What is a Legal Docment Assistant Bond and who needs one anyway?
A CALDA bond, or California Legal Document Assistant Bond, is required by the state of California for anyone who is preparing legal documents for others. This $25,000 surety bond is issued for a two-year term and is required to become a registered Legal Document Assistant (LDA) in California.
Prior to January 2000, legal documents were all prepared by lawyers. Thanks to California Senate Bill 1418 (signed in 1998) legal document assistants could now registered and bonded, in order to prepare legal documents.
What is a Legal Document Assistant (LDA)?
A legal document assistant is a person or company providing self-help service, for compensation, to people who are representing themselves in legal matters. An LDA is not an attorney.
As defined by the California Business & Professions Code, Section 6400 C, a legal document assistant is:
“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 does not apply to any individual whose assistance consists merely of secretarial or receptionist services.
A corporation, partnership, association, or other entity that employs or contracts with any person not exempted under Section 6401 who, as part of his or her responsibilities, 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 holds himself or herself out as someone who offers that service or has that authority. This paragraph does not apply to an individual whose assistance consists merely of secretarial or receptionist services.”
What are the requirements for a CALDA Bond?
In order to be considered as a Legal Document Assistant in California, the applicant must appear in person at the County Clerks Office and submit the required bond and documentation. The following requirements must be met in order to get your CALDA Bond:
- Possess a valid, government-issued picture identification (established by a birth certificate, such as a driver’s license or passport).
- Present a CA Legal Document Assistant bond in the amount of $25,000 naming the registrant as principal for a term of two (2) years, with a valid commencement date and expiration date.
- Registrant must meet the education and experience requirements as listed on the application for Legal Document Assistant and provide supporting educational documentation as required in Business and Professions Code § 6400, 6402 & 6408.
- A legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant shall be registered pursuant to this chapter by the county clerk in the county in which his or her principal place of business is located, and in which he or she maintains a branch office, and provide proof that the registrant has satisfied the bonding requirement of Section 6405. No person who has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with Section 6100) of Chapter 4 may, during the period of any disbarment or suspension, register as a legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant. The Department of Consumer Affairs shall develop the application required to be completed by a person for purposes of registration as a legal document assistant. The application shall specify the types of proof that the applicant shall provide to the county clerk in order to demonstrate the qualifications and requirements of Section 6402.1.
- (a) A high school diploma or general equivalency diploma, and either a minimum of two years of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of two years experience, prior to January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.
- (b) A baccalaureate degree in any field and either a minimum of one year of law-related experience under the supervision of a licensed attorney, or a minimum of one year of experience, prior to January 1, 1999, providing self-help service.
- (c) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program that is institutionally accredited but not approved by the American Bar Association, that requires successful completion of a minimum of 24 semester units, or the equivalent, in legal specialization courses.
- (d) A certificate of completion from a paralegal program approved by the American Bar Association.
- The registrant’s name, business address, telephone number, registration number, and county of registration shall appear in any solicitation or advertisement, and on any printed papers or documents prepared or used by the registrant, including, but not limited to, contracts, letterhead, business cards, correspondence, documents, forms, claims, petitions, checks, receipts, and pleadings. The registrant’s name, business address, telephone number, registration number, expiration date of the registration, and county of registration shall appear on the written contract required to be provided to a client pursuant to Section 6410, as well as on any Internet Web site maintained by the registrant, and in any solicitation, advertisement, document, or correspondence prepared or used by the registrant in electronic form.
CALDA Bond Renewal
To be eligible to renew your bond after 2 years, you will have to complete at least 15 hours of continuing legal education courses, which meet the requirements of Section 6070, during the two-year period preceding your renewal date.
How do I get my CALDA Bond?
The bond amount required for the state of California is $25,000 and there is no credit check needed for your application. It’s as simple as completing an online form and submitting your fee to the bonding agency. Some bond agencies online charge up to $400 and even more for a CALDA bond, but A1SuretyBonds.com offers a no-credit check bond for $350. These bonds are instant issue for a 2 year term, which means you are bonded and can even print your bond as soon as you submit your application.
Click here to get your CALDA Bond today!