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2021 California Rules of Court

Rule 7.1102. Qualifications and annual education required for counsel appointed to represent a ward or proposed ward (Prob. Code, §§1456, 1470(a))

Except as provided in rule 7.1104(b), an attorney appointed for a ward or proposed ward must have met the qualifications in either (a) or (b) and, in every calendar year after first availability for appointment, must meet the annual education requirements in (c).

(a) Experience-based qualifications

An attorney is qualified for appointment if the attorney has met the experience requirements described in either (1) or (2).

(1)  Within the five years immediately before first availability for appointment, the attorney has personally represented a petitioner, an objector, a respondent, a minor child, or a nonminor dependent in at least three of any combination of the following proceedings, at least one of which must have been a contested matter or trial:

(A)  A probate guardianship proceeding;

(B)  A juvenile court child welfare proceeding; or

(C)  A family law child custody proceeding.

(2)  At the time of first availability for appointment, the attorney meets the experience requirements:

(A)  In rule 5.660(d) and any applicable local rules for appointment to represent a minor child or nonminor dependent in a juvenile court child welfare proceeding; or

(B)  In rule 5.242(f) for appointment to represent a minor child in a family law child custody proceeding.

(b) Alternative qualifications

An attorney who does not yet meet the experience-based qualifications in (a) may, until the attorney has gained the necessary experience, qualify for appointment if the attorney meets the requirements in (1) or (2).

(1)  At the time of appointment, the attorney works for an attorney, a private law firm, or a legal services organization approved by the court for appointment under Probate Code section 1470 to represent wards or proposed wards, and the attorney is supervised by or working in close professional consultation with a qualified attorney who has satisfied the experience requirements in (a); or

(2)  In the 12 months immediately before first availability for appointment, the attorney has completed at least three hours of professional education approved by the State Bar of California for Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) credit in the subjects listed in (d) and, at the time of appointment, the attorney is working in close professional consultation with a qualified attorney who has satisfied the experience requirements in (a).

(c) Annual education

Each calendar year after first availability for appointment, an attorney appointed by the court to represent a ward or proposed ward must complete at least three hours of professional education approved by the State Bar for MCLE credit in the subjects listed in (d).

(d) Subject matter and delivery of education

Education in the following subjects-delivered in person or by any State Bar-approved method of distance learning-may be used to satisfy this rule's education requirements:

(1)  State and federal statutes-including the federal Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978 (25 U.S.C. §§ 1901-1963)-rules of court, and case law governing probate guardianship proceedings and the legal rights of parents and children;

(2)  Child development, including techniques for communicating with a child client; and

(3)  Risk factors for child abuse and neglect and family violence.

Rule 7.1102 adopted effective January 1, 2020.

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