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  • Wednesday, June 12, 2024 12:30 PM | Anonymous

    In California, Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) play a crucial role in supporting individuals navigating legal processes without the need for an attorney. However, it is essential to distinguish their role clearly from that of legal counselors, as outlined by California courts, particularly in the case of People v. Landlords Professional Services (1989) 215 Cal.App.3d 1599.

    The Role Defined by People v. Landlords Professional Services

    In People v. Landlords Professional Services, the California Court of Appeals addressed the issue of unauthorized practice of law. The case involved an eviction service provided by non-lawyers to assist landlords with unlawful detainer actions. The court found that the service crossed the line into unauthorized practice of law when its representatives held themselves out as "counselors", interviewed clients, and provided specific legal advice.

    However, the court also clarified that services conducted in a purely clerical manner—such as providing forms, filling them at the client's direction, and filing them as instructed—did not constitute the practice of law. Even providing detailed manuals containing advice on legal procedures, without personalized advice to clients, was deemed permissible under the law.

    Case Example: Landlord's Professional Services (LPS)

    A pertinent example from People v. Landlords Professional Services illustrates the pitfalls of overstepping legal boundaries. The business card attached to the case was imprinted with the words "Landlord's Professional Services" and the name Bill Watts, with the title "Counselor" beneath Mr. Watts's name. This representation suggested a role beyond mere document preparation, potentially misleading clients about the nature of the services offered. 

    In a related instance, employees of LPS made statements indicating a broader scope of services than permitted for LDAs under California law. He mentioned clients could use "his own attorney" or that "we have attorneys here," implying a capability to provide legal counsel or access to legal professionals directly associated with the service.

    The Role of Legal Document Assistants

    LDAs operate within this legal framework, offering services that strictly adhere to non-legal counsel activities. Their primary functions include:

    1. Document Preparation: LDAs assist clients in preparing legal documents, such as pleadings, contracts, and forms required for various legal proceedings.

    2. Form Completion: They fill out forms based on clients' specific instructions, ensuring accuracy and compliance with legal formatting requirements.

    3. Filing and Serving: LDAs handle the filing and serving of documents as directed by clients, streamlining administrative tasks in legal proceedings.

    4. Information Provision: They provide general information about legal procedures and requirements but refrain from giving personalized legal advice or counsel.

    Maintaining Legal Boundaries

    To avoid unauthorized practice of law, LDAs must strictly adhere to their role as document preparers and facilitators of self-help legal services. This means they do not:

    • Provide legal advice tailored to a client's specific situation.
    • Act as legal counselors by interpreting laws or court decisions for clients.
    • Represent clients in court or engage in negotiations on behalf of clients.

    By focusing on procedural assistance and document management, LDAs empower individuals to handle their legal affairs independently and affordably. This model promotes access to justice while respecting the boundaries set forth by California law.


    Legal Document Assistants in California provide invaluable support to individuals representing themselves in legal matters. By staying within the confines of their role as document preparers and procedural guides, LDAs uphold the integrity of the legal system and ensure that individuals can navigate legal complexities effectively. Understanding and respecting these boundaries is essential for both LDAs and their clients in achieving successful outcomes in legal proceedings.

  • Wednesday, August 30, 2023 1:49 PM | Anonymous

    Exploring Notarization by California Legal Document Assistants (LDAs): Convenience and Impartiality

    In the ever-evolving landscape of legal services, one intriguing question has emerged: Can a California Notary Public who is also a bonded and Registered Legal Document Assistant (LDA) notarize the documents they prepare?

    This scenario blurs the lines between roles, responsibilities, and potential conflicts of interest. In this blog post, we'll dive into the intricacies of this issue and attempt to shed light on whether this practice is acceptable and comparable to similar instances in the legal realm.

    Understanding the Roles: LDA and Notary Public

    Before delving into the heart of the matter, it's crucial to understand the roles of both a Legal Document Assistant (LDA) and a Notary Public in California. An LDA is a professional who assists individuals in preparing legal documents without providing legal advice or representation. The primary role of an LDA is to offer clerical assistance preparing documents and filing them with the court. On the other hand, a Notary Public serves as an impartial witness to the signing of important documents, verifying the identity of signatories and attesting to the authenticity of their signatures.

    Notably, is the absence of explicit prohibitions within the statutes governing both Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) and the Notary Business in California, which intriguingly do not preclude LDAs from notarizing documents they have prepared themselves..

    Examining the Potential Conflict

    A significant point of discussion arises from the potential conflict of interest that might emerge when an LDA notarizes documents they have prepared. It's important to recognize that while an LDA doesn't represent parties and therefore lacks a fiduciary responsibility to clients, they are still integral to the document preparation process. The concern here is whether their involvement in both preparing and notarizing documents could compromise their impartiality as a Notary Public. 

    No Financial Interest or Representation

    One key argument in favor of this practice is that an LDA's compensation for document preparation doesn't inherently create a financial interest in the transaction. Unlike scenarios where legal professionals stand to gain financially from a case's outcome, LDAs are paid for their administrative and procedural work, regardless of the documents' contents or the transaction's outcome. This further emphasizes the ministerial and administrative nature of their responsibilities.

    Streamlined Services and Convenience

    One undeniable advantage of allowing an LDA to notarize the documents they've prepared is the convenience it offers to clients. Having all services—document preparation and notarization—under one roof can save clients time and effort. This integrated approach aligns with modern-day expectations of efficiency and customer-centric services. Similar to Immigration Consultants who are permitted to both prepare and notarize immigration documents, this integrated approach streamlines processes while maintaining checks and balances.

    Addressing the Comparison to Immigration Consultants

    Some may question why the practice of LDAs notarizing their own documents should be any different from Immigration Consultants offering both document preparation and notarization services. In many ways, this comparison highlights the consistency in allowing professionals to provide end-to-end services, as long as they operate within the bounds of their defined roles.


    In the absence of a concrete statutory prohibition, the question of whether a California Notary Public who is also a bonded and Registered Legal Document Assistant (LDA) can notarize their prepared documents appears to rest on the principles of impartiality, transparency, and convenience. With no inherent financial interest or fiduciary responsibility, and with a focus on streamlining client experiences, the case for this integrated approach gains strength.

    At the end of the day, this becomes a matter of preference for business owners, who, like in any business transaction, must determine the level of risk they are willing to undertake. Entrepreneurship itself signifies a willingness to take risks. Ultimately, this issue sparks a broader conversation about the evolving landscape of legal services. As long as the fundamental principles of the Notary Public role—impartiality, identity verification, and document authentication—are dutifully maintained, and LDAs continue to operate within the confines of their designated responsibilities, the notion of LDAs notarizing their own prepared documents appears to harmonize with the ethos of efficiency and customer-centricity that characterizes contemporary legal practices.
  • Monday, August 28, 2023 3:48 PM | Anonymous

    In the dynamic landscape of legal services, it's imperative for professionals to keep their skills and knowledge up-to-date to provide accurate and effective assistance to clients. This is especially true for Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) and Unlawful Detainer Assistants (UDAs), whose roles involve crucial aspects of legal processes. To ensure the highest standards of service and expertise, these professionals are required to meet specific continuing education requirements.

    The Evolution of Continuing Education Requirements

    As of January 1, 2019, a significant change was implemented regarding the renewal of registration for LDAs and UDAs in California. Under Chapter 6.5 of the California Business and Professions Code, section 6402.2 specifically outlines the continuing education requirements that LDAs and UDAs must adhere to in order to renew their registration.

    Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)

    To be eligible for renewal, LDAs and UDAs are now required to complete 15 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) courses during the two-year period immediately preceding their renewal date. These courses must meet the criteria specified in Section 6070 of the California Business and Professions Code. This new requirement reflects the recognition that the legal field is ever-evolving, and professionals in these roles must stay informed about the latest developments, regulations, and best practices.

    Exemption from Legal Ethics Education

    An important aspect of these continuing education requirements is the exclusion of legal ethics education from the mandatory 15-hour MCLE. This means that while LDAs and UDAs are required to complete 15 hours of MCLE, they are not obligated to dedicate any portion of those hours specifically to legal ethics education.

    Understanding the Implications

    The introduction of these continuing education requirements holds several implications for LDAs and UDAs:

    1. Professional Excellence: By engaging in continuous learning through MCLE, LDAs and UDAs are better equipped to serve their clients with accurate and up-to-date information. This enhances their overall competence and helps maintain high standards of service.
    2. Adaptation to Changes: Laws, regulations, and legal procedures can change over time. Staying informed about these changes is crucial to avoid errors and provide effective assistance to clients.
    3. Increased Credibility: Clients seeking legal assistance are more likely to trust professionals who demonstrate a commitment to ongoing education. Meeting these requirements can enhance the credibility and reputation of LDAs and UDAs.
    4. Avoiding Penalties: Non-compliance with continuing education requirements could lead to difficulties in renewing registration. It's important to fulfill these requirements within the designated time frame to avoid any disruptions in practice.
    5. Personal Growth: Engaging in continuing education not only benefits clients and the profession but also contributes to personal and professional growth. Learning new skills and keeping abreast of legal changes can be intellectually stimulating and personally fulfilling.

    Navigating Continuing Education

    For LDAs and UDAs, selecting appropriate MCLE courses is paramount to meeting the requirements effectively. Courses that cover relevant topics within their scope of work can provide the most value. Additionally, staying connected to legal associations, attending seminars, and utilizing online resources can aid in finding suitable educational opportunities.

    MCLE Providers:

    We highly recommend Legal Professionals Inc (LPI) as an exceptional resource for accessing a diverse and comprehensive range of MCLE training offerings. Whether you're looking to expand your skill set, stay informed about industry changes, or simply fulfill your MCLE obligations, LPI's offerings are sure to contribute significantly to your professional growth and development.

    In conclusion, the continuing education requirements introduced for Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) and Unlawful Detainer Assistants (UDAs) in California underscore the commitment to maintaining professional excellence. These requirements, implemented from January 1, 2019, necessitate 15 hours of relevant MCLE courses within the two-year period preceding renewal. While legal ethics education is exempt from this requirement, LDAs and UDAs must ensure their education aligns with the broader legal landscape to serve clients proficiently and uphold the integrity of their profession.

  • Monday, August 07, 2023 4:04 PM | Anonymous

    In the vast realm of legal proceedings, Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) and Unlawful Detainer Assistant (UDAs) play a crucial role in helping individuals navigate the complexities of legal documentation. These professionals provide valuable services by preparing legal documents, providing self-help assistance to clients, and offering general legal information. To ensure accountability and compliance with ethical standards, the California Business Professions Code 6405 outlines specific requirements for LDAs, including the necessity of a bond.

    As we explore these various sections within the California Business Professions Code 6405, it becomes evident that the legislature has thoughtfully constructed a comprehensive framework that addresses the complexities and intricacies of the LDA/UDA bond requirement. These provisions strike a balance between safeguarding the interests of clients and providing practical alternatives for registrants, fostering transparency, accountability, and ethical conduct within the legal document assistance profession.

    The Importance of the LDA/UDA Bond

    These bonds is a financial assurance mechanism that LDAs/UDAs are required to obtain as part of their registration process. This bond serves as a form of protection for public who seek the services of these professionals, ensuring that they adhere to their obligations under the law similar to malpractice insurance—something not mandated for attorneys. While malpractice insurance is not required for attorneys, bonds are required for LDAs and UDAs. The bond acts as a safety net, guaranteeing that clients can be compensated in case an LDA fails to fulfill their duties appropriately.

    Bond Requirements for Individuals, Partnerships, and Corporations

    Under California Business Professions Code 6405(a)(1), individual LDAs/UDAs are mandated to secure a bond of $25,000 executed by a corporate surety qualified to operate within the state. This bond is intended to safeguard clients against potential non-compliance by the individual LDA.

    For partnerships and corporations, the bond amount varies based on the number of legal document assistants and unlawful detainer assistants employed. The specifics are detailed in section 6405(a)(2):

    • 25,000 bond for partnerships or corporations employing one to four assistants.
    • $50,000 bond for partnerships or corporations employing five to nine assistants.
    • $100,000 bond for partnerships or corporations employing 10 or more assistants.

    Furthermore, if a person is employed by a partnership or corporation that has not posted a bond as required, that individual must secure their own $25,000 bond when applying for registration.

    Flexibility and Adjustments

    The code accounts for changes in the number of assistants employed by partnerships or corporations. If the number of assistants increases beyond the initially stated figure, the bond must be promptly adjusted to reflect the new situation. This flexibility ensures that the bond amount remains appropriate for the scope of services being provided, maintaining a balance between protecting clients and accommodating the growth of LDAs'/UDAs' operations.

    Termination of the Bond

    The bond can be terminated under certain circumstances, as outlined in Section 995.440 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Additionally, Article 13 (commencing with Section 996.310) of Chapter 2 of Title 14 of Part 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure provides further guidance on the termination process.

    Alternative Options and Safeguards for the LDA/UDA Bond

    While the requirement for a bond is a crucial aspect of ensuring accountability within the legal document assistance profession, the California Business Professions Code 6405 also provides certain alternative options and provisions for the management of these bonds. Here, we delve into the various sections that highlight these provisions, shedding light on the complexities of the bonding process.

    (e) Cash Deposit in Lieu of Bond

    In recognition of different financial arrangements, the code stipulates that, in lieu of the bond mandated by subdivision (a), an LDA/UDA registrant can choose to deposit the required amount in cash with the county clerk. This provision allows registrants some flexibility in meeting the bonding requirement while offering a viable alternative that aligns with their financial preferences.

    (f) Bond or Cash Deposit Return

    In the event of a certificate revocation, the code outlines the return process for the bond or cash deposit. Should the certificate be revoked, the bond or cash deposit is subject to return to the bonding party or depositor, taking into consideration the stipulations presented in subdivision (g). This provision ensures a fair and organized procedure for the return of financial guarantees once an LDA's registration has been revoked.

    (g) Retention of Cash Deposit

    To maintain the integrity of financial transactions and safeguard against potential claims, the county clerk is empowered to retain a cash deposit for a specified duration. This retention period extends either for three years from the date the registrant ceases business or from the expiration or revocation date of the registration. This provision acts as a precautionary measure to address any potential outstanding claims that might arise during this period.

    (h) Purpose and Beneficiaries of the Bond

    The code establishes the purpose of the bond required by this section. It is designed in favor of the State of California, benefitting any individual who suffers damages due to violations of this chapter or as a result of the fraud, dishonesty, or incompetency of an LDA/UDA, partnership, or corporation registered under this chapter. This provision emphasizes the protective nature of the bond, not only for clients but also for individuals who may be adversely affected by violations or malpractice.


    The Legal Document Assistant bond is a crucial component of the regulatory framework that governs the activities of LDAs/UDAs in California. While malpractice insurance is not required for attorneys, bonds are required for LDAs and UDAs. While some may argue that the bonding requirement is low, however, it is consistent with the level of service and risk to the public for document preparation services. By requiring LDAs to secure this bond, the state ensures that clients receive the protection they deserve when seeking assistance with legal documentation. The bond not only acts as a financial safeguard but also emphasizes the importance of professionalism, compliance, and ethical conduct within the legal document assistance industry. As LDAs/UDAs continue to provide valuable support to individuals navigating legal processes, the LDA/UDA bond remains a vital instrument in maintaining trust and accountability within the profession.

  • Friday, June 23, 2023 7:09 PM | Anonymous

    As a Legal Document Assistant (LDA) or Unlawful Detainer Assistant (UDA), your expertise lies in providing invaluable self-help services to clients navigating legal processes. However, to truly thrive in your business, it is essential to diversify your business, have access to legal support and resources that not only safeguard your operations but also help you grow. That's where LegalShield comes in.

    In this blog, we will explore how LDAs and UDAs can leverage LegalShield to expand their businesses, enhance their services, creating a passive income stream and secure their success using LegalShield while also help bridge the access to justice gap.

    For those who don't know what LegalShield is, it's a monthly legal subscription where members can receive legal advice on an unlimited number of personal legal issues for a flat fee promising, "[n]o retainers or hourly charges, save $1,000s, and access your legal service 24/7."

    Expanding Client Base and Building Trust

    As LDAs and UDAs, you are already providing a crucial service by assisting individuals with their legal document preparation and unlawful detainer processes. However, you may encounter clients who need legal advice beyond the scope of your services. How many times do prospective clients call seeking legal advice? With LegalShield, you can now offer them a solution without turning them away. Your clients will have the opportunity to consult with experienced attorneys on an unlimited number of personal legal issues for a flat monthly fee. This means they can seek legal advice without worrying about the high costs typically associated with attorney consultations.

    Expanding Revenue Opportunities: By becoming a LegalShield Associate, LDAs and UDAs can generate additional income streams. Every prospective client who seeks legal advice becomes an opportunity to sell them a LegalShield plan instead of turning them away. By doing so, you not only earn commissions but also save your clients thousands of dollars in attorney fees. You'll be helping them access the legal protection they deserve at an affordable monthly cost. It's a win-win situation that allows you to enhance your services while closing the access-to-justice gap.

    Maximizing Client Value and Revenue: By leveraging LegalShield's services, you can double-end the deal and create a seamless experience for your clients. After obtaining legal advice from the attorney, clients can return to you with a clear understanding of their situation and the necessary steps to take. Armed with this information, you can now execute the preparation of their documents "at the client's specific direction." California Business Professions Code 6400 (d)(1). This streamlined process not only saves time and effort for both you and your clients but also strengthens the overall quality of your services while avoiding unauthorized practice of law (UPL).

    Business Support

    LegalShield offers different business plans that fight for your business so you can focus on working your business.  As entrepreneurs, you understand the importance of compliance and the need to protect your business. With their specialized business plans, LegalShield fights for your business, allowing you to focus on what you do best. Their knowledgeable team of legal experts is available for consultative calls, providing guidance on various laws such as tax, patent, securities, copyright, and intellectual property. This invaluable support ensures you remain compliant with the law and empowers you to tackle any business-related issues that may arise.

    Effortless Communication and Collections: Managing client relationships can be complex, especially when it comes to financial matters. LegalShield simplifies the process by offering the services of their attorneys to communicate on your behalf. Do you have clients who haven't paid? Your LegalShield attorney can send collection letters, carrying the weight of a law firm's authority. This professional communication often yields positive results and ensures that you receive the compensation you deserve. With LegalShield in your corner, you can maintain professionalism and streamline your business operations.

    Supplemental Policies for Side Hustlers: LegalShield recognizes that many LDAs and UDAs have side businesses or work part-time. To cater to these individuals, LegalShield provides supplemental policies such as the "Home Business Supplement" for an additional $14.95/month to you Persona Plan. It's like getting two policies for the price of one. This additional coverage ensures that even if you have a full-time job or run other businesses, you can access the legal protection and guidance you need to successfully manage your LDA or UDA business. LegalShield's flexibility makes it an ideal partner for individuals with multiple professional pursuits.

    Staying Compliant and Avoiding Legal Pitfalls

    Customizing the Statutory Contract: Every LDA and UDA who enters into a contract with a client to provide services "shall, prior to providing any services, provide the client with a written contract, the contents of which shall be prescribed by regulations adopted by the Department of Consumer Affairs." California Business Professions Code 6410. The statutory contract serves as the foundation for your engagement with clients. It outlines the scope of services, fees, responsibilities, and other critical terms. While this statutory contract was written by attorney it is designed to protect the consumer, customizing it can provide your business with additional layers of protection.

    Consider your unique requirements and concerns before making any modifications to the statutory contract. This evaluation will help you identify areas where LegalShield's expertise can provide added value. For example, if you anticipate potential disputes, you might focus on incorporating clauses related to dispute resolution and mediation.

    Document Review and Compliance: One of the key benefits of LegalShield for LDAs and UDAs is the ability to avoid the unauthorized practice of law (UPL) by utilizing attorney-reviewed and approved materials. As you know LDAs and UDAs provide "Self-help services" which include "providing general published factual information that has been written or approved by an attorney... to assist the person in representing themselves." California Business Professions Code 6400 (d)(2).

    With LegalShield, you can have your documents and business materials reviewed by qualified attorneys to ensure they comply with the law and provide accurate information. This not only gives you peace of mind but also helps you deliver high-quality services to your clients while staying within the boundaries of the law. This level of assurance differentiates you from competitors and solidifies your reputation as a trusted and reliable legal service provider.

    LegalShield is more than just a legal subscription service; it is a catalyst for growth and success in the LDA and UDA business landscape, enhance service offerings, and protect against UPL. Don't miss out on the opportunity to leverage LegalShield's extensive legal expertise, which empowers you to take your business to new heights.

  • Friday, June 16, 2023 11:39 PM | Anonymous

    Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) play a vital role in assisting clients with the preparation of legal documents. However, the question arises as to whether LDAs can prepare legal documents for clients to be used in other states. Although there is no explicit prohibition in the Business Professions Code §6400 et seq., there are several factors to consider. This blog post will examine the potential challenges LDAs may face when offering their services across state lines, taking into account legal provisions, jurisdiction-specific regulations, and the evolving landscape of multi-jurisdictional practice.

    Venue and Primary Residence:

    A crucial consideration for LDAs is the provision within the Conduct of Business and Prohibited Acts of Cal. Bus Profession Code § 6409.1. This provision states that the venue for disputes between LDAs and clients shall be the county in which the client has their primary residence. While this provision does not directly address multi-jurisdictional practice, it implies that LDAs would be subject to the laws of the county where the client resides. Consequently, LDAs should be aware of potential legal ramifications when preparing documents for clients in different states.

    Risk Assessment and Travel Considerations:

    LDAs should carefully assess the risks associated with engaging clients outside the county of their principal place of business. The requirement to travel to the jurisdiction where the client resides can pose logistical challenges and additional expenses. Considering the potential implications of disputes and legal proceedings in a different county adds an extra layer of complexity. LDAs must be prepared to navigate these logistical and practical considerations when extending their services across state lines.

    Violations of Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) Laws:

    Another crucial aspect to consider is the potential violation of UPL laws in the jurisdiction where the documents are intended to be used. Each state has its own regulations regarding the preparation and delivery of legal documents, which may differ from California's requirements. For example, Arizona has specific licensing requirements for Legal Document Preparers. LDAs must exercise caution and ensure they comply with the laws and regulations of the state where the documents will be utilized to avoid any UPL violations.

    Looking to Other Legal Professions:

    While LDAs are not attorneys and are not subject to the California State Bar Authority, it is beneficial to observe how other legal professions in California handle multi-jurisdictional issues. The recent opinion by the California State Bar suggests that licensed lawyers practicing "California law remotely in another state where they are not licensed" should consult the multijurisdictional practice and unauthorized practice of law rules of the state where they are physically present. Although not directly applicable to LDAs, this guidance highlights the importance of seeking jurisdiction-specific advice and adhering to relevant regulations when providing legal services across state lines. THE STATE BAR OF CALIFORNIA STANDING COMMITTEE ON PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY AND CONDUCT FORMAL OPINION INTERIM NO. 20-0004


    The question of whether Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) can prepare legal documents for clients to be used in other states requires careful consideration. While there is no explicit prohibition in California's Business Professions Code, LDAs must navigate various challenges. The provision regarding venue and primary residence implies that LDAs may be subject to the laws of the county where the client resides. Additionally, potential violations of Unauthorized Practice of Law (UPL) laws in the jurisdiction where the documents will be used must be taken into account. Consulting jurisdiction-specific regulations and observing how other legal professions handle multi-jurisdictional issues can provide valuable insights. LDAs should stay informed, seek guidance, and ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations to responsibly extend their services across state lines while protecting both their clients' interests and their own professional integrity.

  • Monday, June 12, 2023 3:00 PM | Anonymous

    In the legal profession, building a strong network and generating a consistent flow of clients are crucial for success. As a Legal Document Assistant (LDA), you possess unique skills and expertise that can benefit both your clients and fellow LDAs. One effective way to expand your business and help others in the process is through referral partnerships. In this blog post, we will explore the concept of referring business and provide guidance on how to establish referral relationships while maintaining clear expectations.

    The Value of Referrals

    Referrals play a significant role in the growth and sustainability of any business, including LDAs. When someone refers a client to you, they are essentially vouching for your services and expertise. This endorsement carries a level of trust and credibility that can help you attract high-quality clients who are more likely to convert into long-term customers.

    Additionally, referrals often come with a higher chance of success due to the inherent trust established between the referring party and the prospective client. This trust can lead to smoother interactions, easier negotiations, and an overall more positive experience for all involved parties.

    It can be a mutually beneficial arrangement where experienced LDAs share their knowledge and expertise while receiving referrals in return. However, the specifics of such arrangements, including whether to charge by the hour or not, can vary based on individual preferences and circumstances.

    Supporting Fellow LDAs

    As an LDA, you may have fellow LDAs reaching out to you for training support or guidance. While it's admirable to want to help others in your profession, it's essential to find a balance that suits your own commitments and priorities.

    One way to provide training support to other LDAs is by establishing a referral partnership. Instead of dedicating your time solely to training, you can offer training support in exchange for referrals. This arrangement allows you to leverage the expertise you've gained while still maintaining a focus on your primary responsibilities.

    Defining Expectations

    When entering into a referral partnership, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of the expectations from both parties. To avoid misunderstandings, it's advisable to draft a referral contract that outlines the terms and conditions of the partnership.

    The contract should address the following points:

    1. Referral Process: Specify how referrals will be made, such as through email, phone calls, or a designated referral portal. Define the information required for a referral to be valid, such as client contact details, nature of the legal matter, and any specific preferences.

    2. Work Allocation: Clearly define who will handle the referred client's work. Determine whether the original LDA will complete the work directly or if it will be shared with the referring LDA. This will depend on the agreement and the individual circumstances of each referral.

    3. Ownership and Client Relationship: Establish who the client belongs to once a referral is made. Usually, the original LDA who receives the referral maintains ownership of the client and retains responsibility for the quality and delivery of the services.

    4. Termination Clause: Include a provision that allows either party to terminate the referral partnership with a notice period, ensuring flexibility for both parties if circumstances change.

    5. Compensation: Decide how the referring LDA will be compensated for successful referrals. This can be a percentage of the fees earned from the referred client or a fixed fee per referral. Clearly outline the payment terms and conditions. A few options to consider:

    • Referral-based arrangement: In this case, you can offer training to new LDAs and receive referrals from them in return. This arrangement typically does not involve charging by the hour. Instead, you benefit from the business they bring your way.
    • Hourly rate for training: If you have limited time available and prefer a more structured approach, you can charge an hourly rate for providing training to other LDAs. This way, you can allocate specific time slots for training sessions and ensure you are compensated for your expertise.
    • Combination approach: You can consider a combination of both referral-based and hourly rate arrangements. For LDAs who are unable to provide many referrals or for whom you have limited time, you can charge an hourly rate for training. For LDAs who have the potential to refer substantial business to you, you can opt for the referral-based arrangement.


    Referral partnerships can be a mutually beneficial way for LDAs to support each other and grow their businesses. By leveraging your network and expertise, you can help fellow LDAs while generating a steady stream of quality referrals. However, it is important to establish clear expectations and boundaries through a well-drafted referral contract.

    Remember, as you embark on this journey of building referral partnerships, prioritize your own commitments and family life. Find a balance that allows you to provide training support to other LDAs while ensuring you have the time and resources to achieve your personal and professional goals.

    Wishing you success in growing your network and building fruitful referral partnerships in the LDA profession.

  • Wednesday, November 09, 2022 9:56 AM | Anonymous
  • Wednesday, October 12, 2022 5:13 PM | Anonymous
    LDA: $150 /2 yrs.
    Notary: $38 /4 yrs + 4 yr E&O options
    Process Server: $49 /2 yrs
    Photocopier: $50 /yr or $100 /2 yrs

    Sam Shoemaker

    Direct Ph. (619) 546-0446

    Tel: 515.309.9500

    Fax: 515.954.3300

    500 New York Ave

    Des Moines, IA 50313


    Request a Quote 

  • Monday, August 01, 2022 6:35 PM | Anonymous

    Prior to engaging new customers cross reference the Judicial Council's Vexatious Litigant List.

    What Is a Vexatious Litigant?

    Under Code of Civil Procedure section 391(b)External link icon, a vexatious litigant is a person who does any of the following:

    • In the immediately preceding seven-year period has commenced, prosecuted, or maintained in propria persona at least five litigations other than in a small claims court that have been (i) finally determined adversely to the person or (ii) unjustifiably permitted to remain pending at least two years without having been brought to trial or hearing.

    • After a litigation has been finally determined against the person, repeatedly relitigates or attempts to relitigate, in propria persona, either (i) the validity of the determination against the same defendant or defendants as to whom the litigation was finally determined or (ii) the cause of action, claim, controversy, or any of the issues of fact or law, determined or concluded by the final determination against the same defendant or defendants as to whom the litigation was finally determined.

    • In any litigation while acting in propria persona, repeatedly files unmeritorious motions, pleadings, or other papers, conducts unnecessary discovery, or engages in other tactics that are frivolous or solely intended to cause unnecessary delay.

    • Has previously been declared to be a vexatious litigant by any state or federal court of record in any action or proceeding based upon the same or substantially similar facts, transaction, or occurrence.

    Vexatious Litigant List

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