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MCLE Self-Assessment Test

Annual fee bill arriving soon

The bills for the 2014 State Bar annual membership fees were mailed to members Dec. 2; the deadline for payment is Feb. 3. The Legislature authorized a $420 fee for active lawyers. The fee includes $30 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 owe $145, an amount that includes $75 for the general fund, $30 for legal aid, $10 for the Client Security Fund, $25 for discipline and $5 for LAP. Annual membership fees are waived for inactive lawyers who are 70 years of age on Feb. 1.

Those lawyers whose last names start with N-to-Z (Group 3) also have a Feb. 3 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 lawyers 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 (CCBA — $35 recommended donation) and the California Supreme Court Historical Society (CSCHS — a $25 donation is recommended). In addition, they can deduct up to $30 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 2013.

Fees can be paid and MCLE compliance can be reported online by logging onto My State Bar Profile.

Members may find the audited Statement of Expenditures of Mandatory Membership Fees for 2012 on the State Bar’s web site. The statement shows how State Bar membership fees are spent.

In addition, there is an explanation about the $10 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.