Happy February! If you’re a licensed attorney in California and your last name begins with ‘A’ through ‘G,’ beware the State Bar Audit boogeyman. Before you scour your office, home, car, beachfront mansion, or dusty storage bin for that sweet MCLE certificate gold, its probably a good idea to review what is expected of you during an audit.
While the nightmare scenario can be avoided with thorough records-keeping and punctuality, how do you go about rectifying the situation when your dog just ate all your MCLE certificates? According to the State Bar of California, you need to contact the provider immediately to obtain a copy of your attendance record. If the provider did not retain a copy of your attendance certificate then a sign-in sheet will work only if it notes the “name of the course, course provider, date of activity and the number of MCLE hours afforded to attendees.” Receipts or a fellow partner/associate’s certificate that attended with you won’t cut it. Luckily for you, our library keeps an extremely compliant sign-in sheet for all our MCLE events. Head on over to the State Bar’s MCLE Audit FAQ to review all the possible nightmare scenarios and how to avoid them.
If worst comes to worst, you’ll have a record of being non-compliant on your State Bar profile until the end of time (which is a wonderful conversational topic with potential clients). I always believed a permanent record was kind of harsh, but also a great way to ensure compliance. Because nothing ensures attorney MCLE compliance like putting your delinquency on blast for all eternity. Some anthropologist from a thousand years from now will uncover your non-compliance and shame you all over again. Don’t be that attorney.