Q Given the similarity of the duties of the guardian ad litem in both youth and chancery courts, would the allowance for “reasonable fees” in youth court also apply in chancery court?

A Yes, the Mississippi Supreme Court has not set forth a hard and fast rule as to what is a reasonable attorney fee for a guardian ad litem. Instead, the court listed seven (7) factors to be considered: (1) the relative ability of the parties; (2) the skill and standing of the attorney employed; (3) the nature of the case and novelty and difficulty of the questions at issue; (4) the degree of responsibility involved in the management of the case; (5) the time and labor required; (6) the usual and customary charge in the community; and (7) preclusion of other employment by the attorney due to the acceptance of the case. Generally, the fees are within the discretion of the court as long as the amount is not unreasonable or is not determined to be an abuse of discretion. The reasonableness of the fees is determined on a case by case basis as provided by the court, based on the seven factors. (Attorney General’s Opinion to Hill, July 22, 2016)