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Effective January 1, 2000, California implemented a statute which, for the first time in history, allowed a non-attorney to assist people with routine legal document preparation for many common legal services. Attorneys actively opposed the legislation and played an instrumental role in molding the new law to be a "restrictive" as possible, hoping that the law would fail and consumers would not be able to obtain low-cost legal services. With the activist efforts of CALDA, the California Association of Legal Document Assistants, the law did not fail, and for over 40 years A People's Choice has continued to successfully provide professional, low-cost non-attorney legal document preparation services for hundreds of thousands of consumers.
The notices and contract we use are mandated under the California law. All legal document assistants must provide these notices and use the mandatory contract by the California Department of Consumer Affairs. At first glance, these mandated notices and contract appear "restrictive". Through the creative use of legal software and legal materials written and approved by attorneys, A People's Choice has successfully provided high-quality, professional, full-scope legal document preparation services to consumers within the confines of the law.
Please hit NEXT to proceed through the required Notices and Contract.
You must scroll through the entire Contract to accept. A fully signed copy of this Contract will be emailed to you.
This is a contract between A People’s Choice Legal Documents Inc., and you, for the self-help services described in Part I below. I am the “legal document assistant” and you are the “client.”
1. You should read and understand this entire contract before you sign it. You should understand the kinds of services that I can and cannot perform for you (see Part I below).
2. I am not an attorney. I cannot perform the legal services that an attorney performs. I cannot engage in the practice of law.
3. The county clerk has not evaluated or approved my knowledge or experience, nor the quality of my work.
4. I cannot keep your original documents if you request that I return them to you. I cannot keep your original documents if you and I do not sign this contract or if this contract terminates (ends) for any reason. I cannot keep your original documents after all of the contract services have been provided (see Part I below). It is a violation of California law if I keep your original documents under any of these circumstances.
5. It is a violation of California law if I make any false or misleading statement to you.
6. I cannot obtain special favors from, and I do not have any special influence with, any court or any state or federal agency.
7. As required by law, I have filed a bond or made a cash deposit and have registered as a legal document assistant in each county where I will perform services on your behalf.
Kinds of services that I can perform for you: I can perform the following self-help services for you in connection with a legal matter in which you are representing yourself: I can type or otherwise complete, as you specifically direct, legal documents that you have selected. I can provide you general published factual information that was written or approved by an attorney, to help you represent yourself. I can provide you published legal documents. I can file and serve legal forms and documents as you specifically direct.
I cannot provide for you any other services. The above-mentioned services are the only kinds of services that I may perform for you. If you need additional services, then you require the services of an attorney.
Kinds of services that I cannot perform for you: I cannot provide you any self-help service unless you are representing yourself in a legal matter and the self-help service relates to that legal matter.
I cannot engage in the practice of law. This means that I cannot give you any kind of advice, explanation, opinion or recommendation about possible legal rights, remedies, defenses, strategies or options that you may have. I cannot give you any advice, explanation, opinion or recommendation regarding selection of forms.
I will provide you all the following services:
Description of Document Preparation Services:
Typing documents and forms, at client’s specific direction, consistent with self-help brochure or other informational materials that have been written or approved by an attorney; and perform other associated administrative tasks as follows:
Some Fees may filing fee with applicable State agency.
Unless otherwise stated, most flat fee packages include specified allowances for routine communication by email. Cases are worked on in the order of generated activity.Timely client cooperation during all aspects of the case is required. Unreasonable delays as the result of client's inaction or multiple failures by client to respond to communications will result in the file being closed and fees forfeited.
NOTICE: Court forms are updated periodically (1 or 2 times per year) by the Judicial Council of California. A form updated after form preparation may result in a small reprocessing fee. Proceedings extending beyond the normal processing time due to inactivity or delays by client may also require additional service fees.
You are paying me only for those services listed above and no others. It is unlawful for me to make any guarantee or promise to you unless it is written in this contract and unless I have a factual basis for making the guarantee or promise.
II - FEES AND EXPENSES
You agree to pay me the following fees, costs and expenses:
FEES: (payable on execution of contract by cash, check or credit card)
a Flat Fee in the total amountof $0.00* for document preparation services to be paid as follows:
Costs: Your estimated costs will vary and are NOT included in our document preparation fees unless specifically stated under Description of Document Preparation Services above. Costs vary by case type but may include court filing fees, recording fees, notary fees, postage, efiling fees, publication fees and any third-party costs that may be associated with your legal proceeding. Our fees include a minimal fax, scan and photocopy allowance. These allowances cover standard faxing and photocopying, however some clients may have needs that exceed these standard allowances. If your needs exceed these minimums, you will be notified of any additional costs before they are incurred.
*If contract is cancelled during cancellation period, (see III below) services for which we are entitled to compensation shall be calculated as follows: All appointment, telephone time and/or other work performed prior to receipt of cancellation charged at the hourly per staff rate of $150/hour (legal assistant) or $75/hour (support staff) plus a fee of $150.00 for opening file. If documents are substantially completed during the 24-hour period following execution, no refund will be due.
NOTICE TO CLIENT: All or the majority of the above-referenced documents may be substantially prepared at your appointment or within the first 24 hours after the receipt of your signed contract (see cancellation/refund clause.) Please make inquiry as to the expected time for completion based on our current case load.
III - CANCELLATION
You may cancel this contract for any reason within 24 hours after we both have signed it. If you cancel the contract, I must immediately refund any fees which you have paid me. The only fees that I may keep are fees for services which I have actually, necessarily and reasonably performed on your behalf during the 24-hour period. I cannot keep any fees for services performed during the 24 hour period unless you knew that I would perform those services and you agreed in this contract that I would perform them.
To cancel this contract, send me a written notice stating that you are canceling the contract. Mail the notice by first-class mail with the correct postage, and send it to me at my address (see Part V below). Cancellation takes effect on the date of the postmark on the notice. You can also cancel this contract by delivering a written notice of cancellation to my address within the 24-hour period.
You may also cancel this contract at any time if I:
If you cancel this contract for any of these reasons, I must immediately refund in full any fees which you have paid me.
You may also cancel this contract at any time if you have legal cause.
IV - ATTORNEY’S FEES AND COSTS
In the event of suit or damages arising from this contract or to enforce any of its provisions, the court may award the prevailing party his or her reasonable attorney’s fees and costs.The venue for any disputes about this contract is the county where you live in California.
V - DESCRIPTION OF THE PARTIES