Ethical Issues in Advocacy and Legal Representation of Child and Teen Clients

Jan Costello, J.D.

This workshop addresses the special ethical issues facing a lawyer/advocate representing a child client who also may have a mental disability: How are professional obligations to advance the client's interests and preserve client confidences affected? How should the lawyer/advocate determine the client's competency to instruct him or her? If the lawyer/advocate concludes that the child client's competency indeed is impaired, should he or she make decisions in the client's "best interests" or "therapeutic interests?" Prof. Costello critically analyzes existing legal ethics standards for representing clients identified as having mental disabilities or clients who are children. She questions whether a lawyer/advocate can or should determine the child client's "therapeutic" needs, as opposed to legal interests. Finally, she recommends and outlines special training to help lawyer/advocates more effectively represent child and teen clients.

Conference discount on airfares from Northwest/KLM

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