Monthly Archives: December 2012

Happy New Year: MCLE Deadline is Today

The end of the MCLE year is here …. TODAY.  Many states around the country have a December 31 deadline to complete your MCLE requirement.  From Colorado to Washington, attorneys are scrambling to pick up those last minute CLE units.

The following states have December 31 MCLE deadlines:

If you have not started your CLE yet, don’t fret.  Attorney Credits may still be able to help you complete your MCLE requirement before the deadline.  Attorney Credits offers MCLE compliance packages in many states across the country.

Attorney Credits offers full compliance packages in states like Colorado, Nevada and Oregon that allow the entire MCLE requirement to be fulfilled through online CLE courses.  And Attorney Credits offers partial compliance packages in states that allow a portion of the MCLE requirement to be completed through online CLE courses.[1]

And don’t forget to check back with Attorney Credits in 2013!  We are constantly improving our website and courses to offer our attorney clients a more effortless CLE experience.

 Happy New Year!

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Colorado MCLE Deadline is December 31

Well, the world didn’t end last Friday.  If you are a Colorado attorney hoping the world was going to end so that you wouldn’t have to complete your 45 mandatory MCLE units by December 31 …. you are out of luck, we are all still here.

However, while Colorado attorneys have one of the larger MCLE requirements at 45 units, Colorado attorneys do have the option to complete their entire MCLE requirement through online CLE courses.  Our one-click Colorado MCLE bundles are a great option for attorneys who still need to complete their full allotment of CO CLE units.

Attorney Credits offers CLE Your Way for Coloardo attorneys, so you can complete courses in multiple media formats to best suit your busy lifestyle.  We offer the following media formats for you to view or listen to our online CLE courses.

Media Formats:

  • Streaming Video
  • Streaming Auido
  • MP3
  • Video Download

Attorney Credits makes completing your Colorado CLE easy.  Visit the Colorado CLE page and find a Colorado course or bundle.  You can begin studying courses right away as soon as you create your user account and complete the financial transaction.  When you complete each individual CLE course, you will be given the option to email or download the Certificate of Completion.  For more information on Colorado CO MCLE, please click here.

Attorney Credits offers further information about Colorado CO MCLE:

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December 31 MCLE Deadline for Many States

Today is Thursday, December 27.  That means it’s only a few more days until New Years Day and the start of 2013.  For many people across the country this is the time to celebrate the end of one year and the beginning of a new year.  This is a time for remembering this year’s accomplishments and looking forward to a great new year of opportunity.

For many attorneys, it means it’s time to get your MCLE done!!!  Attorneys in a number of states across the country must complete their Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirement by December 31.  From Alabama to Washington, many states have December 31 MCLE deadlines.

The following states have December 31 MCLE deadlines:

Don’t panic, Attorney Credits has you covered!  We have been getting calls and emails from frantic attorneys across the country concerned about their MCLE compliance.  There is no need for CLE hysteria, we have the MCLE compliance packages that you need and there is still plenty of time to complete your MCLE requirement.

Since we are online, with Attorney Credits you can take CLE courses 24 hours a day for the next four days until your complete your MCLE requirement.   We offer CLE courses for attorneys in many states with a December 31 deadline.  We offer both online and offline CLE courses and our one-click MCLE compliance bundles are some of our top selling packages this time of year.

Don’t worry there is still time!  And in many states, if you don’t complete your MCLE on time you will simply get fined.  Just make sure to get your CLE done before you get suspended!

Happy New Year!

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Oregon Attorneys: MCLE Deadline December 31

Oregon attorneys have one of the heftier MCLE requirements in the country.  Every three years, attorneys in Oregon must complete at least 45 credits hours of OR CLE coursesOregon attorneys with a year-end MCLE deadline are rapidly running out of time to complete their MCLE requirement.[1]  Oregon attorneys do have the luxury of completing their entire OR MCLE requirement through online OR CLE courses.

Compliance Requirements

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

As part of the 45 unit MCLE requirement, Oregon attorneys must also complete a number of specialty courses.

  • Legal Ethics OR Professionalism – 5 credit hours
  • Statutory Child Abuse Reporting Obligation – 1 credit hour
  • Access to Justice – In alternate reporting periods, at least 3 of the required hours.

Under current Oregon MCLE rules, Elimination of Bias credits are now referred to as Access to Justice credits.   In alternating three-year reporting period, Oregon attorneys now must now complete three (3) Access to Justice credits.

(b) In order to be accredited as an activity pertaining to access to justice for purposes of Rule 3.2(c), an activity shall be directly related to the practice of law and designed to educate attorneys to identify and eliminate from the legal profession and from the practice of law barriers to access to justice arising from biases against persons because of race, gender, economic status, creed, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or sexual orientation.[2]

Attorney Credits offers a number of Access to Justice Courses:

Attorney Credits also offers an excellent course on an Oregon attorney’s mandatory statutory child abuse reporting obligation:

Attorney Credits features a number of quality OR CLE courses that have been approved by the Oregon State Bar. As an Approved Provider of CLE in Oregon our OR CLE courses are deemed pre-approved.  To access our Oregon CLE Course list please click here.

Attorney Credits provides further information about Oregon OR MCLE:


[1]  Oregon attorneys active PRIOR to January 1, 1988:

• Birthdays in January, March, June, and November: first compliance period ended on December 31, 1988, and their compliance periods follow every three years thereafter.

• Birthdays in February, May, August, and October: first compliance period ended on December 31, 1989, and their compliance periods follow every three years thereafter.

• Birthdays in April, July, September, and December: first compliance period ended on December 31, 1990, and their compliance periods follow every three years thereafter.

Oregon attorneys active AFTER January 1, 1988, the first reporting period begins on the date of admission and ends on December 31 of the following calendar year. Compliance periods then follow every three years thereafter.

• This rule applies to new licensees and also members who are returning to active status in a reporting period other than the reporting period during which they transferred to inactive/retired status.

• Oregon bar members who are returning to active status in the same reporting period in which they transferred to inactive/retired status retain their original reporting period.

[2] Oregon State Bar Minimum Continuing Legal Education Rules and Regulations, Rule 5.5(b) Ethics and Access to Justice.

http://www.osbar.org/_docs/rulesregs/mclerules.pdf

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Ohio MCLE Deadline is December 31

Attorney Credits continues to keep you updated about upcoming year-end MCLE deadlines across the country.   For attorneys in Ohio there is a little more than a week to complete the biennial MCLE requirement.  Ohio attorneys with last names M – Z must complete their MCLE requirement by December 31 and report compliance by January 31.

Ohio attorneys have the option to complete up to six (6) credit hours of their OH MCLE requirement through online OH CLE courses. Online CLE courses are considered self-study under the Ohio MCLE Rules and Regulations.[1]  In some rare cases, Ohio attorneys may be able to complete all MCLE requirements online.[2]  Attorney Credits offers multiple CLE courses in Ohio for attorneys who need to pick up some CLE credits before the December 31 MCLE deadline.

Final Reporting Transcripts will be mailed the week of December 3, 2012, to attorneys and judges whose last names begin with the letter M through Z for the 2013 continuing legal education reporting period, covering the years 2011 and 2012.  The Final Reporting Transcript reflects hours earned and reported as of November 30, 2012.  M through Z attorneys and judges must earn all required hours on or before December 31, 2012, and file the Final Reporting Transcript on or before January 31, 2013.  Attorneys may submit their Final Reporting Transcript by mail or online.[3]

The Ohio CLE Commission keeps track of the CLE credits that you earn and should have already mailed you an INTERIM report.  The Ohio CLE commission has also already mailed the Final Reporting Transcripts.  These transcripts are sent sixty days before the filing deadline for your biennial report.  You can also review your transcript online through the Supreme Court of Ohio website by clicking here.

You must review and return your final signed reporting transcript to the Ohio CLE Commission verifying completion of all applicable MCLE requirements by January 31. Alternatively, you may submit your transcript electronically through the Ohio Bar website by clicking here Attorney Credits does keep track and report your compliance to the Ohio CLE Commission within 30 days of course completion.  Ohio attorneys should maintain the Certificate of Completion issued by Attorney Credits to verify completion of their MCLE requirement.

Attorney Credits provides further information about Ohio OH MCLE:


[1] Self-study hours are capped and attorneys can only receive a maximum of six (6) self-study credits every two years. Self-study includes: audio, video, Internet-based, and CD based educational activities.

[2] If you have a permanent physical disability that makes attending CLE activities difficult, you may request approval of a substitute program by filing a written request with the Ohio CLE Commission.

[3] Continuing Legal Education

http://www.supremecourt.ohio.gov/AttySvcs/CLE/

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Online CLE For Iowa Attorneys

Attorneys in Iowa have a little more than one week to complete their annual MCLE requirement.  Attorneys in Iowa must complete 15 IA CLE credit hours by December 31, including three required hours of legal ethics every two years.  Iowa attorneys may now take substance abuse courses as part of their legal ethics requirement.

As a preventive measure designed to reduce lawyer discipline matters and harm to clients, the definition of what constitutes legal ethics for purposes of the biennial ethics continuing legal education (CLE) attendance requirement is amended to include instruction specifically designed for lawyers regarding substance abuse and mental health. The biennial ethics attendance requirement is increased from two to three hours.[1]

Iowa attorneys have the option to complete up to 6 credit hours through online IA CLE courses each compliance period.  Attorney Credits has recently begun offering CLE in Iowa right in time for the December 31 MCLE deadline, including those hard-to-get substance abuse and legal ethics credit hours.

Commencing July 1, 2002, up to 6 hours of the 15 hours required by rule 41.3(1) each calendar year may be obtained through completion of computer-based legal education accredited by the commission.[2]

Iowa attorneys must self-report completion of individual CLE activities. Each Iowa attorney must make a written report to the Iowa CLE Commission regarding completion of MCLE during the preceding calendar year by March 1.  The Iowa CLE Commission prescribes the form of the annual report.  Each annual report must provide the commission with satisfactory proof that the Iowa attorney has met the MCLE requirements.  Alternatively, Iowa attorneys may also report their CLE credits on the Iowa Judicial Branch’s website by clicking here.

All Iowa attorneys that neglect to file the annual report or pay the required fees by March 1 must pay a penalty.[3]

If Filed:                                           Penalty:

After March 1 but before April 2      $100

After April 1 but before May 2          $150

After May 1                                        $200

The penalty fees collected will be used to pay the costs of administering the MCLE program, or for such other purposes within the Office of Professional Regulation as the Iowa Supreme Court may direct.  The Certificate of Completion issued by Attorney Credits should be maintained to verify attendance.

Attorney Credits provides more information about Iowa IA MCLE:


[1] Amendments to Division III of the Iowa Court Rules February, 2012 Summary of Amendments

http://www.iowacourts.gov/wfdata/frame14256-1671/File140.pdf

[2] Chapter 41: Continuing Legal Education for Lawyers

[3] 41.5(1) Attorneys who fail to comply with the provisions of rule 41.4 or who file a report showing on its face that they have failed to complete the required number of hours of continuing legal education may have their right to practice law suspended by the supreme court, provided that at least 15 days prior to such suspension, notice of such delinquency has been served upon them in the manner provided for the service of original notices in Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.305 or has been forwarded to them by restricted certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to them at their last-known address.

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CLE FAQ for Oklahoma Attorneys

Oklahoma attorneys must complete twelve CLE credit hours each year – including one (1) required hour of legal ethics.[1]  Attorneys in Oklahoma do have the option to complete a portion of their OK CLE courses online. Oklahoma attorneys may take up to six hours of OK CLE credit annually through online CLE courses.

Online video programs are prerecorded seminars or segments of prerecorded seminars. This type of programming along with downloadable audio programming is limited to a total of six credits per year.

The Oklahoma Bar Association does keep track of the CLE that attorneys complete. Bar members will receive an Interim Annual Report of Compliance in late October. In mid-January the Annual Report of Compliance will be mailed to all bar members whose records indicate that they do not have sufficient MCLE credit to meet the requirement. If you have completed your MCLE hours by December 31 you no longer have to file an Annual Report of Compliance.

Mandatory Continuing Legal Education, a program adopted by the Oklahoma Supreme Court in 1986, establishes minimum requirements for continuing legal education for Oklahoma attorneys. The program is administered by the OBA Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Commission, which consists of nine members. [2]

If you do not have sufficient units to meet  your MCLE requirement, then you must file an Annual Report of Compliance. It is the responsibility of each bar member to review the accuracy of the Oklahoma Bar Association records and reports, and ensure that compliance is recognized by the MCLE Commission.  You can check your MCLE records with the Oklahoma Bar by clicking here.

There are no extensions in Oklahoma.  You must complete your MCLE requirement by the year end deadline.  If you complete your educational requirements after December 31 you will be assessed a $100.00 late compliance fee.  The Certificate of Completion issued by Attorney Credits should be maintained and used to verify attendance.

Attorney Credits provides further information about Oklahoma OK MCLE:


[1] Oklahoma requires that attorneys complete 12 hours of mandatory CLE required each year. A minimum of 1 hour must be in the area of professional responsibility, legal ethics or legal malpractice prevention.

[2] Mandatory Continuing Legal Education

http://www.okbar.org/members/mcle/

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Questions About California MCLE?

Did you know that if you are suspended for disciplinary reasons in California you still must complete your 25 unit MCLE requirement?  In California, attorneys are required to complete their MCLE requirement and report compliance even if they are suspended from the bar for not paying membership fees or due to disciplinary reasons.

Attorney Credits and the State Bar of California have something in common: we both recently revamped our CLE FAQ for California attorneys.  Wading through the state CLE rules can be a daunting task – but now we’ve done it for you!

Failing to fulfill MCLE requirements can result in placement on administrative inactive status. Attorneys who are audited and found to have falsely reported compliance may also face discipline.[1]

Am I exempt? Can I get credit for grading bar exams?  How do I report my MCLE compliance?  Does Attorney Credits keep track of my hours and report them to the State Bar of California?  When it comes to MCLE compliance in California, there are numerous questions that you need answered.  Well, we now have all the answers you need to your California CA MCLE questions … and if we don’t, the State Bar does.

One key point about MCLE in the Golden State – California is a self-reporting state.  This means that CLE providers do not report your MCLE compliance for you.  While Attorney Credits is required to maintain attendance records, attorneys must report their own MCLE compliance with the state bar.  The State Bar recommends that all Group 1 attorneys (A-G) should report their compliance online through My State Bar Profile.[2]

Attorneys must self-report to The State Bar of California.  The State Bar of California is advising that instead of submitting a paper compliance card, attorneys should report their compliance online through My State Bar Profile.  My State Bar Profile is an online tool for California attorneys to pay fees, update information, report MCLE compliance and manage other tasks.

When you have completed your CA MCLE requirement you should maintain MCLE records for at least one year from the date compliance is reported online.  CLE Records should be kept in the event that your compliance is audited.  For each participatory CLE course completed you should be able to provide Certificates of Completion.[3]  You should also be able to provide a log for all self-study courses that you completed.[4]

The California MCLE deadline is right around the corner for Group 1 attorneys.  Don’t wait until the last minute to get your CA MCLE done.  The MCLE reporting deadline for California Group 1 attorneys is February 1, 2013.

Attorney Credits provides further information about California CA MCLE:


[1] FAQs about MCLE Compliance

http://www.calbarjournal.com/MCLESpecialEdition2012/TopHeadlines/TH2.aspx

[2] Go to “Report MCLE” and follow the instructions for reporting your credits.

[3] Certificates must include the name of the CLE provider, the title of the course completed, the date the course was completed, the number of CLE hours earned and the number of specialty hours awarded (ethics, substance abuse & bias).

[4] The self-study log should note the CLE provider, the name of the course, the date you took the course, whether you listened to a tape or took a self-assessment test, the number of hours claimed and the number of specialty credits such as ethics.

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CLE Courses & FAQ for Louisiana Attorneys

In an attempt to expand our CLE services to more attorneys around the country, Attorney Credits has begun offering online CLE courses for Louisiana attorneys right in time for the December 31 MCLE deadline in Louisiana.  And to provide Louisiana attorneys with the MCLE information that they need, we have also recently posted our CLE FAQ for Louisiana attorneys.

Louisiana attorneys must complete twelve and a half (12.5) credit hours each annual compliance period, including 1 hour of ethics and one hour of professionalism.  Attorneys in Louisiana have the option to complete up to four credit hours through online CLE courses each annual compliance period.[1]  Since Attorney Credits verifies your course completion by using numerical codes embedded in the audio or video CLE course, our courses have been approved by the Louisiana MCLE Committee.

The Supreme Court rules allow up to 4 hours of technologically assisted programming per reporting period.  MCLE Committee guidelines for accreditation require that a course have an interactive component, and that the sponsor have a tracking mechanism to verify the actual time spent engaged in the program by the participating attorney.[2]

Louisiana attorneys must complete all CLE hours by December 31 and properly report by January 31.  A $150 late fee will be assessed against members of the Louisiana State Bar Association who do not comply with the MCLE Rules.  Any bar member who is not in compliance with their MCLE requirements within 60 days of the Notice of Noncompliance being sent by the MCLE Committee will be declared ineligible to practice law in Louisiana.

In order to avoid MCLE compliance issues, Attorney Credits offers numerous LA CLE courses for Louisiana attorneys.  We also offer 4 unit MCLE bundles for Louisiana attorneys that include one hour of legal ethics credit.  And we also offer individual legal ethics and professionalism courses.

Attorney Credits provides further information about Louisiana LA MCLE:


[1] The Louisiana MCLE Rules allow up to 4 hours of technologically assisted programming each annual reporting period. Credit for online courses is considered self-study credit. Self-study includes live or pre-recorded audio and/or audiovisual presentations and activities or other appropriate technology as approved by the MCLE Committee. Credit for attendance at such self-study courses is limited to four (4) hours annually.

[2] Louisiana Supreme Court: Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)

http://www.lascmcle.org/

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Top MCLE Compliance Mistakes

At Attorney Credits, we have tried to utilize our Legal Blog to get you the MCLE information that you need.  This can be a daunting task since there are 50 states with 50 different sets of CLE regulations for their attorneys.  However, as we approach deadlines in major states we have tried to keep you abreast of MCLE requirements, reporting, deadlines and other important information.

For example, we have been using the Attorney Credits Legal Blog to keep California attorneys updated on as much MCLE information as possible.  Our last few blogs about MCLE in California have focused on retaining MCLE documentation, the steps to take if you get audited, reporting MCLE compliance, completing specialty courses and self-study vs. participatory credits.  One main reason we have focused so heavily on California MCLE is because the California MCLE deadline is February 1 and also because California plans on auditing 10% of the next Compliance Group.

This morning when I checked my email, I found a great article from the California Bar Journal.  The article summarizes a lot of what we have been blogging about at Attorney Credits.

7 Common MCLE Mistakes:[1]

  1. Not completing enough ethics, elimination of bias and substance abuse hours.
  2. Completing CLE classes after reporting compliance.
  3. Math errors.
  4. Mistakenly believing you are exempt from MCLE.
  5. Poor/Insufficient recordkeeping.
  6. Submitting CLE courses that have not been approved for MCLE credit.
  7. Mistaking “MCLE credit available” for “MCLE approved.”

With the State Bar of California stepping up MCLE compliance and enforcement in 2013, you must complete your CA MCLE requirement properly and on time in order to avoid fines, sanctions and the possible loss of active status.[2]  And if you are found to not be in compliance with your MCLE requirement, please don’t lie to the State Bar about it – the consequences can be dire.[3]

The State Bar will begin its next round of MCLE audits in July.  Make sure you don’t commit one of the seven top MCLE mistakes.  Attorney Credits offers number of MCLE compliance packages for you to remain in good standing with the State Bar of California.

Attorney Credits provides further information about California CA MCLE:

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