So an update. After several e-mails back and forth between me and concerned mother, I was finally able to get a quote from the recording. It was, in essence, that if mother had the ability to pay for a in-patient drug rehab facility, the lawyer thought that the judge might consider it. The implication was that in the lawyer's opinion, the court would not waste county resources on the kid to give him another shot, and that the court would not consider the free program being proposed by mother.
THIS is a completely different situation than the one I think was first presented to me. I'm glad that I hesitated and got the quote. While one might disagree with the manner in which the lawyer is proceeding (many details left out), one cannot find that lawyer is being unethical with mother or kid. Lawyer is just trying to figure out how to get around the judge's general rules to help kid.
It truly is a matter of misunderstanding, and the situation will continue to be misunderstood, I'm afraid. Mother, while a loving and caring person, is likely an enabler because she has every excuse in the world for kid and his problems. (He committed at least one burglary of a habitation while out for the day from his rehab program. One of those situations that make it hard to justify giving him another chance at rehab.)
So, I guess I got involved enough to determine that this is not an unusual situation, and that the lawyer has probably not done anything wrong. My "super hero" cape shall go back into the closet and I will, once again, mind my own business.