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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

New fee part of upcoming MCLE audit

Audit letters will go out this month to approximately 6,500 attorneys to ensure compliance with Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements.

This is the sixth year that the State Bar has conducted audits that could potentially result in disciplinary action. The sample represents about 10 percent of attorneys in MCLE group 1 (people whose last names begin with the letters A through G) who reported compliance with MCLE requirements this cycle.

New this year, auditees who are found to be deficient will be assessed a $200 fee. There is also a $75 late fee for those who don’t comply with the audit by the deadline. The Board of Trustees adjusted the fee after reviewing other states’ fees for similar violations and to demonstrate the importance of complying with the regulations, said Chief Operating Officer Leah Wilson.

Attorneys will be asked to provide certificates of course completion or prove they are statutorily exempt by Aug. 22. The State Bar requires active attorneys to take 25 hours of continuing education courses every three years. Lawyers must keep their documentation for at least a year after their compliance report is due.

The audit will include a higher proportion of those with risk factors for doing poorly on the audit, such as a history of administrative actions or late filing of MCLE compliance reports. The remaining will be chosen at random from attorneys whose last names begin with the letters A through G.

Those who do not respond to the audit or do not bring themselves into compliance by Oct. 31 will be administratively suspended on Nov. 1. In addition, those who appear to have falsely declared they were compliant may be referred to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel for possible disciplinary action. For more information about MCLE requirements and reporting, visit the State Bar’s MCLE web page.