Monthly Archives: March 2013

New CLE Course: SharePoint – Legal Discovery & Data Storage Issues

In today’s global economy, SharePoint software helps businesses with content management, collaboration and sharing for intranet and Internet websites. However, with today’s increased record keeping responsibilities and e-Discovery demands, there are increasing legal discovery issues with the content generated by businesses in Sharepoint. Attorneys need to be aware of these legal issues and counsel their business clients accordingly.

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In the wake of Enron and the passage of Dodd-Frank and the Sarbanes Oxley Act, there are literally thousands of disparate retention requirements mandated by state and federal law.[1] With the advent of e-Discovery and legal holds, its now easier for companies to be liable for spoliation of evidence …. because the duty to preserve evidence now begins before a lawsuit is even initiated!![2] Spoliation of evidence can be deadly for your client’s case and pocketbook. For example, in January 2011 Delaware’s Chancery Court ordered the defendants in the case of Victor Stanley, Inc. vs. Creative Pipe, Inc. to pay over $1 million in damages for the willful loss and destruction of ESI (electronically stored information).

If you need help counseling your business clients on the legal issues associated with records retention and SharePoint, Attorney Credits has recently added an excellent CLE course entitled SharePoint: Legal Discovery & Data Storage Issues. In this course, John Isaza discusses the legal discovery issues associated with SharePoint, including the scope of information to manage, the legal analysis impacting SharePoint use and best practices for handling the legal issues associated with SharePoint.

Other topics addressed include:

  • Collaboration portals & social networking sites within SharePoint
  • Global & domestic regulations
  • Spoliation
  • Preservation case law [3]
  • Legal holds
  • Dodd-Frank
  • Sarbanes–Oxley
  • ITAR
  • International privacy regulations
  • Symantec & Clearwell surveys
  • SharePoint RIM management
  • IGRM
  • Communicating the rules

John Isaza is one of the country’s leading experts on electronic discovery, the revised Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and other RIM issues. Mr. Isaza has conducted regulatory research and worked in developing records retention programs for numerous Fortune 200 companies. Mr. Isaza also has over a decade of experience as a trial lawyer specializing in business, environmental contamination, products liability and construction defects. Mr. Isaza attended Boston College Law School, where he served as the Editor of the International Law Review. He is an active speaker in the ARMA and AIIM circuits and he has authored several articles on electronic discovery and information management. He has also presented 7 Steps for Legal Holds: Avoiding Malpractice and Jail! for our Attorney Credits CLE website.

This CLE course is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • South Dakota (SD)

[1] And globally each country possesses its own International privacy requirements such as the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act.

[2] The duty to preserve material evidence arises not only during the litigation but also extends to that period before the litigation when a party reasonably should know that the evidence may be relevant to anticipated litigation. See: Toth v. Parish (W.D. La. Mar. 2, 2009) 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16116.

[3] Case law discussed includes Spanish Peaks Lodge v. Keybank 2012 WL 895465 (W.D. Penn 2012) and Toth v. Parish 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16116 (W.D. La. Mar. 2, 2009).

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Delaware CLE: 24 CLE Units Every 2 Years

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Delaware is a mandatory CLE (Continuing Legal Education) state.  Attorneys in Delaware must complete the requisite number of CLE credits each compliance period in order to avoid being fined and suspended by the Delaware CLE Commission. Attorneys in Delaware must complete the required 24 CLE credits hours every two years and the CLE compliance deadline is December 31.

Rule 1.  Purpose.

It is of utmost importance to the public and to members of the Bar that attorneys and members of the judiciary maintain their professional competence. To that end, these rules establish the minimum requirements for continuing legal education.[1]

Attorneys must report CLE compliance biennially, as compliance groups are broken into two-year cycles.  If an attorney is admitted in an even-numbered year, credits are due by December 31 of every even-numbered year; odd-numbered year admissions must complete credits by December 31 of every odd-numbered year.   All CLE credit hours must be timely reported by February 1 to avoid fines.  After March 1, Delaware attorneys reporting late compliance are fined $5/day for each day they are late.

Delaware CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 1

Delaware limits the number of online CLE credit hours attorneys can complete each compliance period.  Delaware attorneys may use Attorney Credits’ online DE CLE Courses to fulfill 12 of the required 24 credit hours.  Attorney Credits offers a full selection of Delaware CLE compliance packages and individual DE CLE courses.  Attorney Credits’ one-click Delaware CLE compliance bundles are always some of our top selling packages in the “First State.”


[1] Delaware CLE (Continuing Legal Education) Rules

http://courts.delaware.gov/cle/rules.stm#1

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CLE Obligations for D.C. Attorneys

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Attorneys who are members of the District of Columbia (D.C.) Bar do not have minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirements. However, like many states without a mandatory CLE system, the D.C. Bar ‘encourages’ its members to complete as much CLE as needed to maintain their competency to practice law.

Maintaining Competence

[6] To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice, and engage in such continuing study and education as may be necessary to maintain competence.”[1]

However, all attorneys admitted to the D.C. Bar after July 1994 must complete the Mandatory District of Columbia Course on the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct and District of Columbia Practice – this includes attorneys who have been inactive members of the D.C. Bar for five or more years. Further, if you are a Connecticut attorney and you complete CLE you can save some money. That’s because some legal malpractice insurance companies offer discounts for attorneys that receive CLE credit in certain areas.

“Did you know that ALPS offers a 10% credit for each attorney in a firm who has received 3 CLE credits (in the areas of Ethics, Risk Management, Loss Prevention and/or Office Management) annually?”[2]

Attorney Credits now offers CLE for D.C. attorneys – including courses in legal ethics and law practice management. D.C. attorneys can utilize Attorney Credits D.C. CLE courses to maintain their competence to practice law under Rule 1.1 of the D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct.  Attorney Credits now offers CLE in 32 states. Our interesting and informative CLE courses will educate you on the latest developments in the leading practice areas and will increase your skill and knowledge as an attorney.


[1] See: D.C. Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 1.1, Comment [6], ‘Maintaining Competence.’

http://www.dcbar.org/for_lawyers/ethics/legal_ethics/rules_of_professional_conduct/amended_rules/rule_one/rule01_01.cfm

[2] See the ALPS website: http://www.alpsnet.com/attorneys/cle.aspx.

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CLE Course: Asset Protection Planning

Asset Protection CLEProtecting your client’s assets is not always a guarantee … but it is a better option than not taking any action and watching your client lose their home and everything they own. To maximize its effectiveness, asset protection should be engaged proactively in order to insulate your client’s assets and to protect them against future creditors or judgments.

If you need more information to help understand the process of asset protection and planning, we have recently added an excellent CLE course from one of the nation’s leading experts on asset protection, Los Angeles attorney Jacob Stein. Mr. Stein addresses specific planning solutions and strategies designed to protect assets common to all clients – bank & brokerage accounts, personal residence, rental real estate, businesses, professional practices and retirement plans. The main areas discussed include the goal of asset protection, the typical case, fraudulent transfers, asset planning in the context of marriage, choosing the appropriate business entity and the use of trusts in asset protection. To access the CLE course click on this link: Asset Protection Planning.

Further topics addressed:

  • Practical goals & limitations of asset protection
  • Practical implications for planning
  • Choosing the right structure
  • Understanding fraudulent transfers
  • Badges of fraud
  • Corporations
  • Community Property
  • Separate Property
  • Transmutation Agreements
  • LLCs
  • Limited Partnerships
  • Living Trusts
  • Irrevocable Trusts
  • Foreign Trusts

Attorney Credits is proud to present this excellent CLE course featuring Jacob Stein, one of the nation’s leading experts on asset protection. A Certified Tax Law Specialist, Mr. Stein is the author of numerous articles on asset protection and tax planning and also teaches numerous legal seminars each year to attorneys across the United States. In addition to teaching online CLE courses, he is a frequent speaker at numerous Bar, Estate Planning Council and CPA group meetings.

This Asset Protection Planning CLE course is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Nevada (NV)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

CLE Course: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy

With homes underwater and credit card debt piling up, the dramatic downturn in the economy has caused millions of Americans to re-evaluate their financial condition.  Many people have turned to bankruptcy for a financial fresh start.

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If you are not a bankruptcy practitioner, how do you know when a client might potentially benefit from filing for bankruptcy?

If a client might potentially benefit from bankruptcy, should they file Chapter 7 or Chapter 13?

And what is the Means Test?

Attorney Credits has recently added an excellent new online CLE course that provides a comprehensive overview of the Chapter 7 bankruptcy process.  The course is presented by Los Angeles bankruptcy attorney Michael H. Raichelson, a bankruptcy practitioner with nearly twenty years of experience.  The main areas covered by Mr. Raichelson include recent bankruptcy trends, counseling clients, whether Chapter 7 is a good fit for your client, the chronology of a chapter 7 bankruptcy, necessary forms, key documents and further resources.  To access the course click here: Chapter 7 Bankruptcy for Non-Bankruptcy Attorneys. 

Further topics addressed:

  • The emotional needs of clients
  • Chapter 7 vs. Chapter 13
  • The means test
  • The initial consultation
  • Red flags
  • Alternatives to Chapter 7
  • The pre-filing credit counseling course
  • Income tax
  • The meeting of creditors
  • Schedules A – J
  • Helpful bankruptcy websites

Michael H. Raichelson has over 18 years of experience assisting individuals and businesses throughout California and the United States manage their debt problems.  Raichelson is a member of the National Association of Consumer Bankruptcy Attorneys, the American Bankruptcy Institute, the California Bankruptcy Forum and the Los Angeles County Bankruptcy Forum.  In 2011, Mr. Raichelson was recognized as one of the top lawyers in the Los Angeles area, earning inclusion in California Super Lawyers for Southern California.

This Chapter 7 Bankruptcy course is accredited in the following states:

  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Nevada (NV)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

CLE Course: Forensic Document Examination and The Law

Have you ever had a case where the authenticity of a will or contract was at issue?  Or maybe you thought that a signature on check may have been cut and pasted?  In today’s digital times key pieces of electronic evidence can be easily modified in computer programs like Photoshop™.

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If you need additional information on these topics and more, we have recently added an incredibly interesting course that provides a comprehensive examination of forensic document examination and its applications to the law.  Join Mike Wakshull as he first presents an overview of forensic document examination and then discusses handwriting identification, bias in forensic science, legal requirements for document examiners and further electronic applications of forensic document examination.

Further issues addressed in the course:

  • Types of documents examined
  • ASTM standards for document examiners
  • Tools used by document examiners
  • The 2009 National Academy of Science Report
  • Using a science based approach
  • Theories underlying handwriting comparisons
  • Concepts of computer generated documents
  • Methodology
  • Working with known & questioned writings
  • Finding samples of a person’s writing
  • Collecting request exemplars
  • Using Photoshop™ to compare writing
  • Defining variability
  • Kelley-Frye requirements
  • Daubert requirements
  • Use of digital signature pads
  • Document examiner’s written reports
  • Partnering with the forensic document examiner

Today’s document examination is much more than just analyzing handwriting!  To access the course please click here: Forensic Document Examination and The Law.  Mr. Waksull has also recently authored a book on Forensic Document examination that is written for legal professionals:  Line by Line.  Attorney Credits is pleased to bring our attorney clients another entertaining and informative online CLE course.

Michael N. Wakshull has been involved in the field of Forensic Document Examination since 1983.  Mr. Wakshull belongs to a number of Document Examination Associations and is currently the President and Sr. Consultant of Q9 Consulting in Temecula, CA.   Mr. Wakshull concentrates on forensic document examination as well as management consulting and training focused on risk based quality implementation of products, processes, and projects in biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device companies.

The course is accredited in the following states:

  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Nevada (NV)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)
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Colorado CLE: 45 CLE Units Every 3 Years

CO MCLE

Attorney Credits delivers online CLE to attorneys in 31 states.  Attorneys from California to New York may use our online services to complete their mandatory CLE requirement … also known as MCLE in many states.  Attorney Credits also offers CLE (continuing legal education) for attorneys in Colorado.

Continuing legal education (CLE) credits are earned by taking part in certain organized legal educational activities. To receive credit for the activity, its primary focus must be the increase of professional competence of registered attorneys and judges, and it must deal with subject matter directly related to the practice of law or the performance of judicial duties.[1]

Colorado attorneys must complete 45 CLE credit hours each three year compliance period.  CLE credit hours must be completed by December 31 and reported by January 31.[2]  Of the 45 CO CLE units, 7 credit hours must be in the area of legal ethics.[3]  The initial compliance period for newly admitted attorneys includes the balance of the year in which they are admitted plus the three subsequent calendar years.

Colorado MCLE Compliance & Reporting

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

Attorney Credits currently offers over 100+ hours of CLE programming for Colorado attorneys that has been approved by the Colorado CLE Board.  Colorado attorneys may complete courses in the following media formats: streaming audio & video, MP3 download and Video Download.  Attorney Credits also offers MP3 Player and USB Stick compliance bundles fully loaded with all 45 mandatory CLE credit hours.


[1] RULE 260 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure

http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/regulation/rules.htm

[2] See: Colorado MCLE Reporting Deadline is January 31 http://www.attorneycredits.com/wordpress/2013/01/colorado-mcle-reporting-deadline-is-january-31/

See: Colorado MCLE Deadline is December 31

http://www.attorneycredits.com/wordpress/2012/12/colorado-mcle-deadline-is-december-31/

[3] According to the Colorado Supreme Court, credits are units of value assigned to a qualifying activity usually on the basis of the time you are involved in the activity.

http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/CLE/CleFaq.htm

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California MCLE: June 30 Late CLE Compliance

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This is a good news, bad news post …. depending on your last name.

First, for the good news.  If you are a California attorney and your last name begins with N-Z you still have plenty of time to complete your mandatory 25 CLE units as part of your California MCLE requirement.  You will have until February 1, 2014, to complete and report your 25 MCLE units.

Now, for the bad news.  If your last name starts with A-G and you are a California attorney, you should have completed and reported your MCLE compliance already – by February 1 to be exact.  However, it’s not all bad news.  If you complete and report your MCLE requirement by June 30 you will only have to pay a small penalty.  Noncompliance with the California MCLE requirements results in a $75 penalty.

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However, if you remain in non-compliance past June 30, you may be doing serious damage to your ability to practice law in the State of California.  Noncompliance with the California MCLE requirements can lead to fines and ultimately suspension from the practice of law.  According to California MCLE Rule 2.91, once you are mailed a notice of noncompliance you will involuntarily be enrolled as inactive.

California attorneys have the option to complete all 25 CLE units through online CA CLE courses.  Attorney Credits offers a wide variety of MCLE compliance options for California attorneys – from CDs to MP3 Players fully loaded with the 25 hour compliance package.  Don’t risk your law license, get all your California MCLE done with our MCLE compliance packages by clicking here: California CA CLE.

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Arizona MCLE: What qualifies as a CLE program?

screen-capture2Each Arizona attorney must complete a total of 15 hours of CLE each year, including a mandatory 3 hours of professional responsibility.  The Arizona MCLE compliance period runs from July 1 to June 30.  Arizona attorneys must submit proof of meeting their MCLE requirements each year on a form provided by the State Bar of Arizona.  The MCLE reporting deadline in Arizona is September 15.

Arizona Regulation 104(a): Standards[1]

CLE Activities that are claimed toward the annual requirement shall meet the following standards:

  1. Significant Content. The activities shall have significant intellectual or practical content, have attorneys as the primary audience, and have as the primary objective the increase of the participant’s professional competence as a lawyer.
  2. Organized Program. The activities shall constitute an organized program of learning, deal with matters directly related to the practice of law, professional responsibility, professionalism, or ethical obligations of lawyers, and follow the agenda defined by the written materials or exercises distributed as part of the activities.
  3. 

Appropriate Setting. The activities shall be conducted in a setting physically suitable to the educational activity of the program.

The State Bar of Arizona does not certify CLE courses or providers.  Arizona lawyers must independently review the Arizona MCLE regulations and make their own determination that the CLE course or provider qualifies for credit towards their MCLE requirements.  MCLE Regulation 104(A) details the standards that apply to CLE courses to CLE providers to check and see if a course will qualify for CLE credit in Arizona.

Essentially, a CLE must meet the following criteria to qualify towards MCLE requirements:[2]

  1. The program must have attorneys as the primary audience, with at least five attorneys present.
  2. Main goal of the program is to increase the attorney’s competence as a lawyer.
  3. The program must deal with matters directly related to the practice of law, professional responsibility, or ethical obligations of attorneys. For example, a tax attorney taking courses to become a CPA cannot claim that as legal education.
  4. The program must have an agenda, written materials, and a certificate of completion or attendance.

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) in 25 states, including Arizona.  Arizona attorneys may use Attorney Credits AZ CLE courses towards their Arizona MCLE compliance.  Attorney Credits’ CLE courses meet the Arizona standards for approval under Regulation 104(a) and satisfy the elements listed on the State Bar of Arizona CLE FAQ page.  All of our Attorney Credits’ CLE courses are designed to increase attorney’s competence, deal directly with the practice of law and include an agenda, written materials and a certificate of completion.


[1] MCLE Regulations: State Bar of Arizona Regulations 
for Mandatory Continuing Legal Education http://www.azbar.org/cleandmcle/mcle/mcleregulations

[2] Frequently Asked Questions About MCLE in Arizonahttp://www.azbar.org/cleandmcle/mcle/frequentlyaskedquestionsaboutmcleinarizona

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Alabama MCLE: 6 Online CLEs Annually

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Attorneys in Alabama must complete 12 CLE units as part of the annual Alabama MCLE requirement.  At least 1 CLE unit must be completed in the areas of Legal Ethics or Professionalism.  Alabama attorneys must complete the 12 CLE units by December 31 and report MCLE compliance by January 31.

Alabama MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

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

Alabama allows – but limits – the amount of MCLE units that may be completed through online CLE courses.  Alabama attorneys have the option to complete half of their annual MCLE requirement through online AL CLE courses.  Up to 6 online CLE credits hours may be applied to the Alabama MCLE requirement each annual compliance period.

4.1.16 Participatory On-line CLE programs may be approved for a maximum of 6 CLE credit hours per year.[1]

Attorney Credits offers online continuing legal education (CLE) for Alabama attorneys.  Attorney Credits courses have been approved by the Alabama Continuing Legal Education Commission.  Alabama attorneys may utilize Attorney Credits pre-selected 6 unit AL CLE compliance bundles towards Alabama MCLE compliance.  We also offer individual Alabama legal ethics courses.


[1] Alabama CLE Rules

http://www.alabar.org/cle/rules.cfm

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