Monthly Archives: October 2015

TX MCLE: Whose responsibility is it to report completion of MCLE hours?

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Texas attorneys that have been licensed for two years or more must complete fifteen (15) TX CLE credit hours annually, including three (3) credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professionalism. The Texas MCLE compliance year is a one-year period that begins on the first day of the month you were born. The compliance year ends one year later on the last day of the month that precedes the month of your birth.[1]

Every Texas attorney must complete a minimum of 15 hours of accredited CLE during each MCLE compliance year.

Attorney Credits does report your all your completed TX CLE courses to the State Bar of Texas. We send completed lists to the State Bar of Texas every Monday. However, Texas is a self-reporting state. You must verify the receipt of your completed courses by the State Bar of Texas because Texas attorneys are ultimately responsible for reporting completion of their continuing education requirement to the State Bar of Texas.[2]

Although CLE providers do report  your completed CLE courses, it is ultimately your responsibility to make sure your mandatory CLE hours are accurately and timely reported with the State Bar of Texas MCLE Department.

Failure to timely report your TX CLE credit hours could result in a non-compliance penalty of $100, $200, or $300. If you still have questions about your TX MCLE reporting in Texas, please contact the State Bar of Texas. Attorney Credits also offers helpful information about continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys licensed to practice in Texas. Please click this link to access more information about CLE in Texas: Texas CLE.

[1] Every Texas attorney has an automatic grace period to complete and report mandatory TX CLE hours for the TX CLE compliance year. This TX CLE grace period runs until the end of the birth month.

[2] Please Note: We report on Monday for all courses completed the previous Monday 12:00:01 AM to Sunday 12:59:59 PM. Therefore, if your deadline is Thursday and you finish your courses on Tuesday you must self-report the courses to the State Bar of Texas yourself, since the next time we report, your deadline will have passed. We are not responsible if your courses are submitted past your reporting deadline. To submit the courses yourself please click this link:

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IL MCLE: Reporting Periods & Deadline

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Illinois attorneys must complete at least thirty (30) Illinois CLE credit hours every two years to complete the mandatory IL MCLE requirement. As part of the 30 unit CLE requirement, Illinois attorneys must make sure to complete at least six (6) mandatory credit hours of Professional Responsibility each two year compliance period.

Illinois MCLE Compliance Requirements

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

Illinois attorneys must report compliance with the IL MCLE requirements every other year. The Illinois MCLE reporting periods lasts two years and runs from July 1 to June 30. Illinois attorneys with last names that start with A-M must report in EVEN numbered years, while attorneys with last names N-Z report in ODD numbered years.[1] The second year of the reporting year for Illinois attorneys.[2]

IL MCLE Compliance Deadline

  • A – M: June 30, 2016
  • N – Z: June 30, 2017

Your Illinois CLE reporting group does not change – even if your last name does. If you were sworn in on 1/1/06 or later, use your last name on file with the ARDC (Attorney Registration and Discipline Committee) on your swear-in date. If you were sworn in on or before June 30, 2006, then you use your last name that was on file on July 1, 2006. Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in Illinois (IL) and around the country. For more information about continuing legal education (CLE) in Illinois, please click the following link: Illinois CLE.

[1] What is a two year reporting period?

http://mcle.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/391/~/what-is-a-two-year-reporting-period%3F

[2] To avoid late fees, all of your mandatory Illinois CLE hours must be completed by 11:59 PM on June 30 of that year (completion deadline) and your compliance must be reported by 11:59 PM on July 31.

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New York CLE: Compliance & Reporting Period

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“Experienced” attorneys in New York must complete a minimum of twenty-four (24) NY CLE credit hours during each two-year reporting cycle. At least 4 credit hours of legal ethics must be completed every two years as part of the mandatory 24 credit hour NY CLE requirement.

New York CLE Compliance & Reporting

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

The New York biennial CLE compliance period is considered the two-year period between attorney registrations which is based on your birth date. That means that the New York CLE compliance deadline is your birthday. However, New York attorneys have 30 days after their birthday to report NY CLE compliance. If you do not receive your attorney registration form by your birthday in the second calendar year following your admission to the New York Bar, you must contact the New York Attorney Registration.

You must file your attorney registration form and complete your NY CLE requirement within 30 days after your birthday on alternate years in order to timely complete your NY CLE reporting obligations.

With our online, downloadable and CD courses we have helped thousands of New York attorneys conveniently complete their NY CLE requirement from the comfort of their home or office. If you want to study your NY CLE online we offer streaming video CLE courses. And if you want to study your NY CLE offline we offer NY CLE courses in a downloadable audio and video formats, in addition to 24 credit hour CD, MP3 Player and USB stick packages. For more information about the New York CLE requirement please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CA MCLE: 4 Ethics, 1 Bias & 1 Competence Issues

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The State Bar of California requires all active California attorneys to complete 25 hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every three years to remain compliant with the CA MCLE requirement. California attorneys that are in Group 1 (A-G) are the next up for MCLE compliance. Group 1 attorneys have a February 1, 2016, CA MCLE deadline.[1]

Top Reasons for CA MCLE Non-Compliance

  • Not completing 25 CLE hours
  • Not completing 12.5 hours of participatory credit
  • Not completing enough specialty credits

As part of the 25 credit hour CA MCLE requirement, California attorneys must complete specific specialty credits. California attorneys must make sure to complete at least 4 credit hours of legal ethics, 1 credit hour of competence issues and 1 credit hour of elimination of bias. The 1 credit hour of competence issues was formerly known as substance abuse.[2]

Special Requirements for CA MCLE Compliance:[3]

  • Legal Ethics – 4 hours
  • Competence Issues[4]1 hour
  • Elimination of Bias – 1 hour

Attorneys in California must pay special attention when completing the CA MCLE requirement. The State Bar of California has greatly increased the amount of MCLE audits over the last few years – up to 7,000 California lawyers are being audited every year. Since the Cal Bar increased the number of MCLE audits some attorneys have even been suspended or disbarred for not properly completing the annual three-year 25 credit hour CA CLE requirement. For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

[1] Compliance Groups

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

[2] Competence Issues addresses substance abuse or other mental or physical issues that impair a member’s ability to perform legal services with competence.

[3] May be taken as participatory or self-study.

[4] Formerly known as Prevention, Detection and Treatment of Substance Abuse or Mental Illness.

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Nevada CLE: Substance Abuse Required Every 3 Years

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A handful of states across the country – including California and North Carolina – require substance abuse education as part of the mandatory Nevada CLE requirement. Many of these states require at least one hour of education on substance abuse and mental health issues every few years.

Nevada MCLE Compliance Requirements

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

Nevada recently amended its CLE rules to include a mandatory substance abuse requirement every three years. This change was originally made in 2013. However, so few attorneys received notice of the change that substance abuse was made mandatory for 2014 if it was not completed in 2013.[1] For the remaining two years of the three-year cycle (2015 & 2016), Nevada attorneys must complete 10 hours of general credits and 2 hours of ethics.

Notice Of Amendment to SCR 210

Effective March 20, 2014, the Nevada Supreme Court amended Supreme Court Rule 210 regarding mandatory CLE per ADKT 478. Beginning 2014, this order makes it mandatory for all active Nevada attorneys to take at least 1.0 credit hour every 3 years on substance abuse, addictive disorders and/or mental health issue.

For 2015, the NV CLE requirement will be 10.0 credit hours of general credits and 2.0 credit hours of ethics. The deadline to complete the required 12 credit hours of NV CLE is December 31. If you don’t complete your required NV CLE requirement by December 31, you can request an extension of time. For more information about Nevada CLE please click here: NV CLE[2]

[1] Effective March 20, 2014, all active Nevada attorneys are now required to take a minimum of 1 credit hour every three years on substance abuse, addictive disorders and/or mental health issues. For 2014, the remaining requirement will be 9.0 credit hours of general credits and 2.0 credit hours of ethics.

[2] You must put your request in writing, along with a $50 extension fee and send to the Nevada CLE Board. If the request is granted you will be given until March 1 to complete your NV CLE requirement.

Pennsylvania Group 3 CLE Deadline is December 31

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Pennsylvania attorneys must complete a minimum of twelve (12) CLE credit hours each annual compliance period in order to complete the Pennsylvania CLE requirement. As part of the annual 12 unit PA CLE requirement for 2015, Pennsylvania attorneys must complete at least a minimum two (2) hours of legal ethics, professionalism or substance abuse.[1]

PA CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: Varies by Group
  • Reporting Deadline: Varies by Group

All Pennsylvania lawyers are permanently assigned to one of three Pennsylvania CLE Compliance Groups for PA CLE compliance and reporting purposes. Once a Pennsylvania attorney is assigned to a Pennsylvania CLE compliance group, the CLE compliance group will never change.[2] Pennsylvania attorneys that are in compliance Group III are currently due for compliance and must complete the PA CLE requirement by December 31.

Pennsylvania lawyers are assigned to 1 of 3 Compliance Groups:[3]

  • Compliance Group III: January 1 – December 31

Pennsylvania attorneys that are in Group III may now complete 6 credit hours by completing online and downloadable Pennsylvania CLE courses through Attorney Credits.[4] Attorney Credits Distance Learning courses have been approved by the Pennsylvania CLE Board. For more information about CLE in Pennsylvania please click here: PA CLE.

[1] The requirement was only 1 credit hour of legal ethics in 2014.

[2] Even if your last name changes (for example, due to marriage), your PA CLE Compliance Group will remain the same and you will always remain in the same Compliance Group.

[3] PA CLE groups are chosen randomly by lawyer ID number.

[4] Attorney Credits offer individual courses (including legal ethics, professionalism and substance abuse CLE courses) and also offers six (6) credit hour CLE compliance packages for Pennsylvania attorneys in compliance Group III.

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Dog Bite Law CLE Course: Canine Aggression from the Expert’s Perspective

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Aggression is the most common canine behavior problem referred to veterinary … deep bite and thrash? Going for face? How many people has the dog bitten? Because of this aggression in dogs, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that roughly 4.5 million people are bitten each year – accounting for a third of all homeowners’ insurance claims each year. In addition to civil liability, dog owners can face jail time if their dog attacks another person under city, county and state laws, and dogs are often euthanized due to their aggression.

Dog bites can cause serious physical problems or disfigurement and can also be emotionally traumatizing. The behavior, training and disposition of the dog are often key aspects of the case when it comes to damages, criminal liability and the decision to euthanize the dog. Understanding canine aggression is the key to understanding dog bite law and getting the best results for your clients.

Presented by Dr. Rolan Tripp, this CLE course is designed to help lawyers assess canine aggression in dog bite cases in order to better represent the injured victim or the owner of the dog. A veterinary behavior consultant, Dr. Tripp mainly discusses dog bite statistics, breed specifics & legislation, the veterinarian’s perspective, why dogs bite, diagnosing aggression and euthanization criteria. To access this course please click here: Dog Bite Law: Canine Aggression from the Expert’s Perspective.

Further topics covered in this canine aggression course:

  • Dog bite financials
  • The dog bite severity scale
  • Examples of pathophysiological (medical) contribution to canine aggression
  • Injury to human faces
  • Criminal penalties
  • Preventing dog aggression
  • 5 components of canine personality
  • 20 common aggression diagnosis
  • 10 aggression threshold influencers
  • Degree of damage potential
  • Family factors
  • Targets of aggression
  • The complexity of these cases
  • Degrees of prognosis

Currently Chief Behaviorist at Hannah the Pet Society in Portland, Oregon, Dr. Rolan Tripp received his doctorate from UC Davis veterinary school. He has been the featured speaker in Tokyo, Japan, presented a paper at the International Conference on Behavioral Medicine in Birmingham, England, and lectured on animal behavior at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington D.C. A regular guest on the Animal Planet Network, Dr. Tripp appears on both “Petsburgh, USA,” and, “Good Dog U,” Dr. Tripp also frequently serves as an expert witness in personal injury cases involving dog bites. He has published more than 40 articles in the Veterinary Literature and is often called on to analyze canine behavior and tendencies through trial testimony, legal reports and consulting for attorneys, judges, lawyers and law firms in lawsuits, court trials, arbitration, forensic and legal matters.

This CLE course is 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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CO CLE Deadline: December 31

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Active attorneys that are licensed to practice law in Colorado have mandatory continuing legal education (CLE) requirements. Colorado attorneys must complete 45 required CO CLE credit hours, including a minimum of 7 credit hours in the area of legal ethics.

Colorado CLE Compliance & Reporting

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

In order to keep your license to practice law in Colorado in good standing you must complete all 45 required CO CLE credit hours by December 31 and you must also report your compliance with the Colorado CLE requirement by January 31. If you do not complete the 45 required credit hours by December 31, you may file a request for an extension of time to complete your CO CLE requirements. Your request must be filed on the make-up plan form provided by the Colorado CLE Board. An extension of your original Colorado CLE compliance period can be granted only if you file an acceptable make-up plan.[1]

All Colorado CLE must be finished by December 31 in order to be timely completed.

Attorney Credits is an Approved Sponsor of CLE in Colorado. Our CO CLE courses have all been pre-approved by the Colorado CLE Board for homestudy credit because our Colorado CLE courses meet the requirements of Colorado MCLE Rule 103(j). For more information about CLE in Colorado, please click the following link: CO CLE.

[1] See the Colorado Supreme Court 
Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education website

http://www.coloradosupremecourt.com/cle/cle_home.htm

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Does Arizona certify CLE providers or approve CLE courses?

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As part of the annual Arizona MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) requirement Arizona attorneys must complete 15 AZ CLE credit hours each compliance period.[1] The AZ MCLE compliance deadline is June 30 and the deadline to report Arizona CLE compliance is September 15. Arizona attorneys may complete all 15 required credit hours online.

Arizona CLE Compliance & Reporting

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: September 15
  • Total Hours Required: 15
  • Required Ethics: 3

Pease note that the State Bar of Arizona neither certifies CLE providers nor approves CLE courses. Essentially, Arizona attorneys must decide if a CLE course will qualify for CLE credit. Arizona Rule 45 and the accompanying CLE Regulations are based on the assumption that Arizona attorneys can evaluate CLE courses based on the guidelines set forth in the Arizona CLE Regulations and report their AZ CLE activities by affidavit. The Arizona CLE standards are very broad and many providers and sponsors often meet these standards.

What qualifies for interactive or self-study credit for an online CLE program?[2]

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. All of the State Bar’s Online Programs are considered interactive.

One main requirement for online CLE courses in Arizona is that the CLE program must be considered “interactive.” All of Attorney Credits’ online and offline CLE courses offered in Arizona are considered “interactive” under the Arizona MCLE Rules. For online AZ CLE programs Attorney Credits utilizes randomly inserted verification prompts that appear during the online video to monitor your participation. For offline CLE courses we use three digit number codes embedded in the offline course to verify your participation and completion of the course. These are both considered accepted methods for interactivity in Arizona. For more information about Arizona CLE please click here: AZ CLE.

[1] As part of this 15 credit AZ CLE requirement, Arizona attorneys must make sure to complete at least 3 credit hours of Professional Responsibility.

[2] Frequently Asked Questions About MCLE in Arizona

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

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CLE Course: Legal Ethics of Online Legal Advertising

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Almost every attorney and law firm utilizes numerous online resources to provide legal information to the public and advertise services to potential clients. However, while numerous attorneys and firms rely on websites and social media to grow their businesses, many don’t give a second thought to the fact that their online activities could run afoul of the ethical rules on attorney advertising. Firm websites, Facebook, Twitter, Quora, LinkedIn, Quora and other social media platforms all pose significant ethical risks for lawyers who may be inappropriately or even inadvertently advertising to or soliciting clients online.

The following Model Rules will be discussed:

  • Model Rule 7.1 – false & misleading communications, required disclaimers
  • Model Rule 7.3 – solicitations
  • Model Rule 4.4 – transactions with persons other than clients
  • Model Rule 8.4 – integrity of the profession

In this legal ethics course, attorney Ken Matejka points out the ethical issues created by your online content and shows you how to fulfill your ethical duties when advertising and offering legal information on your law firm website, social media websites and other online resources like AVVO and Yelp. The five main topics that Ken discusses include false & misleading communications, solicitations, required disclaimers, privacy policies and eliciting online reviews. To access the course please click here – A Tangled Web: Ethical Issues Created by Your Online Legal Content.

Additional issues covered in this CLE course:

  • Providing legal information/legal advice
  • Case results
  • Specialists
  • Guarantees
  • Establishing the attorney-client relationship online
  • Online Q & A websites
  • Contingency fees & costs
  • ABA Formal Opinion No. 10-457
  • Recommended elements for a valid disclaimer
  • Recommended placement for disclaimers
  • Unencrypted email & the attorney-client privilege
  • The integrity of the profession

Ken Matejka is a California attorney and a former member of the ABA’s Standing Committee on Lawyer Referral and Information Services (LRIS). For seventeen years, he worked at the Lawyer Referral and Information Service of the Bar Association of San Francisco and in 2006, co-founded LegalPPC, an Internet Services Company dedicated to helping lawyers and lawyer referral services get more clients from Google. Ken has been a regular presenter at events like the ABA’s Annual LRIS Workshop and for attorneys across California on the topic of online visibility and lead generation for the solo practitioner’s law practice. LegalPPC currently provides Internet services to about 20 bar associations and a large number of law firms nationwide.

This CLE course is 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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