By Robin Schumacher – October 13, 2009
Catherine Elias-Jermany is one of the original four founders of California Association of Independent Paralegals, CAIP founded in 1986. In response to changing legislation in 1999, CAIP was renamed California Association of Legal Document Assistants, CALDA. CALDA is a statewide organization of registered legal documents assistants whose mission includes encouraging high standards of ethical and professional conduct, the promotion and sponsorship of educational activities and the maintenance of professional relationships with the entire legal community. CALDA is a member of the California State Bar and an approved MCLE provider.
Ms. Elias-Jermany advocates the deliverance of quality legal document preparation services that empower people, meeting the consumer needs at a reasonable cost. Influenced by her grandmother Callie Jackson who started her own legal-help service in 1929, Catherine has been involved with the legal process since the early age of 14 when she succeeded in advocating for better nursing home conditions in Los Angeles County. Other contributions include organization of the Welfare Rights Movement and the Dependency Prevention Center in the 1960s, involvement in the National Paralegal Institute, the Children’s Defense Fund and ultimately becoming one of the founders and advocates of the movement for independent paralegals- now defined in California as Legal Document Assistants. In 1989, she founded National Bankruptcy Law Project.
Residing in Lake County with her husband, attorney Steven Elias, Catherine is currently vice-president of Lake County Dispute Resolution Services which provides mediation services for individuals and organizations in her community as well as presiding over area tribal elections. She especially relishes her involvement as director of the non-profit community radio station KPFZ 88.1 FM., co-directing public affairs and providing musical support on the station. She is a member of the Rainbow Sisters, a multi-cultural musical group singing and playing 50′, 60s, 70s and 80s music. The show has recently featured Smokey Robinson and will soon spotlight Country Joe and the Fish. Promoting public radio and making sure that the public has a chance to be heard – another one of the many passions of this very dynamic lady.