Nevada Sup. Ct. Commission urges expansion of right to counsel for adult guardianships

09/29/2016, Court Rule or Initiative, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person

The Nevada Supreme Court Commission to Study the Administration of Guardianships has released an exhaustive report calling for all potential wards to be provided client-directed counsel in guardianships, regardless of means.  Under current law (Nev. Stat. § 159.0485), counsel is only appointed upon request and only for those who are "unable to retain counsel", plus there is no funding specified and the precise role of the attorney is not defined.  The report finds that "counsel is not automatically appointed in all districts due to a lack of resources" and that some counties rely on pro bono attorneys, and recommends a fee increase to fund civil legal aid organizations to provide this right to counsel.  The report also recommends the creation of a court rule to specify that the appointed counsel "follow[s] a client directed model of representation to the greatest extent possible."

The release of the report was covered by the Las Vegas Review-Journal.