ethics, children, practice, decisions, capacity, obligations, recommendations, legal representation


[Preamble] As with adults, a lawyer has an ethical obligation to advocate the position of a child unless independent evidence exists that the child is unable to express a reasoned choice about issues that are relevant to the particular purpose for which the lawyer is representing the child. Where such evidence exists, the lawyer must engage in additional fact-finding to determine whether the child has, or may develop, the capacity to direct the lawyer's action in the particular context.

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