Legal Ethics

3 Lawyers Interacted with Missing Mom in Child Chemo Case

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A Minnesota mother who allegedly fled last week with her 13-year-old son after a state-court judge said he must have potentially life-saving chemotherapy for a highly treatable form of cancer has now returned home with the teen.

Colleen Hauser says she will abide by the court’s decision-making, and a case against her for leaving the state with the teen is likely to be dropped because she returned voluntarily, according to authorities. Meanwhile, her one-week odyssey—in which Hauser and her son, Daniel, traveled at least to California and perhaps Mexico, too—involved interaction with at least three California lawyers, reports the Minneapolis Star Tribune

One, Susan Daya Hamwi, went to a medical appointment with the two Hausers just before they disappeared. Hamwi was identified as a possible traveling companion on a national alert issued last week as authorities search for the teen so that he could be treated, according to the Associated Press. Media reports indicate that the attorney is a member of the same religious group as the mother, Colleen Hauser, who has opposed treatment for her son on religious grounds and because she considers chemotherapy toxic.

But on Friday Hamwi told the news agency that she had been at home in Los Angeles and was not traveling with the Hausers.

A subsequent Associated Press article reports that Hamwi said yesterday she bought two one-way plane tickets for the Hausers, but they reimbursed her.

Two other California lawyers were involved in bringing the Hausers home, the Star Tribune recounts. One, Jennifer Keller, helped them negotiate with authorities about returning. A second, Karen Pezzuto, has cancer herself and reportedly both counseled the Hausers and filmed, with her husband, their return home aboard a chartered plane that the Pezzutos paid for.

Hat tip: Legal Blog Watch.

Earlier coverage: “Mom Disappears with Son After Court Orders Chemo for the Boy”

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