Category Archives: Law & Technology

CLE on Authentication of Handwriting in Legal Cases

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Have you had a case where the authenticity of a signature on a document was at issue?  Cases that involve contracts, wills (even graffiti!!) and other important ‘writings’ often turn on whether it was written by a certain person.  This CLE presentation details the scientific methodology used by forensic handwriting examiners in order to determine the authenticity of handwriting and signatures.

When the veracity of writing is at issue, attorneys frequently turn to an expert – a trained forensic handwriting examiner.

Mike Wakshull of Q9 Consulting provides an excellent introduction to the tools and the trade of the forensic document examiner. In this highly informative presentation Mike teaches the basics of handwriting analysis, describes natural variations in handwriting, explains the forensic document examiners role, highlights case examples where the authenticity of handwriting is at issue and provides an objective framework for handwriting analysis & authentication. To access the course please click here: Authentication of Handwriting in Legal Cases.

Additional topics covered in this CLE course:

  • The Zodiac case
  • Inter-writer variability
  • Intra-writer variability
  • Handwriting identification techniques
  • Reasons for special cause variation
  • 21 key elements for handwriting identification
  • The tools used to examine documents
  • Generally accepted methods of examining documents
  • Handwriting comparison
  • The difference between simulated writing and disguised writing

A court-qualified forensic document examiner, Michael N. Wakshull has been involved in the Forensic Document Examination arena since 1983 and belongs to a number of Document Examination Associations. Mike has been qualified as an expert witness in California Superior Courts and Federal District Court, testifying in cases involving contract disputes, will contests and others. A treasure trove of information, Mike frequently presents to legal groups and associations around the country.

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 California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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New Digital Assets Law Coming to California???

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What happens to your Facebook account when you die… does it die too? What about your PayPal account, iTunes library and all your other valuable digital assets? States around the country have begun to pass legislation that allow individuals to access social media accounts and other digital accounts on behalf of a deceased individual.

To date, over 20 states have passed their own laws to protect digital assets and give the heirs/executor the right to access and manage online accounts after death. There have been tragic examples of people who have passed away and family members and loved ones were unable to access their social media and other electronic accounts due to terms of use and privacy policies.

California Digital Assets Law

An individual may “use an online tool to direct the custodian to disclose to a designated recipient or not disclose some or all of the user’s digital assets.”

California is the latest state to pass a digital assets bill. If it makes it out of the Assembly and is signed by governor Jerry Brown, the California Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act will provide guidelines for how companies can share deceased individuals’ digital records such as emails and social media accounts following death. The law will grant the social media website or online company the right to grant full or partial access to a designated recipient.[1]

The California digital assets law is a sign of our new electronic times. It is also a reminder that attorneys must now recognize their client’s digital assets and identify how their clients want the assets to be accessed or distributed after their death. To access a CLE course on digital assets please click here: Digital Asset Landscape: Preparation for Changes in Legislation.

[1] The company must first receive a written request, a certified copy of the death certificate and/or a certified copy of the letter of appointment of the representative, along with authenticating information about the deceased user.

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CLE: Ethical Issues in Social Media and eDiscovery

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Social media offers attorneys and law firms the opportunity to build credibility & trust with clients, uncover relevant facts & information about cases, clients and opposing attorneys, and to bring in new business. Unfortunately, social media also creates many new ethical pitfalls for attorneys. Law firms, attorneys, and staff must ensure that their online activities adhere to ethical and professional rules of conduct – even without the guidance of specific electronic ethical rules.

Ethics 2.0

  • Can you list specialties or endorsements on your LinkedIn page?
  • Is it ethical to send a Facebook friend request to an individual involved in pending litigation?
  • Can you ethically advise clients to remove tweets from their Twitter account on the eve of trial?

In this timely presentation, attorneys Kathryn Konzen and Ross Mecham provide best practices for the ethical use of social media, offer practical ethical guidance regarding common scenarios and highlight situations & online activities to avoid. The main ethical duties covered include the Duty of Competence, candor & fairness to the court & opposing counsel, the duty to supervise, requesting & producing documents & data, accuracy of discovery certifications and protection of the attorney-client privilege. To access the course please click here: Ethical Issues in Social Media and eDiscovery.

Further issues discussed in this CLE:

  • Ethical pitfalls & risks
  • FRCP Rule 1
  • Zealous advocacy
  • ABA Model Rule 1.1 & the Duty of Electronic Competence
  • Examples of unethical online conduct
  • Examples of ethical/unethical advertising
  • Website disclaimers
  • Retention
  • Inadvertent formation of the attorney-client relationship
  • The Duty of Confidentiality
  • Avoiding online Conflicts of Interest
  • Recruiting
  • Investigation
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Blogging about prior cases
  • LinkedIn
  • Examples of social media policies
  • Ethical references & citations

Kathryn Konzen joined DTI in 2014 as a Regional Business Development Executive, and returned in 2016 after going in house with a law firm as the Director of Business Development and Litigation Technology. She is a California licensed attorney that focuses on efficient and cost effective solutions for her clients when dealing with electronic data, whether it is for a government investigation, litigation matter, or internal issue. Kathryn has presented various CLE programs on such topics as Managing ESI, Ethics in Social Media, and Ethical Issues of eDiscovery. Ross Mecham is an eDiscovery Consultant with DTI. He helps law firms and corporate legal departments understand and manage their eDiscovery needs, using technology and efficient workflows to reduce risks and costs while increasing deliverable quality. An attorney with over a decade of experience across all phases of electronic and paper discovery, his career spans state, federal, and international matters, as well as the development of internal corporate discovery practices. His prior cases include intellectual property, employment, and business tort actions, data breach and internal investigations, and regulatory requests.

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.

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CLE on New Legal Technology Tools for Lawyers

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New technologies sprout up every day. These new technologies are changing society and the legal profession at a rapid pace. Social media discovery, cloud computing, practice management software… these new technologies have changed the way lawyers practice law and the way law firms operate. While recent innovations have helped to streamline the legal process, create new ways to work more efficiently and help law firms gain a competitive advantage, these new technologies also present novel challenges for many attorneys. 

Time to pull your head out of the sand and start practicing more efficiently by using new legal technologies!

In this timely presentation Andres Hernandez discusses how lawyers can adopt new technologies to run a more efficient law firm and be a better lawyer. The main points presented by Andres include the three pillars of law firm technology, your Internet presence, technology to run your office more efficiently and technology to make your firm & client data more secure. To access the course please click here: Top Tech Tools for Lawyers.

Andres also addresses

  • Legal websites
  • Claiming your online profiles
  • Developing your social media strategy
  • Ethical advertising
  • File storage
  • Practice management software
  • Client communications
  • The cloud
  • Security
  • Domain names
  • Data backup
  • Computer maintenance
  • Online reputation management
  • Managed IT
  • Cyber insurance
  • Clio
  • WP Engine
  • WordPress
  • AVVO
  • Microsoft Office 365
  • Dropbox
  • LawPay
  • LinkedIn
  • Pipedrive
  • Lexicata
  • Zapier
  • Calendar Rules
  • NetDocuments
  • Page Vault

Andres is the co-founder and CEO of Wingman Legal Tech. He is a Marine Corps Veteran with an MS in Technology Management from National University and 10 years experience at HP working on Government contracts. Andres has been leading an effort in the legal industry to adopt cloud technologies for leaner and more efficient practice. He frequently speaks to legal groups, attorneys and bar associations in an effort to demystify law firm technology.

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 CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CLE on Voir Google & the Ethics of Jury Selection

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When we try a case, our goal as lawyers is to get an impartial jury. But in reality, anybody who has struck a jury knows this is no easy task. During voir dire we must investigate jurors to uncover potential bias to ensure that the jury will be as fair as possible. And our investigation of jurors and jury system itself is changing rapidly because of social media and the law related to social media.

Will the impartial jury be able to exist in the age of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and other social media websites and apps?

In this CLE course, trial attorney Sharon Stuart presents a thoughtful and timely discussion on ethical considerations in jury selection in our new world of social media. The main topics addressed include voir google, ethically investigating jurors online, your ethical obligations relating to juror misconduct, your ethical obligations to disclose juror relationships, medical privacy & voir dire and your ethical obligations in post-trial juror interviews.  To access the course please click here: Ethics in Jury Selection.

Additional issues covered in this course:

  • Social media use by jurors
  • The benefits of using social media in jury selection
  • The ethical duty to investigate
  • ABA Model Rule 1.1 – Competence
  • Comment to ABA Model Rule 1.1
  • ABA Model Rule 1.3
  • The NYSBA Social Media Guidelines
  • ABA Model Rule 3.5
  • Ethical limitations on juror investigation
  • Best practices when conducing social media research
  • Crossing the ethical line
  • Decorum to the tribunal
  • United States v. Daugerdas
  • Safeguards for jurors’ medical privacy
  • Post trial contact with jurors

Based in Birmingham, Alabama, Sharon Stuart devotes her practice to civil trial work and arbitration. She focuses on complex commercial and insurance litigation, and she handles a variety of pharmaceutical and medical device products liability litigation as national, regional or local counsel. Her trial experience includes a wide range of business tort claims, contract disputes, commercial and insurance fraud and bad faith suits, and wrongful death cases. She has defended dozens of class action lawsuits in areas as diverse as product liability/toxic tort, financial products, insurance and employment law.

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 California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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New CLE Course on Drones & Liability

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Very soon there will be as many drones in the sky as flies…. that may be a stretch, but you get the picture of how popular drones have become. Every year millions of drones are bought used for everything from conducting surveillance and crop science to filming weddings, bar mitzvahs and other celebrations. But what happens when the drone your 12 year-old son is flying loses contact with the controller causing it to crash into a local restaurant that then catches fire and is forced to shut down for 1 week?

Drones also have great potential to lead to liability for manufacturers, retailers, pilots… and parents!

In this CLE course attorneys Eric Hanscom and Ed Burns provide an excellent discussion of the rise of drones and emerging areas of potential liability. The main points of discussion include the many uses of drones, drone regulation, drone liability and best practices for legal claims. To access the course please click here: Keep Calm and Drone On: Regulation and Liability.

Additional topics addressed in this CLE course:

  • Mechanics of UAVs
  • FAA regulation
  • Commercial vs. hobbyist use
  • The 333 exemption
  • Local ordinances
  • Flying on federal land
  • State vs. federal law
  • Liability for those in the chain of commerce
  • Negligence
  • Drones & privacy rights
  • Commercial uses for drones
  • Best practices if you are faced with a drone claim

Before beginning his own practice Eric Hanscom utilized his science background and law degree to gain experience in multiple facets of patent, trademark and copyright law and the application of those property rights. He has been actively involved in overseeing litigation, contract negotiation and customs issues in the US, Asia, Europe, South American and Australia over matters ranging from patent and trademark infringement to breach of contract. Edward W. Burns has extensive litigation experience in State and Federal Court and assists clients in protecting corporate intellectual property, including infringement litigation. Mr. Burns also practices in the preparation, review and filing of corporate documents and filings, employment contracts, independent contractor agreements, and employee handbooks, business contracts, supply and production agreements, sponsorship agreements and leases.

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 California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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CLE Course on Conducting a Patent Prior Art Search

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Prior art research should be concluded early on in the patent process before time, money and resources are expended on the construction of the patent and the application. Prior art research will identify those patent publications that may prevent the innovation in question from being patented and can provide a type of road map in the early stages of development that can assist in providing work arounds of the prior art that will allow the innovation to be patented or used freely in the market.

For patent prosecution, patent prior art research is an essential requirement and one of the critical first steps in the prosecution process.

In this CLE course, Intellectual Property attorneys Alan Kendrick and Eric Hanscom provide a practical discussion about the best practices when conducing a patent prior art search. Alan and Eric mainly address the main goals, types & scope of prior art research and patent publication prior art research. To access this course please click here: An Introduction to Patent Prior Art Research.

Additional topics covered in this CLE course:

  • Patent prosecution
  • Freedom to operate
  • FTO Research
  • State of the art research
  • Patentability search
  • Invalidity research
  • Patent landscape research
  • Whitespace analysis
  • Non-patent publication research
  • Discussions with the inventor
  • Strategy development
  • Qualifying terms
  • Searching by number/date ranges
  • Searching by applicant/assignee name or by inventor name
  • Searching by specific data fields
  • Using Patbase

Before beginning his own practice Eric Hanscom utilized his science background and law degree to gain experience in multiple facets of patent, trademark and copyright law and the application of those property rights. He has been actively involved in overseeing litigation, contract negotiation and customs issues in the US, Asia, Europe, South American and Australia over matters ranging from patent and trademark infringement to breach of contract. Alan Kendrick has been an attorney since 1998 and his practice focuses on intellectual property matters including patent, trademark, copyright, trade secret and unfair competition. He has several years of experience providing patentability and invalidity research in a wide variety of disciplines including aerospace, mechanical, industrial, energy, medical, materials, food technology and the automotive arts.

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 California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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New CLE Course on Drones and Civil Surveillance

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Drones are one of the hottest new technologies on the market. They are available online for as little as $89.00 and they can be flown legally under an altitude of 400 feet with certain weight restrictions. Very soon, millions of drones will be filling our skies on a daily basis for fun, to deliver pizzas, to drop off your latest purchase…. and spying on your neighbor?

Drones are now intersecting with one of the oldest practices – surveillance in civil litigation – and with the oldest regulator, the government.

In this presentation Massachusetts attorney Philip Howe explores the technology of drones, the FAA regulations that govern them and state statutes & local ordinances that have been passed to provide additional regulation. Phil will also examine the leading decisions on surveillance, recent amendments to civil codes & ordinances and what conduct is permissible. To access the course please click here: Drones and Civil Surveillance.

Additional topics covered include

  • The intersection of drones and surveillance
  • Legal issues that drones present
  • The many uses of drones
  • Drone incidents in our skies
  • Legally operating drones
  • Best practices for clients
  • The future of drones and drone law

Philip M. Howe is a civil litigator with 45 years experience in complex medical and financial issues in the areas of life, disability, automobile, health, homeowners, property and casualty insurance including defending claims of bad faith. Mr. Howe has additional experience in condominium, construction, commercial real estate leasing, medical malpractice, personal injury and real estate litigation. He has tried cases in California and Massachusetts, state and federal courts.

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.

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CLE Course on Securities Crowdfunding in the Age of Kickstarter

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Crowdfunding has been the buzzword in the start-up world for years. But for most entrepreneurs, crowdfunding was almost as mythological as the unicorn or sasquatch. While it was possible to fund a business or artistic venture through donations by attracting numerous potential investors, there was no real way to reach out to a wide audience. Then came Kickstarter, GoFundeMe, IndieGoGo and a slew of other crowdfunding websites.

Kickstarter alone has raised over $2 billion for over 250,00 creative business projects since its inception.

While crowdfunding has exploded with the growth of Kickstarter and GoFundMe, new rules that seek to protect small investors from unscrupulous operators may dampen crowdfunding by limiting fundraising & advertising while adding new disclosure burdens. In this CLE program, Crowdcheck CEO Sara Hanks explores the recent revisions to the crowdfunding laws and discusses the potential impacts on both companies and investors. Sara also provides numerous practical points for attorneys when counseling their clients on the positives and negatives of crowdfunding. To access this course please click here: Securities Crowdfunding in the Age of Kickstarter.

Among the key issues addressed:

  • Kickstarter & online funding portals
  • Title III of the JOBS Act
  • What’s changed
  • Investor limits
  • Exemptions
  • Safe harbors
  • 4(a)(6) intermediary requirements
  • Prohibitions on funding portals
  • Filing requirements & information
  • Financial disclosures
  • Publicity & advertising
  • Bad actor checks
  • Liability under 4(a)(6)
  • Resale restrictions on securities

Sara Hanks is the co-founder and CEO of CrowdCheck. With over 30 years of experience in the corporate and securities field, Sara brings a wealth of legal expertise in securities law and start-ups to the emerging marketplace for crowdfunding and online capital formation. Her position prior to founding CrowdCheck was General Counsel of the bipartisan Congressional Oversight Panel, the overseer of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), chaired by now-Senator Elizabeth Warren. CrowdCheck provides due diligence, disclosure and compliance services for online capital formation, helping investors get the information they need to avoid fraud and make informed investment decisions, and helping entrepreneurs and intermediaries avoid liability.

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 CLE in New York please click the following link: NY CLE.

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CLE Course: Protecting Your Client’s Digital Assets

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People are increasingly living their lives online. Whether it’s through Facetime, gmail, Facebook, eBay, NetFlix… our lives become increasingly more digital everyday. But what happens to your client’s digital footprint – their digital estate – when they pass away? Your client’s digital assets must be accounted for and protected in their estate plan or their loved ones may simply lose access to sentimental and valuable digital assets.

Digital Assets

  • Do you know what accounts are valuable virtual assets?
  • Do you even know what a digital asset is?
  • What are your client’s wishes with their Facebook, PayPal or iTunes account when they pass away?
  • Have you preserved access to crucial email & social media communications?

Estate planning now goes way beyond protecting the house and family heirlooms – are you prepared to protect your client’s digital assets?

To learn more about how you can protect your clients in the digital age, join Rich Martin as he discusses the various types of digital assets and current & proposed legislation that is intended to help protect people’s digital assets and estates. The main topics discussed in this CLE course include the legal uncertainty around the possession & conveyance of digital assets, client recognition of digital assets, digital estate planning and staying compliant.  To access this CLE course please click here: Digital Asset Landscape: Preparation for Changes in Legislation.

Additional topics discussed in this CLE course:

  • The growth of the Internet & world wide web
  • The value of domain names
  • Categories of digital assets
  • Valuable online accounts
  • State & federal law
  • The Stored Communications Act (SCA)
  • The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)
  • United States v. Swartz
  • The Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act (UFADAA)
  • The Privacy Expectations Afterlife and Choices Act (PEAC)
  • Revised UFADDA
  • Creating a plan with the client
  • Sample language to include in wills & trusts
  • Additional legal issues
  • Clauses and estate planning documents

Richard Martin is the founder and CEO of Directives Online. Directives Online provides emergency access to advance directives, healthcare Power of Attorney, HIPPA forms, POLST orders and many more important documents and forms. During the past twenty-five years, Rich has earned promotions, honors, and awards for boosting profits, market share, and client satisfaction in the sales and marketing of technology and medical products.

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 California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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