The Maryland Court of Appeals held in Fox v. Wills (2006) that an attorney appointed by the court as Guardian Ad Litem in a case had no special immunity and could be sued by one of the parents. The court said in a footnote that the term “Guardian Ad Litem” is not in the rules or statutes of Maryland. Bills were then introduced in the legislature which passed but provisions granting immunity were stricken.
Now the Maryland Rules Committee is considering rules which would allow the court to appoint the following:
Best Interest Attorney to protect the child’s best interests, which may not be the same as the child’s wishes;
Child Advocate Attorney to provide counsel to the child; and
Child’s Privilege Attorney, to assert or waive any privilege of the child.
This tracks the recent recommendations of the American Bar Association to replace the Guardian Ad Litem designation to avoid confusion and clearly set forth the role of the attorney in court orders involving appointments for children.