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Do you ever meet with parent lawyer?

School   (1,094 Views | 18 Replies)
by seedanurse seedanurse (New) New Nurse

seedanurse has 6 years experience and specializes in School Nurse.

153 Profile Views; 6 Posts

Hello,

A lawyer, representing one of our student's parents, is asking for a sit-down meeting with me to garner information for a custody dispute. My inclination is to refuse to meet with them without legal representation from the school also being present, but my administrator does not feel this is necessary. Have any of you ever met with student/family lawyers? Do you have your own legal representation there as well.

Any advice is appreciated.

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BrisketRN has 4 years experience as a BSN, RN.

700 Posts; 2,858 Profile Views

I'd refuse until the school provided someone for me to consult with. What information can you legally give to a lawyer? They aren't the parent. I've provided custodial parents with copies of medical documentation and nurse's office documentation which seemed to be for use in a custody trial, but I've never been asked to meet with a third party.

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168 Posts; 1,059 Profile Views

100% I'd want a district lawyer with me. You need to take that higher than your principal if they don't feel it's necessary.

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1,180 Posts; 9,678 Profile Views

Along with the district lawyer your campus admin team should be present also.

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SaltineQueen specializes in School Nurse, past Med Surge.

1 Follower; 885 Posts; 6,438 Profile Views

No way would I do it without the district lawyer being there. What do they think you can tell them anyways? You can't tell them about visits, and I wouldn't give my opinion on anything even if I did think the kid would be better off with one or the other.

If your district won't have their lawyer with you I'd refuse unless they subpoena you.

Do you have malpractice insurance? Not that it's a malpractice issue, but maybe they'd be able to help.

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Flare is a ASN, BSN and specializes in school nursing, ortho, trauma.

2 Followers; 5 Articles; 4,239 Posts; 35,812 Profile Views

I agree - no way would I meet with that person alone. Legal representation would be best, but either way an admin should be there with you. Does the lawyer have an OPRA or other written type of request to access ([potentially) medical info on this child? I would not assume that she/he is privy to that info just because one parent asked them to meet with you.

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9 Followers; 3,805 Posts; 28,777 Profile Views

A good rule of thumb is never talk to an attorney without another sitting right next to you.

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seedanurse has 6 years experience and specializes in School Nurse.

6 Posts; 153 Profile Views

I cannot figure out how to reply to individual comments (first post) but yes, we do have a signed release of information stipulating we may communicate with the lawyer (signed by dad) buuuuut, there are already custody difficulties and I am not sure if dad technically has the authority to release the student's records.

The school I work in has a dysfunctional power-struggle going on, and I couldn't figure out if my directions were coming from the admin, office manager, or our district. Admin is adamant that we follow the chain of command, which is normally valid, but the problem is that I don't trust the chain of command. I ended up contacting our district head and they said DO NOT talk to the lawyer, and instructed me to wait to receive a subpoena or deposition. Which is the answer I was hoping for.

Thank you for the input, and validation, as I was feeling like the lone voice of reason over here.

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1 Follower; 331 Posts; 1,371 Profile Views

I was actually involved in a child custody case AND:

1. Records were released AFTER we received a subpoena

2. I spoke to lawyer and went to court AFTER I received a subpoena.

3. District lawyers consulted with me at every step......

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ruby_jane has 10 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in ICU/community health/school nursing.

5 Followers; 2,831 Posts; 11,853 Profile Views

I am surprised that this made it to you - or not. One of the parent lawyers was looking for low-hanging fruit. Contact the person in the district who meets with lawyers - I am not being facetious. There is someone; usually that someone works directly with the school board.

I was subpoenaed three years ago to talk about the health issues of a kid. It turns out that I (the nurse) never even had to go to court.

Start with your principal and/or health services director and move up the chain.

Best of luck.

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lifelearningrn has 6 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in School Nursing.

2,384 Posts; 25,086 Profile Views

I had a lawyer call and ask me (as well as our registrar) to speak with her over the phone. We both declined, citing privacy issues. We were both served subpoenas to show up in court a couple days later. My principle advised us not to speak to them until district lawyers gave us guidance. They never did. A few days before trial, the layer called and told us she wasn't going to call us as witnesses (which was really in her client's best interest).

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NurseHeatherBSNRN has 6 years experience as a ASN, BSN and specializes in School Nursing.

35 Posts; 607 Profile Views

19 hours ago, EnoughWithTheIce said:

I was actually involved in a child custody case AND:

1. Records were released AFTER we received a subpoena

2. I spoke to lawyer and went to court AFTER I received a subpoena.

3. District lawyers consulted with me at every step......

Same here. Due to FERPA & HIPAA laws, I cannot and will not release any information to anyone other than custodial parent without subpoena. And I will consult my district's attorneys every step of the way.

Edited by NurseHeatherBSNRN

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