Monthly Archives: January 2016

California MCLE Checklist

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California attorneys that are in Group 1 (Last names A-G) must complete and report their MCLE compliance by the February 1 CA CLE reporting deadline.  Here is a quick CA MCLE compliance checklist below:

CA MCLE Checklist

  • 25 total hours
  • 4 Ethics, 1 Bias & 1 Competence Issues
  • 12.5 participatory

Please make sure to properly complete your California MCLE compliance…. you’ll feel much better if you get that MCLE audit letter in July.  For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

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CA CLE: Ethics, Bias & Competence… On My!!!

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In 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 (Last names A-G) are the next up for MCLE compliance at the end of the month. Group 1 attorneys have a February 1, 2016, CA MCLE reporting 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

California attorneys must remember to complete specific “specialty credits.” Attorneys in California 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 prevention and detection.[2]

Special Requirements for CA MCLE Compliance:[3]

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

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. Attorneys in California must pay special attention when completing the CA MCLE requirement because some attorneys have even been suspended or disbarred for not properly completing the 25 credit hour CA CLE requirement. For more information about California CLE please click here: CA MCLE.

[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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CA CLE: Top 3 MCLE Mistakes

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Well, we are getting into serious, hardcore procrastinator time. There are only a few days left to get your 25 credit hours. If your last name is A-G and you are a California attorney, its time to get started on your CA MCLE compliance!

Top 3 CA MCLE Mistakes

  • Not completing all 25 credit hours
  • Not taking at least 12.5 hours for Participatory credit
  • Not taking enough Legal Ethics, Bias or Competence Issues hours[1]

The deadline for Group 1 attorneys to report their CA MCLE compliance is February 1, 2016. Those California attorneys with last names A-G are in Compliance Group 1. The compliance period for Group 1 attorneys runs from 2/1/13 to 1/31/16. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] California attorneys must complete 4 credit hours of legal ethics, 1 credit hour of elimination of bias and 1 hour of competence issues.

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CA CLE: Participatory Credit for Online CLE Courses

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Yes, you can take online CA CLE courses for participatory credit!!!  Some California attorneys are under the impression that participatory credit can only be earned by attending live, in-person CLE courses. However, California attorneys may complete their entire 25 credit hour requirement by taking online, downloadable and CD CLE courses.

Participatory & Self-Study

California attorneys may take courses for either self-study or participatory credit. The CA MCLE rules require California attorneys to complete a minimum of 12.5 credit hours of participatory credit each three-year compliance period.

As long as course attendance/completion is verified by a provider, online and downloadable CLE courses may be completed for participatory credit. We verify your online participation through randomly inserted pop ups that you must click to confirm that you are actually viewing the video. For offline courses such as downloadable audio (MP3) and CD courses we verify your course completion via numerical codes embedded in the course.

Participatory CLE Courses May Include:[2]

  • Online Video
  • CD
  • MP3

Group 1 attorneys (last names A-G) need to be aware that the State Bar of California has greatly increased the amount of MCLE audits. Some of these audits are random, while others target specific attorneys that have had previous discipline or MCLE compliance issues with the Cal Bar. California attorneys properly complete their CA MCLE requirement to avoid fines, suspension or even possible disbarment. For more information about the California MCLE requirement and courses please click here: CA CLE.

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CLE Course: The Practical Application of the ADA

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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a Federal civil rights law designed to ensure equal access, full inclusion and participation for people with disabilities or impairments. This equal opportunity law gives people with disabilities the right to file lawsuits in Federal court and obtain Federal court orders to stop violations of the statute. Since it is estimated that more than 50 million Americans have disabilities, this law can create major headaches and lawsuits for businesses when it comes to complying with the mandates of the statute and avoiding ADA related lawsuits.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)

  • The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal civil rights law that prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in everyday activities such as going to see the new Star Wars movie, buying apples at the store, enjoying a steak at Sizzler, taking a dip at the Motel 8 pool or exercising at 24 Hour Fitness.

To learn about how businesses can best achieve compliance with the ADA join Dr. William Henry as he discusses the practical applications of the statute. The main topics discussed include the principle elements of the ADA, practical points for businesses to comply with the requirements of the statute, the ADA as a basis for Personal Injury claims and the forensic architect’s role in litigation. To access this course please click here: The Americans with Disabilities Act: A Practical Application.

Further issues discussed in this CLE course include:

  • Protected classes
  • Title II Public Services
  • Title III public accommodations in private facilities
  • Prioritizing cures
  • Accessible routes
  • Resolving accessibility issues
  • The reality of the ADA today
  • Using the right expert
  • ADA “testers”
  • Defending an ADA suit
  • The defense strategy
  • Buildings completed prior to 1991
  • Personal injury – the unintended grounds
  • Cutting your losses
  • Code violations in Personal Injury cases
  • A forensic architect’s role in premises liability claim
  • Steps to determining premises liability
  • Constructing a timeline
  • Applying code applicability
  • Assessing causality in premises liability claims
  • Depositions & trial testimony
  • The invisible parking lot drop off
  • How to block an access route and the Daubert rules

William Henry, Ph.D., NCARB, is a practicing Florida Architect and the managing member of RGA Design based in Tampa, Florida. Accredited by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), Dr. Henry also offers his expertise in legal matters relating to design and construction claims. During his 30 year career he has been the architect of record for over 1,000 buildings. Dr. Henry is regularly retained as an expert in personal injury cases, often arising from slip/trip and fall accidents, American Disabilities Act violations, wrongful death & injuries stemming from non-code compliant facilities, Contractor/Architect/Owner disputes and land use regulatory relief. He combines the experience of a professional practitioner and public official with an in-house and contracted team of employees dedicated to investigative research.

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)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • 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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CA MCLE: 12.5 Hours for Participatory Credit

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I talk to quite a few California attorneys this time each year.  I’m always surprised to find out how many of them don’t know about the participatory/self-study requirements when it comes to CA MCLE compliance.

Required CA MCLE

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

California attorneys must make sure to complete at least 12.5 credit hours of participatory credit every three-year compliance period. Or put another way – California attorneys CANNOT complete more than 12.5 credit hours of self-study credit.[1]

CA MCLE Self-Study

  • CANNOT exceed 12.5 credit hours of self-study

If a CLE provider verifies your “participation” in the course, then an activity is considered “participatory.”  Attorney Credits offers online and downloadable CA CLE courses that can be completed for self-study or participatory credit.  You 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.

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CA CLE: Last-Day MCLE Compliance = Higher Audit Risk

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We all know that attorneys are skilled at the art of procrastination. With so much work to do, most of it gets done at the very last minute…. usually after pulling an all-nighter. Completing your CA MCLE compliance is no exception.

Last-Minute MCLE = Higher Audit Risk[1]

More than one in three audited attorneys who waited until the last possible day to report their compliance ended up running into trouble with the bar’s auditors, according to preliminary data presented to the Board of Trustees last month. A majority of those 272 were able to make up the gaps and bring themselves into compliance. However, as many as one in 10 may end up being referred to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel for possible discipline.

We know that many of you wait until the very last DAY to try and get your required CA CLE done. Unfortunately, according to the Cal Bar Journal, waiting until the last day SIGNIFICANTLY increases your odds of being audited by the Cal Bar. However, there is still 3 weeks to get our CA MCLE done, click here if you need help getting started: CA CLE.

[1] Last-minute MCLE reporters run higher audit risk

http://www.calbarjournal.com/December2015/TopHeadlines/TH3.aspx

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California MCLE: The 7 Deadly California MCLE Sins

screen-capture-2You’ve heard of the seven deadly sins… well, these are the 7 deadly sins of California MCLE compliance.  Now that the State Bar of California is auditing around 7,000 attorneys each compliance period, California attorneys must pay special attention to properly completing the CA CLE requirement.  And this goes beyond merely completing the 25 required hours.  Below is a list compiled by Psyche Pascual, a staff writer for the California Bar Journal.

Top 7 MCLE Mistakes

  1. Forgetting or overlooking ethics, elimination of bias and substance abuse CLE
  2. Taking CLE classes after reporting compliance
  3. Math Bloopers
  4. ‘I thought I was exempt’
  5. “My cat ate my certificate”
  6. Sky-diving for MCLE credits
  7. Mistaking programs that advertise “MCLE credit available” for “MCLE approved.”

California attorneys that do not report their MCLE compliance face fines and the possible loss of active status.  Attorneys that are dishonest on their MCLE reports also face penalties and disciplinary charges…. and possible disbarment for moral turpitude.  In July, the Cal Bar begins auditing attorneys’ MCLE records to determine whether the MCLE reports are accurate.  For more information about the California CLE requirement please click here: CA MCLE.

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CA CLE: At Least 12.5 Hours Participatory Credit

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We were extremely busy over the summer and into the Fall – busy assisting the State Bar of California with MCLE audits for California attorneys. California attorneys need to recognize that these Cal Bar MCLE audits are real, and if you don’t properly complete the CA MCLE requirement you can be fined, suspended or even disbarred if you are dishonest about your compliance. California attorneys must pay special attention to fully completing their entire CA MCLE requirement.

California MCLE Compliance

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

One common error that California attorneys repeatedly make is failing to take enough participatory credits. 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 can NOT complete any more than 12.5 credit hours for self-study credit. We had a number of audit calls because the attorney took all 25 credit hours for self-study credit.

California MCLE – Participatory Credit

  • California attorneys must complete a minimum of 12.5 credit hours participatory credit each compliance period.

Under the CA MCLE Rules, if a CLE provider verifies your “participation” in the course, then an activity is considered “participatory.” For courses that are taken for participatory credit we use online verification prompts for streaming video courses, and 3 digit number codes for audio & video download courses.[1] 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.[2] For more information about California CLE, please click the following link: CA CLE.

[1] For self-study credit, attorneys affirm their own completion in the course.

[2] You will choose the type of credit you would like to receive before you begin your CLE course.

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