Guardian ad Litem (GAL)
Duties and Responsibilities
The primary duty of a guardian ad litem (GAL) is to represent the best interests of the person for whom the GAL is appointed. Sometimes the person's wishes conflict with what is in the person's best interests. A GAL is an officer of the court and must maintain independence, conduct herself or himself professionally, avoid conflicts of interest, treat parties with respect, become informed about the case, timely inform the court of relevant information, limit duties to those ordered by the court, inform individuals about her or his role in the case, maintain the parties' privacy, perform duties in a timely manner, maintain documentation, and keep records of time and expenses. These requirements set forth ethical conduct standards, violation of which may subject the GAL to discipline. The duties and responsibilities of GALs are provided by court order, court rules, and statutes.
Local court rules may be obtained from each superior court. Some local rules are available online.
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