Does Guardian Ad Litem Entitled to Compensation ?

In Texas, trial judges have little law to guide them in appointing and compensating guardians ad litem. See, e.g., TEX. R. CIV. P. 173; Garcia v. Martinez, 988 S.W.2d 219 (Tex. 1999); see also Jennifer L. Anton, Comment, the Ambiguous Role and Responsibilities of a Guardian Ad Litem in Texas in Personal Injury Litigation, 51 SMU L. REV. 161, 162 (1997). In Texas, trial judges and guardians have been instructed that the guardian must "participate in the case to the extent necessary to protect the minor," American Gen. Fire & Cas. Co. v. Vandewater, 907 S.W.2d 491, 493 n.2 (Tex. 1995), and that "the guardian ad litem should be allowed considerable latitude in determining what ... activities are necessary to that effort," Roark v. Mother Frances Hosp., 862 S.W.2d 643, 647 (Tex. App.--Tyler 1993, writ denied). But they are also told that "a guardian ad litem who goes beyond his role and assumes the duties of plaintiff's attorney is not entitled to compensation for work done assisting or acting for plaintiff's counsel." Roark, 862 S.W.2d at 647. Although not entitled to compensation for performing the work of an attorney, the guardian is nevertheless exhorted to perform duties typically performed by attorneys--e.g., conducting a thorough investigation into the facts of the case, contacting counsel, determining the law pertinent to the case, and reviewing the settlement. See Anton, 51 SMU L. REV. at 172-73 - This article includes a useful checklist to guide guardians ad litem in performing their duties. See Anton, 51 SMU L. REV. at 192-93.