Monthly Archives: January 2013

MCLE for North Carolina Attorneys

NC MCLE CLE North Carolina online

In 2012, Attorney Credits expanded to a number of new states around the country, including Alabama, Louisiana, Missouri, Oregon, Tennessee and Washington.  We also began offering CLE courses in North Carolina in order to assist attorneys in the Tar Heel State with their MCLE compliance.  In 2013 we will continue to expand our online MCLE compliance services into new states around the country.

North Carolina MCLE Compliance Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 28

As part of the annual MCLE requirement in North Carolina attorneys must complete 12 hours of approved CLE.  Of these 12 hours, 2 hours must be in the area of Professional Responsibility or Professionalism.[1]  And at least once every three years, each North Carolina lawyer must also complete at least one hour of professional responsibility devoted entirely to instruction in substance abuse awareness or debilitating mental conditions, and a lawyer’s professional responsibilities attendant to these conditions.

Attorneys may take up to four (4) hours of CLE credit through online courses for each compliance year.  If an attorney takes more than four (4) online hours in one compliance year, any hours over the four allowed will be applied to the following compliance year and may result in compliance problems.

Attorneys practicing in North Carolina have the option to complete a portion of their 12 unit MCLE requirement through online CLE courses.  North Carolina attorneys may take up to four online CLE credit hours through Attorney Credits each annual compliance period.  When you have completed your courses, Attorney Credits will report your course completion to the North Carolina CLE Department for you.  And as long as you maintain an active account with Attorney Credits you will always have a record of the CLE courses that you have completed on our website.


[1] If an attorney takes more than the required 12 MCLE hours in a compliance period, up to 2 additional CLE hours of professional responsibility and up to 10 additional CLE hours of general education may be carried over to the next compliance period.

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Louisiana Allows 4 Online CLE Courses Each Compliance Period

LA Louisiana MCLE CLE online

Attorney Credits provides continuing legal education for the majority of attorneys around the country.  Each state regulates the conduct of the attorneys that practice inside their own borders – and minimum continuing legal education is no exception.  Each state sets its own rules regarding MCLE, including credit requirement, compliance & reporting deadlines, the types of CLE courses that qualify for credit, exemptions and every other facet of minimum continuing legal education.

Louisiana MCLE Compliance Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: January 31

One main rule for attorneys to be aware of is the amount of online CLE hours that each state will allow to count towards the MCLE requirement.  While some states allow the entire MCLE requirement to be met by online courses, some states do not allow online CLE courses at all.  Then there are other states that allow a handful of online CLE courses to count toward the MCLE requirement.

Louisiana is one such state – Louisiana allows its attorneys to complete up to four CLE courses online to count towards the annual 12 unit MCLE requirement.  Online CLE courses are considered ‘technologically assisted programming’ under the Louisiana MCLE Rules.  Attorney Credit’s online Louisiana CLE courses have been pre-approved for CLE credit 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.[1]

Attorney Credit’s CLE courses qualify for credit in Louisiana because we utilize numerical codes inserted into the audio or video course.  These numerical codes make the online courses interactive and serve as a tracking mechanism to ensure that the attorney actually completes the course.  If you are an attorney practicing in Louisiana, you may use four online CLE credit hours from Attorney Credits towards your annual 12 unit MCLE requirement.


[1] Mandatory Continuing Legal Education

http://www.lascmcle.org

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The Illinois MCLE Deadline is June 30

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The deadline to complete the minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirement for Illinois attorneys is June 30.  Illinois attorneys must complete 30 MCLE credit hours each two year compliance period.  As part of the 30 hour MCLE requirement, 5 hours of professional responsibility credits must be earned during each two-year reporting period.[1]

 Illinois MCLE Compliance Requirements:

  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: Jul 31

Illinois attorneys may choose from a number of options to fulfill their CLE credit – from live and online IL CLE courses to non-traditional activities such as publishing legal scholarly works and teaching certain CLE and law courses.  As part of CLE Your Way, Attorney Credits offers a number of different media formats for Illinois attorneys to complete their CLE – streaming audio, streaming video, MP3, video download, CD & DVD.

Attorneys who wish to confirm that the MCLE Board has received their compliance report should login to the Board’s Online Reporting system to view and print a copy of their report. The Board has designed its online reporting system to allow attorneys to check their report online and print a receipt at any time of day or night. Due to the large number of Illinois attorneys, the Board cannot provide telephone or email confirmation.  If you mailed your form, refer to Proof of mailing is required for claims that an MCLE certification form was mailed.[2]

Illinois is a self-reporting state.  All Illinois attorneys are required to report compliance, non-compliance or exemptions at the end of the attorney’s two-year reporting period. The Illinois MCLE Board will mail a Certification Form to each Illinois attorney at the mailing address on file with the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission (ARDC).  The Certification Form must be completed and returned to the MCLE Board by the due date on the form.


[1] Professional responsibility credits include professionalism, issues involving diversity, mental illness and addiction issues, civility or legal ethics.

[2] How can I confirm the MCLE Board has received my Compliance Report?

http://mcle.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/207/

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Online CLE for Florida Attorneys

Florida CLE FL MCLE Online

Attorney Credits offers CLE programs for the majority of attorneys across the country.  Attorney Credits is an online provider of CLE – from New York to California.  One reason we don’t offer online CLE courses in every state is because some states do not allow online CLE courses to count towards the CLE requirement (CLER).  Luckily for Florida attorneys, online CLE is a viable option to complete the CLER.[1]

As part of the CLER, Florida attorneys must complete 30 CLE hours – 5 of which must be in the area of ethics, professionalism, substance abuse or mental illness awareness.  Attorneys in Florida may complete all 30 required CLE units by completing online FL CLE courses.

It is of primary importance to the public and to the members of The Florida Bar that attorneys continue their legal education throughout the period of their active practice of law. To accomplish that objective, each member of The Florida Bar (hereinafter referred to as “member”) shall meet certain minimum requirements for continuing legal education. [2]

And as part of CLE Your Way, Florida attorneys may complete their FL CLE courses in a number of different media formats.  Attorney Credits offers the following media choices to complete FL CLE courses: streaming audio & video, MP3, video download, CD & DVD.  We also offer MP3 and USB Stick compliance packages that come fully loaded with 30 hours of FL CLE courses.  With CLE Your Way, Florida attorneys can listen to CD’s in the car on the way to the office or download MP3s and complete courses while you’re jogging around the bay.

Florida attorneys are required to report CLE completion (CLER) every three years.  Each Florida attorney is assigned a three-year reporting cycle.  You can find your reporting date on the mailing label of The Florida Bar News or you can contact the Florida Bar directly.  If you have further questions about the CLER in Florida, you may call or email the Florida Legal Specialization and Education Department of The Florida Bar at (850) 561-5842 or clemail@flabar.org.  You can also contact Attorney Credits by phone or email by clicking here.

Attorney Credits provides further information about Florida FL MCLE:


[1] The MCLE requirement is called the CLER (Continuing Legal Education Requirement) in Florida.

[2] Florida Rule 6-10.1: CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT RULE, CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENT

Who Must Comply with California MCLE?

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California attorneys who are in Group 1 for MCLE compliance are rapidly running out of time.  You have until February 1 – next Friday – to pay annual dues and report your MCLE compliance to the State Bar of California.

But who is subject to the 25 unit MCLE requirement in California?

According to the State Bar of California, the following members are subject to the MCLE requirement and must report compliance.[1]

  • Active members
  • Not Eligible members that were:
    • Suspended for non-payment of Active membership fees;
    • Suspended for disciplinary reasons;
  • Exempt members:
    • You must report your exemption if you were exempt for the entire compliance period, but you are not required to complete any MCLE;
    • You must complete a pro-rated amount of education and report MCLE compliance if you were exempt for only a portion of the compliance period
  • Retired members on Active status are subject to the MCLE requirement, regardless of whether or not they are actually practicing law.

Members of the State Bar of California who are on voluntary Inactive status do not have to complete MCLE hours during the period of time that they are on Inactive status.  Further, inactive members are not required to report compliance to State Bar of California.  You can go to the California Attorney Search to check your member status.

California is a self-reporting state.  That means that CLE Providers such as Attorney Credits do not report compliance for you.  All California attorneys (except those on voluntary Inactive status) must report compliance by submitting a statement of compliance to the State Bar. Compliance may be reported online through My State Bar Profile.

Attorney Credits provides further information about California CA MCLE:

[1] Compliance Information

http://mcle.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/ComplianceInformation.aspx

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California MCLE: Personal MCLE Log

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Attorney Credits has helped numerous California attorneys with their California MCLE compliance.  Our California MCLE compliance packages are reasonably priced – and CLE Your Way allows California attorneys to complete their MCLE requirement in the most convenient way possible.  As part of Attorney CreditsCLE Your Way, California attorneys have multiple media options to complete their CA MCLE requirement – including streaming audio & video, MP3, video download, CDs & DVDs.

So you have purchased one of Attorney CreditsCalifornia MCLE compliance packages and you have completed your 25 MCLE units – now what???[1]

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California is a self-reporting state.  Once your CA MCLE requirement is completed, your recordkeeping responsibility begins.  You will not send any proof of your MCLE compliance to the State Bar of California unless asked to do so.  However, you must maintain adequate records of your MCLE completion for one year from the time that your MCLE compliance is reported as per MCLE Rule 2.73 in case you get audited.[2]  For example, if you are a Group 1 attorney and you report your MCLE compliance on time, you must maintain your MCLE records until February 2014.

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One good way to keep your MCLE records in order is to use the Personal MCLE Log that is provided by the State Bar of California.  The Personal MCLE Log helps you to keep track of the CLE that you have completed and helps to fulfill your recordkeeping responsibilities.  You can access the Personal MCLE Log by clicking here.

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Attorney Credits also helps you to maintain your CLE records.  Whenever you complete a course with Attorney Credits, you can access your Certificate of Completion from the My Certificates page.  As long as you maintain an active account with Attorney Credits, you will always have proof of the MCLE that you have completed.

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Attorney Credits provides further information about California CA MCLE:


[1] Including 4 hour of Legal Ethics, 1 hour of Substance Abuse and 1 hour of elimination of bias.  California attorneys also must not exceed the 12.5 hour self-study credit limit.

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Colorado MCLE: Registering as Inactive

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At Attorney Credits, we have been tracking important CLE compliance and reporting deadlines for attorneys around the country.  Like Colorado MCLE, many states have a December 31 MCLE compliance deadline.  However, Colorado MCLE differs slightly from other states in the respect that it has a January 31 MCLE reporting deadline.

The Colorado Bar has released guidelines for Colorado attorneys who have not yet fulfilled their 2012 MCLE requirements.[1]  The guidelines are full of valuable information for Colorado attorneys who have not yet completed their 2012 CO MCLE requirement.

The Guidelines list 4 ways to comply with the Colorado MCLE Requirement:

  • Completing MCLE by December 31
  • Filing for an extension of time (Make-Up Plan)
  • Registering as inactive
  • Exemption

In yesterday’s Attorney Credits post, I detailed how to complete the CLE Make-Up Plan for Colorado attorneys who have not yet attained all 45 required MCLE units.  Today I will focus on registering as inactive.  If you are not currently engaged in the actual practice of law in Colorado, another option to consider is registering as “inactive.” That’s because Colorado attorneys who are registered as “inactive” are not subject to Colorado’s mandatory CLE requirement – as long as they maintain inactive status.[2]

Another alternative which you may also wish to consider if you are not currently engaged in the actual practice of law in Colorado is registering as “inactive.” Attorneys who are registered as “inactive” are not subject to Colorado’s mandatory CLE requirement for so long as they maintain inactive status.[3]

If you wish to register as “inactive,” you should do so immediately.  You will need to notify the Clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court in writing.[4]  The Guidelines recommend that you send a copy of your written notice requesting “inactive” status to the Colorado CLE Board to expedite the process of revising your CLE records to inactive.  If you request inactive status you will have to pay a $50 late fee.

Attorney Credits provides more information about Colorado CO MCLE:


[1] GUIDELINES FOR COLORADO ATTORNEYS & JUDGES WHO MAY NOT HAVE FULFILLED CLE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPLIANCE PERIOD ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2012.

http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/pdfs/CLE/GUIDE.pdf

[2] If an “inactive” attorney registers as “active” in Colorado, his or her CLE requirement will be determined at the time the attorney becomes active. If the Colorado attorney is “inactive” for less than one year, then the CLE requirement is the same as it was when the attorney registered as inactive – this includes the requirement to make-up any CLE deficiencies. If a Colorado attorney is inactive for more than one year, a new three year compliance period is established beginning on January 1 following the year in which active status is requested.

[3] GUIDELINES FOR COLORADO ATTORNEYS & JUDGES WHO MAY NOT HAVE FULFILLED CLE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPLIANCE PERIOD ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2012.

http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/pdfs/CLE/GUIDE.pdf

[4] The address for the Clerk of the Colorado Supreme Court is: Attorney Registration Office, 1560 Broadway #1810, Denver, Colorado 80202. Questions concerning “inactive” status should be directed to this office (303-866-6554).

Colorado MCLE: The Make-Up Plan

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Yesterday’s Attorney Credits blog focused on Colorado MCLE compliance.  Today we will continue to focus on MCLE in Colorado.

One reason I wanted to write another post about MCLE in Colorado is due to the staggered compliance and reporting deadlines.  The MCLE compliance deadline in Colorado is December 31.  However, while Colorado attorneys must complete their MCLE by December 31, they have until January 31 to report MCLE compliance to the Colorado CLE Board.

The Colorado CLE Board recently published guidelines for attorneys who have not fulfilled their CLE requirements for 2012.  The guidelines mention four ways to comply with the Colorado CO MCLE requirement.

Complying with the Colorado CO MCLE Requirement:

  • Completing MCLE by December 31
  • Filing for an extension of time (Make-Up Plan)
  • Registering as inactive
  • Exemption

Well, at this point if you are reading this, the first choice is not an option.  Therefore, the majority of Colorado attorneys who have not yet completed their MCLE requirement must file a request for an extension of time.  The Colorado CLE Board requests that the extension should be filed on the MAKE-UP PLAN FORM and mailed by January 31, 2013.  You must file an acceptable MAKE-UP PLAN in order to be granted an extension of your original MCLE compliance period.

According to the Colorado CLE Board an acceptable MAKE-UP PLAN consists of the following:[1]

  1. Listing CLE programs that have already been accredited by the Colorado CLE Board that you intend to take that will cure your MCLE deficiency.
  2. Completing the CLE programs no later than May 31, 2013.
  3. Sending a check for $50.00 made payable to the Colorado CLE Board.  This fee must be paid even if your make-up plan is completed before January 31.  If the make-up plan is filed after January 31, your late fee will be $100.

The Colorado CLE Board points out that the extension of time is granted solely for you to make up your MCLE deficiency.  This time is essentially deducted from your next compliance period.[2]  Further, any extra CLE Credits that you earn while completing your make-up plan will not carryover towards fulfilling the MCLE requirements of your next compliance period.[3]  For more information about  MCLE in Colorado you can visit the Colorado Supreme Court website and click on the CLE link at the bottom of the page.

Attorney Credits provides more information about Colorado CO MCLE:


[1] GUIDELINES FOR COLORADO ATTORNEYS & JUDGES WHO MAY NOT HAVE FULFILLED CLE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPLIANCE PERIOD ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2012.

http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/pdfs/CLE/GUIDE.pdf

[2] In other words, your next compliance period will not be extended by the amount of time it takes for you to complete any make-up plan.

[3] Therefore, in submitting a make-up plan, you should select relevant programs which can be completed as soon as possible and which will not be worth any more CLE credits than you need to make up your deficiency. In designing a make-up plan, you may wish to consult a current list of seminars and homestudy programs which are available during the period January-May, 2013 (and which are currently accredited and known to the Board).

Colorado MCLE Reporting Deadline is January 31

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Attorney Credits has been working hard to keep you compliant with your MCLE requirement.  We have been utilizing our Attorney Credits Legal Blog to keep attorneys around the country up-to-date on all impending MCLE deadlines.  Today on our Attorney Credits Legal Blog we will focus on important MCLE compliance dates for Colorado attorneys.

If you do not complete the necessary educational activity by December 31, 2012, you may file a request for an extension of time. Your request should be filed on the MAKE-UP PLAN FORM included with this letter by January 31, 2013. An extension of your original compliance period can be granted only if you file an acceptable MAKE-UP PLAN.[1]

Colorado attorneys have until January 31 to report completion of their MCLE requirement to the MCLE Compliance Department of the State Bar of ColoradoColorado attorneys must complete 45 CLE units every three years as part of their Colorado minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirement.  The deadline to complete the 45 unit MCLE requirement in Colorado was December 31.

The MCLE Compliance Department of the State Bar of Colorado tracks the MCLE that each Colorado attorney has completed.  The Colorado MCLE Compliance Department sends out final MCLE notices in November.  Therefore, if you are a Colorado attorney and your MCLE deadline was December 31, 2012, you should have already received your MCLE affidavit which was sent to you by the Colorado MCLE Board.  You must use this affidavit to report your MCLE compliance by January 31.

Fulfilling the Colorado MCLE Requirement:

  • Complete 45 units by December 31, report by January 31
  • Extension of time (Filing a make-up plan)
  • Registering as inactive
  • Exception

If you are a Colorado attorney and you fail to comply with the Colorado MCLE Rules, the Colorado CLE Board will promptly notify you by sending a statement of noncompliance. The statement of noncompliance will advise you that either your noncompliance must be corrected OR a request for a hearing before the CLE Board must be made.[2]  If the Colorado attorney or judge fails to cure the MCLE deficiency or fails to request a hearing before the CLE Board within the allotted time, the statement of noncompliance will be filed with the Colorado Supreme Court.

Colorado attorneys who fail to complete and report their 45 unit MCLE requirement risk fines, suspension and being enrolled as inactive.  Complying with the Colorado MCLE requirement is not an option if you want to continue to practice law in ColoradoAttorney Credits provides numerous CO MCLE compliance packages for Colorado attorneysAttorney Credits make completing your Colorado MCLE convenient and easy!

Attorney Credits provides more information about Colorado CO MCLE:


[1] GUIDELINES FOR COLORADO ATTORNEYS & JUDGES WHO MAY NOT HAVE FULFILLED CLE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE COMPLIANCE PERIOD ENDING DECEMBER 31, 2012.
http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/pdfs/CLE/GUIDE.pdf
[2] Completion of either task must be take place within 14 days.

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California MCLE: Self-Study CLE Credit

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California attorneys must complete 25 CLE units every three years in order to complete their minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirementCalifornia has one unique feature to its MCLE system.  California allows for two types of CLE credit self-study and participatory credit.

California does place a limit on the amount of self-study CA CLE courses that an attorney can complete in a given compliance period.  California attorneys can take no more than 12.5 units of self-study each three year compliance period.  Or put another way, California attorneys must complete at least 12.5 units of participatory credit every three years.

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The difference between the two types of courses is essentially verification.   With self-study courses, the CLE provider does not have to verify the participation of the attorney.  With participatory courses, the CLE provider must ensure that the attorney has actually completed the course.

screen-captureAttorney Credits makes completing your California CA MCLE easy and convenient – we offer all our of our California CLE courses as either self-study or participatory.  Attorneys decide before they begin studying each CLE course.  In order to complete a self-study CLE course with Attorney Credits, you simply check a box attesting to your own completion.  Even though the course is self-study, Attorney Credits still issue a Certificate of Completion  so you can keep track of the important CLE information for your compliance records.

Attorney Credits provider further information about California CA MCLE:

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