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The FALDP Docket -- Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers Monthly Newsletter
April 16, 2012

Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers

The FALDP Docket

Volume 3; Issue 4
April, 2012


WELCOME TO FALDP

Members and Friends


This free newsletter is published every month for the benefit of FALDP members, legal document preparers, and friends. We hope it is informative, useful, and entertaining.

Many announcements will be published here first - and then added to the site.

New members please remember to submit the information for the Member Directory as soon as you can. Premium Members are entitled to three listings - their home county, and two adjacent counties. We prefer a paragraph or two for the Member Directory -- the Meet the Members page is designed to accommodate more detailed information.


Third Annual Conference


We are solidifying our plans for our Third Annual Conference. This year it will be in historic St. Augustine, the weekend of September 22 & 23. This time our agenda is expanding to two days, with the second day dedicated to Business Expansion and Development. More details to come. Please mark your calendars.

We'll continue the tradition begun last year - prizes, contests, and giveaway. Next month's newsletter issue should include a complete itinerary - guest speakers, conference fees, date & time.


All Memberships Renew In June

All memberships renew on June 1. This year we're offering a renewal discount for members who bring in a new member:

  • New members who join after April 1 will not need to renew that June 1 -- the months of April and May are free.
  • Current members can renew for the following year at any time prior to June 1.
  • Current members who refer a new member receive a 50% rebate on their renewal.
  • Current members may renew with no penalty up until July 31.

    Congratulations to the members who took advantage of the discounted membership and renewed before the end of March. An email offering the discount was sent to all members.

    For more information about our membership policies please visit our Membership Page.


    Online Courses

    Online Bankruptcy Course Launches 4/28


    The launch of our newest course - Introduction to Chapter 7 Bankruptcy - coincides with a Webinar about Chapter 7 Bankruptcy. The Webinar will be on Saturday April 28 at 11:00 - invitations will be emailed to all members. We will open enrollment for the bankruptcy course directly after the webinar.

    An Introductory course - Introduction to Florida Legal Document Preparation @ only $99. for preparing legal documents in Florida, and Preparing Florida Divorce Documents @ only $199. are open for registration.

    Registration is open for the Intro course, and the Divorce course. The courses are geared toward legal document preparers who are new to the industry; new to Florida; or legal document preparers who want to expand their knowledge base. For LDP's new to the industry, or new to Florida, the Intro course is a requirement and a prerequisite for enrollment in the Dissolution of Marriage course.

    Your Feedback is Always Appreciated
    If you have completed either of our courses and have suggestions we would love to hear from you. We need to know how we're doing. Too difficult? Too easy?


    Self-Help Legal Guides


    Don't forget that we publish Self Help Legal Guides. These are useful tools to provide to customers as loss leaders or to help educate consumers. Some consumers are perfectly able to prepare their own documents and all they need is to do their research and educate themselves thoroughly.

    When a consumer calls in the FALDP with a situation that is addressed in one of our books, we sometimes suggest they purchase the book instead of using our document preparation services. Here's why - if a consumer is almost there and just needs a little help, the book may be all they need. It seems more honest to let them know we publish a book on their subject than to take their hard earned money for something they can do themselves. As we all know, however, pro se forms aren't as easy as they are meant to be. And many people cannot do the pro se forms no matter what - book or no book.

    I often offer the book as an alternative, and then tell the customer, that if they still need document preparation assistance, we can rebate to them the price of the book. If you would like to sell our books from your site or store, please contact us to make arrangements. We no longer offer an across the board 50% discount to members -- but we'll be happy to make arrangements individually.

    Please visit our Online Bookstore


    The Big Picture


    The Tragic Death of Trayvon Martin – What Can We Learn?

    I have only one point to make about the tragic and untimely death of seventeen year old Trayvon Martin, who was shot dead last month while walking through a Sanford neighborhood. The shooter, George Zimmerman, was a neighborhood watch volunteer with a gun. For 45 days, although it remained undisputed, that Zimmerman was the shooter, he was not arrested. Finally after public outcry, a media frenzy, and a petition with over two million signatures, Zimmerman was arrested on April 11, 2012.

    Teenager Walking At Night

    The media frenzy that continues to churn characterizes the shooting as racist and possibly a hate crime. Martin was black, Zimmerman is “white hispanic”. We cannot know Zimmerman's thoughts or motivations, and I do not defend him. But, since we do not know Zimmerman's thoughts we cannot know if the shooting was racially motivated at all. I believe that the shooting had as much to do with the fact that Martin was a male teenager walking at night as the fact that he was black.

    During the years when my son and his friends were old enough to be out at night, but did not yet own vehicles, they were stopped countless times by local law enforcement. I taught my son and his friends, to never ever run from an officer, and to always be polite. There is nothing like a loaded weapon to encourage a polite society. The boys were questioned nearly every time they were stopped, asked where they lived, asked if their parents knew they were out, asked why they were out, and on and on. I encouraged them to walk together as a group at night for their own safety. When stopped as a group, they would then be questioned about gang activity. The officers would sometimes insist that the boys turn around and go home; and insist that they were violating the curfew. There was not then, and never has been a curfew in our town.

    Teenage boys have been demonized. Teenage boys, in fact, commit crimes at a higher rate than any other group. The demonization is not entirely unfounded. Criminal activity begins around age 12 or 13 and most people, males and females, age out of crime altogether around age 40.

    The time of day with the highest rate of crime is not at night, as you might expect, but it is the after school hours. The latchkey hours when teenagers come home from school, no one is there, and there's nothing to do. Idle hands.

    Trayvon Martin's untimely death is an American tragedy. May he rest in peace. Have we learned anything?


    Member's Announcements & Contributions


    We accept member's announcements and appreciate your contributions. If you have an announcement about your business, an expansion of services, moving your offices, or winning awards, please send us the information and we'll include it in our newsletter. Your announcement needs to be pertinent to your business, we are unable to include announcements about other trade associations, clubs or groups.

    If you would like to write an article, editorial, opinion piece, or web page please let us know. We are always in need of fresh information and insights.


    Do You Want to Know a Secret?


    Have you wondered why our site, www.faldp.org is so popular? You found us online just like over 7,000 others did last month, and many more will this month. We're growing rapidly, site traffic continues to climb, membership is increasing. Although I'd like to take the credit - sparkling prose, timely information, and hard work. And yes, we do work hard, hope the information is timely, and strive for sparkling prose, but we couldn't do it without help. First and foremost is your help. Your participation in our association and your interest in our interests are the foundation of our success.

    But, I also want to let you know a secret. The hosting company for this site is the best ever. If you've never clicked the link at the bottom of every site page - "Powered by SBI" - give it a go. SBI is much more than a hosting company.

    When you click the Site Sell Link you'll open yourself to whole world of possibilities. Many business people struggle with web marketing, SEO, rankings, analytics, and advertising. SBI does most of the work for you. Give it a go - you won't be disappointed.



    FALDP Contact Information:
    Main number – (941)237-0951
    Toll free - (800)515-0496
    Email – staff@faldp.org

    PLEASE LINK YOUR SITE TO WWW.FALDP.ORG
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