Are You a Paralegal in California?

Did you know that all paralegals in the state of California are regulated, and that this regulation places responsibility on both the paralegal and those that employ them? Following are the components to this fairly new regulation and its effect on attorneys and other paralegal employers.  Click here to read Laws Affecting the Employment of Paralegals.

Who is a Paralegal?
According to California Business and Professions Code 6450(a) “Paralegal” means a person who holds himself or herself out to be a paralegal, who is qualified by education, training, or work experience, who either contracts with or is employed by an attorney, law firm, corporation, governmental agency.
Paralegal MCLE Requirements
Every two years, commencing January 1, 2007, any person that is working as a paralegal shall be required to certify completion of four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in legal ethics and four hours of mandatory continuing legal education in either general law or in an area of specialized law.
Costs and Liability for Non-compliance
California Business and Professions Code 6452(a) states that an attorney who uses the services of a paralegal is liable for any harm caused as the result of the paralegal’s negligence, misconduct, or violation of this chapter.  Non-compliance can also result in the reduction of costs. In Michael H. Clement Corp. v. Keller the court reduced paralegal costs by $125,643.76 due to non-compliance with CA B&P Section 6450.
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