The Limited License Legal Technician (LLLT) Board is working on enhancements to the LLLT Domestic Relations Practice Area and plans to submit proposed amendments to the Supreme Court later this summer. The LLLT Board invites you to view the draft amendments and share your thoughts about the proposed changes. Please submit comments to LLLT@wsba.org by July 17. Here’s a short summary of the Board’s ideas and the goals of the proposed changes:
Increase Judicial Efficiency by Supporting and Assisting Pro Se Clients in Finishing Their Cases
- Assistance in Court: The LLLT Board is proposing that LLLTs be permitted to accompany and assist their clients in specific court proceedings. Like the New York Navigators or Protection Order Advocates, the LLLT would be there to guide and support the pro se client through the court process. The LLLT would be able to answer questions from the client or the court, but would not appear as a representative nor present the client’s case. Likewise, LLLTs would have the option to accompany their clients in depositions but not to participate in the deposition.
- Communication on Procedural Matters and Negotiations: The proposed amendments allow LLLTs to communicate with opposing counsel or parties regarding procedural matters. They would also allow negotiation on behalf of the client when the parameters of the negotiation have been defined in advance.
- Alternative Dispute Resolution: LLLTs would be allowed to accompany and assist their clients in mediation, settlement conferences, and arbitration proceedings.
- Presentation of Orders: As paralegals are allowed to do in many counties, LLLTs would be permitted to present agreed, uncontested, and default orders.
Clarify Scope Guidelines for LLLTs
- Clarification of Prohibitions on Retirement Assets: The prohibition on dividing certain types of retirement assets has been clarified to exclude work with defined benefit plans and provide more direction for LLLTs who are working with allocation of defined contribution plans.
- Requirement to Sign All Documents: The Board proposes a slight modification to the requirement that LLLTs sign all of the documents which they prepare or review; they would not need to sign sworn statements or declarations of another person or documents that do not require a signature by the client (such as information sheets).
Permit LLLTs to Provide More Comprehensive Services
- Nonparental Custody and Major Modifications to Adequate Cause: LLLTs may assist clients seeking nonparental custody or major modifications up to the point of the adequate cause hearing; these are both areas of high need for low-and-moderate-income clients.
- Division of Single-Family Home: The Board wishes to empower LLLTs to gather information on the value and potential encumbrances on a home, as well as to allow LLLTs to divide single-family residential dwellings which have no more than twice the homestead exemption in equity.
3 thoughts on “We Want to Hear from You on Proposed Enhancements to the LLLT Practice Area”
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Personally, I think it is a good thing to allow a LLLT to accompany a client to court as some people may benefit simply on the presence of someone who knows the case. Allowing a LLLT to help the client understand certain things that are not clear to some people seeking help with their case. The ability to address questions from the court is also helpful as the LLLT will know more than some clients what information or guidance the court is giving or seeking.
Overall I feel that the courts are providing the right amount of guidance for a LLLT to effectively help bring access to justice to the low income families, or families who may not need a full attorney to do a simple task for their case.
The WSBA cannot be a professional association for lawyers while at the same time regulating LLLTs. You are not doing either job competently.
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