Representation of Incapacitated Persons as a Guardian Ad Litem — Qualifying Course (Online Seminar)

MCLE Credits: 6.0
Ethics Credits Included: 1.0

MCLE Credit: 6.0 (Ethics: 1.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 0.0
GAL for Incapacitated
Persons CE Credit
6.0 (GAL Information)
Designation Credit: 1.0 Ethics (Designations Information)
Price: $239 (Includes a downloadable audio version.)
Viewable Through: 11/30/2021


A pre-recorded streaming VIDEO replay of the November 2018 live seminar, Representation of Incapacitated Persons as a Guardian Ad Litem-2018 Qualifying Course.

To be appointed as a guardian ad litem for an incapacitated person in Virginia, members of the bar must meet the standards set forth by the Judicial Council of Virginia. This six-hour course meets the training requirement under these standards. All attorneys who wish to qualify for court appointment as GALs for incapacitated persons in Virginia must take this course.

In proceedings where a guardian and/or conservator are sought for an allegedly incapacitated person, the Circuit Court appoints a guardian ad litem (GAL). This course will qualify you to accept those appointments.

Topics to be covered include:

  • What starts the whole process?
  • How is a GAL appointed?
  • What are your duties as a GAL?
  • What community resources are there to assist you?
  • How do you determine if a guardian and/or conservator is needed?
  • Are there alternatives to a guardian/conservator?
  • What are the duties of the guardian and conservator?
  • What ethical rules apply to you as GAL?

For more information on becoming a GAL for incapacitated persons in Virginia, please contact the Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia, 100 North Ninth Street, Third Floor, Richmond, VA 23219 (804-786-6455) or visit this website:

Please note this is the course necessary to become initially qualified as a GAL for incapacitated persons in Virginia.  If you are already a qualified GAL for incapacitated persons in Virginia and are looking to take a GAL program to comply with your continuing education requirements (6 hours every two years), you may repeat this initial qualifying program only once within a six-year period. For example, you are certified as a GAL in 2020.  You may retake this initial qualifying course for GAL credit again in 2022, but then would have to wait until 2028 to take this course again for GAL credit.

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Introduction and Brief Overview
Appointment Process
Raymond L.  Clarke
  • Definitions
  • Evaluation Report
  • Petition
  • Notice
  • Appointment of Guardian Ad Litem
  • Hearing
  • Order
Role of the Guardian Ad Litem for Adults and of Counsel for Respondent
Jean G.  Ball, Kimberley Ann Murphy
  • Duties of the GAL
  • GAL Report
  • Respondent’s Right to Counsel
  • Role of Counsel
  • GAL as Mediator
  • Determining Real Issues in Controversy
  • GAL Role in Drafting the Orders
Requirements to Become a Guardian Ad Litem for Incapacitated Adults
Sandra L. Karison
  • Initial Qualification and Training
  • Recurrent Training
Adult Guardianship Alternatives
Sherri L. Nelson
  • Power of Attorney
  • Living Trust
  • Joint Accounts
  • Advance Directive
  • Civil Commitment           
Aging, Disability, and Community Resources
Angela Morehouse
  • Dynamics of Incapacity
  • Communication
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Medical Terminology
  • Reading Medical Reports
  • Medicaid/Medicare
  • Local and State Agencies
  • Public Guardianship
Role of the Guardian/Role of the Conservator
Ann M. Green
  • Qualification
  • Duties and Powers
  • Annual Reports
  • Revocation or Modification           
Ethical Considerations:  Representing the Impaired Client
Frank A. Thomas, III

Many issues arise that deserve special consideration, including:

  • The ethics rules indicate that the lawyer may be obligated to make decisions for the impaired client. Under what circumstances does this occur? Which decisions are appropriate?
  • A client is presumed to be competent. How will you know when the client is incompetent?
  • To whom may a lawyer disclose confidence and when?
  • The lawyer’s role in the guardianship proceedings         



Jean G.  Ball, Jean Galloway Ball, P.L.C. / Fairfax
Raymond L. Clarke / Charlottesville
Ann McGee Green, Anderson, Desimone and Green, P.C. / Roanoke
Sandra L. Karison, Court Improvement Program, Office of the Executive Secretary, Supreme Court of Virginia / Richmond
Angela Morehouse, The Morehouse Law Firm, P.L.L.C. / Manassas
Kimberley Ann Murphy, Hale Ball / Fairfax
Sherri L. Nelson, Geddy, Harris, Franck & Hickman, LLP / Williamsburg
Frank A. Thomas III, Frank A. Thomas, III PLC  / Orange

Locations, Dates and Fees

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