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In This Issue
President's Message
Summer Seminar
Look How Far We've Come
Advocating for CALDA
Trials & Tribulations of Registration
 Spotlight on
CALDA Board Member and Education Chair

 CALDA 2012

Annual Conference






October 19 - 21 Sacramento

Hyatt Hotel


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The California Association of Legal Document Assistants was established in August 1986, and was formerly known as "California Association of Independent Paralegals" (CAIP). CALDA is the premiere organization for legal document assistant professionals.

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Interested in joining CALDA or have questions about how to become a Legal Document Assistant?  



Tracey Booth, Administrative Coordinator



Jeri Blatt,  

Membership Chair
Phone: 650-574-2087

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July 2012

From Ian Duncan, CALDA President

Dear CALDA Members,


Ian Duncan board photo
Ian Duncan President
Your Board of Directors has been busy this year enhancing CALDA's standing and visibility in the legal community.  We're also committed to improving and adding to the present benefits being offered as a member of CALDA by introducing new programs and features that every CALDA member can use.

Just last month, Vanessa Watson, China Long, and I represented CALDA at the LSI 78th Annual Conference in San Diego.  LSI is the Legal Secretaries' trade group. They had a booth at our Conference last year and I felt it fitting to have a CALDA presence at theirs.  We had a positive experience with the Legal Secretaries and educated many of them about our profession.  We are looking forward to participating in a joint "Legal Summit" with this organization sometime next year.
In March, the Bay Area Chapter put on a highly successful seminar in Foster City where we hosted four educational classes including three judges (Judge Cram from Contra Costa County, Comm. Oleon from Alameda County, and Judge Franchi from San Mateo County).  The judges generated so much excitement that the event sold out  a week before the event!  To my knowledge, this has never happened before and we hope it sets a precedent for future seminars throughout the state. The feedback from the seminar has been incredibly positive, and I'm happy that we were able to deliver an event that seemed to go over so well with the attendees.
Do not despair if you were not able to attend the seminar, as some of the same presenters will be back for our Conference in Sacramento. Commissioner Oleon will be leading another panel discussion (on a different family law subject) and Judge Cram and Carla Sprugasci will be teaming up to teach an updated version of Judge Crams's forms class at our Conference (which by then will cover the new and revised July  Judicial Council forms).
The Los Angeles Seminar Committee has been working hard to bring you another great CALDA event loaded with educational and network opportunities.  Don't forget to register early, because remember - the Foster City Seminar SOLD OUT!  The LA Seminar will be held on July 21 in Culver City, and Judge Mark Juhas will be speaking!  More information on that below.
And, of course, please mark your calendars for the weekend of October 19, 20, and 21 so that you can be sure and attend our Conference in Sacramento.  I  look forward to seeing you all there.
Kind regards,

Ian M. Duncan, CALDA


SAVE THE DATE:  July 21, 2012

CALDA Presents Its Summer Seminar Series


Hosted by the CALDA-LA Orange County Chapter
Date:   July 21, 2012
Location:  Culver City, CA
The CALDA-LA Orange County Chapter will be hosting a seminar this summer. 
We will be presenting four 90-minute classes and a 45-minute class.  Additional information, including an agenda, class topics, speakers and registration details are forthcoming . . . . 
Prepare to join us for a wealth of information.  We hope to see you there!


Seminar Registration Form

Look How Far We Have Come

by China Long, CALDA Public Relations Chair


China Long, PR Chair

When I stop for a moment to reminisce on first being called an Independent Paralegal and now being called a Legal Document Assistant, I can truly say, I realize this more recent song by Kelly Clarkson, in which the lyrics stated are true, "if it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger."


Read more... 

CALDA advocates on behalf of members

By Debra Hollis, CALDA Professional Standards Chair


Debra Hollis
Debra Hollis,  Professional Standards Chair

I received a complaint from one of our members in May, regarding a business in Placer County. It seems that the owner of this particular business was not complying with the Business & Professions Code that I spoke about in the last issue of this newsletter. Although the owner of the business is not a member of CALDA, I felt compelled to respond to our member's concern.



The Trials and Tribulations of Registration

By Carol Ludlow, CALDA Treasurer

Carol Ludlow
Carol Ludlow, Treasurer

I sat in my car with my head pounding, feeling sick to my stomach; perspiration dripped down the back of my neck.  No, I hadn't been pulled over by the police for speeding - I was sitting outside the Recorder's Office trying to summon the courage to venture inside and renew my LDA bond.  Every two years it seems that I am to be subjected to the fear that there are some new rules that will prevent me from renewing my bond and consequently prevent me from earning a living. 



CALDA Annual Confrence - Celebrating 25 Years  

By Nancy Newlin, CALDA Conference Chair

Nancy Newlin
Nancy Newlin, Conference Chair




Today any successful and competent businessperson will employ the latest and best-tested methods in production, distribution and administration of their business.  Many people are discovering that attending CALDA's Annual Conference enables CALDA Legal Document Assistants to stand head and shoulders above the rest. 


Consumers for a Responsive Legal System

By Tom Gordon, Executive Director, CRLS


Consumers for a Responsive Legal System ("Responsive Law") is a national nonprofit organization working to make the legal system more user-friendly. One of our goals is to make sure that people using the legal system have access to a range of legal services to meet the continuum of legal needs. Just as not every medical problem requires a doctor, not every legal problem should require a lawyer.


Consumers often face legal issues that they do not wish to handle alone, but which aren't complex enough to merit the expense of an attorney. As CALDA members are well aware, document preparation services can help meet this need. However, in California and elsewhere, document preparers are limited by restrictions on the unauthorized practice of law, often to the detriment of their customers.


Responsive Law is working to reform UPL restrictions so that consumers have access to services that fit their needs. We're looking forward to working with the CALDA leadership to see how we can help California LDAs be allowed to serve their customers better.


As practitioners of law-related services, CALDA members are an important part of the movement to make the legal system accessible to everyone. We hope that you'll come visit our website at to learn about how you fit into this movement and what you can do to help ensure its success.