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GAL (Guardian ad litem)
Tuesday, April 15, 2003
12:30 pm - 2:30 pm
10 Winter Place, Boston, MA
How to Write an Effective GAL Report

More GALs or Guardian Ad Litems

In Massachusetts, a GAL report comes into the record automatically. We call it "by operation of law." The case law clearly states that the parties have a
right to examine and cross-examine the GAL on credentials and on the

To object to the report, the party must object to the statute on constitutional grounds,  In my opinion, there is a basis for such an objection, but it would mean getting a case and taking it all the way up.

 The "automatic" nature of GAL report being entered into the records ("In Massachusetts , a GAL report
comes into the record automatically.") should be challenged, if indeed it is the law of MA. It should 
be entered into the record ONLY AFTER both opposing parties have had a chance to examine and cross-examine
the GAL and the report is deemed legally acceptable.
    Section 56A of chapter 215 reads, "Any judge of
a probate court may appoint a guardian ad litem to investigate the facts
of any proceeding pending in said court relating to or involving
questions as to the care, custody or maintenance of minor children and as to
any matter involving domestic relations except those for the
investigation of which provision is made by section sixteen of chapter two hundred
and eight. Said guardian ad litem shall, before final judgment or
decree in such proceeding, report in writing to the court the
results of the investigation, and such report shall be open to
inspection to all the parties in such proceeding or their attorneys. The
compensation shall be fixed by the court and shall be paid by the
commonwealth, together with any expense approved by the court, upon certificate
by the judge to the state treasurer. The state police, local police and
probation officers shall assist the guardian ad litem so appointed,
upon his request."

Unfortunately your observation that the GAL report "should be entered into the record ONLY AFTER both opposing parties have had a chance to examine and cross-examine the GAL and the report is deemed legally acceptable" does not comport with the reality of the court or of the statute (sec. 56A).

When the GAL report is finished, it is filed and automatically accepted in the court.

If a party has any questions regarding the report, the GAL should be deposed by using a subpoena duces tecum.  M.R.Civ.P. 45.    Her/his PERSONAL notes, her/his handwritten notes taken during interviews with the children and mom and dad will likely be VERY DIFFERENT from her/his report filed in Court.

That is where your meat is:  IN HER/HIS FILE.

CAVEAT:  The GAL will want to be paid as an EXPERT for each hour he/she spends on the deposition.

The Appeals Court will not be helpful.  Of course, it depends on the panel.  It is MORE LIKELY than not that the Appeals Court will make you pay IN ADVANCE.  Figure on a few $thousand for the GAL and the transcript.

I have fought it on the grounds that there is NO EVIDENCE that the GAL is an expert.
Fruitless.  The Appeals Court decision was -- if my memory is correct -- published their decision as a Rule 128 case, i.e., as an UNpublished case not good for use under stare decisis.

IF IF IF IF IF there is a trial and you have taken the deposition, you will then have the deposition to use for impeaching the GAL.  The GAL will seek payment for her/his time on the stand.

IF IF IF IF IF there is a trial and you have NOT taken the deposition, you will have to impeach the GAL by introducing as evidence the discrepancies between notes and report.

I have had a GAL on the stand for 3 days.  The GAL will seek payment for her/his time on the stand and will be awarded that money.  The reliance upon the GAL statute, which says the Commonwealth MUST pay for the GAL, must be vigorously argued.

I have also sued -- Sept or beginning of Oct 2001 -- judges on issues related to the GAl.  See my Drano Seruies #57 and the subsequent related files.  For instance, the appeal to the First Circuit (the complaint was dismissed on immunity grounds. 

I knew the case would be dismissed on those grounds, but I needed to use that procedure to get the case to SCOTUS.  Notwithstanding the fate of the case, within 5 days after serving the offending P&F judge, she was removed from case.  I ended up bringing that case to SCOTUS.  That petition for cert is also on my website.  Did not get cert.  Should have.   But what else is new? 

Nevertheless, my briefs in that suit and in the case in the P&F court caused CJAM Sean Dunphy to "train" the GALS (CPF/FC demonstrated outside the 1-day seminar) and Dunphy wrote or caused to be written the Standing Order, which became effective Januay 2005.  (Someone posted it on the lis within the last few days.) 

It is that federal suit which made me the target by the BBO/OBC/SJC, but because the judges were TOO TOO TOO dirty, the powers-that-be did not dare start the disciplinary action at that time.  

Fast forward to Spring of 2002, when I ran for guv on platform of court reform and abolishment of judicial immunity, I became a marked woman.  Weeks after the election, they began disciplinary action against me.

My disbarment (even though appeal is not complete) will scare attys now.  None will likely dare go after the judges or the GALs (quasi-judicial immunity).   Such suits will have to be brought by pro se people (who do not have to worry about losing their bar license).  Eventually one of you will get it right.   Maybe.  I have not yet seen a pro se person capable of writing a comprehensive, succinct brief with the clarity and knowledge of the law to be successful in either the State or the federal court.

I do NOT know if any other lawyers put up the fight that I did, so, please, no one should bother ask me whether I know a lawyer to do it.  I do NOT know such an atty.  AND CERTAINLY NO ONE is going to do it PRO BONO as I did.   The work I did would have commanded well over $100,000, perhaps as much as $200,000 in any of the Big Boy Boston law firms.  Expensive, Yes, but it is only a fraction, however, of what a successful doctor earns in a year. 

Although my license is still good in fed ct at this very moment, I shall know probably in November or thereabouts whether it will remain good.  The fed will review what happened here. 

It will prove to be interesting . . . because the State Bar has sought and received an extension of time to file their appellate brief with the full panel of the Mass SJC.  Instead of being due the 6th or the 9th, the new due date for the OBC/BBO brief is November 22d.

So if the feds decide to let me keep my license there, and if the Mass. SJC has not by then issued its decision, it will be interesting to see what the Mass SJC does.  

Because the Bar submitted 12 volumes in their appendix and I submtted one, there are over 4000 pages of supporting documents to be reviewed or ignored.   I doubt that the MA SJC will bother look at any -- because their decision has been predetermined -- but the greatest influence might end up being what the fed court does.  It will be interesting.  We will learn the connection between the MA and the fed judges. 

If I survive in fed court, I would do such a case again.  I have reason to believe it will be well-received by SCOTUS this time around.  BUT I would NOT NOT NOT do it pro bono.  I can NO LONGER afford to be so generous!!

Note: proof in the medical industry is quite different than proof in the law industry.  In medicine, proof comes after examining evidence OBjectively.  In the Law, proof is more often than not a determination based on examining so-called evidence SUBjectively.  Worlds apart.  The former is measurable.  The latter is not.

I salute you for trying to learn the law.  It must be rough for you to change your perspective: from making decisions based on "science" to making decisions based on almost nothing.  One lie in a court is equal to three valid studies in the scientific fields.  In medicine, there are rigorous peer reviews.  In the Law, there is more often than not only rubber-stamping.  The two professions are not compatible.

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