On occasion, Judge Munro is appointed to a special role by the court. If Judge Munro has been appointed to a role in your case, this will help you understand what her duties are in relation to your case, and what you might expect.
Guardian ad litem
In cases where children are involved, sometimes the court will appoint a neutral representative to investigate and advise as to the best interests of the child. This is called a guardian ad litem. The guardian ad litem will gather information and submit findings and recommendations to the court. The guardian ad litem will speak with you and you may have your attorney present for all communications. Normally, the guardian ad litem will also speak to the children involved in the case. The guardian ad litem will never communicate directly with the parties without the involvement of the parties’ lawyers. The guardian ad litem is paid by the parties.
Discovery Special Masters
In some cases, there are disputes surrounding what information a party must provide to the other side. This information could include documents, images, financial records, etc. In these cases, the judge on your case will appoint a Discovery Special Master, a neutral legal expert who will assess each request for information, and each objection to requests for information. They may also assess the questions that the lawyers in the case will be allowed to ask about the information at the deposition. The Discovery Special Master will then make recommendations to the court about what should, and should not, be included at trial. The court is ultimately the final authority on these disputes. Having a Discovery Special Master saves everyone time and money by sparing extended hearings in court. The Discovery Special Master is paid as part of the legal fees.