LDA Code of Ethics

The canons below were adopted by the Alliance of Legal Document Assistant Professionals, Inc. to protect consumers and serve as a guide to aid LDAs, paralegals and the public in the delivery of professional legal document preparation and self-help legal services.

Canon 1: A Legal Document Assistant shall strictly comply with all laws* governing the practices of non-attorney legal service providers, and shall closely follow the accepted standards of legal ethics and general principles of proper conduct.

Canon 2: A Legal Document Assistant shall achieve and maintain a high level of competence through continuing education and training with respect to professional responsibility, legal ethics, and court rules, forms and procedures.

Canon 3: A Legal Document Assistant shall maintain a high level of personal and professional integrity and conduct.

Canon 4: A Legal Document Assistant shall serve the public interests by delivering quality legal document preparation services that satisfy all requirements of the California Business & Professions Code and any rules and regulations established by the courts or any administrative agency.

Canon 5: A Legal Document Assistant shall preserve all confidential information provided by the client or acquired from other sources, to the extent the law permits, before, during and after the course of the professional relationship. An LDA may reveal confidential information only after full disclosure and with the client’s written consent; or when required by a law or court order.

Canon 6: A Legal Document Assistant shall not engage in the unauthorized practice of law, and shall refrain from providing legal recommendations, suggesting remedies, selecting forms or applying the law to the facts of a client’s particular situation.

Canon 7: A Legal Document Assistant shall disclose his or her status as a non-attorney, self-help legal service provider at the outset of any LDA-client relationship.

Canon 8: A Legal Document Assistant shall act prudently in determining whether the client’s needs exceed the definition of “self-help services” as set forth in Business & Professions Code § 6400(d); and if such a determination is made, the LDA shall immediately inform the client that he or she requires the services of an attorney.

Canon 9: A Legal Document Assistant shall avoid impropriety and the appearance of impropriety, and shall not engage in any conduct that would adversely affect his or her fitness to practice, including, but not limited to, the following: the unauthorized practice of law, violence, dishonesty, and/or abuse of a professional position or public office.

Canon 10: A Legal Document Assistant shall support and participate in efforts to improve consumer protection, access to justice, the judicial system, and the LDA and paralegal professions.

*Such laws include, but are not limited to the California Business & Professions Code chapters regarding legal document assistants (§ 6400 et seq.)   paralegals (§ 6450 et seq.), and the unlawful practice of law (§ 6125 et seq.); the California Code of Regulations (16 CCR § 3950); the federal statutes regarding non-attorney bankruptcy petition preparers (11 US Code § 110); and the California State Bar’s Rules of Professional Conduct