(a) Generally. For any reason the court deems appropriate, the court may appoint a qualified individual as a court-appointed advisor.
(b) Qualifications. An individual is qualified if he or she has training or experience in the type of proceeding in which the appointment is made and meets and complies with A.R.S. § 25-406. The court-appointed advisor should be familiar with the Uniform Law Commission’s Uniform Representation of Children in Abuse and Neglect and Custody Proceedings Act.
(c) Appointment Order. The appointment order must include:
(1) a statement of the reasons for the appointment;
(2) the duration of the appointment;
(3) the advisor’s compensation, and an allocation of fees and expenses between the parties;
(4) language authorizing the advisor to have immediate access to the child;
(5) language authorizing the advisor to have immediate access to any privileged or confidential information and records relating to the child;
(6) language requiring a custodian of the child’s records to provide the appointed advisor with access to those records.
(d) Participation. A court-appointed advisor:
(1) may not engage in ex parte contact with the court except as authorized by rule or court order;
(2) may not make opening and closing statements, examine witnesses, or engage in discovery;
(3) is subject to deposition and may testify at a hearing;
(4) if the advisor is an attorney, may take only those actions that an advisor who is not an attorney may take; and
(5) must submit a report under A.R.S. § 25-406, which is admissible, stating the advisor’s recommendations regarding the child’s best interests and the basis for those recommendations, including consideration of the applicable statutory factors.
(e) Right to Call Advisor as a Witness. A party, including a child’s attorney or best interests attorney, may call an advisor as a witness and cross-examine the advisor regarding the advisor’s report, even if the party did not list the advisor as a witness.
(f) Appointments from Juvenile Dependency Rosters. The court may not appoint a court-appointed advisor from a state or county-funded juvenile dependency roster unless the court finds that a child may be the victim of child abuse or neglect as defined in A.R.S. § 8-201.