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Learn More about Legal Document Assistants
WHAT IS A LEGAL DOCUMENT ASSISTANT (LDA)?
In California, prior to January 1, 2000 a LDA was called an Independent Paralegal. California SB 1418 (a law to register legal document assistants) was signed by the governor on September 30, 1999, becoming effective January 1, 2000 now REQUIRES all LDAs to be registered and bonded. LDAs are nonlawyers who only provide services at your specific direction, cannot represent you in court, advise you of your legal rights, the law, or select legal forms. However, we can provide you with easy-to-use materials written or approved by attorneys that help you to represent yourself and select forms or documents. LDAs serve members of the public who represent themselves rather than hire an attorney. LDAs provide the public with attorney approved or published materials that explain legal procedures and forms needed for typical legal issues. Some examples include divorce, probate, evictions, wills, trusts, formation of limited liability companies, corporations, or non-profits.
Are LDAs regulated?
In California, California Business and Professions Code §§6400-6401.6, 6402-6407, and 6408-6415 set forth laws regulating LDAs. Professional LDAs must meet the requirements described in the law and become registered within the County where their place of business is located. Be sure when using a self-help service you choose someone who has met the requirements of a LDA and is registered and bonded.
What if I need legal advice?
You can do this by seeking legal advice from a lawyer or reading self-help materials. To locate an attorney, you can call a lawyer referral service, legal aid organization, or the local bar association.
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