THE LEGAL CONNECTION NETWORK
On February 13, 2023, Assembly Bill 690 was introduced to extend the operation of Business Professions Code §6400 (the LDA Business and Professions Code) to January 1, 2030.
Existing law repeals Business Professions Code §6400 effective January 1, 2024. Every 4 years for the past 20 years Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) have to advocate to renew the sunset clause on their Business Professions Code. Until this year the renewal has go forward without issues and minimal opposition. Make sure the LDA sunset clause is extended. Contact your California Representative and tell them to support AB 690 to renew the LDA Business Profession Code. LDAs have successfully supported Californians by providing affordable legal services throughout the state of California for over 20 years.
LDAs assist consumers with form preparation which for many is a substantial barrier furthering the access to justice divided. Individuals such as essential workers, those with cases that are not profitable enough for attorneys to take on, or who cannot afford high attorney retainer fees typically seek assistance from LDAs. Keep in mind, in some counties court forms are only available online or for a print fee. LDAs make published legal documents available to a person who is representing themselves in a legal matter. Filing and serving legal forms and documents are crucial self-help services provided by LDAs in addition to providing the public with general factual information and legal information prepared by an attorney or the Courts. LDAs are non-attorney legal professionals knowledge of not only the socio-economic barriers, but also the Courts within the communities they serve.
In recent years, the California legal landscape has changed in light of the California Justice Gap Study, Underfunded Trial Courts, and the Thomas "Tom" Girardi sandal calling into question the the California State Bar's ability to adequately investigate attorney misconduct according the the California State Auditor.
Instead of focusing on closing the Justice Gap and ensuring the regulation of attorneys, the California Committee on Judiciary (Assembly Members Stone (Chair), Cunningham (Vice Chair), Holden, Kalra, Maienschein, Reyes, and Robert Rivas) are diverting attention to eliminate competition from non-attorneys, specifically by stopping the California State Bar Working Groups further examination of innovative legal solution to close the Justice Gap.
Leah Wilson, Executive Director of the State Bar of California, understands and supports the Legal Document Assistant (LDA) profession as part of the continuum of legal services in California. "[m]ost Californians do not have (and can’t afford) meaningful access to legal help when they need it."
Join the access to justice movement!
Telephone: (916) 445-2841
Fax: (916) 558-3160
Submit an Online Comment:
Governor Gavin Newsom
1021 O Street, Suite 9000
Sacramento, CA 95814
(Find Your California Representative)