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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OK CLE: Oklahoma CLE Deadline is 12/31

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Oklahoma attorneys must complete a minimum of 12 Oklahoma CLE credit hours each year in order to complete the OK CLE requirement. As part of the 12 hour annual OK CLE requirement, at least 1 hour must be approved for legal ethics credit.

Oklahoma CLE Compliance & Reporting

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 15

If you have not begun completing your OK CLE requirement, now is the time to start studying. All Oklahoma CLE courses must be completed by December 31.[1] Oklahoma attorneys may complete at least a portion of the Oklahoma CLE requirement through computer based online and downloadable OK CLE courses. Oklahoma attorneys may complete 6 of the 12 required OK CLE credit hours by studying approved online, on-demand CLE courses. We even report the OK CLE courses that you complete to the Oklahoma CLE Commission within 30 days of course completion.[2]

Failure to Complete Your OK CLE Compliance

  • If you fail to complete and report the required OK CLE credits you could be subject to non-compliance fees ranging from $100 to $700.

The Oklahoma MCLE Commission tracks your completed courses and will send you an Interim Annual Report of Compliance in late October. In mid-January the Annual Report of Compliance will be mailed to you if the Oklahoma Bar Association records indicate that you have not have not completed sufficient OK CLE credit to meet the Oklahoma CLE requirement. For more information about CLE in Oklahoma please click here: OK CLE.

[1] Oklahoma CLE compliance must be reported no later than February 15.

[2] We generally report on the 1st and 15th of every month.

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CLE Course: Issue Spotting in Criminal Law Cases

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There is a great deal at risk when a person is accused of a crime. Your client’s life and liberty are at stake, and there is a lot of information you need to be able to recognize to ensure that your client’s rights are properly protected. Whether you are a civil attorney that needs a refresher on criminal law or you are an attorney that’s just starting out in criminal practice, this CLE program will cover the basics of criminal defense and issue spotting in criminal cases.

Common issues in criminal law courses:

  • Whether the questioning of the defendant was legal
  • Did the police have a legal reason to stop the defendant
  • Whether the police unlawfully seized evidence

In this Criminal Law 101 course, attorney Paul Ghanouni mainly discusses constitutional issues, police-citizen encounters, statements to police and search & seizure law. Attorneys that take this course will be able to: recognize key issues in criminal case, discuss common criminal law issues, identify key facts and conduct research on criminal topics. While this course does discuss key criminal topics & issues, it does not discuss the specific elements of criminal offenses because this information is specific to each jurisdiction. To access the course please click here: Criminal Law: Issue Spotting 101.

Further issues addressed in this CLE course:[1]

  • The exclusionary rule
  • The right to counsel
  • The right to silence
  • Voluntary statements
  • Searches of persons & motor vehicles
  • The plain view doctrine
  • The fruit of the poisonous tree doctrine
  • Key practice points

Paul Ghanouni is a criminal defense attorney based in Woodstock, Georgia. After beginning his career at a small firm, he founded his own law practice in 2007 and now specializes in teen and young adult defense. He is a regular presenter on legal issues before legal and community groups. Outside of his practice he is active with the Blue Ridge Bar Association, having served as vice president and president. He is a member of the Woodstock Optimist Club.

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

[1] Case law discussed in this CLE course includes: Terry v. Ohio, 392 U.S. 1 (1968), Beck v. Ohio, 379 U.S. 89 (1964), Moran v. Burbine, 475 U.S. 412 (1986), Davis v. United States, 512 U.S. 452 (1994), Miller v. Fenton, 474 U.S. 104 (1985), Mincey v. Arizona, 437 U.S. 385, Lynumn v. Illinois, 372 U.S. 528 (1963), Chimel v. California, 395 U.S. 752 (1969), United States v. Sharpe, 470 U.S. 675 (1985), Arizona v. Gant, 556 US 332 (2009), South Dakota v. Opperman, 428 U.S. 364 (1976), Pennsylvania v. Labron, 518 U.S. 938 (1996) and Horton v. California, 496 U.S. 128 (1990).

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WA CLE: Group 3 MCLE Deadline is December 31

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In order to complete the Washington minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirement attorneys in Washington must complete a minimum of 45 CLE credit hours every three years.  In addition, Washington attorneys must also complete a minimum of 6 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility each compliance period.

Washington MCLE Compliance Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline:  January 31

If you are a Group 3 attorney you must complete all 45 required CLE credit hours before December 31. In addition, you must report your compliance with the WA MCLE requirement by January 31, 2016. For 2015 compliance Washington attorneys may satisfy up to 22.5 credits of the required 45 CLE requirements through computer based online and downloadable CLE courses. Online and downloadable CLE courses are considered self-study according to th Rules. Please note that starting in 2016 the live course requirement has been eliminated and all 45 credit hours may be completed with computer based courses.[1]

Group 3 – WA MCLE Compliance

  • Group 3 attorneys must complete 45 hours by December 31
  • At least 22.5 credits must be live
  • 6 hours must be accredited for legal ethics credit

Don’t wait until December 30 to get started on your WA CLE! Failure to comply with the WA MCLE requirements will result in fines and suspension. Up to 22.5 self-study credits may be earned through AttorneyCredits.com using our online and downloadable WA CLE courses. Click here for more information about CLE in Washington: WA CLE.

[1] Washington MCLE: 45 Online Hours Allowed in 2016

Washington MCLE: 45 Online Hours Allowed in 2016

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TN CLE: Tennessee CLE Deadline is December 31

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Tennessee attorneys are required to complete 15 TN CLE credit hours annually as part of the Tennessee minimum continuing legal education (MCLE) requirement. In addition, at least 3 credits hours must be in the area of Ethics and Professionalism. Please note that in Tennessee, some courses can qualify for both general and Ethics & Professionalism credit.[1]

Tennessee CLE Compliance & Reporting

Don’t wait until December 30 to get started on your Tennessee CLE and risk fines and suspension. Tennessee attorneys must complete the 15 required TN CLE credit hours by December 31.[2] If you don’t complete your TN CLE requirement by the December 31 deadline you must pay a $100 non-completion fee and you still must complete the necessary TN CLE hours to bring you into compliance.

Online TN CLE

  • Attorney Credits offers individual TN CLE courses and our convenient one-click TN CLE compliance packages include three (3) credit hours of Ethics and Professionalism courses.

There is one bright spot for Tennessee attorneys when it comes to completing the required TN CLE. Attorneys in Tennessee have the option to complete 8 credit hours by completing online TN CLE courses each annual TN CLE compliance period. Attorney Credits allows Tennessee attorneys the convenience of completing CLE from the home or office … or even on-the-go! For more information about CLE in Tennessee please click here: TN CLE.

[1] TN CLE FAQ

http://www.cletn.com/index.php/for-attorneys/faq2

[2] Tennessee attorneys must report TN CLE compliance by March 1.

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OR CLE: Oregon MCLE Deadline is 12/31

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Oregon attorneys have one of the larger CLE requirements in the country. Oregon attorneys must complete 45 OR CLE credit hours every 3 year compliance period in order to remain in compliance with the Oregon MCLE requirement.[1] Please note that Oregon attorneys must now complete 1.0 credit hour on the mandatory Elder Abuse reporting requirement in Oregon.[2]

Oregon MCLE Compliance & Reporting

  • Reporting Cycle: Every 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: December31
  • Reporting Deadline: January 31

If this is your compliance year, you must finish all 45 required credit hours by midnight on December 31. You must report your OR MCLE compliance no later than January 31. Oregon CLE compliance is broken up into 3 different groups. Your OR MCLE compliance group is determined by the year when you became a member of the Oregon State Bar.

December 31 OR MCLE Deadline

  • All credits must be completed by midnight on 12/31 of the reporting period.

Oregon attorneys may complete all 45 required OR CLE credit hours through Attorney Credits’ computer based online and downloadable CLE courses. Attorney Credits offers 45 unit OR CLE compliance packages and individual Oregon CLE courses. We feature a wide selection of CLE courses covering legal ethics, access to justice and the mandatory elder abuse reporting duty in Oregon. For more information about CLE in Oregon please click here: OR CLE.

[1] Oregon attorneys must also complete 6 credit hours of legal ethics, including 1 hour on the mandatory Elder Abuse reporting requirement.

[2] Information on 2015 MCLE Compliance Reporting

https://www.osbar.org/_docs/mcle/MCLEReportingInfo.pdf

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NC CLE: North Carolina CLE Deadline is December 31

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North Carolina attorneys must complete a total of 12 hours of approved NC CLE as part of the annual North Carolina CLE requirement. Of these 12 required credit hours, at least 2 credit hours must be in the area of Professional Responsibility or Professionalism. Also, please note that once every three years North Carolina attorneys must complete one required hour on substance abuse.

NC CLE Compliance & Reporting

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: February 28

The bad news is that you are rapidly running out of time to complete your NC CLE requirement. The deadline to complete your North Carolina CLE requirement is December 31.[1] The good news is that North Carolina attorneys do have the option to complete at least a portion of their annual NC CLE requirement through online and downloadable CLE courses. North Carolina attorneys can complete up to 6 of the 12 required North Carolina CLE credit hours through online CLE courses.

Online NC CLE Courses

  • North Carolina attorneys may take up to six (6) hours of CLE credit through online and downloadable CLE courses each annual compliance period.

Please note that if a North Carolina attorney takes more than six (6) online North Carolina CLE hours in a compliance year, any NC CLE credit hours over the six allowed will be applied to the following compliance year and could possible result in compliance issues. For more information about North Carolina CLE please click here: NC CLE.

[1] Your North Carolina CLE compliance must be reported no later than February 28 to avoid late fees.

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