Saturday, May 16, 2009

ALDAP Updates Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility; Adopts LDA Client’s Bill of Rights

The Alliance of Legal Document Assistant Professionals (ALDAP) yesterday unanimously voted to approve an expanded Legal Document Assistant (LDA) Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, and a new LDA Client’s Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. The vote took place at the association’s annual membership meeting, after months of careful consideration and deliberation. All association members are required to adhere to the canons set forth in the Code. The new standards are effective immediately.

“In addition to maintaining compliance with governmental regulations—those things we must do—it is imperative that our industry implement self-regulation—those things we should do— to ensure the protection of the public and the integrity of the legal document assistant profession,” said Suzanne Livingston, vice president of the association.

Although it’s been more than a decade since California Business & Professions Code section 6400—the legislation governing the LDA profession—was enacted, the industry remains rife with non-compliant, unregistered “rogue” paralegals with neither the requisite training and experience, nor the registration and bond that affords some measure of consumer protection.

“In looking to the future of the growing self-help-legal movement, we decided it was time to expand our Code of Ethics, and implement additional consumer protections with the Client’s Bill of Rights,” said Livingston.

Since ALDAP’s inception in 2007, the association's Code of Ethics has served as the foundation of ethical practices for the legal document assistant profession. The new Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility doubles the number of canons from five to ten, with an increased emphasis on consumer protection.

For more information, visit ALDAP's website.

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