LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES CONFRONTING GUARDIAN AD LITEM PRACTICE
AbstractCourts appoint guardians ad litem (GALs) to protect the interests of the courts' most vulnerable populations. This widespread utilization of GAL appointments results in GALs performing diverse tasks including fact investigator, mental health evaluator, next friend attorney, family mediator, and child's attorney. Their valuable work, however, is not without legal and ethical uncertainty. Incompatible ethical mandates, sparse statutory guidance, and undeveloped case law compound these quandaries. This Article explores several important legal and ethical issues impacting modern GAL practice. Part I briefly reviews the functions that GALs serve in the nation's family and juvenile courts. Part II examines a number of legal and ethical issues surrounding GAL practice, exploring the guidance given or predicaments created by various statutes, case law, and professional rules of conduct. In particular, dilemmas surrounding dual appointments, non-confidentiality warnings, third-party access to records, waiver of privilege for a minor's treatment records, the contents of the GAL report, and the safety of the GALs are considered. This Article brings to the forefront some difficult questions, compares differing approaches taken by jurisdictions, and discusses resolutions to these legal and ethical issues.
How to Cite
. LEGAL AND ETHICAL ISSUES CONFRONTING GUARDIAN AD LITEM PRACTICE. Journal of Law and Family Studies, [S.l.], v. 13, n. 1, may 2011. Available at: <http://epubs.utah.edu/index.php/jlfs/article/view/491>. Date accessed: 12 dec. 2019.
Copyright Utah Law Review All Rights Reserved.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).