Document Assistant Client’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities
Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) are bonded and registered professionals
whose conduct is governed by the California Business & Professions Code.
LDAs are required to maintain high professional standards and refrain
from unethical conduct, including the unauthorized
practice of law. Accordingly, consumers
who chose to retain the document preparation services of an LDA are guaranteed
certain rights, and are obligated to fulfill key responsibilities in the
handling of their legal matters.
Every client has the right to:
- Upfront pricing.
- A fully-executed copy of the Legal Document
Assistant Contract, as set forth in 16
CCR § 3950, at the beginning of the LDA-client relationship.
- Clear communication regarding the scope of LDA services available,
and the meaning of "self-help service" within the context of the LDA-client
- Professionally prepared legal documents that accurately reflect the
information provided by the client; and any errors being addressed quickly
- Referrals to attorneys, legal aid, or other
legal service providers to answer specific legal questions regarding
the client's particular situation.
- Exclusively control and direct his or her legal case, strategy, argument
- Access to published legal materials to assist
him or her in making informed decisions.
- Confidentiality, to the fullest extent permitted by law.
- Be presented with a copy of the LDA's registration credentials.
- Information about how to resolve any disputes that may arise out of
the LDA-client relationship.
- Reasonable and timely responses to all communications.
- Complete access to the entire client file maintained by the LDA, and
immediate return of documents upon request.
Every client has the responsibility to:
- Educate himself or herself of the potential
legal options applicable to his or her particular situation or objectives.
- Seek qualified legal counsel if the LDA
determines that he or she requires the services of an attorney.
- Refrain from requesting or expecting that the LDA provide legal
advice (i.e. asking the LDA to apply the law to the facts of the
client's specific situation).
- Provide clear and complete written instructions to direct the LDA
in the preparation of legal documents.
- Provide reasonable and timely responses to all communications from
- Carefully review any document prepared by the LDA before the document
is signed and filed, recorded or served.
- Present any questions or concerns prior to final documents being prepared.
- Make all payments according to the terms stated in the contract.