Category Archives: Uncategorized

Texas CLE: How do I report CLE compliance?

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Attorneys licensed to practice in Texas must complete at least 15 Texas CLE credit hours each annual TX MCLE compliance period as part of the mandatory CLE requirement in Texas.  Texas attorneys must also complete at least 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility to properly fulfill the mandatory 15 credit hour TX CLE requirement.  But how do you report your TX MCLE compliance to the State Bar of Texas?

Texas MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: Last day of month preceding birth month
  • Reporting Deadline: First day of attorney’s birth month

You will report your annual TX MCLE compliance on the Annual MCLE Verification Report.  Your Annual MCLE Verification Report will be mailed to you by the State Bar of Texas eight weeks before the month that you were born.  It is your duty to review this report carefully to ensure that it is both accurate and complete.

If the Verification Report indicates that you have completed the requisite number of TX MCLE hours, then no further action is required.

If you have NOT completed or reported the minimum 15 TX credit hours by the last day of your compliance year, a reminder Notice will be emailed and mailed to you by the State Bar of Texas at the beginning of your birth month.[1]  If you do not complete and report at least 15 hours of Texas CLE by the last day of your birth month grace period then you will be in non-compliance and subject to a penalty.  Please click this link to access more information about CLE in Texas: TX CLE.

 [1] This period is considered a grace period and you will be given this period in order to comply with the TX CLE requirements without a penalty.

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Illinois CLE: What if I did not complete my IL CLE credits by June 30?

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In order to fulfill the Illinois CLE requirement, attorneys that are members of the Illinois State Bar Association must complete at least thirty (30) IL CLE credit hours every two years.[1]  As part of the 30 credit hour IL CLE requirement Illinois attorneys must complete at least six (6) credit hours of Professional Responsibility.

Illinois CLE Compliance & Reporting

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

Illinois attorneys must report compliance with IL MCLE requirements every other year.[2]  Attorneys with last names that start with A-M must report in even numbered years, while attorneys with last names N-Z report must report in odd numbered years.  To avoid late fees and possible eventual suspension, you must complete all of your mandatory Illinois CLE hours by 11:59 PM on June 30 and your IL CLE compliance must be reported by 11:59 PM on July 31.

Your best option is to report non-compliance to the IL CLE Board by July 31 and you automatically receive a grace period until September 30.

If you did not meet the June 30 IL CLE deadline, you cannot list “complied” when you report your IL CLE compliance.  Your best option is to report non-compliance to the Board by July 31 (reporting deadline) and you automatically receive a grace period until September 30 to finish your IL CLE credit hours.[3]  You will also incur a $100 late fee instead of the $150 assessed for not reporting by July 31.[4]

Please click the following link for more information about Illinois CLE: IL CLE.

[1] Towards the end of the Illinois CLE compliance period, the Illinois MCLE Board will send you a form to report the number of IL CLE credit hours that you have completed during your compliance period.

[2] The IL CLE reporting periods last two years and runs from July 1 to June 30.

[3] IL MCLE FAQ

http://mcle.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/414/session/L3RpbWUvMTQwNjA2NzY3MC9zaWQvLXFDU0FZWmw%3D

[4] The late fees are set by the Court and cannot be waived.

Louisiana CLE: 12 Credits Hours by December 31

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Attorneys licensed to practice in Louisiana must complete 12 credit hours each year as part of the annual LA MCLE requirement.  As part of the LA CLE requirement, Louisiana attorneys must make sure to complete at least 1 credit hour of legal ethics and 1 credit hour of professionalism each year.  Louisiana attorneys must complete the required 12 credit hours by December 31 and report MCLE compliance by January 31 in order to avoid fines and suspensions.

Louisiana CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 1 year
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: January 31

Louisiana attorneys do have the ability to complete online CLE courses.  While Louisiana attorneys may not complete all 12 CLE credit hours through online CLE courses, they may complete up to 4 credit hours each year.  Online and downloadable CLE courses are considered ‘technologically assisted programming’ under the Louisiana MCLE Rules.[1]

The Supreme Court rules allow up to 4 hours of technologically assisted programming per reporting period.  MCLE Committee guidelines for accreditation require that a course have an interactive component, and that the sponsor have a tracking mechanism to verify the actual time spent engaged in the program by the participating attorney.[2]

A $150 late fee will be assessed against members of the Louisiana State Bar Association who fail to comply with the LA MCLE Rules – including completing and reporting LA CLE.  Any member of the Louisiana Bar who is not in compliance with their LA MCLE requirements within 60 days of the Notice of Noncompliance being sent by the LA MCLE Committee will be declared ineligible to practice law in Louisiana.

For more information about CLE in Louisiana, please click on the following link: LA CLE.


[1] Credit for online LA CLE courses is considered self-study credit. Self-study includes live or pre-recorded audio and/or audiovisual presentations and activities or other appropriate technology as approved by the LA MCLE Committee.

[2] Mandatory Continuing Legal Education

http://www.lascmcle.org

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Colorado CLE Reporting Deadline is January 31

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Attorneys who are members of The Colorado Bar must earn at least 45 CO CLE credit hours each three-year compliance period. Of the forty-five (45) required CO CLE credit hours, a minimum of seven (7) credit hours must be completed in the area of legal ethics. In order to keep your license to practice law in Colorado in good standing you must report your Colorado CLE compliance by January 31, 2014.[1]

If you did not complete the 45 required credit hours by December 31, 2013, 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 by January 31, 2014.[2]  An extension of your original CLE compliance period can be granted only if you file an acceptable make-up plan.

An acceptable make-up consists of the following:

  1. Listing CLE programs that have already been pre-approved by the CO CLE Board that you intend to take to remedy your CO CLE deficiency.
  2. Completing the make-up CLE no later than May 31, 2014.
  3. Sending a check for $50.00 made payable to the Colorado Board of Continuing Legal Education. The fee is $100 if the make-up plan is filed after January 31.[3]

Attorney Credits is an Approved Sponsor of CLE in Colorado. Our Colorado CLE courses have all been pre-approved by the Colorado Supreme Court Board of Continuing Legal and Judicial Education for homestudy credit in Colorado because our CLE courses meet the requirements set forth in Colorado MCLE Rule 103(j). For more information about continuing legal education in Colorado, please click the following link: Colorado CLE.


[1] Be advised that even if you have complied with the CO CLE requirement, but do not report your CLE compliance by January 31, 2014, you will be charged a $50 late reporting fee.

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

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

[3] This $50 fee must be paid even if your make-up plan is completed before January 31.

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Texas MCLE: 15 Online CLE Units Allowed

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Attorneys licensed by the State Bar of Texas must complete 15 credit hours each MCLE compliance period as part of the annual mandatory TX MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) requirement.  As part of this mandatory 15 credit hour Texas CLE requirement, Texas attorneys must also complete 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility.

Every active State Bar of Texas member must complete a minimum of 15 hours of accredited CLE during each MCLE compliance year.[1]

Luckily, attorneys in the Lone Star state do have the option of completing their entire Texas CLE requirement online.  Attorneys admitted to the State Bar of Texas may complete all fifteen (15) Texas CLE credit hours through online on demand TX CLE courses.  Attorney Credits is an Accredited Provider (#12507) of CLE in Texas and our online TX CLE courses qualify for participatory CLE credit in Texas.

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


[1] MCLE

http://www.texasbar.com/AM/Template.cfm?Section=MCLE

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Washington MCLE: 22.5 Online CLE Units

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Attorney Credits provides continuing legal education (CLE) for Washington attorneys.  Attorneys in Washington must complete 45 CLE units each three year compliance cycle in order to meet the Washington minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirement.  As part of the 45 unit Washington MCLE requirement, attorneys must also complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility.

A lawyer may earn a maximum of one-half of the required credit hours for any reporting period through self-study, as defined in Regulation 103(h) of Appendix APR 11.[1]

Washington attorneys do have the option to complete at least a portion of their MCLE requirement through online WA CLE courses.  Lawyers in Washington may satisfy up to 22.5 credits of their required 45 CLE requirements through online CLE courses.  Online CLE courses are considered self-study according to the Washington MCLE Rules.  Of course, attorneys in Washington may fulfill their entire 45 unit MCLE requirement through live CLE courses.

A “Live” activity takes place in “real time” – it is not pre-recorded. For a Live activity, participants attend either in person or via teleconference, videoconference or webcast – at the time the course is actually being presented and can pose questions to the instructor(s) during the course; all participants must hear the question and answer live.[2]

Attorney Credits makes completing Washington CLE easy.  Attorney Credits features both online and offline CLE courses for Washington attorneys.  We also offer 22.5 CLE unit compliance packages on CD or DVD and we have fully loaded MP3 Players and USB compliance packages that come stocked with 22.5 WA CLE units.  Don’t wait until December 31 to get your Washington WA CLE  done!


[1] Washington MCLE Rule 11.2(a)(3)

http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/?fa=court_rules.display&group=ga&set=APR&ruleid=gaapr11.2

[2] Important MCLE Compliance Reporting Information Group 3 Reporting Period 2011-2013

http://www.wsba.org/Licensing-and-Lawyer Conduct/MCLE/Members/~/media/Files/Licensing_Lawyer%20Conduct/MCLE/2011%202013%20IMCRI.ashx

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Oregon MCLE: Ethics & Access to Justice

Oregon-MCLE

Oregon attorneys must complete 45 CLE units every year to complete the Oregon MCLE requirement.  As with any MCLE state, there are certain mandatory CLE courses that must be completed as part of the MCLE requirement.

(c) Access to Justice. In alternate reporting periods, at least three of the required hours must be in programs accredited for access to justice pursuant to Rule 5.5(b). For purposes of this rule, the first reporting period that may be skipped will be the one ending on December 31, 2009.[1]

Oregon attorneys must complete 6 credit hours of legal ethics every three years, including 1 credit hour on an attorney’s statutory duty to report child abuse.  In addition, in alternate reporting periods Oregon attorneys must also complete 3 credit hours in CLE programs dedicated to access to justice.

In order to be accredited as an activity pertaining to access to justice for purposes of Rule 3.2(c), an activity shall be directly related to the practice of law and designed to educate attorneys to identify and eliminate from the legal profession and from the practice of law barriers to access to justice arising from biases against persons because of race, gender, economic status, creed, color, religion, national origin, disability, age or sexual orientation.[2]

The Oregon access to justice requirement is very similar to California’s elimination of bias requirement.  However, the Oregon access to justice requirement is slightly more broad in the sense that a greater number of topics qualify for CLE credit.   Whereas the California bias requirement requires the course to relate specifically to the legal profession, the Oregon requirement more generally refers to eliminating barriers to the access to justice and doesn’t have to specifically relate to lawyers.  For example, a course on the bias laws themselves would qualify for CLE credit in Oregon.

To access our Oregon course list and view Attorney Credits’ access to justice courses, please click the following: Oregon CLE course list.


[1] Oregon State Bar Minimum Continuing Legal Education Rules and Regulations, Rule 3.2(c)

https://www.osbar.org/_docs/rulesregs/mclerules.pdf

[2] Oregon State Bar Minimum Continuing Legal Education Rules and Regulations, Rule 5.5(b)

https://www.osbar.org/_docs/rulesregs/mclerules.pdf

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California Attorneys: February 1 Deadline for Fee Payment & MCLE Compliance

The New Year means many things for different people.  Attorney Credits knows that for many attorneys in California the New Year means that its time to pay your dues and/or report your MCLE compliance.  At Attorney Credits this is usually one of our times of the year as thousands of California attorneys begin paying dues and completing their MCLE requirement.

Members of the State Bar of California have until February 1 to pay their annual fees.  Annual fees are $410 for active lawyers and $125 for inactive lawyers.  California attorneys with qualifying income levels are eligible for a 25% reduction in the membership fee.  To qualify for the fee reduction, an active California attorney must declare a total gross annual individual income from all sources of less than $40,000 in 2012.  If you fail to pay fees by the February 1 deadline you will be assessed a $100 late payment penalty if you are an active lawyers and a $30 penalty if you are an inactive attorney.[1]

Those California attorneys who are in Group 1 (last names A-G) also have a February 1 deadline to report completion of their 25 hours of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)California attorneys must complete 25 CLE hours every three years to remain in compliance with the State Bar of California.  Compliance is especially important as the Cal Bar has been increasing the amount of MCLE audits over the last few years and continues to expand the number of MCLE audits.  As many as 10% of Group 1 attorneys can expect to have their MCLE audited later in the year (see: California Attorneys Improve in 2012 MCLE Audit).

If you are an Group 1 attorney in California and your MCLE deadline is February 1, please make sure not to make one of these common MCLE mistakes.[2]

7 Common MCLE Mistakes:

  1. Not completing enough ethics, elimination of bias and substance abuse hours.
  2. Completing CLE classes after reporting compliance.
  3. Credit calculation errors.
  4. Mistakenly believing you are exempt from MCLE.
  5. Poor/Insufficient recordkeeping.
  6. Submitting CLE courses that have not been approved for MCLE credit.
  7. Mistaking “MCLE credit available” for “MCLE approved.”

Attorney Credits offers numerous MCLE compliance packages for California attorneys.  We also offer numerous courses in legal ethics, substance abuse and elimination of bias if you just need those few hard-to-get specialty units.  Attorney Credits makes it easy for California attorneys to complete their MCLE compliance properly and on time.  If you begin studying now, you can take one course a day until the end of the compliance period.

Attorney Credits provides further information about California CA MCLE:


[1] Feb. 1 deadline for fee payment, MCLE compliance

http://www.calbarjournal.com/January2013/TopHeadlines/TH4.aspx

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Online CLE For Iowa Attorneys

Attorneys in Iowa have a little more than one week to complete their annual MCLE requirement.  Attorneys in Iowa must complete 15 IA CLE credit hours by December 31, including three required hours of legal ethics every two years.  Iowa attorneys may now take substance abuse courses as part of their legal ethics requirement.

As a preventive measure designed to reduce lawyer discipline matters and harm to clients, the definition of what constitutes legal ethics for purposes of the biennial ethics continuing legal education (CLE) attendance requirement is amended to include instruction specifically designed for lawyers regarding substance abuse and mental health. The biennial ethics attendance requirement is increased from two to three hours.[1]

Iowa attorneys have the option to complete up to 6 credit hours through online IA CLE courses each compliance period.  Attorney Credits has recently begun offering CLE in Iowa right in time for the December 31 MCLE deadline, including those hard-to-get substance abuse and legal ethics credit hours.

Commencing July 1, 2002, up to 6 hours of the 15 hours required by rule 41.3(1) each calendar year may be obtained through completion of computer-based legal education accredited by the commission.[2]

Iowa attorneys must self-report completion of individual CLE activities. Each Iowa attorney must make a written report to the Iowa CLE Commission regarding completion of MCLE during the preceding calendar year by March 1.  The Iowa CLE Commission prescribes the form of the annual report.  Each annual report must provide the commission with satisfactory proof that the Iowa attorney has met the MCLE requirements.  Alternatively, Iowa attorneys may also report their CLE credits on the Iowa Judicial Branch’s website by clicking here.

All Iowa attorneys that neglect to file the annual report or pay the required fees by March 1 must pay a penalty.[3]

If Filed:                                           Penalty:

After March 1 but before April 2      $100

After April 1 but before May 2          $150

After May 1                                        $200

The penalty fees collected will be used to pay the costs of administering the MCLE program, or for such other purposes within the Office of Professional Regulation as the Iowa Supreme Court may direct.  The Certificate of Completion issued by Attorney Credits should be maintained to verify attendance.

Attorney Credits provides more information about Iowa IA MCLE:


[1] Amendments to Division III of the Iowa Court Rules February, 2012 Summary of Amendments

http://www.iowacourts.gov/wfdata/frame14256-1671/File140.pdf

[2] Chapter 41: Continuing Legal Education for Lawyers

[3] 41.5(1) Attorneys who fail to comply with the provisions of rule 41.4 or who file a report showing on its face that they have failed to complete the required number of hours of continuing legal education may have their right to practice law suspended by the supreme court, provided that at least 15 days prior to such suspension, notice of such delinquency has been served upon them in the manner provided for the service of original notices in Iowa R. Civ. P. 1.305 or has been forwarded to them by restricted certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to them at their last-known address.

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CLE Courses & FAQ for Louisiana Attorneys

In an attempt to expand our CLE services to more attorneys around the country, Attorney Credits has begun offering online CLE courses for Louisiana attorneys right in time for the December 31 MCLE deadline in Louisiana.  And to provide Louisiana attorneys with the MCLE information that they need, we have also recently posted our CLE FAQ for Louisiana attorneys.

Louisiana attorneys must complete twelve and a half (12.5) credit hours each annual compliance period, including 1 hour of ethics and one hour of professionalism.  Attorneys in Louisiana have the option to complete up to four credit hours through online CLE courses each annual compliance period.[1]  Since Attorney Credits verifies your course completion by using numerical codes embedded in the audio or video CLE course, our courses have been approved by the Louisiana MCLE Committee.

The Supreme Court rules allow up to 4 hours of technologically assisted programming per reporting period.  MCLE Committee guidelines for accreditation require that a course have an interactive component, and that the sponsor have a tracking mechanism to verify the actual time spent engaged in the program by the participating attorney.[2]

Louisiana attorneys must complete all CLE hours by December 31 and properly report by January 31.  A $150 late fee will be assessed against members of the Louisiana State Bar Association who do not comply with the MCLE Rules.  Any bar member who is not in compliance with their MCLE requirements within 60 days of the Notice of Noncompliance being sent by the MCLE Committee will be declared ineligible to practice law in Louisiana.

In order to avoid MCLE compliance issues, Attorney Credits offers numerous LA CLE courses for Louisiana attorneys.  We also offer 4 unit MCLE bundles for Louisiana attorneys that include one hour of legal ethics credit.  And we also offer individual legal ethics and professionalism courses.

Attorney Credits provides further information about Louisiana LA MCLE:


[1] The Louisiana MCLE Rules allow up to 4 hours of technologically assisted programming each annual reporting period. Credit for online courses is considered self-study credit. Self-study includes live or pre-recorded audio and/or audiovisual presentations and activities or other appropriate technology as approved by the MCLE Committee. Credit for attendance at such self-study courses is limited to four (4) hours annually.

[2] Louisiana Supreme Court: Mandatory Continuing Legal Education (MCLE)

http://www.lascmcle.org/

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