Late California MCLE Compliance

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So you’re a Group 2 attorney in California and you missed the February 2 MCLE deadline…. what do you do now? Don’t panic!

As long as you are honest in reporting your hours, the worst thing that can happen at this point is that you’ll be assessed a $75 late fee.

At this point, if make up the required 25 credit hour CA MCLE requirement by June 30 the worst thing that will happen is that you will be assessed a $75 late fee. Even if you missed the February 2 CA MCLE deadline, you can avoid receiving the a 60-day notice from the bar that your license to practice law will be suspended as long as you complete the CA CLE hours that you lack in a timely fashion – and make sure not to forget about the required ethics, bias and competence credit, in addition to the 12.5 hours of participatory credit.

Here are a couple of points from the State Bar of California:[1]

  • If you had to make up hours after the February 2 MCLE deadline, keep in mind you won’t be able to count them a second time during the next three-year compliance period.
  • Don’t falsely report that you have met the requirements. That could land you in some serious trouble!
  • Keep good records and documentation of your CLE courses completed and hold onto them for at least one year after you’ve reported compliance.

And at this point in time the absolute worst think you can do is falsely report that you have met the CA MCLE requirement. That could land you in some serious trouble and even get you disbarred! For more information about CLE in California please click this link: CA MCLE.

[2] Avoiding the stress of the Feb. 2 MCLE deadline

http://www.calbarjournal.com/February2015/TopHeadlines/TH5.aspx

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New CLE Course: Legal Considerations for Marijuana Businesses

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Bob Dylan couldn’t have put it better when he sang about “the times they are a-changin’.” At this point in time, nearly half of the states have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana. And both Colorado and Washington have already completely legalized recreational pot consumption. In the first six months that Colorado’s recreational marijuana laws came into effect, the state collected over $10 million dollars in excise taxes.[1]

The main topics discussed in this CLE course include:

  • Federal vs. state law conflict
  • What to expect from state law regimes
  • Litigation in the marijuana industry
  • Banking
  • Taxation
  • Intellectual property & the cannabis industry

Is your practice ready to take advantage of this new ‘green’ gold rush? Do you have the knowledge and skill set to guide clients through an ever-changing regulatory maze? What are the key strategies to make you a successful cannabis attorney? Do you know what it takes to navigate these complex regulatory state licensing regimes? To get a better idea on the opportunities and risks associated with entering this emerging practice area, attorney Hilary Bricken of Canna Law Group provides her fascinating insight into the world of legalized weed and the numerous legal considerations faced by businesses involved in the marijuana industry. To access this CLE course please click here: Legal Considerations for Marijuana Businesses.

Additional subjects covered include:

  • Federal pre-emption and the Controlled Substances Act
  • Federal enforcement memoranda
  • The most recent Cole memo & its affects
  • Licensing & permitting
  • Significant barriers to entry
  • Regulatory restrictions between and for applicants
  • Flaws in initiatives & ballot measures
  • Timing & major deadlines
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Zoning
  • Land use & nuisance
  • Issues of local control
  • Federal anti-money laundering laws (the Bank Secrecy Act)
  • FinCEN guidance
  • IRS Code Section 280e
  • Federal & state trademark protection

Since joining Harris Moure in 2010, Hilary Bricken has earned a reputation as a fearless advocate for local businesses. Hilary’s clients include start-ups, entrepreneurs, and companies in all stages of development, and these new businesses value her bold approach to business strategy. The Puget Sound Business Journal recently named Hilary as one of seven dealmakers of the year for 2013. She was by far the youngest and the only private practice attorney to garner this honor. From Al Jazeera America to CNN, Fox News, and The New York Times, major media outlets have turned to Hilary for her on-the-ground perspective on emerging business law. Hilary is also an aggressive litigator, having argued and won contentious cases in Superior and District court. She regularly appears before City Councils and community forums, where she advocates tirelessly for the local businesses she represents.

[1] That means that roughly $200 million dollars was spent on the retail side and this is only the tip of the iceberg. In a report by the Marijuana Business Daily, legalized cannabis sales are projected to exceed $8 billion dollars by 2018.

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Texas CLE: Annual Verification Report Instructions

screen-capture6Attorneys that are licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas must complete annual MCLE requirements. In Texas, attorneys must complete at least 15 TX CLE credit hours each year.[1] Your annual TX CLE compliance deadline is determined by the month of your birth.

Texas MCLE Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: Last day of month before birth month
  • Reporting Deadline: 1st day of month of birth month

You must 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 and it is your duty to review this report carefully to ensure that it is both accurate and complete. The Annual MCLE Verification Report will be mailed to you eight (8) weeks before the month that you were born.

Texas MCLE Reporting

  • The Texas MCLE Department tracks each Texas attorney’s MCLE compliance through the MCLE Annual Verification Report.

If you need help filling out your Annual MCLE Verification Report for Texas, the State Bar of Texas has a helpful webpage on the state bar website. It lists step-by-step instructions on how to fill out the report so you can assure that you have properly filled in all the information. Failure to timely report your TX CLE credit hours and MCLE compliance could result in a non-compliance penalty of $100, $200, or $300. For more information about Texas CLE please click here: TX CLE.

[1] Texas attorneys must also complete at least 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility as part of the mandatory 15 credit hour TX CLE requirement.

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Illinois CLE: Is there a limit to the number of online CLE courses I can take?

screen-capture-12Illinois attorneys must complete at least thirty 30 CLE credit hours each two year compliance period in order to fulfill the IL MCLE requirement. The Illinois CLE compliance and reporting period depends on the first letter of your last name as it appears on the master roll of attorneys with the Attorney Registration and Discipline Committee (ARDC). Those Illinois attorneys with the last names N-Z must complete their Illinois MCLE requirement by June 30, 2015.

Illinois MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Credit Hours: 30
  • On-demand CLE Credit Hours Allowed: 30

Like many attorneys around the country with continuing legal education requirements, Illinois attorneys may complete online CLE courses to fulfill the IL MCLE requirement. The Illinois MCLE Rules do not specify a limit for earning CLE credits by any specific delivery method or media format. Illinois attorneys may complete all 30 required credit hours through online and offline CLE courses. Media formats such as CD, online CLE courses and downloadable audio & video courses all qualify for CLE credit in Illinois. The key is that all “recorded” CLE courses such as online CLE courses must be approved for IL CLE credit by the Illinois MCLE Board.

The Illinois MCLE Rules do not specify a limit for earning CLE credit hours by any specific delivery method.  The Illinois MCLE Board must approve all online CLE courses.

Illinois attorneys that are subject to the IL MCLE requirement may satisfy all 30 IL CLE credit hours by completing online on-demand CLE courses. Attorney Credits is an Accredited Provider of CLE in Illinois and all of our IL CLE courses are presumptively pre-approved for CLE credit in Illinois by the Illinois MCLE Board. To access more information about the Illinois MCLE requirement, Illinois CLE deadlines and IL CLE compliance bundles, please click this link: IL CLE.

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New York CLE: How do I report my CLE compliance?

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If you are an “experienced” attorney admitted to practice in New York you must complete a minimum of 24 NY CLE credit hours during each two-year reporting period.[1] According to the NY CLE Rules, an experienced New York attorney is an attorney that has been admitted to the New York Bar for more than two years.

NY CLE Requirements — Experienced Attorneys

  • NY CLE Credits Required: 24
  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Compliance Deadline: Date of Birth
  • Reporting Deadline: 30 days after your birthday

As part of the NY CLE requirement, New York attorneys are also required to report their New York CLE compliance when they have completed all 24 credit hours. In order to report NY CLE compliance, the New York CLE Board will mail you an attorney registration form. You must file your attorney registration form with the NY CLE Board and indicate that you have completed your New York CLE requirement within 30 days after your birthday on alternate years.

At the time of your biennial registration, you must also certify that you have retained the proper CLE documentation.

Attorney Credits offers a wide selection of NY CLE courses for New York attorneys. We feature online streaming video courses and we also offer downloadable audio and video course for you to complete your NY CLE requirement. For more information about the mandatory CLE requirement in New York, please click here NY CLE.

[1] New York has different CLE rules for experienced attorneys and attorneys that are newly admitted to the New York State Bar. Attorneys that are newly admitted to the New York State Bar Association must complete a minimum of 16 “transitional” New York CLE credit hours in each of the first two years of admission for a total of thirty-two (32) CLE credit hours. Sixteen of those NY CLE credit hours must be in the following areas: Skills, Ethics and Professionalism & Law Practice Management and/or Areas of Professional Practice. The first set of sixteen transitional NY CLE credit hours must be completed by the first anniversary of admission to the New York Bar Association in the designated categories of credit. The 2nd set of sixteen transitional CLE credit hours must be completed between the 1st and 2nd anniversaries of admission to the New York State Bar.

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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 CLE: 2/2 MCLE Reporting Deadline

The deadline for Group 2 attorneys to report their CA MCLE compliance is February 2, 2015. Those attorneys with last names H-M are in compliance group 2. The compliance period for Group 2 attorneys runs from 2/1/12 to 1/31/15.

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Starting December 1, the State Bar of California advises Group 2 attorneys to report their MCLE compliance online through My State Bar Profile. According to the State Bar of California the benefits of reporting your CA MCLE compliance electronically through My State Bar Profile include real-time reporting to the Cal Bar database with an instant confirmation emailed to the member. This also means that your card won’t get lost in the mail!

Except in the case of an MCLE audit conducted by the MCLE Department, a California attorney should never send in any MCLE related documentation such as certificates unless specifically requested by the State Bar.

One other note. California attorneys are not required to send in any MCLE certificates or documents unless directed to by the state bar. California attorneys need only report their overall MCLE compliance once they have completed the 25 required hours. However, in the event that your MCLE compliance is audited, you will be required to maintain sufficient proof of compliance with the education requirement or exemption for at least one year from the date that you report compliance.  For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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California CLE: Legal Ethics Credits

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If you practice law in California (and many states around the country) you have a legal ethics requirement as part of your mandatory CLE obligations. For example, attorneys in California must complete 4 credit hours of legal ethics each 3 year compliance period. In other state like Florida and Illinois, attorneys need to complete 5 and 6 credit hours of legal ethics respectively each CLE compliance period.

California MCLE Compliance Requirements

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

If you need legal ethics credit, we have a number of courses that qualify for that type of specialty credit. Here is a list of courses that qualify for ethics credit in California.

Legal Ethics Courses:

  • Avoiding Ethical Violations and Legal Malpractice Claims: An Expert’s Perspective
  • Conflicts of Interest: The Basics
  • Ethical Advice from a Trial Lawyer
  • Ethics & Legal Technology: E-Filing, Email & Electronic Wills
  • Ethics for Lawyers in the Cloud
  • Ethics in a Web 2.0 World
  • Ethics of Cloud Computing
  • Fee Agreements: Ethics & Reasonableness
  • Honesty is Best Policy: How Far Can You Go in Negotiations
  • Law, Ethics & Technology: E-Discovery & E-Competence
  • Law, Ethics & Technology: E-mail, Metadata & Electronic Storage
  •  Legal Ethics: Civility and Zealous Representation
  •  Personal Injury: An Ethically Hazardous Practice Area
  •  Practical Ethics: Avoiding Trouble with Clients, Courts and the State Bar
  •  Take Five: Edifying and Educational Ethical Examples
  •  Top 10 Ways to Stay Out of Ethical Trouble
  • Working with Experts

California attorneys can complete legal ethics courses for self-study or participatory credit as long as they complete a total of 12.5 hours of participatory credit. For more information about California CLE please click the following link: CA CLE.

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Florida CLE: The Reporting Affidavit

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Attorneys in Florida have had continuing legal education (CLE) obligations for over 30 years now since the Supreme Court of Florida adopted the Florida CLER in 1988. Each three-year Florida CLE compliance Florida attorneys must complete 30 total FL CLE credit hours. As part of the 30 credit hour FL CLE requirement, Florida attorneys must also complete a minimum of 5 credit hours in the area of legal ethics.

Florida CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: Varies, randomly assigned
  • Reporting Deadline: Varies, randomly assigned

Florida attorneys must also remember to report their compliance with the FL CLE requirement. In order to accomplish this, the Florida Bar provides a reporting affidavit to each Florida attorney who has not yet completed the FL CLE requirement for the current reporting cycle. The attorney must complete the required FL CLE hours for the current reporting cycle, then update the affidavit and return it to the Florida Bar by the reporting date.[1] There are complete instructions on the reverse side of the form.

If you are deemed delinquent with your Florida CLE requirements you can be suspended from the practice of Florida law.

If you fail to complete and report your required FL CLE hours, then you risk being deemed delinquent. And if you are deemed delinquent you can be suspended from the practice of Florida law. For more information about Florida CLE click he following link: FL CLE.

[1] If you do not complete the required credit hours you are must update and correct the form, complete any FL CLE hours that you lack and sign and return the affidavit to the Florida Bar by your reporting date

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Texas CLE: 15 TX CLE Credit Hours Each Year

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Attorneys that are licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas have annual MCLE requirements. As part of the CLE requirement in Texas, attorneys must complete at least 15 TX CLE credit hours each year. Texas attorneys must also complete at least 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility as part of the mandatory 15 credit hour TX CLE requirement.

Texas MCLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: Last day of month before birth month
  • Reporting Deadline: 1st day of month of birth month

But when do you have to complete your Texas CLE requirement? That answer depends on your birthday. Your Texas CLE compliance year is a one-year period that starts on the first day of the month that you were born. The compliance period ends one year later on the last day of the month before your birth month.

Please be advised that Texas attorneys do also have a grace period to complete and report TX CLE compliance. That grace period runs until the end of your birth month.

Attorney Credits does report the completion of your TX CLE courses to the State Bar of Texas once a week every Monday. However, be advised Texas is still technically a self-reporting state. Since Texas is a self-reporting state it is your responsibility to make sure your mandatory TX MCLE hours are accurately and timely reported.[1] Please click this link to access more information about CLE in Texas: TX CLE.

[1] Failure to timely complete and report your Texas CLE credit hours could result in a non-compliance penalty of $100, $200, or $300.

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