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Opinion: State Bar’s paraprofessional program lacks statistical support

(Subscription required) Notwithstanding the lack of sound statistical data to support the paraprofessional program, no one disputes that California has a significant problem with large numbers of self-represented parties. Self-represented parties tend to be clustered in certain types of cases, including family law, unlawful detainer (tenants), and consumer debt (debtor defendants). The common denominator in these cases is, for the most part, contingency representation is not available. No matter how well intended, there are significant flaws with the proposed paraprofessional program. We urge California attorneys to oppose the paraprofessional program. Public comments are due by January 12 and can be submitted here.