SAN FRANCISCO, June 30, 2015 – The State Bar of California announced today that audit letters will go out next week to approximately 5,200 attorneys to ensure compliance with Minimum Continuing Legal Education (MCLE) requirements.

This is the fifth 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 2 (last names begin with the letters H through M) who reported compliance with MCLE requirements this cycle.

Attorneys will be asked to provide certificates of course completion or prove they are statutorily exempt by Aug. 21. 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 is due.

The audit will include lawyers who had to make up missing hours as a result of being audited in 2012. In addition, it will include a higher proportion of those with other risk factors for doing poorly on the audit, such as a history of administrative actions or late filing of MCLE compliance. The remaining 2,000 or so will be chosen at random from attorneys whose last names begin with the letters H through M.

There are two components to the audit, administrative and disciplinary. Those who do not respond to the audit or do not bring themselves into compliance by Oct. 30 will be administratively suspended on Oct. 31. In addition, those who appear to have falsely declared they were compliant will be referred to the Office of Chief Trial Counsel for possible disciplinary action.

As of mid-June, 60 attorneys had been disciplined in connection with the MCLE audits, and three had resigned with charges pending.

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