Maxim Monday - 87 - Accuse One Who is Present

Αιτιω παροντα

Approximate (phonetic) transliterationEtio Paronta
Typical translationAccuse one who is present

Phoenix Wright
Phoenix Wright

"Accuse one who is present" means to never blame people who can't defend themselves. It's bad form to blame people behind their backs.

Working in an office, I see people go against this Maxim a lot. When someone leaves the company for any reason, they inevitably start to get blamed by any slacker they knew.

Why didn't you get your module built, Mr. O'Slacker?

Sorry, boss. McSmartypants left before he finished his part, and now I have to figure out where he left off.

Sometimes, this is true. Most of the time, though, I've seen the competent people get frustrated and leave. McSmartypants was probably done for a while, and he got tired of picking up O'Slacker's work. Of course, at that point, McSmartypants can't rebut O'Slacker's accusations.

Rumors where people blame others in hushed tones is also a form of accusing someone who isn't present. Talking about people behind their backs is bad, but pushing blame onto them is even worse. Spreading news i.e. telling when you know, is one thing, but accusing someone through sheer suspicion is when that person isn't able to rebut is unethical.