This month the NHMCLE Board conducts the annual audit of lawyers’ Certificates of Compliance. The choice of certificates to audit was made randomly. Those lawyers are asked to provide verification of their attendance at all CLE programs listed on their 2007 Certificates. If there is carry-forward credit at the beginning of their course lists, they must also verify their participation in 2006 CLE programs.
The NHMCLE Board notice for the audit explains what forms of verification are acceptable and allows lawyers thirty days to respond. The best form of verification is the attendance certificate provided at all approved CLE programs and which the Board has always encouraged lawyers to keep in their annual CLE files for two years to meet the requirements of SC Rule 53.6. Other forms of combined authentication are also accepted and are detailed in the audit notice, but none are as simple and easy as the attendance certificate from the program.
Jim Shirley, chair of the NHMCLE Board’s Audit Committee, says this process reminds lawyers that these records must be accessible, available and up-to-date. "Every year we see similar mistakes in the audit. Often it’s carelessness of record-keeping that can be easily addressed within the office by making sure that attendance records are correctly noted and filed after each program. But sometimes we find that lawyers have misconstrued their attendance when it was actually only a program registration," Shirley said.
Lawyers are reminded that they need to tell Annual Sponsors to report their course attendance to the NHMCLE Office and then check their online records in 30 days to be sure that the course has been posted correctly. If they take courses from non-Annual Sponsors, lawyers have to submit an Attorney Credit Application Form within 30 days of completion. Anyone may download the application, learn how to find his/her online record, check the Annual Sponsor list and review the CLE requirements online at