As Director of Legal Education with Attorney Credits, I am constantly scouring the Internet for the latest CLE news. Whether it’s compliance information or rule changes, I try to keep you up to date on the important CLE issues that you need to be aware of.
Yesterday’s post focused on properly reporting your CLE hours in California. In California, attorneys report MCLE compliance via My State Bar Profile. Many Bar Associations offer some type of online reporting option like California because online reporting is an efficient way to monitor MCLE compliance for thousands of attorneys.
Florida is another state where attorneys have the option to report MCLE compliance online … and just two days ago I wrote a post about online reporting in Florida. When attorneys report CLE compliance in Florida, they enter the course number online through the Florida Bar website to receive FL CLE credit for the course with the Florida Bar. Our course numbers are found on our Certificates of Completion.
The importance of properly reporting your CLE compliance cannot be understated. Failing to properly report can lead to a myriad of negative consequences – from discipline and fines to being suspended from the practice of law. Failing to properly report your MCLE hours can also have serious consequences for your clients and cases.
I read a story today on the ABA Journal about a mistrial request in a child murder case in Florida because the assistant state attorney improperly reported his MCLE compliance. The attorney in question completed the proper amount of general and ethics credit as part of his CLER (Continuing Legal Education Requirement). However, he improperly input the course number for one of the CLE courses when he was reporting his compliance online through the Florida Bar website. Because of this typographical error, his law license was shifted to inactive status by the Florida Bar. Once this information came to light, the defense attorney in the case requested a mistrial due to the state attorney being on inactive status.
The next time you are reporting your MCLE compliance with the state bar, make sure that you are following the proper reporting methods. As you can see from this case in Florida, improperly reporting your MCLE compliance can have dire consequences. At last report, the judge in the case had not ruled on the mistrial request – although I can’t imagine her granting the mistrial request in the murder case due to a CLE bookkeeping error.