Ethical issues in the representation of child clients

  • By
  • | 12:00 p.m. April 12, 2010
  • | 5 Free Articles Remaining!
  • News
  • Share

JBA Juvenile Law, Dependency & Guardian ad Litem Section Chair Elizabeth Ondriezek

The Juvenile Law, Dependency & Guardian ad Litem Section of the Jacksonville Bar Association is excited to offer an important opportunity to local lawyers. Friday, April 23, the Jacksonville Bar Association will host “Ethical Issues in the Representation of Child Clients,” a continuing legal education (CLE) seminar featuring speaker Michael J. Dale, Professor of Law at Nova Southeastern University.

As chairperson of the Juvenile Law, Dependency & Guardian ad Litem Section, I encourage attorneys from all areas of practice to attend this event. There is a misconception that lawyers come into contact with children in the courtroom only if they practice juvenile delinquency or dependency law. On the contrary, lawyers frequently work with children in other areas, such as family, tort and probate law. It is vital that all attorneys understand the ethical implications of working with children in the legal field. This seminar is geared toward improving the knowledge and legal skills of attorneys from a variety of practice areas by making them aware of potential issues related to the representation of children.

The seminar will take the format of a lecture and question/answer session using hypotheticals on ethical issues regarding the representation of children. Issues to be covered will include how to represent a child with diminished capacity, whether to represent the “best interests” of a child, and confidentiality with a child when a parent is also involved. The Florida Bar has approved this presentation for 2.5 CLER hours, 2.5 Ethics hours and 2.0 Marital & Family Law Certification hours.

Michael J. Dale has been a professor of law at Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida since 1985, teaching courses in family law, juvenile law, and in the family and juvenile clinic. Prior to joining the faculty at Nova, Dale worked in private practice in Arizona and was the Executive Director of the Youth Law Center in San Francisco after serving as Attorney in Charge of the Special Litigation Unit of the Juvenile Rights Division of the Legal Aid Society of the City of New York. He has been a practicing lawyer specializing in civil rights litigation for 35 years.

Dale teaches National Institute for Trial Advocacy programs concerning children across the country. He is the author of more than 70 articles focusing primarily on juvenile and children’s law topics as well as the two-volume text, “Representing the Child Client,” published by Matthew Bender Co. He speaks frequently to professional groups on topics concerning the representation of children, and the Jacksonville Bar Association is confident that his presentation will serve to educate and improve the skills of practitioners in their legal work with children.

The seminar will be held Friday, April 23, from 1-3 p.m. at the Courthouse Annex, Jury Assembly Room, Room 100, 220 E. Bay St., Jacksonville, Fla. 32202. The registration form is available online on the Jacksonville Bar Association Web site at For more information, please contact me at [email protected] or by phone at 396-3900.



Special Offer: $5 for 2 Months!

Your free article limit has been reached this month.
Subscribe now for unlimited digital access to our award-winning business news.