professionals as psychologists and social workers, who have specialized training and could make
helpful, objective observations based on the established principles in their field of expertise
regarding the well-being of the child. 111
Amici weighed in. Several Kentucky law professors submitted an Amicus Brief [hereinafter the
Law Professors' Brief] that was consistent with the ABA Standards; it argued both that the
current role of the GAL in Kentucky custody proceedings was to act subject to standard
professional responsibility obligations and the role of the children’s counsel be modified to align
with national standards. 112 In short, the Law Professors' Brief argued that until there was
legislative action or a Kentucky Supreme Court ruling on the definition of the GAL, the
Kentucky Rules of Professional Conduct required GALs to serve as attorneys under professional
responsibility rules and, under the rules, the GAL was required to advocate for the child's best
interests, and the GAL should not submit a report to the court or be called as a witness. 113
As for the role of the child’s counsel, the Law Professors’ Brief suggested that attorneys should
be appointed in the client-directed role and attorneys should not substitute judgment for the
child's judgment; the attorney should counsel and interview the client, and if the attorney’s
position differs from the child’s position even after counseling, then the attorney should follow
111 Brief for the Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers as Amicus Curiae, Morgan v.
Getter, 2013 WL 8610403 (Ky.); See also Chalupa v. Chalupa, 830 S.W.2d 391, 392 (Ky. Ct. App. 1992) (“KRS
403.290( 2), which allows a court to order psychological tests of a child, as well as the parents, in order to assist in
making a custody determination is permissive, not mandatory, and the professional's conclusions are merely expert
testimony, or evidence to be considered by the courts and not dictates.”) (internal cites removed).
112 Brief of Law Professors Amy Halbrook, John Bickers, Jamie Abrams, and Anibal Lebron as Amicus Curiae,
Morgan v. Getter, 441 S.W.3d 94 (Ky. 2014) (No. 2013-CA-000655) 2013 Ky. App. Unpub. LEXIS 517, at 3 (Ct.
App. Feb. 22, 2013.