Indiana lawyers says they're not bound to report child abuse against their client's wishes


By: Associated Press

(Source: License:

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Some child welfare officials say children could be endangered by an Indiana State Bar Association committee’s opinion that lawyers aren’t bound by a state law requiring anyone who suspects a child is being abused to immediately report it.

The bar association’s Legal Ethics Committee says lawyers may report suspected child abuse or neglect against their clients’ wishes only when they believe it is necessary “to prevent reasonably certain death or substantial bodily harm.”

The Indianapolis Star reports that the opinion says a lawyer’s duty to keep client information confidential is “generally paramount” over the responsibility to report child mistreatment.

Sandy Runkle-DeLorme of the group Prevent Child Abuse Indiana says she’s worried that many lawyers lack the training to determine the seriousness of a child abuse or neglect situation.