Tag Archives: Online California MCLE

CA CLE: Does My MCLE Compliance Group Ever Change?

California attorneys in Group 3 (N-Z) should have completed the 25 required CLE hours and reported MCLE compliance by March 1, 2017. The next group up for compliance is Compliance Group 2, those attorneys with last names H-M must complete the California MCLE requirement and report compliance by February 1, 2018.

California MCLE – Compliance Groups

California attorneys always remain in the compliance group that they originally were assigned.

But what happens if you get married or change your name? In California, your compliance group never changes, even if you change your last name. California attorneys always remain in the compliance group to which they originally were assigned. For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

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CA CLE: Complete Late CA MCLE Compliance by June 1

Are you a California attorney with a last name N-Z?  Did you miss the March 1 California MCLE deadline?  If you answered yes to these two questions, don’t worry!!!

Late CA MCLE Compliance[1]

If you can comply by June 30, there is no need to request an extension of time. However, a late fee of $75 will be assessed if you have not reported your compliance by Feb. 1.

Yes, you will have to pay a $75 fine.  However, you will have until June 30 to complete the required 25 CA CLE hours.  And make sure to complete your 4 hours of legal ethics, 1 hour of elimination of bias and 1 hour of competence issues… and don’t forget the 12.5 hours of participatory credit!!  For more information about California CLE please click here: CA CLE.

[1] Late California CLE Compliance

http://mcle.calbar.ca.gov/Attorneys/Requirements/GoodCauseModification.aspx

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CA CLE: Complete 25 California MCLE Hours

Group 3 California attorneys…. now is the time!!  California attorneys with last name N-Z, its time to get your CA MCLE done! California Group 3 attorneys must complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (CA MCLE) every three years as part of the California MCLE requirement.

CA CLE Compliance & Reporting

  • California attorneys that are in Group 3 for MCLE reporting purposes are technically required to complete their required CA CLE by February 1, 2017
  • However, if Group 3 (N-Z) California attorneys complete and report their MCLE compliance by March 1, 2017, it will be accepted and they will not be penalized nor will they be assessed a late fee

And don’t forget the specialty credits and 12.5 hours of participatory credit![1] Please note: the State Bar of California has conducted thousands of California MCLE audits over the last few years. Make sure to get your CA MCLE done right! For more information on California MCLE please click here: CA CLE.

[1] Specialty hours required: 4 hours legal ethics, 1 hour competence issues, 1 hour elimination of bias.

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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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California MCLE: My State Bar Profile

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The deadline for Group 2 attorneys to report their CA MCLE compliance is today: February 2, 2015. Those California attorneys with last names H-M are in compliance Group 2 and must report CA MCLE compliance TODAY.[1]

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After December 1 the State Bar of California is advising that Group 2 attorneys report their CA MCLE compliance online on the state bar website through My State Bar Profile. My State Bar Profile is an online portal through the State Bar of California website for California attorneys to report MCLE compliance, pay fees and update other important information.  When you are on the My State Bar Profile page on the Cal Bar website go to “Report MCLE” and follow the instructions for reporting your CA CLE credit.[1]

Members of the State Bar of California can report their MCLE compliance through My State Bar Profile starting two months before their compliance deadline.

The benefits of reporting MCLE compliance electronically through My State Bar Profile include real-time reporting to the Cal Bar database with an instant email confirmation sent to the attorney.  This means no lost registration cards in the mail.  For more information about CLE in California please click the following ink: CA MCLE.

[1] The compliance period for Group 2 attorneys runs from 2/1/12 to 1/31/15.

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California MCLE

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MCLE. The Minimum Continuing Legal Education requirement. Yes, it is that time of year for a number of lucky California attorneys… time to get your CA MCLE requirement done! Under the MCLE Rules of California, active California are required to complete 25 hours of approved continuing legal education every 3 years. The compliance deadline for California attorneys with last names H-M is January 31, 2015.

California MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: January 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 2
  • Compliance Group: Last Names H-M

The California MCLE requirement lists the minimum legal education you can complete without being fined or suspended. And it is now more important than ever to ensure that you are taking enough courses, you complete enough specialty courses and you complete enough participatory courses.[1] That’s because the State Bar of California has greatly increased the amount of annual MCLE audits it is conducting – as many as 10% of the attorneys in the next MCLE compliance group will be audited.

California MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Total Units: 25
  • Legal Ethics: 4
  • Participatory Credit: 12.5
  • Elimination of Bias: 1
  • Substance Abuse/Competence: 1

The State Bar of California has provided an excellent FAQ about CA MCLE audits. Please visit the Cal Bar webpage for more information. You can also visit our CA MCLE FAQ for answers to all of your California MCLE questions. Now go and get that CA MCLE done before the California MCLE deadline!!

[1] It is extremely important to make sure you complete 25 total credit hours including 4 credit hours of legal ethics, 1 credit hour of elimination of bias and 1 credit hour of substance abuse. It is also extremely important to make sure that you complete at least 12.5 credit hours of participatory CLE credit.

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FAQ About California MCLE Audit

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You are a California attorney and you completed your 25 credit hour MCLE requirement back in January right before the end of the deadline.  The CA MCLE requirement is about the furthest thing on your mind at this point in time.  You go to your mailbox to grab your latest edition of California Lawyer … and the next thing you know you are holding an envelope from the State Bar of California.

Can I submit all of my hours as self-study? [1]

No. To complete the audit you need to submit proof of completion of the required number of participatory courses.

Your California MCLE compliance has been audited.  The State Bar of California is requesting that you show them proof that you properly completed all 25 credit hours of CLE – including at least 12.5 hours of participatory credit, 4 credit hours of legal ethics, 1 credit hour of elimination of bias and 1 credit hour of substance abuse.  What do you do now?

I’ve submitted my audit materials.  How will I know when the audit has been received and completed? [2]

Once your audit is complete, you will receive a letter confirming your successful completion of the administrative portion of the audit.

If you need more information about the MCLE audit in California, the State Bar of California has created an FAQ page regarding how to proceed if your CA MCLE compliance has bas been audited.  The Cal Bar knows that being audited can be stressful so they have provided you with pertinent answers that you need so that you can respond to the audit properly and provide the Cal Bar with all the necessary information.  To access the Cal Bar MCLE Audit FAQ please click here: CA MCLE Audit.

[1] MCLE Audit FAQS

http://mcle.calbar.ca.gov/MCLE/MCLEAuditFAQ.aspx

[2] MCLE Audit FAQS

http://mcle.calbar.ca.gov/MCLE/MCLEAuditFAQ.aspx

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California MCLE Compliance Groups

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The State Bar of California requires all active California attorneys to complete a minimum of 25 credit hours of MCLE (minimum continuing legal education) every three years.[1] However, not every attorney is required to complete their CA CLE requirement at one time.

California MCLE Compliance Groups

  • Group 1 (A-G) Period: 2/1/2013 – 1/31/2013 Deadline 2/1/2016
  • Group 2 (H-M) Period: 2/1/2012 – 1/31/2015 Deadline 2/1/2015
  • Group 3 (N-Z) Period: 2/1/2014 – 1/31/2014 Deadline 2/1/2017

California MCLE compliance is broken down into 3 different compliance groups and compliance groups are based on the last name of the attorney.  Attorneys that are members of the State Bar of California are assigned to an MCLE compliance group only once – and permanently remain in that same compliance group, even if the member subsequently changes his/her last name.

Attorneys should report their CA MCLE compliance online through My State Bar Profile.  The benefits of reporting compliance electronically include real-time reporting to the Cal Bar database with an instant confirmation emailed to the attorney.[2]

Group 3 attorneys that have not yet completed and reported their CA MCLE compliance should do so quickly.  Group 3 attorneys have until June 30 to complete their CA MCLE requirement, report MCLE compliance and pay the $75 late penalty.  Failing to fulfill CA MCLE requirements can result in the attorney being placed on administrative inactive status.

For more information about CLE in California, please click the following link: CA CLE.


[1] As part of the 25 credit hour CA MCLE requirement, California attorneys must complete at least 4 hours of legal ethics, one hour of elimination of bias in the legal profession and one hour of substance abuse.

[2] Report Compliance

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

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Late California MCLE Compliance is June 30

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The State Bar of California requires all active California attorneys to complete 25 hours of minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) every three years.[1]  As part of the 25 credit hour California MCLE requirement attorneys must complete at least four hours of legal ethics, one hour of elimination of bias in the legal profession and one hour of substance abuse.  CA MCLE compliance is broken down into 3 different compliance groups so that not every attorney has to complete their CA CLE requirement at one time.

Extensions of Time

If you can comply by June 30, there is no need to request an extension of time, although a late fee of $75 will be assessed if you have not reported your compliance by February 1.[2]

First, the bad news if you belong to the Group 3 MCLE compliance group in California – you are late completing your MCLE.  Now, for the good news.  If you comply with your CA MCLE requirement by June 30, you simply have to pay a $75 late fee.  There is no suspension, there is no make up plan, there is no disbarment – you simply have to comply with your CA MCLE requirement by June 30.

“You cannot be disbarred for failure to take MCLE … but you can be disbarred for lying about it.”[3]                                                                                             – Jerome Fishkin, Walnut Creek legal ethics attorney

However, it is important to properly complete your California MCLE requirement.  This means completing the proper amount of bias, ethics and substance abuse hours and making sure that you don’t exceed the 12.5 credit hours of self-study credit.  And most importantly, don’t try to lie or deceive the State Bar of California.  The Cal Bar has been greatly increasing the amount of MCLE audits and the penalty for trying to deceive the Bar has even been disbarment in some cases.[4]

Don’t get suspended or disbarred, get your CA MCLE done today!  For more information about the California MCLE requirement please click the following link: California CLE.


[1] There are some limited exceptions to the 25 credit hour MCLE requirement.

[2] Attorneys with the last name N–Z are in Group 3 for MCLE compliance in California.

[3] Extensions of Time

MCLE Audits Catch Lawyers Off Guard

https://www.callawyer.com/clstory.cfm?eid=928451&wteid=928451_MCLE_Audits_Catch_Lawyers_Off_Guard

[4] MCLE Audits Catch Lawyers Off Guard

https://www.callawyer.com/clstory.cfm?eid=928451&wteid=928451_MCLE_Audits_Catch_Lawyers_Off_Guard

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Behind the Cloud and How it Can Be Used in the Legal Industry

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We now live in a wired, online world where technology has become pervasive.  What was once sent by the U.S. mail only a few years ago is now sent by email.  What was once kept in a file cabinet under lock and key is now stored on a thumb drive, the hard drive of your computer or a massive data center.  You and your law firm would like to be able to take advantage of new technologies like “cloud computing,” but you have concerns … is it safe?  How can you ensure that you are fulfilling your ethical duties as an attorney and protecting your client’s confidential information?

“When transmitting a communication that includes information relating to the representation of a client, the lawyer must take reasonable precautions to prevent the information from coming into the hands of unintended recipients.  This duty, however, does not require that the lawyer use special security measures if the method of communication affords a reasonable expectation of privacy.”

– ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, Comment 17, Rule 1.6

To learn more about how the “cloud” can be deployed to make your law practice run more effectively and efficiently, please join Andres Hernandez of Wingman Legal Tech for a great discussion on utilizing cloud computing in your law firm.  The main issues discussed in this CLE course include common legal industry concerns with the cloud, what the cloud is, how the cloud benefits law firms, the ethics of cloud computing, “reasonable” precautions and the technical aspects of securing your client data & how this relates to your ethical duties.  To access the course, please click here: Behind the Cloud and How it Can Be Used in the Legal Industry.

Further issues addressed include:

  • Lawyers & technology
  • Analogies of cloud computing
  • Improving the client experience
  • Convenience
  • Security
  • Comment 17 to ABA Model Rule 1.6
  • Data centers
  • Choosing a vendor
  • Clio
  • Office365
  • Calendar Rules
  • Carbonite
  • IT partners
  • DropBox

Andres Hernandez is the owner of Wingman LegalTech, an IT Services company that focuses on law firm security and technology.  After serving four years in the Marine Corps and going to night school for six years, Andres co-founded BIIS Solutions (which is now Wingman LegalTech) in 2005.  Andres is a frequent lecturer on various law & technology CLE topics and is very active in the San Diego legal and business community.

This CLE course is currently accredited 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)
  • 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: Illinois CLE.

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