Wednesday, October 14, 2009

ALDAP Helps California Make History

On October 11, 2009, California's Governor signed AB 590 California's "Right to Counsel" legislation, scheduled to go into effect July 2011 as a pilot project.

ALDAP directly assisted Kevin Baker, Deputy Chief Counsel of the Judicary Committee and the writer of California's "Right To Counsel" legislation, with the revision of the bill in the Senate. ALDAP was the first to learn of contradictory provisions and alert Assemblyman Feuer of potential harm to California's consumers, the bar, and California's Legal Document Assistants.

Kathleen Mountjoy, President of ALDAP, discovered the then-pending legislation just prior to the last day for amendment and ALDAP immediately set about correcting the language of the proposed bill - language which would have effectively outlawed most services currently provided by LDAs and other self-help legal service providers. "It seemed strange to me that nobody else in our profession seemed concerned and when I mentioned the language, others thought my interpretation was erroneous - I wrote to Feuer anyway, and the next day Kevin Baker phoned me expressing his gratitude for our catch and apologizing to 'the good people, like you, who provide much needed services to Californians.' I am just glad that we decided to act rather than sit on our hands. This proves ALDAP's dedication to California's consumers and to our profession."

ALDAP, the leading association for California's self-help legal service providers, is non-profit, mutual benefit corporation serving registered Legal Document Assistants (LDAs) and freelance paralegal/LDA dual-professionals. ALDAP’s mission is to promote the LDA profession by providing seminars for continuing legal education, strengthening professional status by establishing and promoting support for professional standards and regulatory compliance, and communicating with the legal community and the general public.

AB 590 Assembly Bill - History

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