Log In

The CAPA Story

1976 to 1977

Four paralegal associations joined together to establish the California Alliance of Paralegal Associations (CAPA). The affiliation was undertaken in order to promote communication, cooperation, and mutual assistance among the various professional organizations of paralegals and legal assistants within the state, while allowing each organization to remain individually autonomous. The Alliance was also instituted to provide a vehicle for the representation of associations’ mutual interests.

Founding members of the Alliance:

  • San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants
  • East Bay Association of Legal Assistants (Alameda County)
  • Los Angeles Paralegal Association
  • California Public Sector Paralegal Association

CAPA held its first meeting on November 20, 1976 in San Francisco. The major projects for the year were to structure CAPA into a meaningful organization and to research the issues of paralegal accreditation and certification.

Nancy Siegel, San Francisco Association of Legal Assistants, served as chairperson.

January 1977

The State Bar Economics of Law Practice Committee submitted to the Board of Governors of the State Bar a proposal for the certification of “attorney assistants” and the accreditation of paralegal training programs. In March, 1977, the State Bar Legal Services Section formed an Ad Hoc Committee at the request of the Board of Governors to study the proposal, conduct public hearings and make recommendations. Nancy Siegel was appointed to this committee. All of CAPA’s energy was directed to opposing the proposal which was vague, poorly drafted, and potentially damaging to the paralegal profession and the legal community if adopted. On October 20, 1977, CAPA submitted a written statement to the State Bar in Los Angeles and San Francisco to oppose the proposal. CAPA representatives, along with representatives of numerous other organizations, testified in opposition to the proposal. The State Bar decided not to go forward with the proposal, but made no final determination concerning the general issues of certification and accreditation.

The State Bar also considered establishing a permanent committee regarding legal assistants. CAPA anticipated working with the Bar to ensure that a meaningful number of paralegals were included as voting members of the committee.

Barbara Shacochis, SFALA, was elected Executive Director for CAPA for the 1977-78 term.

1977 to 1979

From 1977 to 1979 CAPA focused on the organization and publicizing of CAPA. The Executive Director kept in contact with the State Bar regarding its proposal for a committee on legal assistants. Due to lack of funds the committee was not formed, but CAPA asserted that if such a committee were formed that CAPA should be represented on the committee.

CAPA bylaws and articles of association were adopted.

CAPA approved the application of San Diego Association of Legal Assistants for membership with CAPA.

Paula Pierson, SDALA, was elected Executive Director for CAPA 1979-80 term.

1979 to 1980

San Diego Association of Legal Assistants conducted a feasibility study for the publication of an annual journal by CAPA. CAPA also considered a training program seminar for educators and a study of unauthorized practice of law statutes in California, but decided to not undertake the projects unless time permitted.

CAPA approved the application of Sacramento Association of Legal Assistants for membership with CAPA.

Melissa Brown, CPSCA, was elected Executive Director for the CAPA 1980-81 term.

The 1980’s

1980 to 1981

CAPA voted to continue with the journal project. The following projects were considered for the year:

  • Prepare a procedures manual
  • Institute an outreach program to aid founding paralegal associations;
  • Monitor statewide issues, and research potential grants;
  • Focus on enhancing the visibility of the Alliance through greater publicity efforts;
  • Write and maintain a history of the Alliance.

Mary Coughlan, SALA (now SVPA), was elected Executive Director for the CAPA 1981-82 term.

1981 – 1982

The total number of individual members of each association affiliated with CAPA was approximately 1,195.

The membership of the California Public Sector Paralegal Association (CPSPA) was terminated.

July, 1982, Linda M. Dougherty, SALA (now SVPA), was appointed Acting Executive Director till the end of the CAPA 1981-82 term.

CAPA approved the application of San Joaquin Legal Assistants Association for membership with CAPA.

A CAPA Member Directory was published for use at the 1982 State Bar Annual Meeting in Sacramento.

The Membership was distributed at the SALA (now SVPA) Paralegal Utilization Seminar held during the State Bar Convention.

CAPA responded to the State Bar inquiries on programs and definitions of legal assistants.

CAPA continued with the outreach program.

Linda M. Dougherty, SALA (now SVPA), was elected Executive Director for the CAPA 1982-83 term.

1982 – 1983

The number of individual members of each association affiliated with CAPA totaled approximately 1,410.

CAPA approved the application of Paralegal Association of Santa Clara County for membership with CAPA.

The Paralegal Section of the Orange County Bar Association (PSOCBA) applied for membership with CAPA, but was denied membership because it was determined from its application that they were in conflict with the CAPA by-laws, which required that the control of each voting association vest solely in paralegals. PSOCBA was invited to join CAPA as an associate member.

CAPA held a mid-year meeting in conjunction with the NFPA Region I Conference in Los Angeles in March, 1983. Topics of discussion were the CAPA information brochure, the State Bar Legal Services Department packet on legal assistants, certification, and the CAPA Employer Directory project. The CAPA directors agreed that every attempt should be made to meet mid-year to accomplish the CAPA goals.

An informal legislative committee was formed to monitor any legislation affecting paralegals.

The Law Office Management Section of the State Bar (LOMS) was invited to CAPA’s annual meeting to discuss placing a CAPA member on the LOMS Advisory Board. A representative of LOMS stated that the Section would be interested in having a legal assistant serve on the advisory board.

A legislative committee was formed to conduct an investigation to determine the benefits of the potential affiliation of California paralegals with the California State Bar Association.

Three standing committees were established:

  • Newsletter Committee
  • Membership Committee
  • Legislative/Bar Relations Committee

Fran Chernowsky, LAPA, was elected Executive Director for the CAPA 1983-84 term.

1983 – 1984

Informally, a consensus of the associations felt that an Employer Directory should be used at the local association level to aid in networking and to assist paralegals relocating to other areas. Compiling a statewide directory was too cumbersome. By majority vote CAPA decided to table the completion of the employer directory.

The State Bar Law Office Management Section approved having a CAPA representative appointed to its Executive Committee.

CAPA drafted a position on the proposed FTC Authorization Act of 1983 regarding regulation of professionals.

In 1977 CAPA sent a letter to the State Bar opposing the certification proposal. In order to formulate CAPA’s then current position on certification, CAPA decided to accumulate materials on certification. The certification materials would be distributed to each association so that each association could give to CAPA a position paper regarding certification.

A CAPA quarterly newsletter was discussed. It was suggested that the newsletter be limited to one page. The first quarterly newsletter would contain a summary of the deadlines and goals set at CAPA’s mid-year meeting. No association volunteered to do the second edition.

A statewide public relations list and California paralegal training programs list was considered.

CAPA operated for seven years as an unincorporated association. It was unanimously decided to incorporate CAPA.

CAPA decided that as of 1985, the fiscal year for CAPA begins on January 1 and ends on December 31.

Through the efforts of the outreach committee, there were representatives from the Paralegal Section of the Orange County Bar Association, Riverside Association and Sequoia Association that attended the CAPA meeting. The Santa Barbara/Channel Cities Association was not interested at that time.

The Paralegal Section of the Orange County Bar Association submitted its revised application to CAPA and the application was approved for membership with CAPA.

CAPA decided to prepare a paper outlining the pros and cons of certification. CAPA would then be able to assist local associations to educate paralegals as to what certification was all about.

Fran Chernowsky, LAPA, was elected Executive Director for the CAPA 1985 term.


CAPA held a Special Meeting in January to discuss the present disagreement and confusion over Paralegal Section of Orange County Bar Association (PSOCBA) membership issue. The Board of Directors unanimously approved a resolution which declared that PSOCBA did not meet the eligibility requirements of the CAPA bylaws. The vote to designate PSOCBA a voting member on October 26, 1984, was declared null and void. The Board of Directors, by majority, approved a second resolution to admit PSOCBA as an associate member as of January 12, 1985.

CAPA meetings were increased to three meetings a year as follows: Winter meeting as the first meeting of the fiscal year in February, Spring/Summer meeting in June, and Fall meeting in November.

CAPA decided to monitor legislation relating to the Analysis of the Private Investigator Act because it impacted paralegals.

CAPA approved Nikki Colbert’s design and presentation on the title “RECAP” and logo (the acronym CAPA superimposed on a rendering of the State of California) for the CAPA newsletter. The newsletter was intended to be a forum of information for all paralegals in California so that they would be informed on what was happening statewide. The first RECAP newsletter was presented at the June meeting.

Several guests attended the June meeting including Joseph E. Deering, Jr., who authored the proposal to the California State Bar to license legal assistants. Various representatives from CAPA associations expressed their association’s view against the proposal. Mr. Deering was given a copy of CAPA’s statement opposing his proposal. It was suggested that CAPA make a formal presentation to the public to educate the public against Mr. Deering’s proposal. The LOMS section of the State Bar also recommended disapproval of Deering’s proposal.

A steering committee was established to review CAPA’s structure. There was also discussion about holding a CAPA board retreat.

CAPA approved the application of Marin County Association of Legal Assistants (MALA) as a member of CAPA.

CAPA reviewed the application of the Ventura County Association of Legal Assistants (VALA). CAPA was concerned with VALA’s affiliation with the National Alliance of Legal Assistants (NALA). VALA’s application was tabled until the next CAPA meeting.

Doug Spoors, SJALA, was appointed Advisor to CAPA on the Private Investigators Act.

Barbara Cone, SFALA, was elected Executive Director for the CAPA 1986 term.


VALA’s application for membership was reviewed. CAPA was concerned with VALA’s relationship with NALA, VALA’s relationship with the Ventura County Bar (VCBA), and that student members of VALA were allowed to vote. CAPA bylaws required voting control of a CAPA voting member be vested in practicing paralegals. CAPA discussed these issues in executive session. CAPA, by unanimous vote, resolved that in the future, each member association shall submit a certification as to the total number of members by class of membership and shall certify that control of the association is vested in practicing paralegals.

Based upon the membership clarification and VALA’s affiliations with NALA and VCBA, CAPA approved VALA as a member of CAPA.

CAPA for the first time participated in the State Bar Convention held in September, 1986, in Monterey. CAPA presented a computer – related workshop, which was well attended.

At the February LOMS meeting, the name of the section was changed to the Law Practice Management Section (LPMS).

AB 2729 was proposed by Assemblyman Rusty Areias which would set the ratio of paralegals to attorneys in all state government departments of 1:5. The bill was defeated before it was set for hearing, largely because of heavy lobbying in opposition to the bill from attorney groups.

CAPA discussed the pending Texas Bar proposal for paralegal licensure. The Board approved to respond to the Texas proposal, based on CAPA’s response to the recent proposal by Mr. Deering for licensing California paralegals.

The CAPA Task Force on Certification and Licensure decided to:

  1. Prepare a perspective paper on the history of certification;
  2. Adopt definitions of certification and licensure to be the official definitions of CAPA;
  3. Investigate the California certified law program;
  4. Survey public sector paralegals as to their roles, tasks, etc.;
  5. Survey the members on issues of certification and licensure;
  6. Prepare a CAPA position paper on certification and licensure;
  7. Draft model legislation.

Fran Chernowsky prepared a comprehensive feasibility study of producing a statewide freelance directory as a fundraising activity.

CAPA approved the application of the Sequoia Paralegal Association (SPA) as a member of CAPA.

Lee Elliott, SJALA, was elected President for the CAPA 1987 term.


The CAPA board approved the definitions on accreditation, certification, licensure, certificated, Certified Legal Assistant and ABA approval, which were to be included in a survey of the Certification and Licensure Committee.

The application of the Orange County Paralegal Association (OCPA) was approved by written consent of the CAPA Board on April 10, 1987.

CAPA was proud to support Fran Chernowsky, LAPA, and Tim Pluma, LAPA, who were appointed by the State Bar of California to serve on the newly formed Public Protection Committee.

At the State Bar Convention LAPA and OCPA presented a seminar on behalf of CAPA entitled “Paralegals + Productivity = Profitability.” The seminar was favorably received by more than 45 people.

PASCCO volunteered to prepare an index of publications and articles about paralegals.

Bakersfield requested assistance from the CAPA Outreach Committee to form an association.

CAPA decided to work on visibility by submitting articles about CAPA to local bar newsletters, local journals and newspaper articles and press releases about CAPA; its meetings and other scheduled events.

AB 1334 passed through the assembly with no problems and was sent to the senate judiciary committee. If passed, the bill would allow direct billing for paralegal time spent on extraordinary services in probate.

The Outreach Committee reported that the Napa Association and Redwood Empire were interested in CAPA membership. Channel Cities was not interested and Chico was too small.

CAPA’s Board adopted CAPA’s position against using certification as a test for the minimal level of competency. Therefore, the Task Force on Certification and Licensure was changed to the Task Force on Specialty Certification.

CAPA unanimously approved to adopt the Articles of Incorporation.

Linda Roye, SALA (now SVPA), was elected President for the CAPA 1988 term.


Linda Roye invited Donna Eller from Result Consulting to assist CAPA in setting goals for 1988 and the future.

CAPA’s 1998 goals were as follows:

  1. Member Services – Purpose: to maintain and enlarge the scope of member services.
  2. Public Relations – Purpose: to increase visibility through public relations activities.
  3. Administration – Purpose: to maintain and improve the administration of CAPA.
  4. Fund Raising – Purpose: to create fund raising activities to achieve CAPA goals.

Using a facilitator to assist CAPA in organizing its goals was a turning point for CAPA because the goals became realistic by recognizing the short term and long term commitments and setting deadlines to accomplish these goals.

The State Bar Public Protection Committee’s original position was to license paralegals, and who should be paralegals as distinguished from a “form preparer”. The Committee acknowledged receipt of the paralegal associations’ letters and commended the paralegal associations as the most organized groups represented before the task force hearings. The Committee moved from its original position regarding licensing paralegals to not supporting licensing at all. A registration program for forms preparers which would not effect traditional paralegals employed by attorneys was discussed.

June 24, 1988 – First California Paralegal Day Celebration. CAPA received its first proclamation from the Governor recognizing and honoring California Paralegal Day.

The creation of an issue book which would contain a discussion of issues currently important to paralegals was discussed

  1. What is a “Paralegal”;
  2. The Public Protection Committee Report;
  3. Licensure and Certification;
  4. What is CAPA?;
  5. Education and Schools;
  6. Exempt/Non-Exempt Employment Status;
  7. Ethics;
  8. National Affairs;
  9. Bar Relationships.

All Primary Representatives were required to maintain a copy of the Issue Book.

The Task Force on Specialty Certification talked to various organizations that have specialty certification. A proposal was submitted to CAPA which stated that the specialty exam would cover procedural, substantive and ethical issues. The first step towards specialty certification would be to establish a certification board. The committee also announced that the first specialty certification would be in probate, but CAPA decided that litigation would be a more favorable field for the first specialty certification. A sample Application for the Specialty Certification Board and a flow chart/time table was presented to CAPA for review.

State Bar Convention, September 24, 1988 – CAPA presented the same seminar that was presented in 1987, entitled “Paralegals + Productivity = Profitability.” The syllabus was a free handout at the convention. A transcript of the videotape along with the syllabus could be purchased for $15.00.

Fund raising ideas were discussed. CAPA authorized the purchase of post-it pads with the slogan “Trial a Paralegal” for the State Bar Convention and subsequent fund raising projects. CAPA adopted the following slogan for sweatshirts:

Para what?




CAPA reserved the following slogans: “Paralegals Support the Bar” and “Behind Every Good Paralegal is a Successful Attorney” for other fund raising ideas.

EBOLA dissolved its organization.

CAPA approved the application of Redwood Empire Legal Assistants (RELA) as a member of CAPA.

Kathleen Keefe, SFALA, was elected President for the CAPA 1989 term.


CAPA approved the application of Kern County Paralegal Association (KCPA) as a member of CAPA.

CAPA’s presentation at the State Bar Convention was co-chaired by SDALA (now SDPA) and SALA (now SVPA), which was held in San Diego, September 15 and 16. The topic of the presentation was the team approach to the practice of law.

The Task Force on Specialty Certification presented a draft Statement of Purpose for the certification exam which was part of the recruitment letter sent to potential board members. The Board would consist of three paralegals, two attorneys and two paralegal educators. Ms. Harper advised CAPA that CAPA and NFPA held conflicting positions. NFPA was not in favor of certification until a need for it was proven. Ms. Harper advised CAPA that it had not done enough background research in this area and that a similar effort in Oregon failed for this reason. CAPA decided to prepare a comprehensive survey on certification before moving forward on the specialty certification.

Fundraising – CAPA sold 177 slogan sweatshirts. New slogans were discussed, such as “Paralegals Make $ense”, “Born to Bill”, “Behind Every Successful Attorney Is An Exhausted Paralegal”.

CAPA approved the following definition of the title “paralegal”: A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, is a person who performs legal services traditionally, but not exclusively, performed by a lawyer. A paralegal is qualified to perform such legal services through formal education, training and/or experience in substantive and procedural law. Paralegals are retained or employed by law firms, corporations, governmental agencies and other entities. Paralegals may also be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform legal services.”

First CAPA June Conference – Friday, June 15, 1989, hosted by LAPA at the Los Angeles Hilton.

Kathleen Keefe, SFALA, was elected President for the CAPA 1990 term.

The 1990’s


The Second Annual CAPA June Conference – Friday, June 22, 1990, hosted by SFALA at the Hyatt Regency Embarcadero was well attended but expenditures on the conference exceeded income.

The State Bar Conference was held on August 25, 1990 in Monterey. A program hosted by PASCCO was presented on the team approach to the practice of law.

The Commission on Legal Technicians used the term paralegal when making reference to a legal technician. The Commission considered using the name “independent paralegal” in place of “legal technician”. CAPA decided to prepare a position paper to oppose the term “indepenĀ­dent paralegal”.

Fran Turner, MALA, was elected President for the CAPA 1991 term.


The State Bar Convention was held on September 13 and 14, 1991, in Anaheim. CAPA presented a seminar on ethics and ethical utilization of paralegals. CAPA also decided to have a vendor booth at the convention because the vendor booth would appear more professional and the three day exposure throughout the conference would outweigh the benefits of a one to two hour reception or hospitality room.

Ms. Valery Goodman-Platter proposed that in lieu of RECAP, two pages of California Paralegal Magazine (CPM) would be devoted to CAPA. Also, each CAPA member would receive one free copy of CPM, 10% discount on the subscription, and the cost to CAPA would be a one-time fee of $1,000. A straw vote was taken and CAPA decided to keep RECAP in lieu of the offer.

LPMS decided to abandon the source book. CAPA decided to continue working on the information on paralegal utilization for the source book. CAPA had a voluntary meeting in April, 1991. The main topic discussed at the meeting was how to promote the utilization of a traditional paralegal. The development of the source book was handed out at the State Bar vendor booth.

The Third Annual CAPA June Conference was held on Friday, June 21, 1991 hosted by SJALA at the Holiday Inn Center Plaza. Workshops topics included Rules of Evidence, Accounting for Paralegals and Water Rights.

CAPA joined AAfPE as a sustaining member. A CAPA representative would attend meetings on a case by case basis.

For the past two years CAPA had been trying to prepare a statewide salary survey. The committee determined that it was infeasible because the information would be outdated before the survey results were compiled, and questions of comparability of salaries from region to region.

The Code of Ethics Committee drafted a letter to Judge Chiantelli, the judge in the Michael Vogal case, informing him that although CAPA does not have its own Code of Ethics, CAPA had its own guidelines, and that CAPA incorporated portions of both the NFPA and NALA codes.

CAPA unanimously approved a change in the wording on the CAPA brochure to read, “A statewide non-profit corporation dedicated to the advancement of the paralegal profession.”

Fran Turner, MALA, was elected President for the CAPA 1992 term.


The Fourth Annual CAPA June Conference was held on June 27, 1992, hosted by KCPA in Bakersfield.

Delaina Finch, Advanced Specialty Certification Committee chairperson, presented the results of the certification survey. There were 234 paralegals throughout the state that responded to the Survey. The majority of the responses were in favor of certification. Because NALA had an entry level voluntary certification program, the majority of the paralegals felt that a specialty exam was a good idea.

Litigation was the highest requested specialty. CAPA decided to pursue certification, including advanced specialty certification.

The Issues Book was replaced by the CAPA Board Manual. Materials from the Issues Book that were not included in the Board Manual were given to the historian.

The State Bar Convention was held on October 2 – 5, 1992 in San Francisco. CAPA participated by having an exhibitor booth.

The final version of the Handbook for Paralegal Utilization was distributed to primary representatives.

CAPA received approval from both NFPA and NALA for CAPA to develop its own code of ethics and adopted the “CAPA Code of Ethics” the same year.

The CAPA Board decided that CAPA represented traditional Paralegals and that it would be proactive in pursuing the interests and goals of traditional paralegals rather than just responding to the proposals of others.

Tita Brewster, PASCCO, was elected President for the CAPA 1993 term.


The Fifth Annual CAPA June Conference, “Strength through Alliance”, was held on June 25, 1993, hosted by PASCCO at the Marriott Hotel in Santa Clara. PASCCO initiated the idea of the conference theme, “Strength through Alliance”, which then became a continuing theme for the annual CAPA conferences.

In July 1993, Jon S. Montgomery, Chair of the CAPA Certification Committee, presented, and CAPA circulated, a proposed paralegal certification program with the purpose of preparing and administering the California Certified Paralegal Exam and California Certified Paralegal Advanced Specialty Exam.

This proposal was submitted to all paralegal associations, national paralegal associations and various other groups and individuals for a constructive critique of the certification proposal. After review of all the responses, CAPA found that NALA already administered an excellent Paralegal Certification Program nationwide, which met the same goals of CAPA. Therefore, CAPA submitted a letter to NALA requesting that NALA and CAPA work together to implement a California Specialty Certification. NALA accepted.

CAPA presented a panel discussion on The Effective Utilization of Paralegals at the State Bar’s Women in the Law Conference.

The State Bar Convention was held in the fall in San Diego.

CAPA presented the same program, The Effective Utilization of Paralegals, that was presented at the Women in the Law Conference.

Tita Brewster, PASCCO, was elected President for the CAPA 1994 term.


CAPA approved hiring Tony Nevarez, Lobbyist, to represent CAPA’s proposed legislation, defining the term paralegal in the Probate Code. Mr. Nevarez was not able to continue as lobbyist for CAPA. CAPA decided to withdraw its proposal from legislation due to unexpected opposition from organizations opposed to the current legal system and the regulation of the practice of law as well as AARP and SFALA. Later in the year the CAPA Legislative Committee met with Larry Doyle, lobbyist for the California State Bar. Mr. Doyle suggested that CAPA add the definition of paralegal to the Code of Civil Procedure.

SFALA withdrew its affiliation with CAPA as CAPA moved toward a paralegal definition which would not include those non-lawyers who did not work under the supervision of an attorney and toward a voluntary certification program for California paralegals in cooperation with NALA the only national paralegal association with a certification program. They were not the goals of SFALA.

The Sixth Annual CAPA June Conference, “Strength through Alliance – Paralegals Move Mountains”, was held on Saturday, June 18, 1994, hosted by SPA in Visalia.

The State Bar Convention was held in September, 1994 in Anaheim.

CAPA started its negotiations with NALA to work together in developing the CAPA specialty exam. A committee was formed, consisting of Tita Brewster, Jon Montgomery and Rosemary Sanchez to discuss the business terms with NALA. The committee met with NALA in La Jolla, California and again in Denver, Colorado. A proposed contract between CAPA and NALA was given to each association for review prior to the June, 1994 meeting. The contract was approved by CAPA at the June, 1994 meeting. NALA’s board meeting was held in July, 1994, and the contract was approved at its board meeting. NALA was extremely supportive of the specialty certification for California. NALA viewed this as advantageous to the profession and that this was the first contract of this type in the nation.

CAPA approved the application of Legal Assistants Association of Santa Barbara (LAASB) as a member of CAPA.

CAPA approved the application of Inland Counties Association of Paralegals (ICAP) as a member of CAPA.

CAPA approved the application of Long Beach Paralegal Association (LBPA) as a member of CAPA.

CAPA approved to split the Vice-President position into two positions: Vice President of Policy and Vice President of Administration.

CAPA amended its definition of a paralegal to read as follows:

“A paralegal, also known as a legal assistant, is a person who performs, under the direction and/or supervision of a licensed attorney, substantive legal work traditionally, but not exclusively performed by a lawyer.

A paralegal is qualified to perform such legal services through formal education, training and/or experience in substantive and procedural law.

Paralegals are retained or employed by law firms, corporations, governmental agencies or other entities.

Paralegals may also be authorized by administrative, statutory or court authority to perform legal services.”

Hazel Lange, PASCCO, was elected President for the CAPA 1995 term.


On January 15, 1995, the Certification Committee reviewed the resumes that were submitted to serve on the California Certification Board. The Committee appointed the following representatives to serve on the Board:

  • Deborah Anderson, CLA – Paralegal
  • Lana J. Clark, CLA – Paralegal
  • Kay E. Kasic, CLA – Paralegal and Chairperson
  • David S. Milton – Attorney with the California Bar
  • James M. Petrucelli – Attorney
  • Andrea Wagner – Educator
  • Janet Kaiser – Administrator/Paralegal Educator

David S. Milton resigned later that year for personal reasons and was replaced by James G. Luce, Esq.

The Seventh Annual June Conference, “Strength through Alliance – Paralegals Make $ense”, was held on Saturday, June 24, 1995, hosted by LAPA at the Red Lion Hotel in Culver City.

CAPA offered its first CAS examinations to CLA paralegals on December 2, 1995.

The advanced specialty areas were civil litigation, business organizations and business law, and real estate.

The Public Law Section Committee of the State Bar invited a member from CAPA to participate in the Public Law Section.

The State Bar Convention was held on September 28 – October 1, 1994 in San Francisco.

CAPA distributed the results of the first CAPA Salary Survey.

Hazel Lange, PASCCO, was elected President for the CAPA 1996 term.


Jon S. Montgomery and Cynthia Manbeck Jankowski co-chaired and OCPA hosted on behalf of CAPA a Mardi Gras – Monte Carlo Night. Through the efforts of OCPA and other CAPA association volunteers this event was a very successful and rewarding evening.

Because of this effort, CAPA was able to utilize these funds to support the Commission for Advanced California Paralegal Specialization, Inc., and support the paralegal statutory definition through the legislative process.

Through the efforts of CAPA’s Legislation Committee and James Michael Petrucelli, Esq., on February 2, 1996, CAPA submitted a proposed resolution for the recovery of paralegal fees and definition of the term “Paralegal” to the Conference of Delegates of the State Bar of CA. But by March of 1996, Mr. Petrucelli advised CAPA to withdraw its proposal at that time. CAPA’s Legislative Committee, co-chaired by Hazel Lange, CLA and Stacey Hunt, CLA, CAS, sought assistance from individuals and committees to support CAPA’s adoption of a formal paralegal definition.

The Los Angeles Daily Journal agreed to underwrite the printing, design and typesetting of RECAP.

The Eighth Annual June Conference, “Strength through Alliance – 20 Years of Unity”, was held on Saturday, June 22, 1996, hosted by SVPA at the Sacramento Hilton Inn.

CAPA submitted a comment letter to the State Bar of California on proposed legislative initiatives relating to the unauthorized practice of law.

CAPA had an exhibitor booth at the national meeting of the Association of Legal Administrators.

The Legislative Committee, co-chaired by Hazel Lange and Stacey Hunt, CLA, CAS proposed and at its November, 1996, annual board meeting, CAPA adopted an expanded definition of “paralegal.”

CAPA approved a CAPA liaison position to the Public Law Section of the State Bar.

Jon S. Montgomery of OCPA was elected President for the 1997 CAPA term.


CACPS introduced the California Family Law Specialty Examination (an addition to its family of California state specialty examinations).

CAPA updated the paralegal listing in Eureka, a California-based career information database.

CAPA approved its Mission Statement.

CAPA launched its Internet Homepage at www.CAParalegal.org.

CAPA approved Montrose Travel as a Member Benefit Provider.

CAPA held its first Leadership Conference at the Palm Springs Riviera Resort and Raquet Club, which provided a full day of seminars focusing on effective association management. 65 paralegal association officers and directors attended.

CAPA purchased an exhibit backdrop/stand for use at State Bar and other legal conferences.

CAPA held its Ninth Annual CAPA Conference, “Strength Through Alliance – CAPA’s Mission,” hosted by LAASB at the Santa Barbara Holiday Inn.

The Law Practice Management and Technology Section (LPMT) and Fresno County Bar sponsored CAPA’s paralegal definition on the floor of the State Bar Conference of Delegates in Long Beach, CA. The paralegal definition was narrowly defeated.

CAPA sent a letter to the Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court requesting support for CAPA’s paralegal definition.

Jon S. Montgomery of OCPA was elected President for the 1998 CAPA term.


CAPA adopted an Affiliated Associations Agreement and expanded the reciprocity between member associations.

SDALA changed its name to San Diego Paralegal Association (SDPA).

CAPA discussed the various educational statements promulgated by AAfPE, LAMA, NALA and NFPA with a goal of adopting its own position paper on paralegal education standards for California paralegals.

Delaina Finch and Linda Rylett, Vice President of Administration, drafted a CAPA position paper on paralegal education which was circulated to all CAPA associations for comment.

CAPA board discussed Assembly Bill 1418 proposed by State Senator Hershel Rosenthal which would create “Legal Document Assistants.” Concerns were raised about the deceptively similar nature of that term and “legal assistant” and the potential damage to the public.

CAPA agreed to increase the information on CAPA’s webpage and to provide links to affiliated associations.

The Legislative Committee began to explore other avenues of obtaining endeavoring a statutory paralegal definition.

The Tenth Annual June Conference “Strength Through Alliance – Gateway to the Future,” was held on June 27, 1998, hosted by PASCCO at the Hyatt St. Claire in San Jose, CA.

Kay Kasic and Janet Kaiser’s terms with CACPS ended and the following officers were elected:

  • Lana Clark, CLA;
  • Jean Cushman, CLA, CAS;
  • Dixie Bright, CLA, CAS;
  • Brian McCulley, Paralegal Educator from Fresno City College,
  • Honorable James Petrucelli.

OCPA hosted a dinner to honor educators from 10 paralegal ABA approved schools and developed a pro forma program for CAPA to assist other associations in improving relations with their local paralegal educational programs.

OCPA voted to approve hosting the 1999 annual June Conference on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA.

“Coloring Outside the Lines” by Deborah Hartsough of SDPA, an article to be used as a marketing tool, was distributed to board members for suggestions and comments.

The CAPA Board waived the bylaw requirement of a two-term limit to allow Jon Montgomery to serve as CAPA President for a third term.


CAPA decided to coordinate a response to U.C. Davis regarding the sudden closure of the U.C. Davis paralegal program and its public views of the paralegal profession.

Stephanie Dawkins drafted a pro forma paralegal career path to be included in the CAPA’s California Handbook on Paralegal Utilization.

The Law Practice Management Section discontinued working on CAPA legislation because the section’s Legislative Committee disbanded.

Hazel Lange, CLA and Stacey Hunt CLA, CAS to continued to co-chair Legislative Committee for 1999.

Governor Pete Wilson signed SB1418 on September 30, 1999, which authorized the title of “Legal Document Assistant,” for the self-help Providers under B&P Code Section 6400, et. seq.

CAPA voted to offer its Handbook on Paralegal Utilization at a special discount to members of CAPA affiliates.

CAPA approved one scholarship per association to attend the annual June conference. To be eligible, the member must be a member in good standing and not an officer or director of CAPA.

CAPA approved the creation of a resource directory for its members.

CAPA held its Eleventh Annual CAPA Conference, “Strength Through Alliance-Sailing into the 21st Century,” Chaired by Carolyn Yellis CLA and hosted by OCPA on the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California. This was the largest CAPA on conference with over 300 people in attendance and over 40 exhibitors.

The Second CAPA Leadership Conference was held in November in Bass Lake and focused on Marketing the Certification program, the paralegal profession and local and state association membership.

CAPA approved the CAPA statement on education which sets forth guidelines as to the educational standards for persons wanting a successful paralegal career.

Carolyn Yellis, CLA of OCPA was elected President for the 2000 CAPA Term.