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The FALDP Docket -- January 2023
February 21, 2023

Florida Association of Legal Document Preparers

The FALDP Docket

Volume 13 Issue 2; February 2023

Stay up to date, and in the know. We publish this for the benefit of FALDP members, legal document preparers, and friends. Published monthly since May, 2010

FALDP Membership Drive thru 2/28

Our annual membership drive began on January 1, and continues through February. During that time period new and lapsed members can join for only $97.50. Members who join during this time are entitled to the same benefits as those who paid full price enjoy. All members renew no later than July 31. Visit us online to learn more about FALDP membership - membership.html You'll be glad you did!

Pro Se Litigants

We suggest, encourage, implore, and sometimes beg document preparers to remember that pro se's come to you for help. Many are desperate. Some have nearly run out of money. Others are depressed. All of them are doing their best to navigate Florida's labrynthine legal system.

When I was working on my degree in Legal Studies I had to take Civil Process and Procedure - a required course. It included all the procedural rules, time frames, formats, etc. Me, being me, didn't think I need to learn that stuff. My plan was to go to law school, and, of course, I would have a paralegal in charge of knowing procedure.

Things didn't go as planned. I didn't go on to law school, and I did need to learn process and procedure. My point is - have a heart - most of your customers have no idea about how the court system works.

Here are a few tips to remember when dealing with pro se litigants:

  • Use plain language, refrain from using acronyms or jargon as much as possible. If you must use an acronym, explain it. Think - QDRO, IDO, CORE, etc.
  • Don't be afraid to explain procedure to your customers. Explaining procedure is NOT legal advice. If you're not sure that I'm correct, read Serena Dunn et al v the Florida Bar.
  • Teach consumers what you can. If your customer wants to efile his documents, teach him how. Not all of them will be able or willing to learn, but some will.

  • Divorce Season

    Over the years, we have observed that at the start of each year requests for divorce document preparation increases. Chalk it up to New Years' resolutions or the aftermath of stressful holidays. Either way, document preparers can expect to prepare divorce documents. We created a video to highlight this phenomenon - The Honeymoon is Over

    Only $179!

    Starting a business is not any one single thing or event. For many it is a labor of love, a lifelong dream in action. Thousands of moving parts working together to create a business, an organic entity built on dreams and tears. Sometimes exhilarating, sometimes frightening.

    The thrill when something you create works. A sale went through, a customer gives praise, you reach a goal, you surpass a benchmark, and the realization that you own your time. You find out that the buck stops at you. You learn either hard or easy that running a business, especially a startup, is a lot of work … but oh so worth it.

    We try to support our members in every way that we can. We offer online courses, most of which are subject matter courses. A few of our courses focus on building a business and sales. This course – FALDP Quick Start Guide – is not meant to replace any of our courses, but to enhance. We know that you want to see the cash flow back to you as quickly as possible and have created this Quick Start Guide to get your business up and running as quickly as possible.

    Member Spotlight

    Judith Byrd

    The following is the beginning of the "About Us" page on Judith's site:

    Hinkle Legal Doc Prep

    Judith Byrd and her late husband, Jim Hinkle, started Hinkle Legal Document Preparation after working for a law firm and having noticed a large number of people who needed help to file a case with the courts who had to walk away when they learned they were unable to afford the firm’s fees.

    Judith and her husband had experienced the same financial obstacle themselves prior to working at the Firm and knew the fear and the disappointment this created. After their employer passed away, they took two and a half years of courses educating themselves on the procedures involved. They learned that people have the right to legally represent themselves, in a process called pro se (for yourself).

    Judith and Jim joined FALDP in 2010, the very first year of FALDP's existence. Judith carried on with their business even after Jim's death and is still going strong.

    I asked Judith what advice she'd give to a document preparer, just starting out in business. She gave the following three tips:

  • Get to know other document preparers in your area, if possible. It helps to have a colleague close by for referrals and help;
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions -- there's no such thing as a dumb question;
  • Cultivate relationships with court clerks*

  • *Highlands County, where Judith lives and works is the only county we know where the clerks of court refer pro se litigants directly to document preparers.

    Zoom Meetings

    The Zoom scheduled for the last Saturday of this month (2/25 @ 11:00 am EST) is "Pro Se Efiling". Many members know exactly how to do use the efiling system, especially those who have worked for attorneys in the past. However, some people don't know, so here we go. Besides just knowing how to use the system, some may have nagging questions about where our limitations are.

    Our After Hours Zooms are still being held the second Tuesday of each month at 6:00 pm EST. You can look ahead at the upcoming topics for our Saturday Zooms here - Training-webinars.html We email invitations in advance of each Zoom Webinar to all members. We also post the invitation inside our private Facebook Group. After our meetings we post information related to the meeting inside the Members Only area.


    If you operate your business as an LLC, don't forget to submit your annual report and payment BEFORE the May 1st deadline.
    And, don't forget to take the Avoid UPL! Course prior to our renewal period beginning May 1.

    Spanish & English Parenting Course

    Did you know that FALDP members can receive $3.00 for each referral to either version of the Parenting Course?

    Prices are: $29.99 and $14.99 for low income. Here's the link directly to the Spanish version - spanish parenting course And here it is for the English version Parenting Course

    Parental Education and Family Stabilization Course is mandatory for all divorcing couples who have children; and all people seeking a paternity action.

    Don't have a site yet? Try Monarch Web Strategies

    Horizon Research Network is one of our associated sites which includes our design services. We build business websites for FALDP members for only $150 - set up; and $100. per page; and includes your domain name and first month's hosting. And, have you seen our whiteboard videos online? We can create a custom whiteboard video to promote your business. Once built its yours to use in any of your advertising or promotions. Contact us for a custom quote.

    FALDP Private Facebook Group

    About one third of our membership has joined the FALDP private Facebook group. We created it to make it easier to interact with each other. So far, people have given work referrals to one another; asked questions to the group; received help in locating a form; and discussed various issues. If you're working toward FALDP Certification, you earn one CEU just by joining the group. So, what are you waiting for? Look for the private group after going to the official FALDP Facebook page at FALDP,LLC on Facebook.

    Member's Announcements & Contributions

    Have something to share?

    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.

    FALDP Contact Information:
    Main number – (941)237-0951
    Toll free - (800)515-0496
    Email –

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