Adult Guardianship Statute:
La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 9:1021 to 1034; 13-3421 to :3445; La. Code. Civ. Proc. Ann. Art. 2542 to art. 4569
Right to Counsel in Statute: Initial Guardianship Proceedings:
Right to Counsel in Statute: Post-Appointment Guardianship Proceedings:
Right to Counsel Statututory Citation:
La. Civil Code Ann. art. 4544 - Appointment of Attorney; La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28:452.1(18) - Rights of Persons with Developmental Disabilities
Right to Counsel Definition in Statute:
If the defendant makes no timely appearance through an attorney, the petitioner shall apply for an order appointing an attorney to represent the defendant. Pursuant to such a motion, or on its own motion, the court shall appoint an attorney to represent the defendant. If the defendant either retains his own attorney, or intelligently and voluntarily waives the assistance of an attorney, the court shall discharge the court-appointed attorney. The court-appointed attorney shall represent the defendant until discharged by the court. Art. 4544. To have access to legal assistance and to be visited by his attorney at all times, and to communicate privately with his attorney and with the committing court, if applicable. La. Rev. Stat. Ann. § 28:452.1.
Advocacy Role of Counsel Defined in Statute:
Professional Rules &/or Ethics Opinions:
(a) When a client’s capacity to make adequately considered decisions in connection with a representation is diminished, whether because of minority, mental impairment or for some other reason, the lawyer shall, as far as reasonably possible, maintain a normal client-lawyer relationship with the client. (b) When the lawyer reasonably believes that the client has diminished capacity, is at risk of substantial physical, financial or other harm unless action is taken and cannot adequately act in the client’s own interest, the lawyer may take reasonably necessary protective action, including consulting with individuals or entities that have the ability to take action to protect the client and, in appropriate cases, seeking the appointment of a fiduciary, including a guardian, curator or tutor, to protect the client’s interests. See La Rule of Prof. Conduct 1.14 (Client with a Diminished Capacity). There are no relevant commentaries.
Other Case Law:
“When a person is declared incapable by reason of mental retardation, mental disability, or other infirmity under the provisions of Articles 389 or 422 of the Louisiana Civil code, of caring for his own person or of administering his estate, a court of competent jurisdiction may appoint a limited curator to such person or his estate. Pending appointment of a limited curator, the court shall inquire into the specific abilities and disabilities of the incapacitated person and such limited curator shall have only those powers necessary to provide for the demonstrated needs of the incapacitated person. The powers, duties, responsibilities, and any liabilities of the limited curator shall be specifically set forth in a judgment of limited interdiction. The rights of the limited interdict shall be infringed in the least restrictive manner consistent with his incapacities. A judgment of limited interdiction shall not operate to deprive the incapacitated person of any civil right, the right to contract, or any right pertaining to any license, permit, privilege, or benefit unless specifically set forth in the judgment.” Interdiction of Lemmons, 511 So.2d 57 (1987).