license info: License number should always be posted because it is the law.
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Any legal document preparation service or paralegal providing this service for the general public must possess an LDA Bond. A Paralegal is NOT allowed to work for the public under any circumstance and it is illegal to do so. IT IS NOT enough to say one is a Legal Document Assistant. IT IS A MISDEMEANOR CRIME for a person to identify himself/herself as a Legal Document Assistant without actually being one. Failure for a company, service or individual paralegal that does not produce this upon request or visibly displays it means they do not possess one. Services operating without one are subject for prosecution with the District Attorney's Office. California Business and Professions Code Sections 6400-6415.
What are the consequences of preparing legal documents without being licensed, registered and bonded?
Failure to comply with any of the requirements of Section 6402 or 6408, or subdivision (a), (b),
or (c) of Section 6411 is punishable as a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of not less than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or more than two thousand dollars ($2,000), as to each client with respect to whom a violation occurs, or imprisonment for not more than one year, or by both that fine and imprisonment. Payment of restitution to a client shall take precedence over payment of a fine.
A Paralegal can ONLY work for an attorney. An LDA can work for the general public but they have to be licensed, registered and bonded.
Can Anyone Become and LDA?
No, not everyone can. A person can be denied. For instance, a criminal record, not having enough education in law or legal studies, no legal experience, if your registration has been revoked in the past, etc. can all result in a denial of your application to become an LDA.
Can anyone prepare immigration documents?
NO! It is a federal crime to prepare immigration documents for any person, unless the person preparing the immigration documents has a $100,000 bond and holds a special immigration consultant license and identification as such.
Is it an individual registration or a business registration?
Registration applies ONLY to an individual NOT A BUSINESS. Should there be more than one individual in a business, EACH person must register and be bonded. The only exception would be if an employee performs only secretarial or receptionist services. This means that the employee may ONLY answer the phone, make appointments, etc. or type documents given to them by the Unlawful Detainer Assistant or Legal Document Assistant. They may NOT provide assistance related to helping clients with specific self-help related problems and should not have clients sign the contract, etc. ALL client contact relating to specific self-help related problems must be ONLY with the person registered and bonded.
What is a legal document assistant?
Any person who is not exempted under Section 6401 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. This paragraph shall not apply to an individual whose assistance consists merely of secretarial or receptionist services.
What does "compensation" mean?
Compensation means money, property, or anything else of value.
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