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Right to Counsel in Guardianship Proceedings

By Elizabeth R. Calhoun & Suzanna L. Basinger

The right to counsel in a judicial proceeding where a person may be deprived of one or more liberty interests is basic to the American system of jurisprudence. Although a petition for guardianship is an obvious threat to the rights and liberties of the individual in question, some debate remains about the extent to which procedural safeguards are needed. The resulting lack of uniformity among state guardianship laws highlights the conflicting theories that continue to surround guardianship and issues of incapacity.

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