Monthly Archives: July 2012

Answers to your Colorado CLE Questions

By Jason Castillo, Director of Legal Education

Colorado attorneys must take 45 credit hours every three years to maintain compliance with the Colorado Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education. Luckily, attorneys in Colorado may satisfy all of their CLE requirements through online courses.

As you might have guessed, we have recently updated or frequently asked questions (FAQ) page for Colorado attorneys. We have included some of the main questions Colorado attorneys ask about maintaining CLE compliance. As with many states, noncompliance in Colorado may result in late penalty, fees and possibly suspension from practice … so its important to keep in the good graces of the MCLE Compliance Department of the State Bar of Colorado.

Colorado attorneys have some great options for completing all 45 units on our website. First, we offer unlimited CLE for 1 year for $179.99.  Second, we offer MP3 Players and USB Sticks fully loaded with the required 45 units. Attorneys can complete all 45 units offline – and then have an MP3 player to use for music or further education.

If you need further information about Colorado CLE, please click here to access our Colorado CLE FAQ.  Click the links below for further information:

Colorado CLE: How Does it Work?

State CLE Requirements for Colorado

Colorado MCLE State Page  

One-Click State Bundles for Colorado

Colorado Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education

CLE Transcripts from Colorado Bar

FAQ For MCLE in California

When is my compliance group?  What is the difference between self-study and participatory credit?  What is the limit on self-study hours in California?

Yes, one of the trickiest parts of our job is keeping up with the CLE rules of each state across the country.  We know that attorneys also have trouble finding the answers to all their CLE questions about California compliance.  State bar websites are often difficult to navigate and don’t seem to have the answers you need.

California attorneys can now take advantage of our California CLE FAQ – all the answers you need to make sure you are in compliance with the State Bar of California. Keeping in compliance should be a greater concern to California attorneys as the State Bar of California plans to increase audits in the coming years.

“No California attorney should be surprised if their compliance certificate is audited.”

– John Streeter, President of the State Bar of California

In all, then State Bar plans to potentially audit as many as 12,000 lawyers over the next two years.[1]  This is quite a high number considering the recent budget shortages in the state.

One key distinction California attorneys must be aware of is the between self-study and participatory credits.  Attorneys in California must remember not to take more than 12.5 units of self-study units – this is the limit set by the State Bar of California.

If you need further information on California MCLE compliance, please visit the links below:

California MCLE FAQ

CA – How Does It Work

State CLE Requirements for California 

California MCLE State Page

One-Click State Bundles for California

MCLE  State Bar of California


[1] In 2012, California attorneys can expect that 5% or roughly 3,000-4,000 lawyers to be audited. In 2013, the goal is to audit 10% which translates to 7,000-8,000 lawyers.  It’s interesting to note that while the Bar only audited 1% of the attorneys in 2011 it is now looking to audit as many as 10% in 2013. See: California Attorneys Can Expect More MCLE Audits

Frequently Asked CLE Questions (FAQ) for Arizona Attorneys

By Jason Castillo, Director of Legal Education

We recently updated our CLE FAQ for Arizona attorneys.  That’s right … answers to all the Arizona continuing legal education questions that you were afraid to ask!

Arizona’s CLE regime differs from every state in one major facet – Arizona does not certify MCLE courses or providers. Arizona lawyers are required to independently review Arizona MCLE regulations and make their own determination that courses qualify for credit towards their MCLE requirements. For more information please click here.

To access more information about Arizona CLE please click the links below:

Arizona CLE Requirements

Arizona CLE FAQ

Arizona – How Does it Work?

Arizona Course List

Arizona One-Click State Bundles 

Arizona CLE State Page

CLE – State Bar of Arizona

Attorney Credits Now Offers MECLE and VCLE in Alaska

By Jason Castillo, Director of Legal Education

Alaska is known as the “The Last Frontier State” because of its distance from the lower 48 states, rugged landscape and inhospitable climate. Luckily, now that we offer CLE in Alaska, attorneys can complete their required units from the comfort of their home or office – without stepping foot into the inhospitable climate.

Alaska attorneys have one of the lighter CLE requirements in the country and is the only state with MECLE and VCLE credit hours.  According to the Alaska Bar, members are required to earn 3 mandatory ethics credits (MECLE) and “encouraged to earn 9 additional credits.”[1]  These additional 9 credits are known as VCLE units – or voluntary CLE units.[2]

 State MCLE Requirement

  • Total MCLE Credits Required: 3 MECLE, 9 VCLE

Compliance Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 1 year
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 1

Carryover

  • Carryover Allowed: Yes
  • Number of Carryover Credits Allowed: 12

State Regulatory Entity

Alaska attorneys may complete all their CLE requirements with some of our more popular courses and bundle packages.  Click here to view accredited courses on the Alaska course list.  Click here to view one-click state bundles that are offered in Alaska.

Visit the links below for more information:


[1] Alaska Bar Rule 65 governs Bar member requirements and incentives, and approval of CLE courses, content, and activities. All Alaska state bar members are required to take at least three Mandatory Ethics Continuing Legal Education (MECLE) credits each year. Each member is also required to complete at least nine Voluntary Continuing Legal Education (VCLE) credits each year.

[2] According to Alaska Rule 65 qualifying educational topics may include professional responsibility, workplace ethics, law office management, attention to cases and clients, time management, malpractice prevention, collegiality, general attorney wellness, and professionalism.

Online CLE Courses for Washington Attorneys

By Jason Castillo, Director of Legal Education

In our quest to serve more attorneys across the country we have recently added Washington to the list of states where we now offer our continuing legal education.  Washington attorneys will now have access to many of our best CLE courses on the Washington Course List.  Further, many attorneys appreciate the luxury of completing CLE from their home or office – and may access courses from just about any laptop, smart phone or tablet.

Of the 45 hour MCLE requirement, Washington attorneys may take up to 22.5 hours of CLE credit through pre-approved online courses from Attorney Credits – including the 6 hour Ethics requirement.  Attorney Credit’s online continuing legal education programs have been individually pre-approved for self-study credit by the Washington State Board of Mandatory Continuing Legal Education.  To view a list of approved Attorney Credits courses on the Washington State Bar website, please click here.

State MCLE Requirement

  • Total MCLE Credits Required: 45

Washington attorneys may complete:

  • 22.5 hours of courses via online learning

Specialty Requirement

  • Legal Ethics OR Professional Responsibility: 6

Compliance Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: January 31

Carryover

  • Yes, 15 Units

As part of CLE Your Way, we also offer a number of different media formats for Washington attorneys to complete the required CLE units before the December 31 MCLE compliance deadline.  You can study online with our streaming audio and video courses.  If you prefer to work offline we offer both MP3 and downloadable video courses.  We also offer MP3 players and USB Drives that come pre-loaded with 22.5 CLE credit hours.

We strive you make fulfilling your MCLE a stress free experience with our helpful customer service and easy to use website.  We also receive comments daily from our user about our timely, practical and entertaining CLE courses.  Visit the links below for more information and good luck fulfilling your MCLE requirement!

To view our one-click state bundles for Washington click here.

To view the MCLE requirements for Washington click here.

To visit the WSBA MCLE webpage click here.

To view comments from our customers click here.

Beware of Online Juror Contact

Web 2.0 has made it much easier to communicate with friends, relatives and fellow attorneys.  But the Internet and Web 2.0 have also created numerous new ethical traps.

For example, many attorneys have recently turned to Google and Facebook to research both potential and sitting jurors. However, attorneys must be very careful to avoid ex parte contact with jurors online.  And ex parte contact can be widely construed according to a recent ethics opinion from the New York City Bar Association.

“If an attorney cannot ascertain the functionality of a website, the attorney must proceed with great caution in conducting research on that particular site, and should keep in mind the possibility that even an accidental, automated notice to the juror could be considered a violation.”

Formal Opinion 2012-2 states that even if an attorney unknowingly or inadvertently “causes a communication with a juror,” such conduct could possibly afoul of the state’s professional conduct rules. And as stated in numerous ethics opinions, attorneys must not use deception to obtain information about potential and sitting jurors. Some attorneys have used other associates and paralegals to send ‘friend’ requests on Facebook to gain access to a juror’s Facebook page.  This is considered deceptive and unethical conduct.

Attorneys ethical duties have become more clouded in the era of Facebook, Google and Twitter.  The New York ethics opinion should serve as guidance in the abscene of rules that directly address the conduct.  Ethics opinions carry a lot of weight with courts and regulators around the country and even if you don’t practice in New York these are valuable resources.

For more information on the subject, click the following links:

We also have an excellent CLE course on the subject featuring Patrick Eckstrom and John Stahmer.  The course in entitled Ethics in a Web 2.0 world and it is accredited for 1 credit hour of legal ethics.