Adelson, Testan, Brundo & Jimenez would like to remind all California attorneys that the reporting deadline for 2013 MCLE Compliance is 01/31/13. All attorneys with licenses in active status with last names beginning A through G who do not have an exemption are required to report the minimum continuing legal education completed by this date. Remember, an attorney’s reporting group does not change due to a change in last name, so attorneys must report according to the group with which they originally registered.
MCLE Compliance Groups by Last Name
According to the State Bar of California, “members are assigned to a compliance group only once and remain in that same group, even if the member subsequently changes his/her last name.” The groups differ slightly depending on the time members were admitted:
- Members admitted on or before Feb. 1, 1992 were assigned to a compliance group based on the first letter of their last name, as listed on their official State Bar records, effective Feb. 1, 1992 (the beginning of the MCLE program).
- Members admitted after Feb. 1, 1992 are assigned to a compliance group based on the first letter of the last name listed on their admit cards. Admit cards are filled out when they are sworn in as a members of the State Bar.
2013 MCLE Reporting Requirements
The 2013 MCLE Compliance requirements are 25 hours of education including special requirements, no more than half of which may be self-study. However, these hours may be reduced or eliminated for attorneys qualifying for certain exemptions, though these individuals must still report:
- Proportional requirements for attorneys who were admitted or voluntarily inactive during the three year reporting period
- Officers, elected officials, and full-time employees of the State of California
- Full-time professors at accredited law schools
- Attorneys or judges employed full-time by the federal government
Adelson, Testan, Brundo &Jimenez believes it is important for attorneys to note that certifications of 2013 MCLE Compliance are taken under penalty of perjury, and urges attorneys to ensure that all coursework completed meets the minimum requirements before certifying the same. Recent audits by the State Bar have found attorneys out of compliance, and audit rates for all attorneys are increasing as a result.
Adelson, Testan, Brundo & Jimenez Suggestions for Keeping in Compliance
The attorneys of Adelson, Testan et al. have decades of experience in keeping in compliance with MCLE rules and share the following tips for attorneys new to practice or even those who could use a reminder.
- Keep attendance certificates and all coursework for completed CLE courses for at least one year after the reporting period. Making digital copies is an easy and inexpensive way to duplicate records and protect against loss.
- Confirm that all CLE courses and providers used are approved by the State Bar.
- Print out the confirmation that MCLE has been reported through the online My State Bar Profile as a secondary record.
If for any reason an attorney misses the 2013 MCLE Compliance reporting deadline, the State Bar will assess a $75 fine and allow the attorney 60 days to return to compliance before enacting an administrative license suspension. Attorneys should complete MCLE as early as possible and report accurately to avoid penalties.