Right to counsel
While a state may have many statutes, court decisions, or court rules governing appointment of counsel for a particular subject area, a "Key Development" is a statute/decision/rule that prevails over the others (example: a state high court decision finding a categorical right to counsel in guardianships cases takes precedence over a statute saying appointment in guardianship cases is discretionary).
Legislation, Guardianship/Conservatorship of Adults - Protected Person
For guardianship proceedings, Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 18-A, § 5-306, which was revised in 2018, states:
1. Appointment of attorney required. The court shall appoint an attorney to represent the respondent in a proceeding on a petition under section 5-302 if:
A. Requested by the respondent;
B. Recommended by the visitor;
C. The court determines that the respondent needs representation; or
D. It comes to the court's attention that the respondent wishes to contest any aspect of the proceeding or to seek any limitation on the proposed guardian's powers.
2. Duties of attorney. An attorney representing the respondent in a proceeding on a petition under section 5-302 shall:
A. Make reasonable efforts to ascertain the respondent's wishes;
B. Advocate for the respondent's wishes to the extent reasonably ascertainable; and
C. If the respondent's wishes are not reasonably ascertainable, advocate for the result that is the least restrictive option in type, duration and scope, consistent with the respondent's interests.
Me. Rev. Stat. Ann. tit. 18-A, § 5-318(4), which governs a petition for removal of the guardian, specifies that “An adult subject to guardianship who seeks to remove the guardian and have a successor appointed has a right to choose an attorney to represent the adult. If the adult subject to guardianship is not represented by an attorney, the court shall appoint an attorney under the same conditions as in section 5-305. The court shall award reasonable attorney's fees to the attorney for the adult as provided in section 5-119.”
If "yes", the established right to counsel or discretionary appointment of counsel is limited in some way, including any of: the only authority is a lower/intermediate court decision or a city council, not a high court or state legislature; there has been a subsequent case that has cast doubt; a statute is ambiguous; or the right or discretionary appointment is not for all types of individuals or proceedings within that category.
Appointment of Counsel: categorical Qualified: no