The Mission of CADC

CADC's mission is to improve the professional lives of appointed appellate and post-conviction counsel and to promote the fair administration of justice. In addition, CADC lobbies for our membership's interest at legislative and administrative levels.

CADC Benefits

With the resources offered in this site, CADC members can discuss legal issues with each other, access a state of the art Brief Bank containing 1780 briefs by 148 authors, and obtain news and information of interest to appellate attorneys. Over 400 appellate attorneys have now joined California Appellate Defense Counsel. Not yet a member? Join now!

Members receive a regular newsletter and monthly eNewsletter, MCLE credits for programs in appellate, criminal and dependency law, access to the member-only areas of this site, an informational guide for newer panel attorneys, and ability to apply for coverage under a special group malpractice insurance policy which is geared for attorneys who accept court appointed criminal and dependency appeals. Read more about our benefits.


California Paraprofessional Program Working Group (CPPWG)

The State Bar’s Board of Trustees directed formation of a California Paraprofessionals Working Group at its meeting on January 24, 2020.  If you have any input to share with the working group or subcommittees, you can do so in the public comments. The working group will submit its final report and recommendations by September 30, 2021.

There are various subcommittees for broad practice areas including: consumer debt & general civil; housing; health; family law; and employment & income maintenance.  Other subcommittees include: licensing; regulations; discipline; and pilot implementation.

About the CPPWG


Agendas & Meetings

CPPWG Regulation subcommittee meets to continue their discussion on regulation requirements for paraprofessionals next on Thursday, July 8, 2021, and Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Past meetings are recorded and saved on YouTube:

Archived agendas

The “Family Law Subcommittee”  includes adoptions/conservatorships/guardianships/dependency.

They have recommended:

Paraprofessionals are authorized to provide representation in uncontested adoptions, with the following exception:
• Adoptions arising from dependency petitions

Paraprofessionals are authorized to assist parties in uncontested conservatorship and guardianship cases, with the following exception:
• Guardianships established in dependency court for parties entitled to court-appointed counsel.

Some interesting CPPWG resolutions thus far include:

March 26, 2021:

RESOLVED, that the following is the default working group position regarding in-court representation in the superior courts by licensed paraprofessionals:
• Paraprofessionals may provide full in-court representation in the practice area(s) and for the tasks for which they are licensed, with the exception of jury trials.

March 18, 2021:

RESOLVED, that the California Paraprofessional Program Working Group adopts the following recommendations for paraprofessional minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements:
• 36 hours every 3 years, as follows:
o 28 hours in the paraprofessional’s practice areas
o 4 hours on legal ethics
o 1 hour on competence issues
o 1 hour on recognition and elimination of bias in the legal profession and society
o 1 hour of trauma-informed practice
o 1 hour of practice management/running a business
• No more than 18 hours may be obtained through self-study
• Each practice area subcommittee may require that the above MCLE include specific topics relevant to the paraprofessional’s practice area to be included in the final MCLE regulation proposal

• The paraprofessional licensing board will be authorized to require supplemental MCLE to maintain licenses due to changes in the law or other developments, as well as discretion to impose more specific educational requirements based on practice area, identified risk factors, or other considerations.
o This could include designation of some of the practice area MCLE, or, alternatively, an increase in the required number of hours of MCLE to address specified issues and topics.

April 19, 2021:

FURTHER RESOLVED, that the California Paraprofessional Program Working Group recommends that, in addition to required disclosures about the availability of a free attorney through a local legal services program to those who qualify, paraprofessionals are required to advise clients of availability of a right to counsel program, or must certify that no such program exists, in their county.

May 17, 2021:

RESOLVED, that the California Paraprofessional Program Working Group recommends that there be no limits on the fees that licensed paraprofessionals will be authorized to charge. The question of potential caps on contingency fees will be discussed at a later time.


Happy New Laws for 2021!

Garrick Byers has compiled a collection of cross-referenced new statutes affecting criminal and delinquency law, available on our Internet Resources page (members only). Important reading for the new year! (Thanks, Garrick!!!)

Winter 2020/2021 Cal App News Available Now!

The CalAppNews Winter 2020/2021 Newsletter is now available to view or download. Be the first of your colleagues to check out the comprehensive preview of the CADC Conference!! Back issues are also available in our members’ section.

Recording of the 2020 CADC Project Directors’ Roundtable Now Available to Defenders

CADC’s forced entry into 21st Century technology continued this month with our hosting of the Executive Directors and representatives from each of the five appellate projects for our first-ever online CADC Project Directors’ Roundtable held on Wednesday, September 16, 2020.

For defense attorneys who were not able to attend it live, we are providing this LINK where the recording can be viewed free of charge. You do not need to be a member of CADC to view it, but you do need to register, provide your state bar number, and certify that you are not a member of a prosecutorial agency or an employee of the courts. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information on how to join. Please submit any questions to:

2019 Conference Materials Available!!

The conference materials for the 2019 CADC Conference as well as those from 2012-2018 are now available for download here (for CADC members only).

40% LEXIS discount

CADC and Lexis have negotiated a 40% Lexis discount on three different plans for CADC members.