CA MCLE: Complete 1 Hour of Competence Issues

Under the California MCLE Rules, attorneys are required to complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) every three year CA MCLE compliance period. Due to the increased number of MCLE audits that the State Bar of California is now conducting each year, it is extremely important to properly complete your California MCLE requirement.

Competence Issues

At least one hour of the required California MCLE must address substance abuse or other mental or physical issues that impair a member’s ability to perform legal services with competence.

Please note that the substance abuse requirement is now called the “Competence Issues” requirement. Essentially, the Cal Bar expanded out the substance abuse category to deal with more issues that impair an attorney’s ability to perform legal services with competence.[1] California attorneys must make sure to complete at least 1.0 hour of Competence Issues each three-year compliance period. For competence issues courses please click here: Competence Issues.

[1] At least one hour of MCLE must address substance abuse or other mental or physical issues that impair a member’s ability to perform legal services with competence.

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CA CLE: Four Legal Ethics Required for CA MCLE

California attorneys with last names N-Z (Group 3) must complete the required CA CLE by January 31 and report compliance with the CA MCLE requirement by the March 1 CA CLE reporting deadline.[1] California attorneys need to beware that the State Bar of California has been conducting thousands of California MCLE audits each year.

Required CA MCLE

  • At least 4 of the 25 required CLE hours
  • Must be in the area of Legal Ethics

Please make sure to complete at least 4 hours of Legal Ethics as part of the 25 hour requirement.  Many attorneys forget to complete the correct amount of legal ethics credits. This will make you feel much better if you get one of those CA MCLE audit letters from the State Bar of California in July. For more information about the CA MCLE requirement please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] California attorneys that are in Group 3 for MCLE reporting purposes are technically required to complete their required CA MCLE by February 1, 2017.  However, if California attorneys complete and report their MCLE compliance by March 1, 2017, it will be accepted and they will not be penalized nor will they be assessed a late fee.

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CA CLE: Last Names N-Z Get Your CA MCLE Done!!!

Are you a California attorney?  Does your last name start with the letters N-Z?  If so, it’s time to start completing your CA MCLE!!  Each three-year CA CLE compliance period California attorneys must complete a total of 25 hours of approved California CLE credit. Of those 25 required CLE hours, you must complete 4 hours of legal ethics, 1 hour on competence issues and 1 hour of elimination of bias.[1]

CA MCLE Compliance

  • Last Names N-Z
  • Compliance Deadline: 2/1
  • Grace Period: 2/1 – 2/28
  • Reporting Deadline: 3/1

California attorneys with last names N-Z (Group 3) must complete the MCLE requirement by January 31 and report CA CLE compliance by the March 1 CA MCLE reporting deadline.[2] California attorneys beware: the Cal Bar has conducted thousands of California MCLE audits over the last few years. If you want to continue to practice law in California you must properly complete your required California CLE! For more information about the CA MCLE requirement please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] Make sure to complete at least 12.5 hours for participatory credit!

[2] The Cal Bar strongly encourages you to complete your MCLE by 1/31.  However, the month of February is essentially a grace period for you to finish your CA MCLE.

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CA CLE: Don’t Forget the 12.5 Hours of Participatory!!

Starting in November we get quite a few calls from California attorneys as the CA MCLE compliance deadline approaches. I’m always surprised to find that many California attorneys don’t know about the participatory and/or self-study CLE requirements when it comes to CA MCLE compliance. California attorneys must make sure to complete at least 12.5 credit hours of participatory credit each three-year compliance period.[1]

CA MCLE – Participatory Credit

  • 12.5 Hours

And yes, you can take online and downloadable CLE course for participatory CLE credit.  If a CLE provider verifies your “participation” (attendance) in the course, then a CA CLE activity is considered participatory.  Attorney Credits offers online and downloadable CA CLE courses that can be completed for self-study or participatory credit.[2] For more information about California CLE, please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] California attorneys CANNOT complete more than 12.5 credit hours of self-study credit.

[2] You select the type of credit you want before you begin your CA CLE course.

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CA CLE: California MCLE Compliance Checklist

California attorneys that are in Group 3 (Last names N-Z) for MCLE compliance purposes must complete 25 credit hours by January 31 and report CA MCLE compliance by the March 1 CA CLE reporting deadline.[1] Attorney beware: the State Bar of California has been conducting thousands of MCLE audits each year. From not getting enough participatory CLE credit to forgetting to complete enough ethics, I have listed some of the top mistakes people make when completing their California MCLE requirement.

CA CLE Checklist

  • 25 Total hours
  • 12.5 participatory hours
  • 4 Ethics
  • 1 Bias
  • 1 Competence Issues
  • 1/31 Compliance Deadline
  • 3/1 Reporting Deadline

Please make sure to properly complete your CA CLE requirement if you are a Group 3 attorney. You will feel much better in July if you get that MCLE audit letter in your mailbox!! For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

[1] California attorneys that are in compliance Group 3 are technically required to complete their required CA MCLE by February 1, 2017.  However, if California attorneys complete and report their MCLE compliance by March 1, 2017, it will be accepted and they will not be penalized nor will they be assessed a late fee.

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CA CLE: California MCLE Compliance & Reporting

Last year the state Assembly rejected the funding for the State Bar of California, thus causing delays in the budget and certain operations of the Cal Bar.  Due to the budget delays, the deadline to pay the annual State Bar fees was also delayed.  This also caused some issues with CA MCLE compliance and reporting.

Technically, California attorneys that are in compliance Group 3 are required to complete and report their required CA CLE by February 1, 2017.  However, if California attorneys complete and report their MCLE compliance by March 1, 2017, it will be accepted and they will not be penalized nor will they be assessed a late fee.[1]  For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

[1] However, if an attorney decides to take advantage of the grace period by completing and reporting MCLE compliance between February 2, 2017 and March 1, 2017, these CLE courses cannot be used towards the next compliance period.

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CA MCLE: Group 3 Attorneys Report CA CLE Compliance by March 1

The California MCLE compliance reporting deadline normally falls on February 1.  However, there was an issue with the State Bar of California and the state legislature this year over the State Bar budget and oversight of the State Bar of California.

CA MCLE Reporting Deadline

  • 3/1/2017

This resulted in certain delays at the Cal Bar.  Most notable, the fee statement deadline and the MCLE Reporting deadline for group 3 attorneys has been pushed back to March 1, 2017.  For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

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California Attorneys: Pay Fees Online via My State Bar Profile

 

Over the years California attorneys have been accustomed to getting a Christmas present from the State Bar of California every December – the annual fee statement. Not this year! Paper billing statements will no longer be sent to attorneys.

CA MCLE Fee Deadline

  • March 1

Starting in 2017, the Cal Bar has launched a new online billing and payment application.  Instead, fee statements are now available online through My State Bar Profile.  California attorneys must pay fees by March 1, 2017.

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PA CLE: Complete 6 PA MCLE Hours by Online CLE

Pennsylvania attorneys must complete 12 PA CLE hours each annual compliance period, including at least 2 hours of legal ethics. Of the 12 required PA CLE hours, Pennsylvania attorneys may now complete 6 hours each year by completing computer based online and downloadable Pennsylvania CLE courses.

PA CLE Distance Learning 

  • 6 hours each annual compliance period

Pennsylvania attorneys that are in PA CLE Compliance Group 3 are required to complete their Pennsylvania CLE by December 31.[1] Attorney Credits’ Distance Learning PA CLE courses have been approved by the Pennsylvania CLE Board. For more information about CLE in Pennsylvania please click here: PA CLE.

[1] Group 3 Pennsylvania attorneys may now complete 6 credit hours each compliance period by completing online & downloadable PA CLE courses.

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WA CLE: Group 1 Washington Attorneys Complete 45 WA MCLE Hours by December 31

Washington must complete a minimum of 45 MCLE credit hours every three years.  In addition, Washington attorneys must also complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility each compliance period.

WA MCLE Compliance Deadline

  • December 31

If you are a Group 1 attorney in Washington you must complete all 45 required WA CLE credit hours before December 31. For 2016 the live course requirement has been eliminated and all 45 WA CLE hours may be completed with computer based courses.

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