemesysco ex sense pro voice risk analysis software .. and no doubt resourceful members of the public will find their way to versions to test out ...
Lawyers will have to become well practiced liars if they are to get over that one !
The Herald reports :
BRIAN DONNELLY February 18 2008
One-third of benefit claims checked by Edinburgh City Council are to be investigated further for potential fraud, as part of a pilot scheme using lie-detector technology.
Although awaiting a full report, the council said around 25 calls over the first two months of the scheme which started in October were considered suspect after being put through voice risk analysis software operated by specially trained staff.
The introduction of the lie detector by the Department of Work and Pensions came ahead of the council's own campaign reinforcing the message that benefit cheats will not be tolerated and that the public has a role in helping to catch those who illegally claim taxpayers' money.
One Edinburgh resident was recently sentenced to 150 hours community service for claiming benefit of more than £11,000 over five years while she was employed.
Yesterday results for earlier lie-detector tests, which began last April in England, showed council tax payers saved £336,711.
Harrow Council, in north-west London, joined the project. It said 998 people were assessed in Harrow using the technology during a seven-month period and 119 (12%) were identified as "high risk".
Of those, 43 (4.3% of the total assessed) were found to have been paid incorrect benefit.
Voice risk analysis has been used in the insurance industry for more than five years and works by detecting changes in people's voice patterns such as hesitation or avoiding direct questions.
Patterns are calibrated at the start of the conversation by asking basic personal details such as name, address and date of birth. The system then flags up any discrepancies from this base stress level.
A spokesman for Edinburgh City Council said: "The vast majority of people who receive benefits are genuinely entitled to them. However, there is a minority who are intent on stealing money from those who need it most."