MAUREEN PARKE, LEGAL DOCUMENT ASSISTANT
FAIRFIELD, CALIFORNIA (707) 422-0514
Entering the legal field in 1969, I learned from and worked directly with and for leading attorneys and Judges in Northern California in most areas of law. In 1976 I began a consulting business, specializing in law office management, human resources, attorney and staff training, education, while contracting for high profile cases in medical malpractice, asbestos and environmental toxic litigation.
By 2000 I was specializing in family law and probate and have since maintained a private practice as a Legal Document Assistant in Solano County, California.
I am a Legal Document Assistant, not an attorney myself, but working with me are attorneys, so the choice of whether to completely self-represent yourself with my services or to enlist the assistance and legal advice and court representation from an attorney [partially or completely] is available to you.
What is a Legal Document Assistant and can I use one?
- 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.
Legal Document Assistant Code of Ethics and Professional ...
2005 California Business and Professions Code Sections 6402 ...
BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE SECTION 6402-6407 6402. A legal document assistant or unlawful detainer assistant shall be registered pursuant to this chapter by the county clerk in the county in which his or her principal place of business is located (deemed primary registration), and in any other county in which he or she performs acts for which registration is required (deemed secondary registration).
Paralegals, or Legal Document Assistants?
People still call us “Paralegals”, but in order to work directly with the public, which paralegals may not do, paralegals are only permitted to work supervised by attorneys in law offices. A Legal Document Assistant must possess advanced educational requirements, maintain continuing education requirements, pass a State/County test, maintain a Bond, and be registered in Counties that require registration, as does Solano County.
Can a Legal Document Assistant represent me in court cases?
No. A Legal Document Assistant is not an attorney and only an attorney can represent a client in court.
What then can a Legal Document Assistant do?
My job is to facilitate your representation of yourself in court. Based on what you tell me, I help you fill out papers that need to go to court. You represent yourself, negotiate with the other party(ies), and talk to the Judge at hearings.
I take care of the administrative part of your situation. I often work with attorneys when you need legal advice. I work with attorneys who are available to go to court with you if you desire, but for you the MAIN difference is you are not paying attorney’s hourly rates to prepare your papers, file them at court, serve and mail notices when required to be sent by the court and other parties involved in your legal action. In the case where you want an attorney, you pay the attorney according to your agreement with the attorney, at the attorney’s rate.
How much are MY charges?
My fees are based on my regular hourly rate which is anywhere from 75% to 50% less than an attorneys regular rate. I also offer flat fees for certain situations and an estimate can be obtained by telephone.
Here is a good example: In Probate Estates, attorney’s can charge what is called a “statutory fee”, fees set up by law based on a percentage of the gross (not net) value of an estate. They also can add hourly charges for additional services like selling property, stocks, liquidating other assets of an estate [common in most estates] on top of their statutory fee. With my standard fee arrangement, unlike taking a percentage, my fee is the same for a $200,000 estate as it is for a $2,000,000 estate because it takes me the same time no matter where the decimal is placed. I bill for my time. I just need to know what work is needed to be able to give you an hourly or a flat fee estimate.