Arizona CLE: CLE Reporting Affidavit Due September 15

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Attorneys licensed to practice law in the state of Arizona have CLE requirements as part of the mandatory Arizona MCLE requirement.  The CLE compliance period for Arizona attorneys runs from July 1 to the following June 30.  During the Arizona CLE compliance period, each Arizona lawyer licensed in Arizona (that is not exempted from the AZ CLE requirement) must complete a total of 15 credit hours of AZ CLE, including at least 3 credit hours of professional responsibility or legal ethics.

Arizona CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: Annual
  • Compliance Deadline: June 30
  • Reporting Deadline: September 15

Arizona attorneys must also report completion of their AZ MCLE requirement each year.  Arizona lawyers must submit proof of fulfilling their AZ MCLE requirements annually on the form provided by the State Bar of Arizona.  The online electronic affidavit is available on the State Bar of Arizona website starting in mid-July.  Arizona attorneys may also use the blank affidavit in the Arizona Attorney magazine issued in mid-August to report AZ CLE compliance.

When is the affidavit due?

  • Unless exempted, the Arizona CLE affidavit must be filed by September 15

One last main point.  Please keep in mind that the State Bar of Arizona does not certify CLE courses or CLE Providers.  However, Attorney Credits is a national provider of CLE and currently offers CLE courses in over 30 states.  We are Approved Providers of CLE in a number of main states including California, Illinois and New York.  Arizona attorneys have also completed thousands of CLE credit hours through Attorney Credits by completing our interactive online and offline CLE courses.  For more information about CLE in Arizona please click here: AZ CLE.

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New Jersey CLE Compliance Groups

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Active New Jersey attorneys must complete a minimum of 24 credit hours of continuing legal education (CLE) every two year NJ CLE compliance period.[1]  Of the required 24 NJ CLE credit hours, at minimum of four (4) credit hours must be completed in the area of ethics and/or professionalism.

New Jersey CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements

  • Reporting Cycle: 2 years
  • Compliance Deadline: December 31
  • Reporting Deadline: December 31

Every active NJ attorney is permanently assigned to one of two compliance groups for New Jersey CLE compliance and reporting purposes.  One compliance group reports each year.  A New Jersey attorney whose birthday falls between January 1 – June 30 is in Compliance Group 1 and must report New Jersey CLE compliance in EVEN numbered years.  An attorney whose birthday falls between July 1 – December 31 is in Compliance Group 2 and must report NJ CLE compliance in ODD numbered years in the annual attorney registration and billing process.

NJ Compliance Group 1

  • Attorneys with birthdays between January 1 – June 30

NJ Compliance Group 2

  • Attorneys with birthdays between July 1 – December 31

Attorneys licensed in New Jersey may take 12 of the 24 required NJ CLE credit hours through online CLE courses.  Some New Jersey attorneys, however, may qualify for either a medical or non-resident exception and may be able to take all 24 NJ CLE through online on-demand CLE courses.[2]  For more information about the New Jersey CLE requirement, reporting and compliance please click the following link: New Jersey CLE.

[1] The NJ CLE program is mandatory for all New Jersey attorneys, judges, in-house corporate counsel, and government attorneys, regardless of whether the attorney is actually practicing within the state of New Jersey.

[2] If a medical condition prohibits you from attending a live CLE event, you could possibly qualify to take all required 24 NJ CLE units online.   Some attorneys licensed in New Jersey that live outside of the Garden State may also be able to apply for a non-resident exception which allows all NJ CLE courses to be completed though online courses.

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Florida CLE: Will I receive notice from The Florida Bar advising me that my reporting period is upcoming?

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The Supreme Court of Florida adopted the Florida CLER in 1988.[1]  Every three-year FL CLE compliance period attorneys that are members of The Florida Bar must complete 30 total FL CLE credit hours.  As part of the 30 credit hour FL CLE requirement, Florida attorneys must also complete 5 credit hours in the area of legal ethics.[2]

  • Florida CLE Compliance & Reporting Requirements
  • Reporting Cycle: 3 years
  • Compliance Deadline: Varies
  • Reporting Deadline: Varies

Each member of The Florida Bar is assigned a 3-year reporting cycle that is chosen randomly by a computer program.  Three months prior to the CLE due date, The Florida Bar will send the attorney a notice regarding FL CLE that has been completed.  If the FL CLE requirement has been satisfied at that time, the attorney will receive a Notice of Compliance from the Florida Bar.  If this notice is accurate, then no other steps need to be taken by the attorney.

Three months prior to the CLE due date, The Florida Bar sends notice regarding CLE completed.

If the FL CLE requirement has not been satisfied, the attorney will receive a Reporting Affidavit instead.  This Reporting Affidavit must be returned by the reporting date with an explanation of how the FL CLE deficit was cured.  For more information about Florida CLE and the CLER in Florida please click this link: Florida CLE.

[1] The Florida CLER stands for Continuing Legal Education Requirement. The Florida CLER requires all members of The Florida Bar to continue their legal education by completing Florida CLE courses.

[2]  Courses on professionalism, substance abuse, or mental illness awareness will be considered towards legal ethics credit.

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Texas CLE: What happens if I don’t complete my CLE on time?

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Attorneys licensed to practice law by the State Bar of Texas must complete at least 15 Texas CLE credit hours each annual TX MCLE compliance period to complete the Mandatory Continuing Legal Education requirement.  Like every other state in the country that has mandatory CLE requirements, Texas attorneys must also complete legal ethics courses as part of the CLE requirement.[1]

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

The Texas CLE compliance year is a one-year period that begins 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 that precedes your birth month.  Texas attorneys also have a grace period to complete and report TX CLE compliance that runs until the end of your birth month.

If you fail to timely report your Texas CLE credit hours it could result in a non-compliance penalty of $100, $200, or $300.

Attorney Credits will report the completion of your TX CLE courses to the State Bar of Texas once a week.  However, Texas is still 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.  Failure to timely complete and report your Texas CLE credit hours could result in a non-compliance penalty of $100, $200, or $300.  Please click this link to access more information about CLE in Texas: Texas CLE.

[1] Texas attorneys must complete 3 credit hours of Legal Ethics or Professional Responsibility every year.

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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.

NY CLE: 4 Credit Hours of Legal Ethics

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New York has different CLE rules for experienced attorneys and attorneys that are newly admitted to the New York State Bar.[1]  If you are an experienced New York attorney you must complete a minimum of 24 NY CLE credit hours during each two-year reporting period.[2]  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

Experienced attorneys in New York do have a specialty unit requirement.  Experienced attorneys must complete ethics courses to properly fulfill their NY CLE requirement.  As part of the NY CLE requirement experienced attorneys must complete 4 credit hours of Ethics and Professionalism every two years.  Ethics is widely construed and includes courses on substance abuse and “the promotion of fairness, justice and morality” in the legal profession.

(c) Ethics and Professionalism may include, among other things, the following: the norms relating to lawyers’ professional obligations to clients (including the obligation to provide legal assistance to those in need, confidentiality, competence, conflicts of interest, the allocation of decision making, and zealous advocacy and its limits); the norms relating to lawyers’ professional relations with prospective clients, courts and other legal institutions, and third parties (including the lawyers’ fiduciary, accounting and record-keeping obligations when entrusted with law client and escrow monies, as well as the norms relating to civility); the sources of lawyers’ professional obligations (including disciplinary rules, judicial decisions, and relevant constitutional and statutory provisions); recognition and resolution of ethical dilemmas; the mechanisms for enforcing professional norms; substance abuse control; and professional values (including professional development, improving the profession, and the promotion of fairness, justice and morality).[3]

If you need ethics or general CLE in New York we have you covered.  Attorney Credits is an Accredited Sponsor of CLE in New York and we have numerous courses on ethics, substance abuse and eliminating bias in the legal profession that qualify for ethics credit in New York.  For more information about the mandatory New York CLE requirement, please click here NY CLE.

[1] Attorneys that are newly admitted to the New York State Bar Association must complete a minimum of 16 “transitional” NY CLE credit hours in each of the first two years of admission for a total of thirty-two (32) CLE credit hours.  16 of those 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 16 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 second set of 16 transitional CLE credit hours must be completed between the 1st and 2nd anniversaries of admission to the New York State Bar.

[2] The two-year reporting cycle is defined as the two-year period between your attorney registrations.

[3] New York CLE Rules

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California MCLE Audit

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We all know that December 7th is a day that will live in infamy in the immortal words of FDR.  However, July 7th is a day that might live in infamy for some California attorneys.

This is the fourth year that the State Bar has conducted audits that could potentially result in disciplinary action. It’s also the largest audit group to date.[1]

That’s because July 7 was the day that the State Bar of California sent audit letters to over 5,000 California attorneys to ensure their compliance with California MCLE (Minimum Continuing Legal Education) requirements.  That means that nearly 10% of Group 3 (N-Z) attorneys will be audited for their CA MCLE compliance.  California attorneys must complete 25 credit hours every three years, including 4.0 credit hours of legal ethics, 1.0 credit hour of elimination of bias and 1.0 credit hour of substance abuse.  California attorneys must also complete a minimum of 12.5 credit hour of participatory credit.  Many attorneys fail to recognize this rule on participatory credit and take all 25 credit hours as self-study.

Can I submit all of my hours as self-study?[2]

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

If you are audited, keep two points in mind.  First, take the audit seriously and get it done.  Second, do not lie to the state bar.  Be as honest with the Bar and provide straightforward answers if you did not complete your CA MCLE requirement.  Attorneys that appear to have falsely declared their MCLE compliance will be referred to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel for possible disciplinary action.  Twenty-four attorneys have currently been disciplined in connection with the Cal Bar MCLE audits and one attorney has resigned with charges pending.  This is serious business.

For more information about the CA MCLE audit you can contact us by phone or email by clicking here: Attorney Credits. You can also take a look at the Cal Bar MCLE Audit FAQ page by clicking here: CA MCLE Audit FAQ.

[1] 5,500 attorneys expected to go through MCLE audit

http://www.calbarjournal.com/July2014/TopHeadlines/TH6.aspx

[2] MCLE AUDIT FAQS

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

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CLE Course: Persuasion & Over-Aggressive Lawyering

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The barracuda… the bulldog… the great white – many attorneys compare themselves to aggressive animals to try and convince clients that they are ready to pick a fight on command and defend the claim to the death.  But is this ultra aggressive lawyering style the best approach to take?  Will being the ‘great white’ attorney help you to get the best result for your client?

“You’re not William Wallace.” – Chris Arledge

In this excellent, informative and entertaining course attorney Chris Arledge discusses the dangers of over-aggressive lawyering… sharks get eaten too!  The main topics discussed by Mr. Arledge include getting the best result for your client, the dangers of being the ‘great white’ attorney, using persuasion techniques to gain credibility with jurors & the court and the dangers of demonizing the opposing side.  To access the course please click here: Persuasion: The Dangers of Over-Aggressive Lawyering.

Further topics addressed include:

  • Your client’s best interest
  • Lost opportunity for agreement
  • Your options with a hot document
  • Commitment & consistency
  • Lost opportunity for resolution
  • The lack of credibility
  • Wasting resources
  • The judge’s reality
  • Ethos & attorneys
  • Carrot Top vs. Aristotle
  • Arguing a weak position
  • Using concessions to gain advantage
  • Your opponent is not Genghis Khan
  • Casting the opposing counsel as the most unethical lawyer in the state

Christopher W. Arledge is a co-founder and managing partner of One LLP.  His primary focus at One LLP is IP litigation – particularly disputes over copyrights, trademarks, and trade secrets.  In recent years, he has handled disputes involving the IP of celebrities like Madonna, Don Henley, Kobe Bryant, Bette Davis, and Perez Hilton.  Above all, lawyers are called to persuade – and Chris therefore studies and teaches the principles of persuasion.  He has taught the Art of Persuasion at Chapman Law School and has lectured on persuasion to some of the largest, most prestigious professional firms in the country, including Munger Tolles, O’Melveny, Jones Day, and Deloitte.  Chris has polished his advocacy skills outside the courtroom as well, taking part in speaking engagements and debates sponsored by groups such as the ABA, the Federal Bar Association, the University of Southern California, Chapman Law School, Whittier Law School, the Anti-Defamation League, California Lawyers for the Arts, and various Inns of Court and local bar associations.  Chris also serves as a legal expert on a number of nationally syndicated radio programs.

This CLE course on persuasion & over aggressive lawyering 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)
  • New York (NY)
  • 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.

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CLE Course: Basics of Conflicts of Interest

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Penalties for conflict of interest violations are severe and range from disqualification to disgorgement of fees.  However, despite the fundamental nature of conflicts and waivers, they still continue to plague many attorneys and continue to be a source of ethical and malpractice liability.  And conflicts of interest have only become a greater concern as increasingly more attorneys are changing firms and the corporate ‘client’ becomes harder to identify.

The ethical issues that are most fundamental to many attorneys in their practices involve conflicts of interest.

If you need to brush up on the fundamentals of conflicts of interest then join attorney Robert Kehr as he provides an overview of the main concepts of avoiding actual and potential conflicts in your practice.  The main areas addressed include the source of ethical conflict rules, ethical resources, the purpose of the Rules of Professional Conduct, the definition of a conflict of interest, the duties that a lawyer owes to the client, the basic conflicts rule, specific conflicts and giving the client informed consent of the conflict.  To access the course click here: Conflicts of Interest: The Basics.

Further issues addressed include:

  • The ABA Model Rules
  • Ethics opinions
  • Disqualification
  • Disciplinary proceedings
  • Fiduciary duties
  • Standards of civil conduct
  • Potential conflicts
  • Actual conflicts
  • The four major duties that a lawyer owes to a client
  • Model Rule 1.7(a)(1)
  • Examples of conflicts
  • Common examples of direct adversity
  • Model Rule 1.7(a)(2) & material limitation
  • The comments to the conflict rules
  • Competence
  • Full & unbiased disclosure
  • Confidentiality
  • Undivided loyalty to the client
  • Full disclosure to the client
  • Joint representation of clients
  • The importance of conflict letters
  • Revoking consent

Robert L. Kehr is a principal with Kehr, Schiff & Crane, LLP, in Los Angeles, where his practice includes business and real estate transactions and expert testimony on legal ethics.  He is a former chair and continuing member of the Los Angeles County Bar Association Committee on Professional Responsibility and Ethics and the current chair of the State Bar of California Committee on Professional Responsibility and Conduct.

This CLE course on conflicts of interest 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)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (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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Most Popular Non-Immigrant Employee Visas

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Nonimmigrant visas allow companies in the United States to take advantage of the worldwide talent pool by bringing the best employees from overseas to work here for a temporary period of time.  The non-immigrant visa permits the person to travel to the United States during the validity of the visa to accomplish a specific purpose such as visiting, studying or working in a specialty job.  Individuals who are traveling to the U.S. for a temporary purpose are classified as non-immigrants under United States law.

A non-immigrant visa is often utilized by an investor, a professional such as an engineer or specialty worker such as an athlete or entertainer.

In this new CLE course, immigration attorneys Amy Ghosh and William Levings provide a broad review of the most popular types of non-immigrant employee visas utilized by U.S. employers.  The following types of visas are discussed in the program: E-1, E-2, O, P and L-1.  The presenters also provide numerous practical considerations and practice points when clients are seeking to apply for the various types of visas.  To access the course click here: Most Popular Non-Immigrant Employee Visas.

Further topics discussed include:

  • The eligibility requirements that must be met for each visa
  • Similarities & differences between the 4 types of visas
  • Advantages & disadvantages of the four types of visas
  • The “substantial trade” & “principally between US and treaty nation” provisions of the E-1 visa
  • The nationalities that qualify for the E-2 investor visa
  • The definition of an athlete & entertainer for P-1 visas
  • P-2 Visas & Participants in Reciprocal Exchange Programs
  • P-3 Visas & Culturally Unique Groups
  • The use of L-1 visas by multi-national companies
  • L-1 visas & intracompany transfers
  • The L-1 blanket visa
  • Specific requirements for the L-1 employer & employee
  • Additional requirements for new offices under the L-1 visa & EB-1C category considerations
  • Gaining lawful permanent resident status

Amy Ghosh has years of success conducting deportation defense and asylum cases before the Immigration Court, and also handles H1B visa, Labor Certification, Naturalization, Citizenship, and other immigration processes.  In addition, she has trial and appellate experience in civil and family law cases. William F. Levings specializes in immigration law and has prevented many immigrants from being forcibly removed from the United States.  In addition to removal defense, Mr. Levings has also obtained permanent residence and citizenship for a number of clients.  He has successfully represented immigrants requiring Form I-601A waivers at U.S. Consulates around the world.  His emphasis is on EB-5 Investor Visas and he also represents clients seeking L-1, E-2, and H1-B visas.

This CLE course on the most popular non-immigrant employee visas 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)
  • New York (NY)
  • 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: IL CLE.