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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

Annual fee bills arriving soon

The bills for the 2016 State Bar annual membership fees are being mailed to members Dec. 1. The deadline for payment is Feb. 1.

The Legislature authorized a $430 fee for active lawyers. The fee includes $40 for legal aid nonprofits, $40 for the Client Security Fund, $25 for disciplinary activities and $10 for the Lawyer Assistance Program (LAP). The remainder goes to the general fund.

Inactive members will be billed $155, an amount that includes $75 for the general fund, $40 for legal aid, $10 for the Client Security Fund, $25 for disciplinary activities and $5 for LAP. Lawyers must register as inactive by Feb. 1 to be eligible for the lower rate.

Annual membership fees are waived for inactive lawyers who are 70 or older on Feb. 1.

Those lawyers whose last names start with A-G (Group 1) also have a Feb. 1 due date to report completion of their 25 hours of Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE).

Failure to pay fees by the deadline will trigger a $100 late payment penalty for active attorneys and a $30 penalty for inactive attorneys. Failure to report MCLE compliance will trigger a $75 penalty.

Lawyers also will have the opportunity to donate to the Justice Gap Fund (recommended donation $100), the California Bar Foundation ($50 recommended donation), the Conference of California Bar Associations ($35 recommended donation) and the California Supreme Court Historical Society ($25 donation is recommended). In addition, they can deduct up to $40 that would otherwise to go legal aid, $5 designated for lobbying and $5 designated for the elimination of bias fund.

Active lawyers with qualifying income levels are eligible for a 25-percent reduction in the membership fee. To qualify, a lawyer must declare a total gross annual individual income from all sources of less than $40,000 in 2015.

You can pay and report MCLE compliance online by logging onto My State Bar Profile. If you’re a first-time user you will need the access code that appears on the front of your fee statement.

Members may find the Statement of Expenditures of Mandatory Membership Fees on the State Bar’s website. The statement includes an audited review of how State Bar membership fees are spent.

In addition, there is an explanation about the voluntary deductions to membership fees and the procedures for arbitration under Keller v. State Bar of California, 496 U.S. 1 (1990).

A copy also may be obtained by writing to: Office of the Secretary, The State Bar of California, 180 Howard St., San Francisco, CA 94105.