Monthly Archives: September 2013

Florida CLE: How and When Do I Report CLE Compliance?

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The Florida CLER – or Continuing Legal Education Requirement – was adopted by the Supreme Court of Florida in 1988.  The Florida CLER requires all members of The Florida Bar to continue their legal education by completing Florida CLE courses.  Every three year compliance period each member of the Florida Bar must complete 30 FL CLE credit hours, including 5 credit hours in the area of ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness.

Over a 3 year period, each Florida Bar member must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours – and at least 5 credit hours must be  in the area of ethics, professionalism, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness.

In addition to completing 30 credit hours, Florida attorneys must also report CLE hours completed every three years.  Each member of the Florida Bar is assigned a three-year reporting cycle.  If you do not know your FL CLE reporting date, you may find your reporting date on the mailing label of The Florida Bar News.  You will receive a CLER Reporting Affidavit three months before the end of your Florida CLE reporting cycle if you still lack 30 credit hours.

You may find your Florida CLE reporting date on the mailing label of The Florida Bar News.

In order to fulfill your FL CLE reporting requirement you will need to report your completed FL CLE courses online OR return the affidavit with any courses or activities that you are not able to report online.  If you are late returning your Affidavit or you do not complete the required FL CLE hours you run the risk of being deemed a delinquent member of the Florida Bar.  Delinquent members are prohibited from engaging in the practice of Florida law.

Don’t become a delinquent member, get your Florida CLE done and reported on time!  For more information about CLE in Florida please click the following link: Florida CLE.

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Texas CLE: Definition of MCLE Compliance Year

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Attorneys licensed by the State Bar of Texas must complete 15 credit hours each annual MCLE compliance period as part of the mandatory TX CLE (Continuing Legal Education) requirement.  As part of the mandatory 15 credit TX CLE requirement, Texas attorneys must also complete 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility.

Every active member of the  State Bar of Texas must complete a minimum of 15 hours of accredited CLE during each MCLE compliance year.

But what exactly is a compliance year?  The answer depends on two factors.  First, your Texas CLE compliance year depends on if you a newly admitted attorney or an experienced Texas attorney.  Second, your TX CLE compliance date depends on the date that you were born.[1]  If you have been licensed by the State Bar of Texas for two or more years, your Texas MCLE compliance year is a one-year period that begins on the first day of the month that you were born.  The compliance year ends one year later on the last day of the month that precedes your birth month.

Failure to report Texas CLE credit hours could result in a non-compliance penalty.  Penalties for non-compliance with the mandatory TX CLE requirement range from $100 to $300.

However, each Texas attorney licensed for two or more years has an automatic grace period that runs until the end of your birth month.  In this grace period you can complete and report TX MCLE hours for that TX CLE compliance year.  All Texas CLE must be completed and reported (properly received by the Texas MCLE Director) by the last day of your birth month.  Otherwise you may be subject to non-compliance penalty fees for completing your mandatory TX CLE late. Failure to complete and report TX CLE credit hours may result in a non-compliance penalty ranging from $100 to $300.

For more information about CLE in Texas, please click the following link: Texas CLE.


[1] If you are newly admitted to the State Bar of Texas (practiced less than 2 years) your initial TX MCLE compliance year is a 24-month period that begins on the first day of the month you were born, after the date you are licensed.  The compliance year ends two years later on the last day of the month that immediately precedes the month you were born.  See: http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=Definition_of_Compliance_Year

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Illinois CLE: Illinois MCLE Reporting Deadline

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Attorneys that practice within the borders of Illinois must complete at least thirty (30) Illinois CLE credit hours every two years, including six (6) mandatory credit hours of Professional Responsibility.  Illinois attorneys must report their mandatory CLE compliance at the end of the two year compliance period.  Towards the end of each IL CLE compliance period, the Illinois MCLE Board will send a form to each Illinois attorney to report the number of IL CLE credit hours earned by that attorney during the compliance period.

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The Illinois CLE reporting period depends on the first letter of the attorney’s last name as it appears on the master roll of attorneys with the Illinois ARDC (Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission).  If your last name begins with A-M, your two-year Illinois CLE compliance period begins July 1 of even numbered years. If your last name begins with A-M, your two-year Illinois CLE compliance period begins July 1 of odd numbered years.

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Illinois attorneys must report MCLE compliance either online or via a paper certification form.  The paper form is mailed to all Illinois attorneys in late April of the reporting year.  Online MCLE reporting is secure, quick and accurate – and you can immediately print confirmation.  The Illinois MCLE Board must receive either form of certification by 11:59 PM Central Time on July 31 of the reporting year.

For more information about CLE in Illinois please click on the following link: Illinois CLE.

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New York CLE: How and When Do I Report CLE Compliance?

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Experienced attorneys in New York must complete at least 24 credit hours of approved Continuing Legal Education (CLE) each biennial compliance period.[1]  The biennial compliance period is the two-year period between your attorney registrations.  As part of the 24 credit hour NY CLE requirement, New York attorneys must also complete 4 credit hours of Ethics and Professionalism.

Experienced New York attorneys must complete a total of 24 accredited CLE credit hours during each biennial reporting cycle.

After completing the 24 credit hour NY CLE requirement, New York attorneys must also properly report their CLE compliance.  New York attorneys must report CLE compliance by completing the necessary information on the attorney registration card.  When you file your attorney registration card, you must certify that you have satisfactorily completed your NY CLE requirement for that reporting cycle and retained the proper documentation.[2]

Experienced New York attorneys must file the attorney registration form and complete their NY CLE requirement within 30 days after their birth date in alternate years.

All New York attorneys must complete the attorney registration form and complete the NY CLE requirement within 30 days after their birth date on alternate years.  If you were admitted to the New York Bar Association before January 1, 1982 – or in an even-numbered year – then you will register in even-numbered years.  If you were admitted in an odd-numbered year after 1982, then you will register in odd-numbered years.

For more information about the mandatory CLE requirement in New York, please click here NY CLE.


[1] New York MCLE: Experienced Attorneys

http://www.attorneycredits.com/wordpress/2013/02/new-york-mcle-experienced-attorneys/

[2]  According to the New York CLE Board if you have completed your required CLE credits when you register but you have not yet received all of your certificates of attendance, you can edit the sentence on the attorney registration form to state that you are “awaiting documentation” of your NY CLE compliance.

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California MCLE

In California, MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) refers to the approved continuing legal education required of attorneys licensed by the State Bar of California.  Every state uses different terminology (such as mandatory CLE, CLER and MECLE) to describe their CLE system, however, in California the mandatory CLE required of attorneys is known as CA MCLE.

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To ensure that attorneys are getting quality continuing legal education (CLE), the State Bar of California approves MCLE providers and also individual CLE courses.  Attorney Credits is an Approved MCLE Provider in California (#13825) and we have helped thousands of California attorneys to maintain their CA MCLE compliance.

Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) refers to the approved continuing legal education required of California attorneys.

California attorneys must complete a total of 25 credit hours of approved CA CLE credit every three years.  Attorneys in California (including those who are exempt) must report CA CLE compliance to the State Bar of California through My State Bar Profile to verify that the necessary CA MCLE has been completed.  Each attorney admitted to the State Bar of California is assigned an MCLE compliance group.

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MCLE compliance periods for the three groups are staggered so that each compliance group reports once every three years.  Reporting deadlines for each compliance group are listed above.  If you need more information about Minimum Continuing Legal Education in California, please click the following link: California MCLE.

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Substance Abuse CLE Now Mandatory in Nevada

California is one of the few states that has a mandatory substance abuse requirement as part of the California MCLE requirement.  There are a handful of other states around the country that also require mandatory substance abuse education as part of the CLE requirement.

Effective February 10, 2013, the Nevada Supreme Court recently amended Supreme Court Rule 210 regarding mandatory continuing legal education via ADKT 478.  The order makes it mandatory for all active Nevada attorneys to take a minimum of one CLE hour once every three years on substance abuse, addictive disorders and or mental health issues.[1]

Nevada has recently joined California in creating a distinct substance abuse requirement as part of the mandatory 12 unit NV CLE requirement.  I first reported that this proposal was being considered about this time last year.[2]  According to the State Bar of Nevada, nearly 25% of applicants to the Nevada Bar admit substance abuse issues in the past.[3]  And this doesn’t even factor in substance abuse rates among practicing attorneys in Nevada.

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In order to remedy this problem – or at least bring light to the issue – Nevada has now made substance abuse education mandatory.  However, attorneys in Nevada will only have to complete 1 credit hour of substance abuse education every 3 years.  The requirement is not mandatory every year.

The order [ADKT 478] makes it mandatory for all active Nevada attorneys to take a minimum of one CLE hour once every three years on substance abuse, addictive disorders and or mental health issues.

  • For 2013, the requirement is 9.0 general credits, 2.0 ethics credits, and 1.0 credit in substance abuse.
  • For 2014 and 2015, the requirement will return to 10.0 general credits and 2.0 ethics credits.[4]

In order to foster the implementation of the new requirement, ALL Nevada attorneys must complete at 1.0 credit hour of substance abuse CLE in 2013.  Then there is no requirement for 2014 and 2015 – since all Nevada attorneys are required to take the substance abuse course in 2013.  Then, starting in 2016 all Nevada attorneys must complete at least 1.0 credit hour of substance abuse education every 3 years.

Got it??? I know, it’s about as clear as mud … but I don’t make the rules, I just report about them!  If you need more information about CLE in Nevada, please click the following link: Nevada CLE.

You can also visit our Contact page and call Attorney Credits for more information.[5]


[1] NEWS ALERT

http://www.nvcleboard.org

[2] See Mandatory Substance Abuse CLE in Nevada???

http://www.attorneycredits.com/wordpress/2012/10/mandatory-substance-abuse-cle-in-nevada/

[3] Nev. Bar Seeks Required CLE for Substance Issues, Says Almost 25 Percent of Applicants Admit Historyhttp://www.abajournal.com/news/article/nev._bar_seeks_required_cle_for_substance_issues_says_almost_25_percent_of_/

[4] State Requirements: Nevada

http://www.attorneycredits.com/Nevada-cle-information

[5] Contact Information

http://www.attorneycredits.com/contact_us.php

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Pennsylvania CLE: 4 Online Credit Hours

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Attorneys admitted to the Pennsylvania  Bar Association must complete 12 PA CLE credit hours each annual compliance period to fulfill the mandatory Pennsylvania minimum Continuing Legal Education (CLE) requirement.  As part of the 12 unit PA CLE requirement, Pennsylvania attorneys must complete at least 1 hour of legal ethics, professionalism or substance abuse.

Distance learning programs offer an opportunity for lawyers to meet a portion of their annual CLE requirement by participating in preapproved interactive computer based CLE programs or teleconferences.[1]

Pennsylvania attorneys may complete at least a portion of the annual 12 credit hour Pennsylvania CLE requirement through online PA CLE courses.  Pennsylvania attorneys taking Distance Learning courses may complete four (4) credit hours per compliance year by studying online PA CLE programs.  Please note that distance learning hours in Pennsylvania are not eligible to be carried over to the next PA CLE compliance period.[2]

Over the past several years, technical advances in the delivery and exchange of information have resulted in tremendous strides in distance learning options.  The Rule change provides lawyers the option of completing four (4) hours per compliance year by participating in pre-approved, interactive, Internet or computer based CLE programs.[3]

Attorney Credits has a number of PA CLE programs that have been pre-approved by the Pennsylvania CLE Board.  We offer streaming audio and video courses for you to study your PA CLE online.  If you prefer to work offline we offer MP3 and video download courses.  And for the most flexibility we also offer MP3 Players and USB Sticks pre-loaded with 4 credits hours of PA CLE.

For more information about CLE in Pennsylvania, please click the following link: Pennsylvania CLE.


[1] Distance Learning

https://www.pacle.org/distance_learning/distance_learning.asp

[2] An attorney may carry forward live courses into the succeeding two (2) years and may carry up to two times the current year’s requirement.  Distance Learning hours do NOT carry forward.

[3] Distance Learning

https://www.pacle.org/distance_learning/distance_learning.asp

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Online Colorado CLE: 45 Credits Allowed

screen-captureAttorneys who are members of The Colorado Bar must earn forty-five CLE credit hours over a compliance period of three calendar years. Of the forty-five required CLE credit hours, seven credit hours must be in the area of legal ethics.

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 have the luxury of being able to complete the 45 required CO CLE credit hours in a number of ways, including online CO CLE courses.  Attorneys in Colorado may complete all 45 credit hours via online CLE courses.  Online CLE courses are considered homestudy credits in Colorado.

 You may obtain credit for activity generally referred to as “homestudy” provided the activity:[2]

  1. Is a structured course of study
  2. Is organized by an eligible sponsor
  3. Includes the use of thorough, high-quality written materials, available to the attorney or judge completing the course, and
  4. Incorporates some other educational medium, such as video or audio tapes, correspondence work, testing or individual conferences.

Attorney Credits is an Approved Sponsor of CLE (Continuing Legal Education) in Colorado and our CO CLE courses have been pre-approved by the Colorado Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education.  Attorney Credits’ online and offline CLE courses qualify for homestudy credit because our CLE courses meet the requirements set forth in Colorado MCLE Rule 103(j).

For more information about continuing legal education (CLE) in Colorado, please click the following link: Colorado CLE.


[1] YOUR MANDATORY CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION OBLIGATION and how to satisfy it according to RULE 260 OF THE COLORADO RULES OF CIVIL PROCEDURE

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

[2] See Colorado MCLE Rule 103(j)

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

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Arizona CLE Must Be Interactive

Every attorney licensed to practice law in Arizona (not subject to a valid exception) must complete a total of 15 hours of AZ CLE each year, including a mandatory 3 credit hours of professional responsibility.  The Arizona MCLE compliance period runs from July 1 to June 30.  Arizona attorneys must submit proof of meeting their AZ MCLE requirements annualy on a form provided by the State Bar of Arizona and the MCLE reporting deadline is September 15.

For online programs, what qualifies for interactive or self-study?[1]

Where the order of presentation or the content of the course material is dependent on the attorney’s response and the attorney has an opportunity to respond to prompts initiated by the faculty or placed within the course material, it is considered to be interactive.

Arizona attorneys may complete all 15 hours through online on-demand CLE courses as long as the online CLE program is interactive.  Attorney Credits’ CLE courses are interactive because we utilize numerical codes in our online and offline CLE courses.  Arizona attorneys must respond to these numerical codes in order to complete the CLE course and obtain the Certificate of Completion.

CLE Activities that are claimed toward the annual requirement shall meet the following standards:[2]

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.

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.

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

Please note that the State Bar of Arizona does not certify CLE courses or CLE providers.  Arizona attorneys must use due diligence to investigate the CLE course or provider to assure that the CLE course will qualify for credit towards their Arizona MCLE requirement.  Arizona MCLE Regulation 104(A) identifies the standards to apply to verify whether a given course will qualify for credit.  Attorney Credits is accredited in over thirty states and has helped thousands of attorneys around the country complete their mandatory CLE requirement.[3]

For more information about CLE in Arizona, please click the following link: Arizona CLE.


[1] Frequently Asked Questions About MCLE in Arizona

http://www.azbar.org/cleandmcle/mcle/frequentlyaskedquestionsaboutmcleinarizona

[2] CLE Sponsor/Provider Information

http://www.azbar.org/cleandmcle/mcle/clesponsorsproviderinformation

[3]Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) in over 30 states, including Arizona. Attorney Credits’ CLE courses should meet the Arizona standards for approval under Regulation 104(a) and should satisfy the elements listed on the State Bar of Arizona CLE FAQ page.  All of Attorney Credits’ CLE courses are designed to increase the professional competence of attorneys, deal directly with the practice of law, include an agenda & written materials and offer a Certificate of Completion.

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New Jersey CLE: 24 Units Every 2 Years

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Unless an exemption applies, every active New Jersey attorney in good standing is required to complete 24 credit hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every two year compliance period.  Of those 24 credit hours, at least four must be in ethics and/or professionalism.

Effective January 1, 2010, all lawyers holding a license to practice law in the State of New Jersey, whether plenary or limited, are required to participate in the mandatory continuing legal education program.  Members of the bar of the State of New Jersey are required to maintain certain standards of professional competence throughout their careers. The Board on Continuing Legal Education was created and assigned the task of administering the Supreme Court’s requirement, imposed pursuant to Rule 1:42 Continuing Legal Education.[1]

According to the New Jersey CLE Board, any attorney with a plenary or limited license to the New Jersey Bar who is in good standing is required to comply with the 24 unit NJ CLE requirement – regardless of whether the attorney is actually practicing within the borders of New Jersey. The NJ CLE program is mandatory for judges, attorneys, in-house corporate counsel and attorneys who work for government entities.

What is an alternate verifiable learning format?[2]

Alternate verifiable learning format courses are those courses presented on videotape, audiotape, remote-place viewing, on-line Internet computer presentations, webinars, webcasts, podcasts, satellite simulcasts, teleconferences, videoconferences, and Internet computer self-study. BCLE Reg. 103:1(b) Alternate verifiable learning format courses are limited to one-half of the total credit requirement in any compliance period. BCLE Reg. 201:4

Without a valid exception, New Jersey allows 12 credit hours each compliance period to be completed through online NJ CLE courses.  In certain instances, a New Jersey attorney may be allowed to complete all 24 NJ CLE credits online if a valid medical exception applies or the attorneys lives out of state and is licensed in a mandatory CLE jurisdiction that allows all CLE to be completed via online CLE courses.[3]

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If you need further information about the mandatory NJ CLE requirement we have created some excellent online CLE resources for you.  For more information about the New Jersey CLE requirement please click the following link: New Jersey CLE.


[1] Supreme Court of New Jersey Board on Continuing Legal Education

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/cle/

[2] New Jersey CLE FAQ

http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/cle/att_faq.htm

[3] See: New Jersey Amends CLE Rules: Allows 24 Online CLE Units for Some Attorneys

http://www.attorneycredits.com/wordpress/2012/11/new-jersey-amends-cle-rules-allows-24-online-cle-units-for-some-attorneys/

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