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Brandon M.
Brandon M., Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 12620
Experience:  Attorney experienced in all aspects of family law
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Ive been preparing a memo of P&A in support of an OSC to modify

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I've been preparing a memo of P&A in support of an OSC to modify spousal support in CA. I recently talked to a paralegal and she asked me why I'm doing this and that usually declarations are only prepared and that it is ok to include statute and case law references in the declaration and easier to manage as far as formaility. Is ok and usual to just prepare a declaration with my OSC and contend with the rigor of a memo of P&A?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.

To start, the paralegal that you have been speaking with may want to review California Business & Professions Code Sec. 6125 et. seq.

That said, the portion of what you relayed from that conversation is correct. Because most family law cases are handled in pro per, the court is usually very inclined to give a self-represented party a lot of latitude in matters of formatting. I don't recall ever seeing a trial court reject a self-represented party's OSC because of misplaced authority. Frankly, for "just" an OSC, you could get away with not providing any statutory or case law references in most instances.

I hope that this helps you to understand the law in your situation. Let me know if I may be of further assistance. Thank you.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
If I submitted the memo of P&A with my OSC and it included some errors, would a judge treat it differently than if I included authority in a declaration? I'm almost inclined to take what i've done and simply remove the Table of authorities and pleading cover page and just submit the content as a declaration. But, I actually like the thoughtfulness and effort I've put together so far. I really would like to use the P&A and hope for latitude by a judge. What do you think about how the trial court would receive a pro per P&A?
Expert:  Brandon M. replied 6 years ago.
It would depend on the errors; but the court is ultimately a court of equity, which means that its primary function is to reach a just result, not a legalistic result.

If you have already prepared the P&A, why undo it? I'm not clear on that at all. If you have a final product that looks good and (most importantly) makes sense, more power to you.

What the court expects from its pro pers is respect and what it hopes from its pro pers is clear communication; formatting is generally not the priority at the trial level.
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