How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ray Your Own Question
Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 38865
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
8534270
Type Your Legal Question Here...
Ray is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

In the state of New York and New Jersey- are there special

Customer Question

In the state of New York and New Jersey- are there special obligations to consult the parent ore legal guardian of a minor (under the age of 18) if that minor is seeking legal advice? Is there specific precedence regarding LGBT issues?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.

Indirectly there is .The lawyer cannot contract with anyone under 18 years of age.There is no law against talking to a minor here but realistically most lawyers in both states will not do so because they know they have no legal right or way to hire or pay them until age 18.

Here is reference to states and their age to contract.

http://www.lawchek.com/Library1/_books/contract/qanda/legalage.htm#NEWJERSEY

A lawyer sometimes talks to folks confidentially for free and that remains confidential, the problem is they will not usually go much further because the minor cannot contract and pay them.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Please let me know if you have more follow up.I do wish you the best here.Thanks again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
there aren't any instances where parental or legal guardian consent was waived or not required? I.e child was being abused by parents and seeks the advice of an attorney? No special family law exceptions?
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

There are special ethics rules for minors here.

https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/ad4/AFC/AFC-ethics.pdf

Here there is a difference when the lawyer is court appointed.In that situation he is not contracting but being appointed.If a lawyer is aware a child is being abused they have professional duty to report it to the state.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Tough question here, the lawyer has to decide if there is current abuse and whether it falls under the mandatory reporting laws.They can also report it anonymously.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Let me know if you have more here , each case is unique and its a tough issue between lawyer/client and need to report any known current abuse.

Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yea my question is still rather specific- more of a hypothetical: Would there be any criteria/exception for this rule where a minor seeking legal advice would not require parental consent? So if a child seeking legal advice drafts a contract with the attorney and though they are a minor, that contract would not be considered valid if they did not receive parental consent?
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

A minor here can seek legal advice, especially where the lawyer is say court appointed ad litem or criminal case.They have the duty of confidentiality.Where it gets interesting is when there is say ongoing abuse.

They cannot legally hire a lawyer in either state and most lawyers if not appointed just decline to advise them because that is the point the attorney client relationship begins.

Thanks again.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

If they are appointed the contract then is with the court and they are appointed to then represent the minor.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
do you have a link to the applicable law where a minor seeks legal advise and their confidentiality is protected? Is that part of client/attorney privilege? so that still applies to a minor who is seeking legal advise?
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

It is part of attorney client privilege..

There are special ethics rules for minors here.

https://www.nycourts.gov/courts/ad4/AFC/AFC-ethics.pdf

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
To go back to this link: http://www.lawchek.com/Library1/_books/contract/qanda/legalage.htm#NEWJERSEY regarding New York it says "Individuals under the age of 18 may contract.." So does that mean there are exceptions where a minor may enter into a binding contract under the age of 18 without consent?
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

They would have power to disaffirm a contract. Lawyers would not even get into them in the first place.

Age of Majority18 (Dom. Rel. §2)Eligibility for EmancipationNot specifiedContracts by MinorsMay disaffirm most contracts if disaffirmed within reasonable time after reaching majority; exceptions: (1). certain loans; (2). married infant buying home; (3). providing medical care for self/child; (4). for performing athletic or arts services if court-approved; (5). life insurance if 15 or over; (6). or if veteran or veteran's spouse (Gen. Oblig. §§3-101, et seq.)Minors' Ability to SueThrough guardian or parent, adult spouse, guardian ad litem appointed by court or by infant if over 14 (Civ. Prac. L. & R. §1201)Minors' Consent to Medical TreatmentIf - See more at: http://statelaws.findlaw.com/new-york-law/new-york-legal-ages-laws.html#sthash.gsLLIRDp.dpuf

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

In all states, the age requirement to sign a contract is 18 years of age. A child under the age of 18 is considered a minor and is unable to sign a contract unless it is for essential items. Essential items include medicines, food, and medical services. Otherwise, the minor child must have a parent or guardian consent to the contract in order for it to be legally binding.

Here if a child has signed a contract for a non-essential item without your approval, the contract is not valid. In other words, you can contact the business and have the contract destroyed. Valid contracts are only so if the parent or guardian consented to the contract. Any items that the child purchased on contract would need to be returned. Fortunately, the retailers must return the items regardless of their return policy, since they violated the state’s law in allowing the minor to sign the contract in the first place.

If a child is emancipated, meaning the court awarded them adult status while they were still underage, then their contracts are considered valid. In addition, if the child went to great lengths to make it appear that they were 18, such as producing a false identification card, then the court may decide that the contract is legally binding despite the child's status as a minor.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Reference

http://www.lawchek.com/Library1/_books/contract/qanda/legalage.htm

Thanks for the follow up and chance to help you.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

If you can positive rate it is always sincerely appreciated.