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Guardian Ad Litem Appointments


Recently enacted Gov’t. Code Sec. 37.004 provides that the Court must appoint guardians ad litem from the Court’s list in order, except when: (a) the parties agree (subject to court approval) to the appointment of an ad litem whose name is not next on the list or is not on the list; (b) the court finds good cause to appoint a person whose name is not next on the list or is not on the list because the person appointed: (i) has specialized training, skills, experience or other qualities relevant to the subject matter of the case; (ii) has “relevant prior involvement with the parties or case”; or (iii) “is in a relevant geographic location”.


The 61st District Court takes seriously its responsibility to those for whom guardian ad litem attorneys are appointed.


Tex. R. Civ. P. 173 provides for the appointment of a guardian ad litem when a minor or non compos mentis is a party to a suit, and is represented by a next friend or a guardian who appears to the court to have an interest adverse to the minor. The trial court can only appoint a guardian ad litem where there is a conflict of interest between the minor and the next friend. The determination of the existence of a conflict of interest requires the exercise of judicial discretion.

A guardian ad litem should not be expected to do work that is typically done by the attorney for the next friend.  Rather, the guardian ad litem is charged with acting as the advocate for the “client”, which may require the ad litem to assume an adversary stance vis-à-vis the next friend.  It is therefore crucial that a guardian ad litem be suited by training and experience that is appropriate to each case.  The Court takes into account the special circumstances present in each case when making appointments; it is therefore to be expected that serial appointments from the list required by Gov’t Code Sec. 37.004 may not be routine.


A guardian ad litem bears the same fiduciary responsibility to the minor or non compos mentis client as to any other client, and may face liability in the event of professional negligence. 


Those wishing to be included in the Court’s list must submit a written request with a complete resume that details the nature of the applicant’s experience as a civil trial practitioner.  Special capabilities, such as fluency in languages other than English, financial background, and the like, should also be listed.  Applicants must also affirm that professional liability coverage is in effect and will remain current.

Inclusion on the list below does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by the Court and no attorney so listed may state or imply that they have been approved, recommended or endorsed by the 61st District Court for any reason or purpose.  Any such representation would violate the Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct.


The Court reserves the right to assign a guardian ad litem who either is not on this list or not next on the general list when the case being assigned warrants special consideration. 

At the present time the list includes the following lawyers:


Kathy Cheng
Sarah Duckers
Jared Caplan
Emily Bohls
Denise Peterson

Seth Kretzer

William R. Ogden

Daniel Horowitz
Nomaan Husain
Mark D. Flanagan
Chance A. McMillan
Jeffrey B. Hardaway
Mario A. Martinez
John Vong
Donald Sepolio
Latreecia Chaun Hubbard
Natalia A. Cruz
Mickey L Washington
Carlos Hughes
Mario Davila
Heather Kubiak
cott Link
DeShonda Charles Tackett 
Andrea Roth

















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