This article addresses ethical dilemmas lawyers face when representing children in abuse and neglect proceedings in juvenile court. Children in such cases need traditional advocacy in order to protect their legal rights and effectuate just outcomes. Lawyers who represent children have an ethical obligation to perform this function as advocates for their clients and not merely as guardians ad litem who make paternalistic recommendations about the best interests of children. The requirement that lawyers disregard their role as advocates for the role of guardians ad litem circumvents the ethical rules that govern lawyers and fails to adequately and effectively safeguard children’s rights. Lawyers for children can, however, maintain the traditional advocate role and provide effective representation within the framework of the rules of professional conduct.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/suparna_malempati/1/