In general, all lawyers owe a duty of confidentiality to their client. The fact that the Children’s Lawyer represents a child makes no difference—the same level of confidentiality is required, subject to exception. Where the Children’s Lawyer suspects the child suffers abuse or neglect while in the course of their legal duties, the Children’s Lawyer has a decision to make. The lawyer can breach confidentiality and alert the Children’s Aid Society, or not. The determining factor is whether the Children’s Lawyer has reasonable grounds to believe there is imminent risk of death or serious bodily harm to the child. Where such immediate risk is ascertained, the Children’s Lawyer is expected to divulge privileged information in service of the child’s safety.
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About the author
Russell Alexander is the founder of Russell Alexander Collaborative Family Lawyers and is the firm’s senior partner. At Russell Alexander, our focus is exclusively family law, offering pre-separation legal advice and assisting clients with family related issues, including: custody and access, separation agreements, child and spousal support, division of family property, paternity disputes, and enforcement of court orders. We have locations in Toronto, Markham, Whitby (Brooklin), Oshawa, Concord, Lindsay, and Peterborough.
For more information, visit our website, or you can call us at: 905-655-6335.