Virginia's Judicial System

Complaints Regarding Guardians Ad Litem

The appointment of a guardian ad litem (GAL) is the prerogative and responsibility of the court hearing a case in which such an appointment is authorized.  Because the appointing court is in the best position to observe the quality of the representation provided by the GAL, it is the responsibility of the appointing court to make a determination about the quality of the guardian ad litem’s performance. 

If the judge believes that an unsatisfactory level of performance has been provided in any given case, the appointing court can reduce or eliminate the payment sought by the GAL for the services rendered, and can remove the lawyer from the case and from the list of attorneys eligible for GAL appointments in that court.  The Office of the Executive Secretary does not have the authority to investigate or take disciplinary action against a GAL.

If you believe that the GAL appointed to your case has engaged in misconduct in violation of a legal ethics rule, you may file a misconduct inquiry about the attorney with the Virginia State Bar.  You may contact the Virginia State Bar at (804) 775-0500 or visit for additional information about filing a misconduct inquiry.