Category Archives: Substance Abuse

CLE on Dealing with Clients and Attorneys with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues

There has been a recent trend in the last few years to place greater emphasis on how substance abuse and mental health issues affects attorneys and the clients they represent.

The following specific personality disorders will be discussed: paranoid, schizoid, schizotypal, avoidant, obsessive-compulsive disorder, dependent, antisocial, histrionic, borderline and narcissistic.

In this course, attorney Amy Allemann will address mental health and substance abuse issues among attorneys and personality disorders frequently encountered in everyday practice. Amy will mainly address depression & substance abuse in the legal profession, personality disorders common in attorneys & clients and the ethical issues involved. To access the course please click here: Dealing with Clients and Attorneys with Substance Abuse and Mental Health Issues.

In addition, Amy will also cover:

  • The facts about depression & suicide
  • The DSM-5 Criterion for a Major Depressive Episode
  • Signs & symptoms of chemical dependency
  • Cluster A, B & C personality disorders
  • Dealing with High Conflict Personalities
  • Reacting vs. responding
  • Competence to practice law
  • Confidentiality to clients with mental health issues
  • Dealing with clients with mental health issues
  • Your duty to report intended future client crimes.

Amy E. Allemann is the managing attorney of Boyd Law and she specializes in complex civil litigation and family law. A frequent speaker, Ms. Allemann belongs to several associations including Mensa International, LEAD San Diego, the Thomas More Society, the San Diego Lawyers Club and the San Diego County Bar Association.

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 CLE for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

CA CLE: Don’t Forget the Legal Ethics, Bias and Competence Issues by the California MCLE Deadline

Under the CA MCLE Rules, California attorneys are required to complete 25 hours CA MCLE every 3 years. Of those 25 required CA CLE hours, attorneys must complete at least 12.5 hours for participatory credit. OR put another way you CANNOT complete more than 12.5 hours of self-study credit.[1]

CA MCLE Requirement – Specialty Credits

  • 4 Legal Ethics
  • 1 Competence Issues
  • 1 Elimination of Bias

California attorneys must also complete certain 6 hours of certain specialty credits.  Each three year compliance period California attorneys must complete 4 hours of Legal Ethics, 1 hour of Competence Issues, 1 hour of Elimination of Bias. Please note that California attorneys in Group 2 (Last Names H-M) must report MCLE compliance by February 1.[2]  For more information about California please click here: CA CLE.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

CA CLE: California MCLE Deadline is February 1

Don’t worry, there’s is still plenty of time to get your California MCLE done! If you’re an attorney whose last name states with H-M, you still have a few months left to get your required California MCLE done! The deadline is not until February 1, 2018.

25 California MCLEs

If you are a Group 2 (H-M) California attorney you must complete the 25 required MCLE hours by February 1.

Of the 25 required CA MCLE hours, you must complete 4 hours of Legal Ethics, 1 hour of Competence Issues and 1 hour of Elimination of Bias. And you must complete at least 12.5 credit hours of participatory CA CLE credit. For more information about the mandatory CA CLE requirement please click here: CA CLE.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

New Ethics CLE: Ethics & the SmallLaw Attorney 

Complying with the ethical rules can be a challenge for solo and small firm practitioners. Small firm and solo practitioners normally handle nearly all legal and business aspects of the firm, as they often serve as their own marketing, administration, billing and collections departments.

Ethics & the SmallLaw Attorney 

Small firm and solo attorneys are especially susceptible to ethics violations because they often handle all legal and business aspects of the firm.

In this CLE course, attorney Gary J. Ross provides a highly practical review of the main ethical issues faced by solo practitioners and attorneys in small firms. When you complete this course you will know the sources of ethics rules for attorneys, recognize the reasons SmallLaw attorneys tend to have more ethics violations, understand the most common ethical pitfalls and know how to properly operate your law practice in accordance with the ethics rules. To access the course please click here: Ethics and the Small Law Practitioner.

Key topics covered:

  • The Model Rules
  • Communications concerning a lawyer’s services
  • Using engagement letters
  • Establishing the lawyer-client relationship
  • Charging a reasonable fee
  • Retainers
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Taking on matters in a new area of law
  • Ending the lawyer-client relationship
  • Of counsel relationships
  • Sharing fees

Gary J. Ross founded Jackson Ross PLLC in 2013 to cater to the legal needs of the startup and venture capital community. Prior to founding Jackson Ross, Gary worked in the corporate transactions and securities practice groups in various large firms in various large cities and also managed to fit in a tour of duty with the Treasury Department.

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 CLE for attorneys in New York and around the country. For more information about New York CLE in please click the following link: NY CLE.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

California MCLE Reporting Deadline is March 1

The California MCLE compliance reporting deadline normally falls on February 1. However, due to a delayed start on the State Bar of California billing and MCLE compliance cycle, the Board of Trustees approved the CA MCLE reporting deadline for March 1. California Group 3 attorneys (last names N-Z) who are reporting compliance for the 2/1/2014-1/31/2017 compliance period must complete and report completing of the required CLE no later than March 1, 2017 in order to avoid a $75 noncompliance fee.

CA MCLE Reporting Deadline

  • Group 3
  • Last Names N-Z
  • 3/1/2017

Please note that the next Group 3 MCLE compliance period formally starts February 1, 2017. Therefore, any CA CLE course taken in February may be used for the 2017 or the 2020 period – but not both. Group 3 California attorneys must keep careful records in order to avoid double-counting any hours earned in February. For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

Tagged , , , , , ,

CA MCLE: Complete 1 Hour of Competence Issues

Under the California MCLE Rules, attorneys are required to complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) every three year CA MCLE compliance period. Due to the increased number of MCLE audits that the State Bar of California is now conducting each year, it is extremely important to properly complete your California MCLE requirement.

Competence Issues

At least one hour of the required California MCLE must address substance abuse or other mental or physical issues that impair a member’s ability to perform legal services with competence.

Please note that the substance abuse requirement is now called the “Competence Issues” 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.[1] California attorneys must make sure to complete at least 1.0 hour of Competence Issues each three-year compliance period. For competence issues courses please click here: Competence Issues.

[1] At least one hour of MCLE must address substance abuse or other mental or physical issues that impair a member’s ability to perform legal services with competence.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,

Substance Abuse CLE Course: Don’t Give Up 5 Minutes Before the Miracle

screen-capture

Laurie Besden graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelors degree in criminology and criminal justice in 3.5 years with a 3.97 grade point average. In a matter of few short years she was taking 50 pain pills a day and going through $2,000 of cocaine every week.

“I was addicted to Vicodin, a prescription medication for pain relief, and was taking up to 50 pills a day. In feeding my habit I broke the law and went to jail and had my law license suspended.”[1]

This is Laurie’s personal story. This is a story that starts with a little nitrous oxide at the dentist as a kid and eventually escalates into full blown abuse and addiction during her appellate court clerkship. This is also a story of hope, redemption and personal triumph. Laurie shares her story with you so you can avoid the perils of substance abuse and addiction that pervades the legal profession. In this CLE course Ms. Besden helps you grasp the disease of addiction and recovery process, provides information on how to identify and help attorneys struggling with substance use & mental health disorders, outlines the resources that are available to attorneys and details how Lawyer Assistance Programs around the country provide assistance for attorneys and judges. To access the course please click here: Don’t Give up 5 Minutes Before the Miracle.

Why Substance Abuse CLE?

  • Legal profession has the HIGHEST RATE of depression of any occupation
  • Attorneys are nearly 4 TIMES more likely to suffer from depression
  • 28% OF LAWYERS screened positive for depressive symptoms
  • Attorneys are nearly TWICE as likely than the general population to develop a substance use disorder

Laurie J. Besden is the Executive Director of Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers (LCL) of Pennsylvania. She was the 2015 recipient of the Montgomery Bar Association’s Henry Stuckert Miller Award for her dedication to public service in the legal profession.

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 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.

[1] Back From Addiction, and Sharing the Lessons

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

CA MCLE: Don’t Forget Participatory & Legal Ethics!!

screen-capture

California attorneys with last names N-Z (Group 3) must complete and report and report compliance with the CA MCLE requirement by the February 1 CA CLE reporting deadline. California attorney beware: the State Bar of California  has been conducting thousands of California MCLE audits each year. Below, you will find some of the top mistakes California attorneys make when completing their CA MCLE.

California MCLE – Do It Right!

  • 25 total hours
  • 12.5 participatory hours
  • 4 Ethics
  • 1 Bias
  • 1 Competence Issues (formerly substance abuse)

Please make sure to properly complete your CA CLE requirements. You will feel much better in July when you get that MCLE audit letter from the State Bar of California in your mailbox!! For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

CLE Course: Substance Abuse & the Legal Profession

screen-capture-1

Untreated addictions can seriously affect an attorney’s competence to practice law. Substance abuse and addiction can lead to late filings, missed court appearances, client defaults, poorly drafted pleadings, inappropriate settlements, local & state bar suspension, legal sanctions, restrictions & probation, unpaid dues & bills, disbarment, cancelled malpractice insurance and malpractice lawsuits against the lawyer and his or her client.

Substance Abuse & Attorneys

Substance abuse is the dirty little secret of the legal profession. The long hours, conflict and pressure of the profession leads some attorneys to abuse drugs and alcohol to cope with the stress of the profession.

In this substance abuse course, Commissioner K. Riley provides her unique perspective on alcohol and drug abuse amongst attorneys. The main topics covered by Commissioner Riley include substance abuse & attorneys, the addiction disease model, the physiology of alcoholism, competence & substance abuse, where to get help, the Other Bar, the Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) and 12 step programs. To access this substance abuse course please click here: Substance Abuse & the Legal Profession.

Additional subjects in this Substance Abuse CLE course:

  • Why attorneys are at such a high risk
  • Lawyer defense skills
  • Neurochemistry
  • The Duty of Competence
  • The ABA Model Rules
  • Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Intervention
  • Relapse
  • Maintaining sobriety
  • Triggers
  • Getting help for attorneys
  • Legal discipline & getting help
  • The cost of discipline
  • Peer support groups
  • The Other Bar
  • AA
  • Additional resources for attorneys

Commissioner K. Riley has worked for the San Diego Superior Court system since 1992. Before she began working for the court system, Commissioner Riley was in private practice for over ten years. Because of her unique perspective, Commissioner Riley is frequently called on by bar associations and legal groups to speak about the plight of substance abuse in the legal profession.

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.

Tagged , , , , , , ,

CLE on Substance Abuse, Depression & Competence

screen-capture-2

Substance abuse and depression are two of the main contributors that affect an attorney’s competence to practice law. Substance abuse and depression also lead to high rates of suicide amongst lawyers. Attorneys are nearly twice as likely to have problems with drugs & alcohol and are nearly four times more likely to suffer from depression when compared to the general population. In fact, the depression rate in the legal profession is the highest amongst all professions and over 50% of all discipline cases involve an underlying substance abuse issue.

The leading cause of premature death among attorneys:

  • It’s not heart attacks or car accidents.
  • Suicide is the leading cause of premature death for lawyers

In this course, Richard P. Carlton discusses the connection between substance abuse, depression and your competence to practice law. The main topics discussed include the law as a high-risk profession, substance abuse & depression disorders, personality traits of attorneys, ways to cope with the stress & the mental challenges of the legal profession and managing client expectations. To access the course please click here: An Attorney’s Duty: Competence & Substance Abuse.

Further issues presented and discussed in this CLE course:

  • Brain chemistry
  • Depression
  • Traits of pre-law students
  • The effects of law school
  • Lawyers as pessimists
  • Thinking like a lawyer
  • Resources & assistance for attorneys
  • The stress response
  • Negativity bias
  • Fear & negativity
  • Mindfulness
  • The pace of life for attorneys
  • Time shifting
  • Mindfulness
  • Hardwiring happiness
  • Resources & assistance

Richard P. Carlton, MPH, is currently the Acting Director of the Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP) of the State Bar of California. He has been addressing mental health and disability concerns in the legal profession for over twenty-five years and he frequently delivers continuing legal education (CLE) presentations on addressing substance abuse and managing stress to bar associations, State Bar sections and law firms throughout California. In addition to his work with the LAP program of the State Bar of California he is also a consultant to the U.S. Courts for the Ninth Circuit, the National Conference of Bankruptcy Judges and the Idaho Judicial Branch on matters of judicial stress and wellness.

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 Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • 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.

Tagged , , , , , , , ,