Monthly Archives: January 2015

California CLE: 2/2 MCLE Reporting Deadline

The deadline for Group 2 attorneys to report their CA MCLE compliance is February 2, 2015. Those attorneys with last names H-M are in compliance group 2. The compliance period for Group 2 attorneys runs from 2/1/12 to 1/31/15.

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Starting December 1, the State Bar of California advises Group 2 attorneys to report their MCLE compliance online through My State Bar Profile. According to the State Bar of California the benefits of reporting your CA MCLE compliance electronically through My State Bar Profile include real-time reporting to the Cal Bar database with an instant confirmation emailed to the member. This also means that your card won’t get lost in the mail!

Except in the case of an MCLE audit conducted by the MCLE Department, a California attorney should never send in any MCLE related documentation such as certificates unless specifically requested by the State Bar.

One other note. California attorneys are not required to send in any MCLE certificates or documents unless directed to by the state bar. California attorneys need only report their overall MCLE compliance once they have completed the 25 required hours. However, in the event that your MCLE compliance is audited, you will be required to maintain sufficient proof of compliance with the education requirement or exemption for at least one year from the date that you report compliance.  For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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California CLE: Legal Ethics Credits

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If you practice law in California (and many states around the country) you have a legal ethics requirement as part of your mandatory CLE obligations. For example, attorneys in California must complete 4 credit hours of legal ethics each 3 year compliance period. In other state like Florida and Illinois, attorneys need to complete 5 and 6 credit hours of legal ethics respectively each CLE compliance period.

California MCLE Compliance Requirements

  • Total Units: 25
  • Legal Ethics: 4
  • Elimination of Bias: 1
  • Substance Abuse/Competence Issues: 1

If you need legal ethics credit, we have a number of courses that qualify for that type of specialty credit. Here is a list of courses that qualify for ethics credit in California.

Legal Ethics Courses:

  • Avoiding Ethical Violations and Legal Malpractice Claims: An Expert’s Perspective
  • Conflicts of Interest: The Basics
  • Ethical Advice from a Trial Lawyer
  • Ethics & Legal Technology: E-Filing, Email & Electronic Wills
  • Ethics for Lawyers in the Cloud
  • Ethics in a Web 2.0 World
  • Ethics of Cloud Computing
  • Fee Agreements: Ethics & Reasonableness
  • Honesty is Best Policy: How Far Can You Go in Negotiations
  • Law, Ethics & Technology: E-Discovery & E-Competence
  • Law, Ethics & Technology: E-mail, Metadata & Electronic Storage
  •  Legal Ethics: Civility and Zealous Representation
  •  Personal Injury: An Ethically Hazardous Practice Area
  •  Practical Ethics: Avoiding Trouble with Clients, Courts and the State Bar
  •  Take Five: Edifying and Educational Ethical Examples
  •  Top 10 Ways to Stay Out of Ethical Trouble
  • Working with Experts

California attorneys can complete legal ethics courses for self-study or participatory credit as long as they complete a total of 12.5 hours of participatory credit. For more information about California CLE please click the following link: CA CLE.

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Florida CLE: The Reporting Affidavit

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Attorneys in Florida have had continuing legal education (CLE) obligations for over 30 years now since the Supreme Court of Florida adopted the Florida CLER in 1988. Each three-year Florida CLE compliance Florida attorneys must complete 30 total FL CLE credit hours. As part of the 30 credit hour FL CLE requirement, Florida attorneys must also complete a minimum of 5 credit hours in the area of legal ethics.

Florida CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: Varies, randomly assigned
  • Reporting Deadline: Varies, randomly assigned

Florida attorneys must also remember to report their compliance with the FL CLE requirement. In order to accomplish this, the Florida Bar provides a reporting affidavit to each Florida attorney who has not yet completed the FL CLE requirement for the current reporting cycle. The attorney must complete the required FL CLE hours for the current reporting cycle, then update the affidavit and return it to the Florida Bar by the reporting date.[1] There are complete instructions on the reverse side of the form.

If you are deemed delinquent with your Florida CLE requirements you can be suspended from the practice of Florida law.

If you fail to complete and report your required FL CLE hours, then you risk being deemed delinquent. And if you are deemed delinquent you can be suspended from the practice of Florida law. For more information about Florida CLE click he following link: FL CLE.

[1] If you do not complete the required credit hours you are must update and correct the form, complete any FL CLE hours that you lack and sign and return the affidavit to the Florida Bar by your reporting date

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Texas CLE: 15 TX CLE Credit Hours Each Year

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Attorneys that are licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas have annual MCLE requirements. As part of the CLE requirement in Texas, attorneys must complete at least 15 TX CLE credit hours each year. Texas attorneys must also complete at least 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility as part of the mandatory 15 credit hour TX CLE requirement.

Texas MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: Last day of month before birth month
  • Reporting Deadline: 1st day of month of birth month

But when do you have to complete your Texas CLE requirement? That answer depends on your birthday. Your Texas CLE compliance year is a one-year period that starts on the first day of the month that you were born. The compliance period ends one year later on the last day of the month before your birth month.

Please be advised that Texas attorneys do also have a grace period to complete and report TX CLE compliance. That grace period runs until the end of your birth month.

Attorney Credits does report the completion of your TX CLE courses to the State Bar of Texas once a week every Monday. However, be advised Texas is still technically a self-reporting state. Since Texas is a self-reporting state it is your responsibility to make sure your mandatory TX MCLE hours are accurately and timely reported.[1] Please click this link to access more information about CLE in Texas: TX CLE.

[1] Failure to timely complete and report your Texas CLE credit hours could result in a non-compliance penalty of $100, $200, or $300.

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Illinois CLE: 6 Hours of Professional Responsibility

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Attorneys that are licensed to practice law in Illinois must complete a minimum of thirty (30) IL CLE credit hours every two years in order to fulfill the IL MCLE requirement. The Illinois CLE reporting period depends on the first letter of your last name as it appears on the master roll of attorneys with the ARDC.[1] Illinois attorneys with last names N-Z must complete their Illinois MCLE requirement by June 30, 2015.

Illinois MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements:

  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Credit Hours: 30
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: July 31

Like many states across the country, attorneys in Illinois must complete certain credit hours to properly complete the Illinois CLE requirement. As part of the 30 credit hour IL CLE requirement a minimum of six (6) credit hours must completed in the area of Professional Responsibility. Professional Responsibility credit hours can be in the area of professionalism, diversity, mental illness and addiction, civility or legal ethics.

Required Specialty Credits for Illinois

  • 6 Credit Hours of Professional Responsibility

Illinois attorneys that are subject to the IL MCLE requirement may satisfy all 30 IL CLE credit hours by completing online on-demand CLE courses. Attorney Credits is an Accredited Provider of CLE in Illinois and all of our IL CLE courses are presumptively pre-approved by the Illinois MCLE Board for CLE credit in Illinois. To access more information about the Illinois MCLE requirements, IL CLE deadlines and IL CLE compliance bundles, please click the following link: IL CLE.

[1] ARDC stands for Attorney Discipline and Registration Committee. If you are an attorney licensed to practice in Illinois and 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 N-Z, your two-year Illinois CLE compliance period begins July 1 of ODD numbered years.

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Experienced New York Attorneys: 24 NY CLE Hours

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What is your CLE requirement in New York? Well, that depends on how long you have been practicing law. In New York, as in a number of states across the country, there are different requirements for newly admitted attorneys and experienced attorneys.

In New York, newly admitted attorneys have their own set of CLE rules. Newly admitted attorneys must fulfill their CLE requirement by taking accredited transitional continuing legal education (CLE) courses or programs.[1]

Those attorneys that have been admitted to the New York Bar for more than two years are considered to be experienced attorneys. Experienced attorneys in New York are not subject to the requirements for newly admitted attorneys.  Experienced attorneys in New York must complete a total of 24 NY CLE credit hours during each biennial reporting cycle.  A minimum of 4 of these 24 required CLE credit hours must be in the area of Ethics and Professionalism. The remaining CLE hours can be in any category of credit.

Nontraditional CLE formats in New York include audiotapes, videoconferences and online CLE courses.

Experienced attorneys in New York have the option to earn New York CLE credit by completing CLE courses offered in a live classroom setting or in nontraditional formats, such as online CLE courses. Experienced attorneys in New York may complete all 24 NY CLE units through Attorney Credits CLE because Attorney Credits is an Accredited Provider of CLE in New York. All of our course formats have been accredited by the New York CLE Board.

[1] Transitional continuing legal education courses are courses designed to help recent law graduates and newly admitted attorneys establish a solid foundation in the practical skills, techniques and procedures essential to becoming a quality attorney.

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California MCLE

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MCLE. The Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirement. Yes, it is that time of year for a number of lucky California attorneys… time to get your CA MCLE requirement done! Under the MCLE Rules of California, active California are required to complete 25 hours of approved continuing legal education every 3 years. The compliance deadline for California attorneys with last names H-M is January 31, 2015.

California MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: January 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 2
  • Compliance Group: Last Names H-M

The California MCLE requirement lists the minimum legal education you can complete without being fined or suspended. And it is now more important than ever to ensure that you are taking enough courses, you complete enough specialty courses and you complete enough participatory courses.[1] That’s because the State Bar of California has greatly increased the amount of annual MCLE audits it is conducting – as many as 10% of the attorneys in the next MCLE compliance group will be audited.

California MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Total Units: 25
  • Legal Ethics: 4
  • Participatory Credit: 12.5
  • Elimination of Bias: 1
  • Substance Abuse/Competence: 1

The State Bar of California has provided an excellent FAQ about CA MCLE audits. Please visit the Cal Bar webpage for more information. You can also visit our CA MCLE FAQ for answers to all of your California MCLE questions. Now go and get that CA MCLE done before the California MCLE deadline!!

[1] It is extremely important to make sure you complete 25 total credit hours including 4 credit hours of legal ethics, 1 credit hour of elimination of bias and 1 credit hour of substance abuse. It is also extremely important to make sure that you complete at least 12.5 credit hours of participatory CLE credit.

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California CLE: 12.5 Hour Self-Study Limit

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Attorneys in California beware! The State Bar of California has greatly increased the amount of CA MCLE audits it will be conducting in the coming years. Therefore, California attorneys must pay special scrutiny to properly completing their CA MCLE requirement. Since the Cal Bar increased the number of MCLE audits some attorneys have even been disbarred for not properly completing their CA MCLE requirement.

California MCLE Compliance Requirements

  • Total Units: 25
  • Legal Ethics: 4
  • Elimination of Bias: 1
  • Substance Abuse/Competence: 1

One common error that attorneys take is the type of credit they take and failing to take enough participatory credits. Many attorneys overlook the self-study/participatory credit requirement. Attorneys must make sure to complete at least 12.5 credit hours of participatory credit each three-year compliance period. Or put another way – attorneys cannot complete any more than 12.5 credit hours for participatory credit.[1]

California MCLE Self-Study Credit

  • No more than 12.5 credit hours of self-study each compliance period

Essentially, if a CLE provider verifies your “participation” in the course, then an activity is considered “participatory.” As an Approved Provider of CLE in California, all of our online or downloadable CA CLE courses can be completed for self-study or participatory credit. As part of CLE Your Way, you will choose the type of credit you would like to receive before you begin your CLE course. For more information about California CLE, please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] California attorneys must also make sure to complete a minimum of 25 credit hours of CA CLE – including 4 credit hours of legal ethics, 1 credit hour of competence (formerly substance abuse) and 1 credit hour of elimination of bias.

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California CLE: 1 Hour of “Competence” Each CA MCLE Compliance Period

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The State Bar of California requires all active California attorneys to complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) each three year CA MCLE compliance period. Due to the increased MCLE audits that the State Bar of California is now conducting, it is extremely important to properly complete your California MCLE requirement.

California MCLE Compliance & Reporting

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Total Credit Hours: 25 credit hours
  • Competence Requirement: 1 credit hour
  • Compliance Deadline: January 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 2

It is also important to note that there were some changes made to the California MCLE Rules on July 1, 2014. The substance abuse requirement is now called the “Competence” requirement. Essentially, the Cal Bar expanded out the substance abuse category to deal with more issues that impair an attorney’s ability to perform legal services with competence. The main reason for this is the fact that 60% to 70% of the state bar cases involving discipline also involve an underlying substance abuse issue. California attorneys must make sure to complete at least 1.0 credit hours of Competence each three-year compliance period.

Education regarding substance abuse, mental or physical issues that impair professional competence[1]

Approved activities must consist of education that identifies and discusses the detection of substance abuse, mental illness or other mental or physical issue that impairs a member’s ability to perform legal services with competence.

You must make sure to properly complete your required California CLE if your last name starts with H-M and your CLE compliance is due January 31, 2015. Why risk being fined, suspended or disbarred… get started on your California MCLE today! For more information about the California MCLE requirement please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] Qualifying Activities for MCLE Credit

http://mcle.calbar.ca.gov/Providers/EducationApproval/QualifyingActivities.aspx

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California CLE: 1 Elimination of Bias Hour Each MCLE Compliance Period

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California attorneys must complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) every three years to be able to practice law in the state of California. Because California MCLE compliance is broken down into 3 different compliance groups California attorneys have three years to complete the CA MCLE requirement.

The California MCLE compliance deadline for attorneys with last names H-M is January 31, 2015.

Properly completing your California MCLE requirement has taken on even greater importance over the last few years. That’s because the State Bar of California has decided to increase the number of MCLE audits conducted every year. One common error that California attorneys frequently commit is failing to take enough of the required specialty credit hours. California attorneys must complete a minimum of 1 credit hour of elimination of bias each three-year compliance period.[1]

The required elimination of bias course may be completed for either self-study or participatory credit.[2]

For attorneys with last names that start with H-M, the time is now… time to get your required CA CLE done! Don’t get fined, suspended or disbarred – start getting your CA CLE done today! For more information about the California MCLE requirement please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] As part of the 25 credit hour CA MCLE requirement, California attorneys must complete a minimum of 4 credit hours of legal ethics each three-year compliance period, in addition to 1 credit hour of elimination of bias and 1 credit hour of competence.

[2] See California MCLE FAQ

http://www.attorneycredits.com/california-mcle-faq

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