Wisconsin Lawyer: Legal News and Trends: CLE reporting deadline nears; complete CLE courses by Dec. 31:

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    Legal News and Trends: CLE reporting deadline nears; complete CLE courses by Dec. 31

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    Wisconsin LawyerWisconsin Lawyer
    Vol. 80, No. 10, October 2007

    The Board of Bar Examiners (BBE) reminds attorneys admitted to practice in odd-numbered years that they will receive the 2006 - 07 CLE Form 1 continuing legal education reporting form in mid-October. All active Wisconsin-licensed attorneys are required by SCR 31.03 to file a CLE Form 1 with the BBE biennially.

    "This is the first reporting period that on-demand credits can be reported," says BBE director John Kosobucki. On-demand programs are CLE seminars that previously were presented live or in another format and have been reapproved, allowing members to earn CLE credit for programs viewed over the Internet.

    Attorneys may only report up to 10 credits of on-demand CLE each reporting period. EPR credits are not available through on-demand seminars.

    The deadline for completing all required coursework is Dec. 31, 2007. Attorneys who file CLE Form 1 after Feb. 1, 2008, are subject to late fees and possible suspension. Attorneys admitted to practice in 2007 do not need to report their credits until 2009.

    Kosobucki offers the following tips to help attorneys avoid common reporting errors.

    1) Keep good records. If you keep track of courses you attend, completing the form should only take minutes. Log on to My State Bar at www.wisbar.org to view a list of State Bar CLE courses you have attended. You can add CLE courses you attended that were offered by other providers.

    2) Be sure the course is BBE approved. Visit the BBE Web site at for a list of BBE-approved courses. If the BBE has not approved a course, submit a CLE Form 2 to request course approval or ask the course provider to apply for approval.

    "But act quickly," urges Kosobucki. "This process can take several weeks, and a course must be approved before you can claim it for credit."

    3) File the form yourself. Attorneys should personally complete the CLE form. The BBE offers a fillable CLE Form 1, which can be downloaded from the BBE's Web site and attached to the form you will receive by mail.

    4) Sign the form. The CLE Form 1 is a sworn document and requires a valid signature.

    5) File early. The earlier you file the form, the earlier the BBE will audit it, which will give you time to earn any necessary credits by Dec. 31.

    6) File on time. Courses must be completed by Dec. 31, and the BBE must receive the forms by Feb. 1 to avoid a late filing fee.

    As required by SCR 31.10, attorneys who have not complied with the reporting requirement by April 1 will receive a certified mail notice of noncompliance warning of suspension. "If your license is suspended," says Kosobucki, "the BBE must notify the supreme court clerk, all Wisconsin circuit courts, the Office of Lawyer Regulation, and the State Bar."

    7) Nonpracticing and nonresident attorneys also must file. Nonresident attorneys and in-state attorneys who have not practiced law in Wisconsin during the reporting period are exempt from the attendance requirement but not the reporting requirement. Check the appropriate box on the form.

    8) Watch your mail. If the BBE sends a deficiency notice or a notice of potential suspension, act quickly. Once suspended, an attorney must file a petition for reinstatement and pay a reinstatement fee.

    For more information, contact BBE CLE Records manager Tammy McMillen at (608) 261-2350.