Legal Document Assistant

California LDA’s

What is a Legal Document Assistant in California?

A “Legal Document Assistant”, as defined by the California Business & Professions Code (Section 6400 (c)) is:

“Any person who is otherwise not exempted and who provides, or assists in providing, or offers to provide, or offers to assist in providing, for compensation, any self-help service to a member of the public who is representing himself or herself in a legal matter, or who holds himself or herself out as someone who offers that service or has that authority, or a corporation, partnership, association, or other entity that employs or contracts with any person who is not otherwise exempted who, as part of his or her responsibilities, provides, or assists in providing, or offers to provide, or offers to assist in providing, for compensation, any self-help service to a member of the public who is representing himself or herself in a legal matter or holds himself or herself out as someone who offers that service or has that authority.”

This California statutory scheme is based on the idea that a non-lawyer can perform clerical support functions without violating the unauthorized practice of law statute in California. Only a few states have carved out this exception by statute (e.g., California, Florida, Arizona).? Missouri is not one of them.

In California, in order to provide services as a Legal Document Assistant you must be registered?in the State of California within the county which is your principal?place of business.

See also: California Association of Legal Document Assistants for additional resources, CLE programs, and training programs.

เล่นพนันบอลเป็นอาชีพ, for example, is registered and licensed as a Legal Document Assistant in Los Angeles, County, California.

The Registration Requirements can be found in this section of the California Code:

Summary?of California Registration Requirements for Legal Document Assistants:

?(a) A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, and either a minimum of two years of law-related experience under the
supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of two years
experience, prior to January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.
   (b) A baccalaureate degree in any field and either a minimum of
one year of law-related experience under the supervision of a
licensed attorney, or a minimum of one year of experience, prior to
January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.
   (c) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program that is
institutionally accredited but not approved by the American Bar
Association, that requires successful completion of a minimum of 24
semester units, or the equivalent, in legal specialization courses.
   (d) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program approved
by the American Bar Association.
6403.  (a) The application for registration of a natural person
shall contain all of the following statements about the applicant:
   (1) Name, age, address, and telephone number.
   (2) Whether he or she has been convicted of a felony, or of a
misdemeanor under Section 6126 or 6127, or found liable under Section
6126.5.
   (3) Whether he or she has been held liable in a civil action by
final judgment or entry of a stipulated judgment, if the action
alleged fraud, the use of an untrue or misleading representation, or
the use of an unfair, unlawful, or deceptive business practice.
   (4) Whether he or she has ever been convicted of a misdemeanor
violation of this chapter.
   (5) Whether he or she has had a civil judgment entered against him
or her in an action arising out of the applicant's negligent,
reckless, or willful failure to properly perform his or her
obligation as a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer
assistant.
   (6) Whether he or she has had a registration revoked pursuant to
Section 6413.
   (7) Whether this is a primary or secondary registration.  If it is
a secondary registration, the county in which the primary
registration is filed.
   (b) The application for registration of a natural person shall be
accompanied by the display of personal identification, such as a
California driver's license, birth certificate, or other
identification acceptable to the county clerk to adequately determine
the identity of the applicant.
   (c) The application for registration of a partnership or
corporation shall contain all of the following statements about the
applicant:
   (1) The names, ages, addresses, and telephone numbers of the
general partners or officers.
   (2) Whether the general partners or officers have ever been
convicted of a felony, or a misdemeanor under Section 6126 or 6127 or
found liable under Section 6126.5.
   (3) Whether the general partners or officers have ever been held
liable in a civil action by final judgment or entry of a stipulated
judgment, if the action alleged fraud, the use of an untrue or
misleading representation, or the use of an unfair, unlawful, or
deceptive business practice.
   (4) Whether the general partners or officers have ever been
convicted of a misdemeanor violation of this chapter.
   (5) Whether the general partners or officers have had a civil
judgment entered against them in an action arising out of a
negligent, reckless, or willful failure to properly perform the
obligations of a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer
assistant.
   (6) Whether the general partners or officers have ever had a
registration revoked pursuant to Section 6413.
   (7) Whether this is a primary or secondary registration.  If it is
a secondary registration, the county in which the primary
registration is filed.
   (d) The applications made under this section shall be made under
penalty of perjury.
6404.  An applicant shall pay a fee of one hundred seventy-five
dollars ($175) to the county clerk at the time he or she files an
application for initial registration, including a primary or
secondary registration, or renewal of registration.  An additional
fee of ten dollars ($10) shall be paid to the county clerk for each
additional identification card.
6405.  (a) (1) An application for a certificate of registration by
an individual shall be accompanied by a bond of twenty-five thousand
dollars ($25,000) executed by a corporate surety qualified to do
business in this state and conditioned upon compliance with this
chapter.  The total aggregate liability on the bond shall be limited
to twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).  An application for
secondary registration shall meet all of the requirements of this
subdivision, except that in place of posting another original bond or
cash deposit, the applicant shall include a certified copy of the
bond or cash deposit posted in the county in which the applicant
filed the primary registration.
   (2) An application for a certificate of registration by a
partnership or corporation shall be accompanied by a bond executed by
a corporate surety qualified to do business in this state and
conditioned upon compliance with this chapter in the following
amount, based on the total number of legal document assistants and
unlawful detainer assistants employed by the partnership or
corporation:
   (A) Twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) for one to four
assistants.
   (B) Fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) for five to nine assistants.
   (C) One hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) for 10 or more
assistants.  An application for a certificate of registration by a
person employed by a partnership or corporation shall be accompanied
by a bond of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000) only if the
partnership or corporation has not posted a bond in the amount
required by this subdivision.  An application for secondary
registration shall meet all of the requirements of this subdivision,
except that in place of posting another original bond or cash
deposit, the applicant shall include a certified copy of the bond or
cash deposit posted in the county in which the applicant filed the
primary registration.
   (3) If a partnership or corporation increases the number of
assistants it employs above the number stated in its application for
a certificate of registration, the partnership or corporation shall
promptly increase the bond to the applicable amount in subparagraphs
(B) or (C) of paragraph (2) based on the actual number of assistants
it employs, and shall promptly submit the increased bond to the
county clerk.  The partnership or corporation shall promptly send a
certified copy of the increased bond to the county clerk in any
county of secondary registration.
   (4) The bond may be terminated pursuant to Section 995.440 of, and
Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title
14 of Part 2 of, the Code of Civil Procedure.
   (b) The county clerk shall, upon filing of the bond, deliver the
bond forthwith to the county recorder for recording.  The recording
fee specified in Section 27361 of the Government Code shall be paid
by the registrant.  The fee may be paid to the county clerk who shall
transmit it to the recorder.
   (c) The fee for filing, canceling, revoking, or withdrawing the
bond is seven dollars ($7).
   (d) The county recorder shall record the bond and any notice of
cancellation, revocation, or withdrawal of the bond, and shall
thereafter mail the instrument, unless specified to the contrary, to
the person named in the instrument and, if no person is named, to the
party leaving it for recording.  The recording fee specified in
Section 27361 of the Government Code for notice of cancellation,
revocation, or withdrawal of the bond shall be paid to the county
clerk, who shall transmit it to the county recorder.
   (e) In lieu of the bond required by subdivision (a), a registrant
may deposit the amount required by subdivision (a) in cash with the
county clerk.
   (f) If the certificate is revoked, the bond or cash deposit shall
be returned to the bonding party or depositor subject to subdivision
(g) and the right of a person to recover against the bond or cash
deposit under Section 6412.
   (g) The county clerk may retain a cash deposit until the
expiration of three years from the date the registrant has ceased to
do business, or three years from the expiration or revocation date of
the registration, in order to ensure there are no outstanding claims
against the deposit.  A judge may order the return of the deposit
prior to the expiration of three years upon evidence satisfactory to
the judge that there are no outstanding claims against the deposit.
   (h) The bond required by this section shall be in favor of the
State of California for the benefit of any person who is damaged as a
result of the violation of this chapter or by the fraud, dishonesty,
or incompetency of an individual, partnership, or corporation
registered under this chapter.  The bond required by this section
shall also indicate the name of the county in which it will be filed.
6406.  (a) If granted, a certificate of registration shall be
effective for a period of two years, until the date the bond expires,
or until the total number of legal document assistants and unlawful
detainer assistants employed by a partnership or corporation exceeds
the number allowed for the amount of the bond in effect, whichever
occurs first.  Thereafter, a registrant shall file a new certificate
of registration or a renewal of the certificate of registration and
pay the fee required by Section 6404, and increase the amount of the
bond if required to comply with subdivision (a) of Section 6405.  A
certificate of registration that is currently effective may be
renewed up to 60 days prior to its expiration date and the effective
date of the renewal shall be the date the current registration
expires.  The renewal shall be effective for a period of two years
from the effective date or until the expiration date of the bond, or
until the total number of legal document assistants and unlawful
detainer assistants employed by a partnership or corporation exceeds
the number allowed for the dollar amount of the bond in effect,
whichever occurs first.
   (b) Except as provided in subdivisions (d) to (f), inclusive, an
applicant shall be denied registration or renewal of registration if
the applicant has been any of the following:
   (1) Convicted of a felony, or of a misdemeanor under Section 6126
or 6127, or found liable under Section 6126.5.
   (2) Held liable in a civil action by final judgment or entry of a
stipulated judgment, if the action alleged fraud, or the use of an
untrue or misleading representation, or the use of an unfair,
unlawful, or deceptive business practice.
   (3) Convicted of a misdemeanor violation of this chapter.
   (4) Had a civil judgment entered against him or her in an action
arising out of the applicant's negligent, reckless, or willful
failure to properly perform his or her obligation as a legal document
assistant or unlawful detainer assistant.
   (5) Had his or her registration revoked pursuant to Section 6413.
   (c) If the county clerk finds that the applicant has failed to
demonstrate having met the requisite requirements of Section 6402 or
6402.1, or that any of the paragraphs of subdivision (b) apply, the
county clerk, within three business days of submission of the
application and fee, shall return the application and fee to the
applicant with a notice to the applicant indicating the reason for
the denial and the method of appeal.
   (d) The denial of an application may be appealed by the applicant
by submitting, to the director, the following:
   (1) The completed application and notice from the county clerk
specifying the reasons for the denial of the application.
   (2) A copy of any final judgment or order that resulted from any
conviction or civil judgment listed on the application.
   (3) Any relevant information the applicant wishes to include for
the record.
   (e) The director shall order the applicant's certificate of
registration to be granted if the director determines that the
issuance of a certificate of registration is not likely to expose
consumers to a significant risk of harm based on a review of the
application and any other information relating to the applicant's
unlawful act or unfair practice described in paragraphs (1) to (5),
inclusive, of subdivision (b).  The director shall order the
applicant's certificate of registration to be denied if the director
determines that issuance of a certificate of registration is likely
to expose consumers to a significant risk of harm based on a review
of the application and any other information relating to the
applicant's unlawful act or unfair practice described in paragraphs
(1) to (5), inclusive, of subdivision (b).  The director shall send
to the applicant and the county clerk a written decision listing the
reasons registration shall be granted or denied within 30 days of the
submission of the matter.
   (f) If the director orders that the certificate of registration be
granted, the applicant may resubmit the application, with the
appropriate application fee and the written decision of the director.
  The county clerk shall grant the certificate of registration to the
applicant within three business days of being supplied this
information.
6407.  (a) The county clerk shall maintain a register of legal
document assistants, and a register of unlawful detainer assistants,
assign a unique number to each legal document assistant, or unlawful
detainer assistant, and issue an identification card to each one.
Additional cards for employees of legal document assistants or
unlawful detainer assistants shall be issued upon the payment of ten
dollars ($10) for each card.  Upon renewal of registration, the same
number shall be assigned, provided there is no lapse in the period of
registration.
   (b) The identification card shall be a card 31/2 by 21/4 inches,
and shall contain at the top, the title "Legal Document Assistant" or
"Unlawful Detainer Assistant," as appropriate, followed by the
registrant's name, address, registration number, date of expiration,
and county of registration.  It shall also contain a photograph of
the registrant in the lower left corner.  The front of the card,
above the title, shall also contain the following statement in
12-point boldface type:  "This person is not a lawyer."  The front of
the card, at the bottom, shall also contain the following statement
in 12-point boldface type:  "The county clerk has not evaluated this
person's knowledge, experience, or services."