the Court and statutorily-allowed investigator roles. If so, it should be made clear that the Friend
of the Court role is an investigator’s role, subject to cross-examination, is entirely separate from
the GAL role, and that the trial court may appoint both a GAL and a Friend of the Court where
necessary but may not ask a single advocate to serve in both roles.
The Supreme Court could assign a commission to examine the roles of professionals serving
children in family matters. The Commission could be tasked with deciding whether to adopt the
Standards of Practice for children’s lawyers promulgated by the ABA,212 thus recognizing the
Kentucky GAL as being the same as a Best Interests Attorney as defined in the ABA Standards
and subjecting the GAL to its requirements. The Commission may also decide to adopt different
standards, as has been done in other jurisdictions.213
In any event, even without additional guidance, the Administrative Office of Courts should
create and disseminate model appointment orders in domestic cases consistent with the proper
roles of advocates in private custody cases.214 The appointment order should, at minimum,
designate the appointment as GAL or Friend of the Court, and designate basic duties assigned to
each role pursuant to Morgan.215
IV. MORGAN V. GETTER: Kentucky’s Guardian Ad Litem
Litigation as a Model for Seeking Role Clarity
It is difficult for children’s attorneys to address role conflict issues within their cases because, in
order to do so, they would frequently be in a position to compromise their client’s interests. In
212 ABA Standard, supra note 3.
213 See, e.g., 705 ILL. COMP. STAT. ANN. 405/2-17 (West 2013).
214 See ABA Standard, supra note 3, at Appendix A. (Children Representation Appointment Order, outlining reasons
for the appointment, nature of the appointment, fees and costs, and access to confidential information).