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We, the members of the Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers, deeply believe that it is the right of all American consumers to have access to the legal system, regardless of income or education. It is our mission to deliver well researched legal information to consumers.
The FALDP mission embodies our quest and our goals. We offer legal information; and document preparation assistance. We hope that by educating consumers about their legal rights -- we will have done our part to give others hope.
The FALDP mission is a journey. We have only begun, there is much to do. We hope that the confidence gained through education and knowledge will empower consumers, so they may have a fighting chance to enforce or pursue their rights in a court of law.
We help self-represented consumers by preparing documents. Of course. That's the core function of our businesses. But we do much more than that. We also help consumers by providing legal information. We can point you to a court rule or statute that may be important to your case or goal. This is providing factual information, not interpreting the information. We can also explain court procedure. We can tell you what happens next. We can't help with strategy, that's the litigant's job. But, we can tell you the next procedural steps. We can tell consumers that once the other party is served, he or she usually has 20 days to file an Answer with the court and also send it to you. We can tell you what service of process means, who does it, and why its important. We can tell you that in most Florida jurisdictions, acceptable fonts are 11 point Calibri or 12 point Times New Roman. We can tell you that there should be a one inch margin all the way around the page. We can explain what a certification is, and why its important.
But, more than any of those things we empower consumers to pursue their own legal goals. Document preparers know the rules and steps to get you where you want to go, especially when there is no dispute. Paper work only. Many of our members have decades of experience working for attorneys. And, although, working directly for pro se litigants is a different ball game entirely, you can't suddenly not know something. We don't pretend to be attorneys, and most document preparers are happy that they're not. If you, as a consumer, ask us a should question - should I do this or should I do that. Document preparers will say "I don't know". We don't know what a consumer should or shouldn't do. That's legal advice, and up to the consumer to decide. If a consumer presses the point, and asks a document preparer for an "opinion", document preparers will say - I don't have an opinion.
We're not being coy. We're completely on the side of the consumer, our customer, the pro se litigant. But, if a consumer needs legal advice, we encourage that consumer to seek counsel. Our role is to help you find the resources you need, teach you how to navigate the court system, and prepare your documents. If you need help, please don't hesitate to contact us. 800-515-0496.
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