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A court is not required to make an appointment from the required list for: 1) “a mediation conducted by

an alternative dispute resolution system established under Ch. 152, Civil Practices and Remedies Code,”

2) the appointment of “a guardian ad litem or other person appointed under a program authorized by Sec.

107.031 of the Family Code (CASA appointment), 3) the appointment of an attorney ad litem, guardian ad

litem, amicus attorney, or mediator appointed under a domestic relations office established under Chapter

203, Family Code, or 4) “a person other than an attorney or a private professional guardian appointed to

serve as a guardian as defined by Sec. 1002.012, Estates Code.

17

Courts are permitted to appoint persons who are not next on the list or who are not on the list but meet the

statutory or other requirements necessary for the appointment in two instances. The first is when the parties

have agreed on the person and the court approves of the appointment.

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The other is on a finding of good

cause, if the appointment is required on a complex matter, because the person has “relevant specialized

education, training, certification, skill, language proficiency or knowledge of the subject matter,” “has relevant

prior involvement with the parties,” or “is in a relevant geographic location.”

19

Senate Bill 1876 also requires an LAJ to ensure that appointments made by the courts in the county are

made from the lists as required by Sec. 37.003.

20

It also requires the presiding judge of the probate courts to

require that the LAJs for statutory probate courts in a county ensure that the statutory probate courts in the

county comply with Chapter 37.

21

Posting the Lists

The lists maintained by the courts are required to

be posted annually “at the courthouse of the county

in which the court is located and on any Internet

website of the court.”

22

Under the plain reading of

the statute, a court does not appear to have a duty

to update its lists as names are added; however, it is

probably a best practice to do so. If a court is known

to post general information for the attorneys who

practice regularly before them, the lists should be

posted there. Another possible location is the place

where the district clerk posts the lists of attorneys

who are qualified for appointment to represent

indigent defendants in capital cases in which the

death penalty is sought.

SB 1876 also requires that the lists be posted on

“any Internet website of the court.” If courts do not

maintain their own websites, they should coordinate

with the person in the county who maintains the

sites for the courts and request that the lists be

posted there. If there is no Internet website for the

courts in the county, SB 1876 does not require that

one be created solely for the purpose of posting the

required lists.

Reconciling HB 3003 (new offices of child and parent representation and managed

assigned counsel programs for certain children and parents) and SB 1876

The 84

th

Legislature also passedHouse Bill 3003

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that provides a process for local governments to establish

offices for the representation of children and indigent parents involved in suits seeking conservatorship of

the child or the termination of parental rights by the Department of Family and Protective Services.

24

The bill