Monthly Archives: September 2015

CLE Course: Dealing with Problem Witnesses and Difficult Attorneys During Deposition

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If you are a trial attorney, you’ve been forced to deal with a difficult witness or hostile attorney during a deposition. Problem witnesses come in many different forms – the dishonest witness, the evasive witness, the hostile witness… the witness that doesn’t remember what they had for breakfast. All too often, witnesses try to frustrate the discovery process — and depositions in particular — with their obstructive and abusive behavior. And we all have stories about hostile or bullying opposing counsel…. “if this deposition goes any longer, I’m going to have to take vacation time.”

Every trial attorney has had to deal with a difficult client or opposing counsel at deposition. If you’ve never had a witness that tried to frustrate your purpose during a deposition, you probably haven’t been practicing long enough yet.

This CLE course presented by trial attorney Roy L. Comer examines strategies to effectively depose some common types of difficult witnesses and also provides tips on how to deal with difficult attorneys during the deposition process. Mr. Comer mainly discusses the hostile witness, the basics of questioning, dealing with the problem witness, the forgetful or unsure witness, the dishonest witness and the obstructing lawyer. To access this course please click here: A Better Deposition: Dealing with Problem Witnesses and Difficult Attorneys.

Further topics covered in this CLE course:

  • Controlling the deposition
  • What doesn’t work
  • The goal of the deposition
  • The form of questioning
  • The 4 step process for dealing with the evasive witness
  • Videotaping depositions
  • Looking for visual clues
  • Asking more
  • Quickening the pace
  • The Duty of Candor
  • The bullying lawyer
  • The law is your friend
  • Talking to the witness
  • The improperly objecting attorney
  • The lawyer that wants to go off the record all the time
  • The condescending lawyer
  • The “I’ll fix it later lawyer”

For over thirty-five years Roy L. Comer has been dedicated to handling damage cases – including catastrophic personal injury & wrongful death cases arising from automobile, truck, medical negligence, defective products, and dangerous premises claims. In addition, Mr. Comer has represented individuals and medium-sized businesses in real estate, landlord-tenant, insurance and contract disputes. Defending these types of claims has provided Mr. Comer with further insight into how insurance companies approach these claims. Mr. Comer’s clients depend on his broad experience, coupled with the highest legal, professional and empathic standards.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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FL CLE: Will I Get Notice of My Compliance Deadline?

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Every three-year FL CLE compliance period Florida attorneys must complete 30 total FL CLE credit hours, including at least 5 credit hours in the area of legal ethics. In addition, Florida Bar members are required to report FL CLE hours completed every three years. Each member of The Florida Bar is assigned a three-year reporting cycle that is chosen at random by a computer program.

The Supreme Court of Florida adopted the Florida CLER (Continuing Legal Education Requirement) in 1988. Every three-year FL CLE compliance period attorneys that are members of The Florida Bar must complete 30 total FL CLE credit hours.

We have Florida attorneys that call and ask us if they will receive notice that their reporting period is coming up. Three months before the end of your FL CLE reporting cycle, you will receive a CLER Reporting Affidavit from The Florida Bar if you are still deficient FL CLE hours if you have not completed the CLER (Continuing Legal Education Requirement). You must complete the necessary FL CLE hours for the current reporting cycle, update the affidavit and return it to The Florida Bar by your reporting date.

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

Alternatively, you may also update your CLER record through The Florida Bar’s website. You must report compliance with the FL CLER (or eligibility for an exemption) by the end of your assigned reporting month. For more information about Florida CLE please click the following link: FL CLE.

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Texas CLE: The MCLE Verification Report

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Each active member of the State Bar of Texas that has been licensed for at least two years must complete fifteen (15) TX CLE credit hours each year – including three (3) hours in the area of Legal Ethics or Professionalism. The Texas CLE compliance year is a one-year period. The one-year period begins on the first day of the month you were born and ends one year later on the last day of the month that precedes the month of your birth.[1]

Texas MCLE Compliance & Reporting 

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: Last day of month before birth month
  • Reporting Deadline: 1st day of month of birth month
  • Grace Period: Yes, last day of birth month

Your Annual Texas MCLE Verification Report will be mailed to you eight weeks BEFORE your birth month. You must review this Verification Report very carefully. If the report indicates that you have completed the requisite number of TX MCLE hours, then you don’t have to take any further action. If you have not completed or reported the required 15 hours by the last day of your compliance year, a reminder Notice will be emailed and mailed to you at the beginning of the birth month (the grace period). You are automatically given until your birth month as a grace period in order to comply with TX MCLE requirements without a penalty. If you do not complete and report at least 15 hours of CLE by the last day of your birth month (grace peri0d), you will be in non-compliance and subject to a penalty.

Avoid Non-compliance & Fines

Timely TX MCLE Reporting requires that all TX CLE hours be received by the TX MCLE Director by the last day of the birth month. TX CLE hours received after the last day of the birth month (even if completed earlier) will result in a non-compliance penalty.

Since Texas is a self-reporting CLE state, it is your responsibility to make sure your mandatory TX MCLE hours are accurately and timely reported.  Failure to timely report your TX CLE credit hours could result in a non-compliance penalty of $100, $200, or $300.  For more information about Texas MCLE, please click here: TX CLE.

[1] Please note that every Texas attorney has an automatic grace period to complete and report mandatory TX CLE hours for the TX CLE compliance year.

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IL CLE: How Do I Report MCLE Compliance Online?

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Illinois attorneys must complete at least 30 CLE credits every two years to fulfill the Illinois IL MCLE requirement, including 6 credit hours of Professional Responsibility. The mandatory Illinois CLE compliance deadline is June 30 and the CLE reporting deadline is July 31. Your compliance group depends on your last name.[1]

IL MCLE Compliance Groups

  • Last names A-M: – June 30, 2016
  • Last names N-Z – June 30, 2015

Illinois attorneys can report IL MCLE compliance online through the Illinois MCLE Board Online Reporting System by clicking the following link here: Report IL MCLE. To use the Illinois online CLE reporting system, you must log in with your attorney registration number issued by the Illinois ARDC. Your ARDC number appears on your ARDC card and also on your annual Illinois registration form.

Illinois attorneys can report IL MCLE compliance online through the Illinois MCLE Board Online Reporting System.

You can also obtain your ARDC number by calling the ARDC at (312) 565-2600. Please note that the Illinois MCLE Board is not authorized to provide ARDC numbers to Illinois attorneys. For additional information about IL MCLE, please click the following link: IL CLE.

[1] If your last name starts with A-M, your two-year IL CLE compliance period begins July 1 of even numbered years. If your last name starts with A-M, your two-year IL CLE compliance period begins July 1 of odd numbered years.

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CLE Course on Legal Considerations in Long-Term Care Planning

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Counseling your clients on long-term care planning can mean the difference between someone living the rest of their life in poverty or receiving the quality care they need. Clients often enter your office in chaos and fear and leave your office with a sense of security and safety. As estate planners, we should not only consider how our client’s wealth will transfer at death, but also how their assets can be extended & fully utilized during their lifetime, how assets will be preserved for your client’s legacy and how you can make every penny work for your client.

In our legal careers, there are very few areas are where we can truly make a difference in someone’s life and really help them – elder law and long-term care planning is one of those areas.

The goal of this presentation is to provide you with an overview of long-term care legal planning options and what documents an estate plan should contain to allow your clients the greatest flexibility in planning for long-term care. In this CLE course, estate planning and elder law attorney Kimberly McGhee mainly addresses the long-term care crisis in America, the importance of pre-planning, long-term care planning considerations, Medicare & Medicaid and Veteran’s benefits. To access the course please click here: Legal Considerations in Long-Term Care Planning.

Additional topics discussed in this CLE course include:

  • Long-term care planning options
  • The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA)
  • Revocable Living Trusts
  • Enhanced Powers of Attorney for Asset Management
  • Power of Attorney for Medical Decisions
  • Intent to Transfer Assets to Beneficiaries
  • The limitations of Medicare
  • The differences between Medicaid & Medicare
  • Medicaid eligibility
  • Exempt assets
  • Transfers
  • Spousal protections
  • Key practice points
  • Aid and Attendance
  • Military service requirements
  • Financial eligibility
  • The disability requirement
  • The surviving spouse qualification

Kimberly R. McGhee is an experienced attorney in advocating and protecting her clients’ best interests. She has a strong background in commercial litigation that gives our clients an advantage when she assists them plan for and protect their future. Kim possesses a broad range of experience in the areas of estate planning, elder law, retirement planning, banking, real estate and legal ethics. Kim is active in both community and professional organizations. She is a member of the State Bars of California and Nevada, member of the North County Bar Association California Conference of Delegates, Member-At-Large and Chair of the Community Outreach and Fundraising Committees for the San Diego Dementia Consortium and a former Executive Board Member-At-Large of the Clark County Bar Association.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

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CLE Course on Working with Athlete Clients

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The issues that professional athletes face on a daily basis are very unique compared to the rest of society because athletes have a different career length and economic situation than most people. In addition, professional athletes have a different mindset than the average person when it comes to dealing with business and personal issues because of their athletic background and competitive nature.

This presentation is for sports law lawyers, estate planning attorneys, criminal defense attorneys, family lawyers – and any other lawyer that is looking to assist and counsel athlete clients.

To learn more about representing athlete clients join attorney and sports agent Brandon Leopoldus as he introduces you to the mindset of the professional athlete, helps you as an attorney provide increased value to your athlete clients and discusses how you can give the best possible service to your athlete clients. The main topics addressed include 12 key stats & insights about professional athlete clients, knowing the client’s mindset, understanding the client’s needs, coaching your athlete client and building your team.   To access this CLE course please click here: A Sports Lawyer’s Guide to Working with Athlete Clients.

Additional issues presented in this CLE course include:

  • Athlete invincibility
  • Trusting without reason
  • Rewarding risk
  • Collecting solutions
  • Focusing on the result
  • Keeping your quarterback safe
  • Making your athlete client part of the team
  • Being a lawyer – not a fan
  • Being yourself
  • Finding your niche

After completing a career as a minor league baseball umpire, Brandon Leopoldus worked in the front office of the Mountain Collegiate Baseball League as the Director of Baseball Operations, before attending Thomas Jefferson School of Law and working for Mandalay Sports. An attorney, mediator and sports agent, Brandon works with his clients’ teams of agents, managers, accountants and other professionals to craft unique legal strategies to safeguard the client’s assets and interests. He focuses on developing the best legal game plan for his clients while keeping their information in confidence, with respect, and confidentially.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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New York CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

screen-capture-1Experienced New York attorneys must complete 24 credit hours every 2 year compliance period to fulfill the NY CLE requirement, including 4 credit hours of legal ethics. In order to report compliance with the New York CLE requirement an attorney registration form will be mailed to you by the NY CLE Board. You must complete your New York CLE requirement and file your attorney registration form within 30 days after your birthday on alternate years in order to timely complete your NY CLE reporting obligations.

NY CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Compliance Deadline: Birth date
  • Reporting Deadline: 30 days after your birthday

New York attorneys report NY CLE compliance when they file the attorney registration card. Attorneys admitted to the New York State Bar Association before January 1, 1982 – or in an even-numbered year – register in even-numbered years. If you were admitted New York State Bar Association in an odd-numbered year after 1982, then you will register in odd-numbered years. At the time of the biennial registration, all New York attorneys must certify that they have completed their NY CLE requirement for that reporting cycle and that the proper documentation such as certificates have been retained.[1]

New York CLE Compliance Groups

  • Admitted BEFORE 1/1/82 register in EVEN-numbered years.
  • Admitted in EVEN-numbered year – register in EVEN-numbered years
  • Admitted in an odd-numbered year AFTER 1982 – register in ODD-numbered years

Attorney Credits is an Accredited Sponsor of CLE in New York. We have helped hundreds of New York attorneys complete thousands of NY CLE credit hours through our CLE website. For more information about New York CLE, please click the following link: NY CLE.

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Tips for California MCLE Compliance

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As I have previously posted numerous times, the State Bar of California is now strictly enforcing their MCLE compliance and reporting rules.  From here going forward, 1,000’s of California attorneys will get a nice MCLE audit letter in the mail around July 4th.  This year, about 5,200 California attorneys were audited to ensure compliance with the California MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) requirements.

The message is clear. California lawyers must fulfill and accurately document and report their MCLE requirements. No California attorney should be surprised if their compliance certificate is audited.[1]

Of course, every attorney wants to avoid the dreaded audit. However, in case you get caught in the dragnet, here are a couple of helpful reminders to properly complete your CA MCLE requirement in case you are in Group 1 (A-G) and you have a 1/31/2016 compliance date.

Top Reasons for CA MCLE Non-Compliance

  • Not completing 25 total CLE hours
  • Not completing 12.5 hours of participatory credit
  • Not completing 4.0 hours of legal ethics, 1.0 hours of bias and/or 1.0 hours of competence issues

The State Bar of California also has a helpful webpage with FAQ about MCLE audits.  California attorneys must also remember their record-keeping responsibilities as well. Attorneys are required to keep MCLE documentation for at least one year after the February reporting deadline.  For more information about California MCLE please click here: CA MCLE.

[1] MCLE auditing compliance

http://www.sblaw.org/sites/www.sblaw.org/files/MCLE%20Audit%20Compliance.pdf

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CLE Course: The Anatomy of a Personal Injury Case

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Are you a new attorney thinking about going into personal injury practice? Are you a more experienced attorney that might want to take a personal injury claim… but you are unsure of the process? If so, then join highly experienced personal injury attorneys Jason Cohn and Saar Swartzon as they present the basics of handling personal injury case.

This course will give you excellent practical advice before you take that first personal injury case.

This course is geared towards attorneys that are new to personal injury practice and covers five key areas of personal injury cases: liability issues, property damage, injury & medical bills, causation of the injury and collectibility of damages. To access the course please click here: The Anatomy of a Personal Injury Case.

Mr. Cohn and Mr. Swartzon also specifically address:

  • Vicarious liability
  • Auto/bicycle/pedestrian cases
  • Premises liability
  • Dog mauling
  • Reviewing insurance estimates
  • UM/UMI (Uninsured & Underinsured Motorist Coverage)
  • Injuries & treatment
  • Medical bills & economic damages
  • Loss of earnings & future loss of earnings
  • Non economic damages
  • Statutory reimbursement liens
  • Prior injuries & claims
  • Structured settlements
  • Medicaid recipients & disqualification
  • Common ethical & malpractice traps in personal injury practice

Jason Cohn began his legal career practicing business litigation and injury defense for a firm in Newport Beach. Since beginning his own solo practice in 2003, Mr. Cohn has represented hundreds of clients in plaintiff personal injury matters including catastrophic injury, wrongful death and victims of crime. In so doing, Mr. Cohn has recovered millions of dollars in compensation for his clients. Saar Swartzon has acted as lead trial counsel on many successful personal injury verdicts and settlements and he recently helped obtain a $36 million jury verdict for an asbestos victim. Mr. Swartzon actively participates as a Consumer Attorneys of Los Angeles member, American Association of Trial Lawyers of America active member, as well as other associated Orange County Personal Injury associations and organizations. Admitted in both California and Illinois, Mr. Swartzon is also an adjunct professor at Southwestern University School of Law.

This CLE course is currently offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

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FL CLE: Post Your Credit with Florida Bar

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Every three-year FL CLE compliance period 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 5 credit hours in the area of legal ethics. Florida Bar members are required to report their compliance with the FL CLER every three years.[1]

Florida CLER

Florida calls its mandatory continuing legal education requirement the CLER – Continuing Legal Education Requirement.

In order to post your CLE credits with the The Florida Bar, you can login to your account on the Florida Bar website and report your FL CLE hours. The Florida course numbers are located on your Certificates of Completion once you complete a course. You can download these certificates when you are logged in from the My Certificates page. Each certificate will have the Florida bar course number clearly listed. To self-report your FL CLE credit click this link: Report FL CLE. Please contact the Florida Legal Specialization and Education department at (800) 342-8060 ext. 5842 with questions regarding online CLE credit reporting.

Posting Your Florida CLE Credits

In order to post your CLE credits with the The Florida Bar, you can login to your account on the Florida Bar website and report your FL CLE hours.

If you fail to complete and report your required FL CLER hours, then you risk being deemed delinquent. 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] Each member of the Florida Bar is assigned a three-year reporting cycle that is chosen at random by a computer program.

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