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Message from the President
Election Results
Message from the Publications Chair
Message from the Fundraising Chair
Meeting with Assemblyman Dickinson
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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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Maureen McCready,  

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Phone: 707-826-1427

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by Ian M. Duncan, CALDA President
Ian Duncan board photo


Dear Members,


I was very happy to see so many of you at CALDA's 26th Annual Conference.  We have gotten a great deal of positive feedback about the classes we put on, and I'm just very pleased that everyone seemed to have a positive experience.  And I'm happy that we got to do a little dancing as well. 


Special thanks to China Long for working so hard and planning such a great conference.  We couldn't have done it without her care and dedication to this Association.  She departs CALDA's Board this year, and I surely will miss her optimism, her positive spirit, and her hugs.



That's all for now.  See you in Napa!


Ian Duncan

CALDA President


CALDA's Bay Area Chapter Presents its Spring Seminar

Intensive Family Law Immersion Course

We are going to discuss the divorce process and the forms from A to Z, in Four Sections.  The day will cover divorce form preparation, disclosures, financial issues to consider during a divorce, and an intensive class on judgment preparation by a local family law expert.    


Date:                  Saturday, April 26, 2013

Location:             Napa Elks Lodge, 2840 Soscol Avenue

                          Napa, CA 94558


Lunch will be served

A Wine tour will be available for all who are interested. 

More details will be forthcoming in the next month.


by Nancy Newlin, CALDA Secretary

Nancy Newlin







President           Ian Duncan

Vice-President    Carol Ludlow

Secretary          Nancy Newlln

Treasurer          Michelle Wehrli








Jeri Blatt                      Conference Chair

Debra Hollis                  Professional Standards Chair

Vanessa Watson            Education Chair

Maureen McCready         Membership Chair

Terri O'Conner               Legislation Chair

Patricia Powell               Newsletter Chair

Elizabeth Fleischer          Publications Review Chair

Susan Volpe                  Public Relations Chair

Julie La Blanc                Fund Raising Chair




Meetings of CALDA's Board of Directors are tentatively scheduled for the dates below.  Exact locations will be announced.




Start Time

January 25, 2014

Orange County


April 25, 2014

Napa Seminar


August 9, 2014

Bay Area


October 3, 2014

Bay Area




CALDA's 2014 Annual General Meeting will be October 3 & 4, 2014 in the Bay Area at CALDA's Annual Conference. 

by Elizabeth (Liz) Fleischer, Publications Chair

I had such a great time at this year's conference at the Embassy Suites in Ontario; what a great line up of classes, food and good cheer!  And we made over $200.00 at the fundraising table and over $700 selling Raffle Tickets!!  Woohoo!!  And a big thank you goes out to all who sold the Raffle Tickets including Debbie Driver, of Quality Document Preparation Center in Redding, who oversaw the selling of those Raffle Tickets.  

We also had several new vendors at this years Conference, some of whom also taught classes and they included:  Helen Bellamy of Crown Financial Ministries, Ret. Orange County Commissioner Richard Vogl, of the Orange County Superior Court, Dione Moser of Impact Marketing & Design, and Dennis Fox of Fore! Trust Software. We also had Clifford Wiens of Pennbrook Insurance, but he had a last minute death in the family and was unable to attend the conference, but still had a table with his items showcased.

I enjoyed being the Fundraising Chair and there was a lot to learn for sure!!  And I look forward to the new position of being CALDA's Publications Chair.  Our Brochures and Questionnaires help us to CYA and have been updated and reviewed by several of our Attorneys.  And this year, they will be translated into Spanish.

If anyone has any ideas for more Brochure and Questionnaire topics, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Elizabeth (Liz) Fleischer

Publications Chair

by Julie La Blanc, Fundraising Chair


I am proud to enter the profession of Legal Document Assistants and to be a member of CALDA. The annual CALDA Conference in Ontario was the second conference I attended. Engaging and knowledgeable professionals presented all of the classes. This included veteran LDA's, Attorneys and Judges. The discussions during the class sessions were very helpful for exchanging ideas with other members, particularly about the different ways to complete documents for clients. I continue to be impressed by how friendly members are to one another and the teamwork philosophy of everyone. As a firefighter for over 21 years I recognize that teamwork is vital. CALDA members share that value.

My hope is that new people entering the Legal Document Assistant profession will become members of CALDA and enjoy the benefits of this organization. I look forward to working with the other CALDA Board members and learning about my new position as Fund Raising Chairperson.


by Michelle Wehrli, Treasurer & Susan Volpe', PR Chair



In an extended Orange County-to-Los Angeles commute on Nov. 6, CALDA members Michele Wehrli and Susan Volpe attended a fundraising benefit at the law offices of Mike Salle with hopes of meeting and getting acquainted with Roger Dickinson, ABA 888 advocate and candidate for California state senator.


They were able to gain his undivided attention for about 30 minutes.  After introducing themselves and exchanging pleasantries, they captured Mr. Dickinson's interest and turned their attention to the issues and decision related to ABA 888.


Susan asked whether Mr. Dickinson thought it would be brought up for discussion in the legislature again in the coming year.  His response:  There were no immediate plans to resurface the bill, saying "There would be no point since Governor Brown's call was to veto, a decision that surprised the advocates who had seen the bill fly through the process so easily."


Mr. Dickinson discussed the reason for the bill and the harm it was meant to prevent.  "It is the harm that unregistered notorio immigration and foreclosure 'experts' could cause to an unknowing consumer that was the target of the bill, and not members of CALDA or of LDAs."


Susan discussed her understanding of an LDA professional's function in legal services then explained that an LDA is an essential bridge for pro-per consumer form-driven procedure to court access.   She added that most courts and judges love LDAs because we help clear dockets more efficiently than a pro-per would ordinarily be able to accomplish on their own.


Michelle told Mr. Dickinson that ABA 888 could potentially hurt LDAs.  She described her own experience of being reported to the state bar by an attorney who also threatened her with police intervention so as to further his own agenda in the case against Michelle's client.  ABA 888 would give an attorney additional financial incentive to cause harm - even if LDAs were not the intended target.


Michelle also graciously expressed CALDA's gratitude to the change in language of the bill which redirected funds derived to victims rather than the state bar.


When Mr. Dickinson asked Susan how long she had been active in CALDA, she explained that she had chosen a new career after years of teaching high school to special needs students.   "So you are not opposed to standards"? he asked, and received a resounding "not at all" answer from both Susan and Michelle.


Bottom line:   Roger Dickinson appeared to be a humble and well-meaning individual who could be a good friend to CALDA and who is expected to win his election.  We must stay within his radar and be a constant reminder of the positive role of consumer legal access and how laws like ABA 888 need to be carefully driven to not hurt those who are essentially here to help the lawmakers' constituents.