98 Children’s Legal Rights Journal [Vol. 37: 1 2017]
the child’s direction. 114 In addition, the Law Professors' Brief acknowledged the possibility of a
small number of cases where the child was not mature enough to direct counsel; in that event the
Brief argued that the attorney must try to ascertain the child's wishes. 115 The Law Professors'
Brief argued that, if the child's attorney came to the conclusion that the child’s desires were not
in the child's best interests, then the attorney should take no position, refusing to advocate against
the client's wishes. 116
The Kentucky Chapter of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (KYAAML) also
submitted an Amicus Brief [hereinafter the KYAAML Brief], imploring the Court to fill in the
gap in the roles expected of attorneys in Kentucky custody matters. The KYAAML Brief urged
the court to adopt the AAML's proposed standards described in Representing Children:
Standards for Attorneys for Children in Custody or Visitation Proceedings. 117
The KYAAML Brief noted that the AAML Standards provide definitions and differentiation for
the terms “counsel for the child,” “court-appointed professional other than counsel for the
child,” 118 “court-appointed advisor” 119 “experts,” 120 and “protectors.” 121 The KYAAML
Standards also state that a GAL should not be named as “counsel” or “attorney” 122 and that
“[t]hese professionals should never be mistaken for being counsel for the child or serving in any
114 Id. at 9.
115 See Linda D. Elrod, Raising the Bar for Lawyers Who Represent Children: ABA Standards of Practice for
Custody Cases, 37 FAM. L. Q. 105, 116-18 (2003).
116 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 10 (Ct.
App. Feb. 22, 2013.
117 American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, Representing Children: Standards for Attorneys for Children in
Custody or Visitation Proceedings with Commentary, 22 J. AM. ACAD. MATRIM. LAW. 227 (2009).
118 Id. at 234.
119 Id. at 247 (to investigate and report information to the court).
120 Id. at 248 (an expert capacity to provide the court with an opinion about some contested matter).
121 Id. (to protect children from the harms associated with litigation.)
122 Id. at 237.