In time for the spookiest month of the year, here are some of the scariest penalties attorneys can face for CLE noncompliance.
In New Jersey, you will automatically get a 60 day grace period to complete your credits - but that’s it. No extending your grace period, no extra grace periods - and if you still haven’t completed your credits, you owe the bar $150. Not to mention you might be administratively suspended and unable to practice law.
Similarly, in Texas, you will be fined $100...every month after the end of your compliance period (your birthday month) that you fail to complete the required credits. At the end of the fourth month, you will be placed on administrative suspension. So save your money and protect your license, and shell out the $199 for unlimited credits at Lawline instead.
In Virginia, failure to complete your required credits by the Halloween deadline subjects you to a $100 noncompliance penalty. Failure to certify by the December 15 reporting deadline incurs a $100 late filing fee. And if you still haven’t filed by the late filing deadline on February 1, you’ll need to shell out another $100. So file on time and put your $300 towards an epic costume.
Wyoming attorneys have good reason to fear noncompliance - if you haven’t completed your credits by the January 15 deadline, you’re liable for a whopping $300 delinquency fee. There is a late deadline of March 1 to comply, but after that, not only will you have to show cause to the Court why you shouldn’t be suspended, you will also pay another $300 noncompliance fee. And you still have to complete your credits.
As a self-reporting state, noncompliant attorneys in New York might gamble on the honor system - but if you are audited and can’t provide records of your CLE attendance from the past five years, there are serious consequences. You will be referred to the Appellate Division for the appropriate action - and if that action is determined to be suspension, a 2014 case has made it clear that an attorney suspended for CLE noncompliance will need to undergo a full-blown reinstatement proceeding.
Sarah graduated from Simon's Rock College in 2005 with a BA in Linguistics, then worked in events production for several years before she graduated from New York Law School in 2012. Before joining Lawline, she worked in litigation management as a legal auditor. She loves working as a program attorney as it combines her legal knowledge and production background. She has two kids, two cats, and loves public transit and rainy days.